Angling on River Bush - non day ticket stretches

The upstream area of the River Bush can be fished with a DAERA game rod licence and permit. It offers salmon angling from July to the end of the season with good trout fishing available throughout most of the season. DAERA is the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

What you need to know

Nearest town Bushmills. Scroll down to find out how to get there.
Area/length 38.5km and begins at the end of the Leap stretch
Species Salmon, brown trout and sea trout
Season 1 March to 20 October

Fly and worm* fishing from 1 March to 30 June and fly, worm* and spinning from 1 July to 20 October.  Anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for salmon.

*Worm fishing is allowed using a single hook of size two or greater. Such a hook shall be one on which the barb is turned to face towards the shank with minimum dimensions as follows: (i) the gape (being the aperture from the out-turned shank to the tip of the out-turn before the barb is formed) shall be 8mm and (ii) the barb (being the point of the hook from the tip of the out-turn to its own tip) shall be 4mm

Daily bag limit There is no bag limit for trout. You're required by law to catch and release  salmon and sea trout
Size limit Minimum takeable size for brown trout is 25.4cm
Licence DAERA game rod licence: Game rod licence prices from DAERA
Permit DAERA game angling permit: Game angling permit prices from DAERA
Other restrictions Short stretch above Benvardin Bridge is closed to anglers
General information

From the downstream limit at Walkmills to Stroan Bridge, the river is mainly slow moving and fairly deep with isolated fords and flows between high banks.

From Stroan Bridge to Magherahoney the pace of the river quickens with faster flowing water over mainly gravel.

Above Magherahoney, the river changes to a mountain stream with water cascading over large boulders and small but deep pools with extensive bush cover. The chance of catching a salmon in this stretch is limited but there is a good stock of small brown fish.

How to get there

From Ballymoney

Take the B66 to Bushmills through Dervock, turn left over the bridge in Bushmills, and left again into the Salmon Station. Alternatively, take the B62, through Ballybogey for 6.83 miles, turn right onto the B17 to Bushmills. Turn right into Bridge Street and right again just before the bridge into the Salmon Station.

From Portrush

Take the A2 to Bushmills. Turn right after the school at the T-junction into Priestland Road, and first left after Saint Cuthbert’s Roman Catholic Church into Bridge Street. Turn right just before the bridge into the Salmon Station.

Benvardin Bridge

On the B67 between Ballycastle and Coleraine.


On the B66 between Ballymoney and Bushmills.


On the A44 between Ballymena and Ballycastle.

Stranocum Bridge

On the B147 between Ballymoney and the B67. Access along the river bank has been made easier by the construction of stiles and foot sticks over most of the distance between the downstream limit and Armoy. 

Other places to fish

Everything you need to go fishing

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