Six Mile River Guide: Derek Bell


Derek Bell

CONTACT: Email   Mobile Tel: 07761535982

Derek Bell Jnr or know locally as "Dollaghan man" has been fishing the Sixmile River for over 40 years, and is known throughout Ireland for his ability to consistently catch double figure Dollaghan trout. Growing up on the upper reaches of the Sixmile and fishing his local tributary the Doagh Burn, he has learned his craft from his father and gained his own experience over the years. Derek has also fished all over Ireland on some of the most famous salmon rivers including the Moy, Blackwater, Bush, Finn, and the Agivey to name a few. With Derek’s vast amount of experience you can be guaranteed he will put you in the right place for that chance to catch a fish of a lifetime.

Derek has a unique ability to land huge specimen fish year in, year out. In the last three years he has caught and netted two 20lbs (estimated) Dollaghan, along with copious amounts of double figured fish. With his local knowledge of fish lays and holding pools, he can place you right on the fish.

Dear Derek

A note to thank you and Philip so much for my first two nights out on the sixmilewater. Possibly the best kept secret in the whole angling world.

These were my first experiences of both fishing for Dollaghan and river fishing at night. I would like to congratulate you and thank you, most sincerely, for your attention, instruction and guidance in all aspects of your finely honed craft. I have fished with many guides across the U.K. and Ireland and it is a rare thing to meet a guide of your ability, knowledge and passion for catching fish. It was very clear that you had as much pleasure experiencing a fish take, as the guide, as I had as the angler. You were attentive, approachable and dedicated to making sure the sessions yielded as much as was on offer both in terms of my development as an angler as well as fish targeted.

Thanks for the offer to introduce my angling buddies to the river, I know they will be as blown away as I have been. Thanks also for the kind offer to show me the rest of the beautiful sixmile. I’m very much looking forward to seeing it all!

If there is anything that I can do for you at all to show my gratitude, please let me know.

See you Friday if the rain doesn’t ruin it entirely!



Dr Tim Brown FRCS
Consultant Transplant Surgeon
— Dr Tim Brown, Belfast N Ireland
Dr Tim Brown with his prized Dollaghan!

Dr Tim Brown with his prized Dollaghan!

Derek, I would like to thank you for a great fishing trip. You wanted to get clients on the fish which was great. Your insight on fishing a particular stretch of water was very helpful. The areas we fished were not only a great place with fish but great views of your country.
I would like to thank you and Ireland for sharing your fish with me. I caught my personal best while fishing in N. Ireland, that to me was awesome, a story I will tell forever. Coming to Ireland was a lifelong dream that became a reality for this Apache kid and catching my biggest brown trout made it that much sweeter.
Thanks again for a very memorable day, a day that will always be in my heart. Keep up the great work on keeping a great fishery.
Tight lines,
Vel Sneezy
— Vel Sneezy USA
Derek and Vel with his 4lbs Dollaghan

Derek and Vel with his 4lbs Dollaghan

I fished on Sept 14th 2017 with fishing guide Derek Bell Jnr, on Antrim’s Sixmile River, located within the jurisdiction of Antrim & District Angling Assoc. I made a reservation with Derek for myself several months in advance of our cruise ship’s one day stop at the port of Belfast, Northern Ireland. After the Princess Cruise ship, Regal Princess docked, Derek met me with his car and off we went to purchase a fishing permit, grab some waders (which I forgot to bring) then on to the fishing. Once we started, Derek knew which pools would be most productive at that time of the morning but we quickly tried them all just in case a pattern change had developed. Derek’s knowledge and experience started when he went fishing on the Antrim river with his father as a lad. Since then he has learned every pool, time of year, water flow and presentation to make. During the time I spent with him, I was able to land my first ever Dollaghan brown trout and then another which was a 5 pounder. After calming down from the joy of landing the big one, Derek told me to cast into the same pool again to see what else might be lurking. Sceptical after all the thrashing in the pool from Mr Big I proceeded with my next cast only to connect with an Atlantic Salmon that came close to 5 pounds again. I had heard about the luck of the Irish but at this point, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. What a blessing to receive on my first trip to Northern Ireland. So glad I connected with Derek Bell Jnr and highly recommend his guide service to anyone who wants to wet a line on their visit.
— Frank Gibbs USA
Derek and Frank with his Atlantic Salmon.

Derek and Frank with his Atlantic Salmon.