Angling at Hillsborough Lake

The lake is in Hillsborough Forest, a large park with scenic wooded parkland, forest walks and lakeside paths. There are restrictions on fly fishing.

Key information 

Nearest town Hillsborough
Area/length 16.2 hectares
Species rainbow trout
Season 1 February to 31 December
Methods fly fishing, spinning and worm fishing
Daily bag limit four trout per rod
Size limit minimum takeable size 25.4cm
Boats fishing from boats is not permitted
Licence DAERA game rod licence: Game rod licence prices from DAERA
Permit DAERA game angling permit: Game angling permit prices from DAERA
Facilities for people with disabilities see below
Other restrictions fly fishing is not permitted from the dam or the shore next to the dam, nor in the vicinity of the footbridge at the southern point of the lake, these prohibited areas are signposted

Facilities for people with disabilities

There is a tarmac car park which is a short distance along a quarry dust path with a moderate gradient to the fishery. A surfaced path surrounds the lake. Wheelchair access to the water is possible along the dam wall.


The lake is a sanctuary wildlife, including swans and several varieties of ducks. Do not leave litter, lines or hooks. This is a rich lake, providing hatches of flies such as water hoglouse. Flies include gold headed nymphs, buzzers and wooly worm. The lake is regularly stocked with five thousand takeable rainbow trout.

Cars are not allowed beyond the forest park car parks. Anglers must observe the closing times of the forest park which are displayed on the gates.

How to get there

Click the button directly below for a map and you will see an arrow which shows Hillsborough Lake.

From Belfast

Take the M1 to the Lisburn (Sprucefield) junction. Take the A1 to Hillsborough. Turn left just before the roundabout onto the B177 to go through the town. The entrance is signposted on the Dromore Road as you leave Hillsborough.

From Ballynahinch

Take the B177 to Hillsborough and go through the town, as above.

Other places to fish

Everything you need to go fishing

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