Local Fishing Tips

February 27th, 2014









This was written by one of our guests – transposed by me (prob with a few typos!) for the keen fishermen amongst you here:

“Port is one of few places I know that you can have so much fun in a single day on lake/stream/sea – and without another soul around”

Flies that have worked at Port

In the bay:

On a rising tide. Off the rocks under the waterfall. Sand eel imitations chartreye – blue/green with red “big eyes”. Caught Pollock easily . Worth trying mackeral too.


In the pools running 1 km upstream from cottage:

71/2” brook rod no 5/6

10-12” leader with ½ lb tipped

-Sparkle dun & grey duster every time dry


Elkhair caddis – dead drift

-       skate

-       duo with pheasant tail (NZ dropper)

Grey duster(dry)

Tups indispensible (finished with goats scrotum hair)

Half stove (wet or downstream)


No success Klurkhammers?! Spiders (dozen at 4/5”)

Best catch in 10 days = 6”


Local lakes (Best catch over 3 sessions=6” – lots!

Speak to Gordon Young @hardware store in Ardara. Local patterns on 3 fly washing line.

Prefer dua –EHC +nymph

-       sinbgle wet = Mallards Claret

*Apparently no issue with access – chat to the farmer in the cottage @lake up the road (Tom Mcgara/Columba Malloy)

Local guys prefer spinning


Salmon and Sea trout

License and weekly permits from Owenea Fishery in Glenties

E200.00 a week

9 beats – salmon good &best April/May

-sea trout good last few years (strict G+R)

_mostly grilse best in aug/sep


Thanks to the one and only John Berry!

Fifty Shades of Grey, at Port, Donegal

January 29th, 2014

We’re going to let you into our secret life at Port in the winter. Some say the weather in Donegal is terrible at this time of year…Thats simply not true – to us its beautiful, dramatic, exciting. So this year we created our own fifty shades of grey.

All these are cropped from my pictures of the winter skies at Port - 

now that’s really sexy…..

Why winter in Port is IT. (A few survival tips)

November 19th, 2012

No question – winter’s in Port are superb. The weather outside is often insane – Ok, I have some snow in this picture but most of the time it’s just raging storms, fog, mist and well, real weather.










The streams race down the hillsides bulging with water. Bogs are deep in moss, lichen and fringed with heavy heather. The sheep stay out all year round, extra woolly now and admirably tough. The ocean goes mental: some days are spookily flat and steely grey – others, more likely, the chop and swell rises and the sea dashes against the harbour wall. Nothing better than scavenging kindling on the beach – driftwood and gnarled ancient ravellings of heather – hearing that surf bashing the rocks and dragging itself through a million rounded stones – and knowing youll soon head in to light that fire.  Tip one: Have faith in the flame – it will do for you what its done for us for millions of years.










I say Irish weather is nearly always beautiful – even wintertime.  Softness of light, the ease of the rain, the whip of the wind. At Port, you get a year of weather in a day, and almost every single day, the sun breaks through as Atlantic winds break up the cloud mass – even if its just a redeeming, almost holy shaft of lemon sun rays over a storm cloud at the day’s end. Tip 2: Always go out.  The weather is always worse from the inside – and makes the coming in all the better.

This baby (oct 2012) wouldn't be seen dead indoors















The electrics weren’t working in the cottage when we went down last week. We were there to fix up a new improved wind turbine to create more power, and – the batteries seem to be dead flat, probably worn out – and spent the three days in candle power, and seriously contemplating taking away any vestige of electricity that we have spent months and hours of brain power creating . Tip 3: Live without power. The sweetness of lighting lamps and candles as dusk draws in, and its complete and utter simplicity and beauty along with the firelight, is without compare.













Bowing happily to suggestion, we have made a delicious new corner in the cottage. God knows where we found the space, but there is now a rich, deep sheepskin settle to the left of the stove , replacing the working desk/kids corner. Cushioned, cosy, and the warmest spot in the cottage, we’re calling it the love snug – soon to be extended a little further,  so two can actually lie down there, all night by the fire even.  Tip 4: Worship the LOVE SNUG










Sometimes, the cold can get into your bones. When you’ve walked miles and your boots have leaked, or on a lashing, lashing day, but no bother, there are ways of extra warmth. Irish whiskeys with a nip of warmed peat water straight from the stream; a full bodied red, breathy from above the stove with steaming bowls of chowder; and warmer beyond all warmers – the Port Kelp Bath. Always reap the kelp at low tide, that way you get the fresh stuff. One plant will do, but more is fun. Run the bath to the limit, light the candles, lie back and listen to the pelting rain or wind whipping round the tin roof. For the full-on traditional, take down the tin bath from the second bathroom and fill it in front of a stove full of glowing turf  Tip 5: Embrace the chill. Its all the better to cosy up in!



For heavens sake, look up now

January 25th, 2012

Tonight’s the last chance to see  the Northern Lights in Donegal.  Astronomers, photographers and pilgrims are heading in droves to the county, which is receiving a  major major  treat  from Mother Nature  since last Sunday night when the Aurora Borealis first hit Donegal’s northern skies.

Last Sunday night in Donegal. By Adam Porter.


Gutted that we weren’t in Port to see it. Check out http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Northern-Lights-draws-thousands-of-visitors-to-Donegal-137950378.html for more

Sheep shearing record for Donegal

January 11th, 2012

just 745 of these and its all yours


A Donegal man has just beaten the world record for the most sheep sheared in 8 hours, in New Zealand on Monday. A staggering 744 lambs were sheered by Ivan Scott from Kilmacrennan , beating the last world record by two. To achieve this, he had to shear on average about 92 lambs an hour, more than one a minute.

For more detail, check out http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-politics-16486373

PS: Thanks to John Berry for the Port sheep with attitude


Surfs Up Dude

December 14th, 2011

The highest wave ever recorded in Irish waters formed off the coast of Donegal this afternoon, according to Met Éireann. It measured over 20 metres high – a monster. All the more substance to claims that Donegal offers some of the best surfing in the world.

Like this, but even bigger


Go to:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2011/1213/breaking25.html?via=mr for more details.

Climbing the Devil’s Penis

July 26th, 2011

Or in Irish the Búd An Diabhal. No need for more words, watch this breathtaking climbing video filmed in Port bay

Use the fast link or paste this into your browser. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V09d9Lk-Sg

Why Dylan Thomas won’t be coming to stay

May 10th, 2011

This video on the life of Dylan Thomas during the two weeks he stayed in the next valley just north of Port goes a long way to explaining why he never came back. It’s a… little slow…but stick with it for some great mise en scene, a few snippets of the master’s work, and his comments on the town of Ardara – including the immortal line,  “a village you cant be too far from”.

Yes there IS good shopping in Ardara

April 22nd, 2011

Well you cant say much for the supermarkets, but there are a couple of little gems – incredibly , if you want clothing.

Eddie Doherty is one of the last Donegal tweed hand-weavers in the country , and his jackets are praised far and wide . Try this recent review from of New Zealand journalist..http://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/news/article.cfm?c_id=7&objectid=10718539.

Just next door, is Campbell’s where Hughie sells the nicest jumpers – a mix of Donegal wool and cashmere – and great socks – with his inimitable style.

Cup of Tae festival – Ardara

April 22nd, 2011

Traditional music fans will love next week-end in Ardara. It’s also got a great name, and people are already flooding in for the liveliest weekend of the year. Go to  www.cupoftaefestival.com

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