Fishing In Kerry

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Fancy a fishing trip Kerry style? With miles of unspoilt coastline, crystal clear lakes and no shortage of rivers it's easy to see why County Kerry is such an angling hotspot.

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County Kerry Fishing Secrets, Kerry Salmon Fishing, Coarse Fishing In Kerry, County Kerry Sea Fishing.

Throughout the county there are plenty of well stocked mountain streams, rivers and lakes offering excellent opportunities for trout and salmon fishing as well as numerous sheltered bays and inlets for beach fishing.

County Kerry has some of the finest angling in Europe on offer. Game, coarse and sea-fishing can be very good.
But great angling doesn't jump at the angler anymore. He has to search for it amongst the many dozens of potential waters.

To simplify this quest and to portray the joys of angling is the aim of this website 1st-stop-county-kerry.
You will find here useful tips, many different waters and of course many pictures and video clips of landscapes, anglers and fish.

But before going fishing, let’s begin with the basics.
The first thing you need to fish anywhere in County Kerry Ireland for sea - trout or salmon is the government licence. You can get them from tackle shops, hotels and fisheries boards.

The next thing you will need is a local permit, especially when you intend to fish a river for salmon or sea trout.
Many of the lakes still have free fishing; there is no brown - trout licence as such; but as a general rule: it is always advisable to ask locally.

Fishermen should always take care to see that the necessary permissions are obtained from the land - or fishery owners. The normal access to waters is over stiles. Do not open gates or park cars in fields. At all times respect landowners' property. Keep the waterside clean and bring your litter home.

A light salmon rod, single or double handed; 10-12 foot long, fit to handle a class 8 or 9 line is just perfect for any of the County Kerry salmon and sea trout rivers. Floating lines with a short sinking tip are a favourite with the local angler.

For your brown trout fishing a 9-10 foot rod class 6 or 7 is all you want. A standard floating line will cover you for most situations here.

If you don't know how to handle a fly rod, bubble floating is a good method for catching brown trout in the lakes. You would need an 8-9 foot rod and a line of 3-5 pounds, or 0.18 mm to 0.22 mm for that.

Spinning is another widely used technique to catch salmon and seat trout. You should have an 8-10 foot rod, comfortably casting weights of 40 grams or so with a 10 to 15 pound line, that is 0.30 mm to 0.35 mm.

The coarse fishing tackle corresponds with that used everywhere else for catching Perch, Pike, Bream, and Rudd etc.
So, that's the tackle, and I'm sure you have a rod and line just about right to fish anywhere in The Kingdom.

Now let`s find where to fish. County Kerry for a fisherman is the nearest thing to heaven. From the lakes in Killarney to the shores of Dingle bay, from the river Laune to Fenit harbour, Cloughane and the Flesk, yes the nearest thing to heaven for a fisherman is Fishing in The Kingdom Of Kerry.

River Laune

The river Laune Killorgin is in mid to southwest Kerry and an excellent salmon fishing river. Once you get your fishing and gear together, settle besides the rivers edge, and cast your rod, the salmon come looking for you, not you for them.

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The River Laune boasts a run of salmon and the river also drains the largest of the Killarney lakes, which is known for its brown trout.

The Laune gets a small run of spring salmon and the fisheries located on the upper section of the river provide the best chance of connecting with a spring fish. With higher water conditions in the spring of the year, the early run of salmon move quickly through the river into the Killarney lakes. Salmon and sea trout fishing on the River Laune is controlled by Angling Associations, Inland Fisheries Ireland (Beats 1 and 2) and some fishing is also maintained by private fishery owners.

Before you head over to fish on The Laune give John Buckley, Killarney Fishing Centre a ring. He is an expert Salmon and trout fishing Guide.

John provides a guiding service for the Kerry region. Guided salmon fishing, trout fishing and sea trout fishing available. Home waters are the lakes and rivers in Killorgin, Killarney and Waterville. Boats supplied on the Lakes of Killarney and he also has an excellent tackle shop.

John’s address is: 3 Glebe Lane, Killarney, Co. Kerry.

Telephone/Fax:+353 64 22884


Cloghane & Brandon 

Cloghane and Brandon are situated on the northern side of the Dingle Peninsula, tucked in at the base of the Mount Brandon and washed by the sparkling surf of Brandon Bay. 

The Cloghane-Brandon region is surely one of the greatest beauty spots of the world.

The area is a paradise for sea anglers. Cod, Pollock, ling, various spices of dogfish, mackerel, turbot, bass and shark, (not the size of Jaws but fairly big at that).

You can charter a boat or beach cast from the strands of cappagh and Fermoyle.

There is an abundant supply of bait, fish lures, and tackle shops in the area.

Bass are at their best during the winter season.

Further on, the magnificent valley set between Mount Brandon and Connor pass, the highest mountain pass in Ireland, provides unsurpassed game and fishing for Wild Salmon and sea trout in the Owenmore river and lakes.

For the fly angler sea trout fishing is excellent after dark. 

Bob Moss is the man to see in this part of the County Kerry, especially if you love sea, surf and shore angling. 

Bob Moss lives in Ballydavid and is an avid surf, sea and shore angler with numerous specimen fish awards to his name. He has been fishing the length and breadth of the Dingle Peninsula for well over 30 years. He has written a couple of excellent books on the angling in that area. He provides guided fishing and advice on bait and where to fish. Bob has 12 specimen fish awards. 

Bob’s address is: Ballydavid, Co. Kerry.

Telephone: +353 66 55158 or +353 87 438915





Ballingskelligs, 50 miles (65Km) South West of Killarney, on the ring of Kerry is another fantastic fishing spot of county Kerry. The fishing, both sea and freshwater attracts thousands of anglers every year.

The Ballinskelligs region is particularly blessed with a range of lakes and rivers that together with sea fishing offer a full range of choices.

While in that neck of the woods, there is fantastic fishing in and around Kenmare and from Sneem to Killarney, with trout filled lakes and rivers beckoning you to try your skills at angling.

Waterville is a stunning fishing area in County Kerry for wild salmon and trout especially fishing from Lough Currane.

LOUGH CURRANE is in the premier league, when it comes to trout fly-fishing, the waters of this famous lake is widely regarded as one of the finest sea trout fisheries in Europe.

Currane can be trying at times, but my goodness when the big sea trout or salmon or even the “Junors” grab the fly, the excitement that ensues is nothing short of spectacular. Last year, Sean Smith (UK) caught the heaviest sea trout ever recorded on Currane, a beauty of 6.04kg (13.31lb) to the fly. 

Vincent Appleby is the best man for fishing Lough Currane especially if you are interested in salmon and trout fishing. 

Vincent has ghillied on Lough Currane for nearly 30 years he is a great choice for those looking for a guided service or flyfishing instruction on the Lake. All ages are catered for and even experienced anglers will benefit from the watercraft and fly-lore unique to Lough Currane. All tackle is provided and accomodation can be organised if required. 

Vincents contact details are: Eureka Lodge, Caherdaniel West, Co. Kerry.

Telephone: +353 66 9475248 

Val & Roger Baker, who have a lodge in the Waterville area and offer excellent accommodation alongside their guided fishing trips.

They are Experienced guides and expert saltwater fly fishers, the Bakers offer fly fishing for brown trout, sea trout and Salmon in Lough Currane and other local rivers and lakes, as well as superb bass fly fishing.

Take your pick of the fishing during your stay with them. Mix bass sessions with salmon, trout and sea trout. Even have a session after pollock and wrasse. Follow a day fishing a Lough with a ghille, by a day fishing the surf with a guide.

You can contact Val and Roger at: Cloghvoola Fishing Lodge, Cloghvoola, Waterville, Co. Kerry

Telephone: +353 66 9478009

Fax: +353 66 9678009


Killarney Lakes and Rivers 

The Killarney Valley fishing consists of 3 main lakes and numerous smaller lakes, rivers and streams. The main river, Gearhmeen, rises in McGillicuddy`s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland, and flows into the upper lake which is 1.5 miles long (2.5m) and 1 mile wide (1.5m). Salmon run into the lakes in the early spring, the Grilse run begins in May of the year.

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Catching methods on the lakes vary from fishing the fly to deep trolling. Local experience suggests that worming and spinning does the best on the rivers. There is good brown trout fishing, wet fly, on both lakes and rivers in the Killarney area. Fish run up on average a pound.

Trout fishing on Killarney’s lakes is free and for a small licence fee you can hunt for the magnificent wild Atlantic salmon. On many of the nearby rivers and lakes for a small weekly or daily charge you can fish for Brown trout, Sea trout, Rainbow trout and Salmon.

You will find some wonderful wild Brown Trout fishing in the Gap of Dunloe / Black Valley region. This area is full of small lakes and streams. Especially for the dedicated Fly Angler, you will have great fun with Small Brownies.

Season – Salmon from 17th January to 30th September. Sea-Trout, 17th January to 30th September. Brown Trout 15th February to 12th October. There are local fishing guides and instructors available for these areas.

Boats on the lakes are licensed for both salmon and trout angling. They comfortably seat two anglers and ghille.

The Killarney Lake System, River Flesk and River Laune is is a large Salmonid habitat which drains a catchment of some 320 square miles. It gets excellent runs of Salmon and Grilse, its Sea-Trout fishing while good is primarily confined to the river Laune.

The lakes and rivers of this system have very good populations of reasonably sized Brown Trout that accept a fly eagerly. Large Ferox Brown Trout can be caught on Lough Léin by trolling large artificial baits. The Lakes contain fourteen species of fish, including the Charr, a species of fish which usually occupies Sub-Artic lakes.

With miles of river and a choice of lakes, you wont have to queue for time or space.

The following is a list of the smaller lakes within Killarney Provincial Park in which fishing is allowed, all other lakes are protected fish sanctuaries where fishing is prohibited.

Lake Trout is a protected species in Killarney Park and may not be fished in any lake except Three Narrows Lake.

Balsam Lake: Bass and Pike

Bell Lake: Bass and Pike

Carlyle Lake: Pike and Small Mouth Bass

Deacon Lake: Bass and Pike

Fish Lake: Bass, Pike and Perch

Fox Lake: Bass and Pike

Freeland Lake: Pike are present, but rare

George Lake: Rock Bass, Yellow Perch

Harry Lake: Good Bass fishing, Pike and Perch

Howry Lake: Bass, Pike and Perch

Johnnie Lake: Pike and Small Mouth Bass

Kakakise Lake: Pike, Small Mouth Bass

Low Lake: Small Mouth Bass and Yellow Perch

Murray Lake: Bass and Pike

Partridge Lake: Yellow Perch

Terry Lake: Yellow Perch

Three Narrows Lake: Bass, Pike & excellent Lake Trout fishing

York Lake: Bass and Pike

Before you head over to fish on The Lakes give John Buckley, Killarney Fishing Centre a ring. He is an expert Salmon and trout fishing Guide.

John provides a guiding service for the Kerry region. Guided salmon fishing, trout fishing and sea trout fishing available. Home waters are the lakes and rivers in Killorgin, Killarney and Waterville. Boats supplied on the Lakes of Killarney and he also has an excellent tackle shop.

John’s address is: 3 Glebe Lane, Killarney, Co. Kerry.

Telephone/Fax:+353 64 22884


Other great spots for fishing in County Kerry is along the river feale from Listowel to the Limerick border and along the Cashan from outside Abydorney to Lixnaw, to Ballybunion, where the Cashan meets the Atlantic.

River Feale 

The Feale rises in the mountain district of north cork and flows westerly through the rural towns of Abbyfeale and Listowel to enter the sea south of Ballybunion. For the final 10Km (6miles) stretch it is known as the Cashen River. 

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Throughout its journey to the sea it flows through picturesque landscape of heather land, bog land, fertile valleys, rolling hills, racecourses and small villages, not to mention past great pubs. The main river and its tributaries combine to form in excess of 160Km (100 miles) of fishing water, which is among the outstanding salmon and sea trout fisheries in Ireland.

The Feale is a fast flowing spate river subject to flooding in persistent rainfall (which you can get in Kerry). Large deep fish-holding pools dominate the lower sections. An important feature in the upper river and its tributaries is the frequency with which deep holding pools occur.

It is presumably this latter feature that makes it such a good fishery so far upstream. At the bottom, it is tidal almost to Finuge Bridge and rod and line fishing ends about 3km (2 miles) below the bridge.

In times of low flow, the water runs clear but takes on a dark peat stained appearance. This is a big river, with gravel bed and overgrown, steep banks on many stretches.

The river gets equally good runs of salmon and sea trout and in a good season it is estimated to produce at least 1,500 salmon and grilse, and well over 2,000 sea trout to rod and line. There are fish in the river from the opening day on 1st March, with the best of the spring salmon fishing up to mid-April, depending on water levels.

Grilse begin showing about mid-June and there is always a dramatic improvement by mid-July, with good fishing with bigger fish from mid-August to end of September.

The best of the Salmon fishing is from the tide to Abbyfeale. Sea trout enter the system from early May and tend to run quickly through the middle stretches. The best fishing is considered to be either below Listowel or above Abbeyfeale in the Brosna/Mountcollins Club water.

About 50% of the main River Feale and its biggest tributary the Smearlagh is controlled by local angling clubs. These club stretches are some of the best angling waters, and each club offers day tickets for visiting anglers.

The Feale is the home of the 'Lane Minnow' which is made locally, and is a highly successful bait, although traditional Devon minnows and spoons are also popular. In recent times the Flying 'C' in various colours has proved a remarkably effective bait in all conditions.

The popular salmon flies are Garry Dog, Blue Charm, Lemon & Grey, Thunder & Lightning, Hairy Mary, Ally Shrimp, Wilkinson ( for a bright day) and of course a local dressing widely known in the locality as the 'Halpin' which is said to be an excellent fly on the river late in the season. It is available in all the local tackle shops.

A salmon licence is required for the Feale, which can be purchased from Halpins Fishing Store in Listowel town. 

River Blackwater

The Kerry Blackwater River, not to be confused with the much bigger Munster Blackwater, is a top spot for salmon, brown trout and white sea tout. It's roughly 10 miles long from the source to the sea and flows into Kenmare Bay. All types of angling can be done here, fly-fishing, spinning, and worming etc. Our top tip is to use a fly rod with bright colour flies, preferably in the evening. Also make sure you have a fishing licence as there is a fine.

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The Blackwater drains a large catchment of 34 square miles. The river gets a run of around 1500 salmon and grilse every year which can be fished from 15 March until 30 September. There is also a good run of sea trout which can be fished from 15 March until 12 October.

The Blackwater, nestling between the Macgillicuddy Reeks on one side and the Kenmare River on the other, takes its name from the Blackwater River, a salmon fishery which meanders through its valley.

All types of angling can be done here, fly-fishing, spinning, and worming etc. Our top tip is to use a fly rod with bright colour flies, preferably in the evening. Also there is a prolific run of Grilse from June to September.

In recent years Sea trout have been making a strong return and fish in excess of three pounds have been caught. Brown trout whilst present are not huge, the river being very acidic, but fish to1.5lb can be had if fished for with stealth.

Make sure you have a fishing license as there is a fine.

Season: 17th March 30th September

Cost: Day tickets are now available at the Blackwater Tavern when the fishery hut is not attended. Day ticket fishing starts at 09:00 until 12:00 midnight. €45.00 per day.

Methods: Fly, Spinning and worming. Prawns at the Fishery Managers discretion.

Fly and Spinner, and Bait: SALMON, Low water: Ballynahinch Badger, Blue Charm, Black Pennel, Stoats Tail, Silver Stoat, Silver Badger, Willie Gunn #10 -12# singles/doubles, light tubes.

High Falling Water: As above but in sizes #6 – #10, plus Shrimp patterns with dark red in dressing. Waddingtons and heavier tubes up to 3 inches with bright colours. Spinning using black or red Flying C’s. Some anglers use Rapalas from 4 to 6 inches, but I have seen more fish caught on the F.C. especially across the lip of weirs and falls.

SEA TROUT, Low Water daytime: as above plus Teal, Blue & Silver, Teal & Black, Invicta, Silver Doctor, Peter Ross, River Olive, #10 – #14.

SEA TROUT, Night: Most of the above plus The Sunk Lure, Teiffy Terror Tandem, fished deep. Or large wake flies such as Muddler Minnows.

BROWN TROUT: Although this river is not recognised as a brown trout river, I have had great fun fishing for brownies on some of the flats and sharps in low water, when all else is not moving, with a small dry Adams or Blue/Grey Winged Olive Duns early in the year and later with Sedge patterns such as small sedgehogs and daddy’s.

The local fishing club goes fishing on Cloonee Lakes jst past Dauros on the Beara Peninsula. You can get a fishing licence from the Fishing Tackle store in Main Street Kenmare.

To go fishing on Cloonee lakes go to the Lake House pub and B&B (353 64 84205) where you can hire a small boat and have fun in the most wonderful surroundings (and no I'm not connected to it !)- they also do magnificent food - salmon sandwiches with salmon an inch thick !

A special area of conversation protects most of the basin of the Blackwater River, which is one of the areas in which the rare Kerry slug is known to occur.

The area which has some of the most unspoilt and magical scenery in Ireland is also rich in natural heritage. Its examples of rock art have been described as the best in Ireland and the river still has a population of Fresh Water Pearl Mussel, a species fast becoming extinct elsewhere.

The Kerry Blackwater Development Group manages the fishery and promotes angling amongst the youth of the area.

River Flesk 

The Flesk is a 20 mile spate river that drains the West Cork Mountains into Lough Leane Killarney. The lower reaches are deap but with enough flow to carry a fly, the middle has plenty of holding pools and good fishing, and in the upper reaches it is a fast flowing boulder strewn stream with occasional holding pools.

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If you've ever travelled along the N22 between Killarney and Cork you'll have passed the River Flesk. This section is 3km in length and has easy access from the main road. Salmon enter the river in early spring and stay until late May, while brown trout and white sea trout enter the river in July. Spinning would be the best type of angling method used here, although fly rod and worming are commonly used on this river as well. A permit is required.  

It gets a run of Spring Salmon and an excellent run of grilse. The first of these fish arrive late May or early June, depending on the water and can be taken on both shrimp and traditional patterns. 

There is good Brown Trout fishing at various points from the Flesk Bridge down to the lake. Wet fly is the most effective method. The trout average half a pound or better and there is a lot of night fishing during the summer months when the stocks of the trout are joined by a run of trout up from the Lough. 

Catch: Grilse & Brown Trout. Occasional Seatrout

Location: The River Flesk can be located draining into Lough Leane at Killarney.

Description: The species of fish caught in this river include Spring salmon which run early in the season, and Grilse that run from late May to early June. Some wading required.

Season: Salmon fishing is during January 17th – September 30th.

Cost: Permission for fishing on this lake can be obtained from the Cahernane Hotel at Killarney, from the Lough Lein Anglers Association, from Mike OBrien, Anglers Paradise, Tel 064-33818 or from O Neills Fishing Tackle Shop, 6 Plunkett Street, Killarney Tel: 064-31970.

Methods: Fly, spin and worm.

Caragh River 

The Caragh River drains the southern slopes of Macgillicuddy’s Reeks and half a dozen small loughs before it enters Lough Caragh. On leaving Caragh, it flows approximately 2 miles to the tide at Rossbehy Creek on Dingle Bay. The catchment is 66 square miles.

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The Caragh River is a classic spate system. It gets a very good run of spring salmon and grilse. The lower river is also a noted sea-trout fishery but, strangely, they don’t run the upper river in appreciable numbers. 

The lower Caragh River has about twenty pools up to the lake. There is some nice fly fishing in the middle section. The belief that the spring fish tend to run through is not altogether true and fish are taken here from February. This section has produced over twenty fish in May in recent years. The grilse begin running at the end of May and it is during the summer months, when conditions are right, that the fishing is best. 

The fishing is tidal at Caragh Bridge and this stretch usually fishes best for two hours before and two hours after the high tide. The sea trout run late – from mid august – and the night fishing can be really excellent. 

The Jungle Cock and Black Pennell are two of the recommended patterns. The sea trout will also take a fly during the day in dull conditions. 

The upper Caragh is primarily a salmon and grilse fishery. The spring fish run from February to April and the grilse begin running at the end of May and the run peaks in July, depending on water conditions. 

From the lake up to Blackstones Bridge is known a ‘The Caol’. It is deep and sluggish, with the exception of the Lickeen Pool, which has a stream and can be fished with a fly. The rest is fished from a boat – either spinning or trolling. 

The stretch from Blackstones Bridge to the joinings at Boheeshil – a distance of 4 miles approximately – is divided into seven beats and has fourteen pools. The beats are rotated daily at 1.30 pm and there is only one rod per beat, though a child under 16 years or a wife or husband can also share the beat. 

All legitimate methods are allowed except natural shrimp or prawn. An orange tube fly (orange hair and black body) is good in spring and on dropping water. The Lemon and Grey is considered the fly for the Caragh River and after it comes the Blue Charm and Silver Doctor in sizes 6 and 8 single and 10 double.

Lough Caragh, sometimes referred to as Glencar Lake, is at the mouth of the beautiful Glencar valley and is noted especially for its spring salmon and grilse fishing and, to a lesser extent, for its brown trout and sea trout. 

The season opens for salmon on 17 January and the boats are out in strength from opening day. The majority of the fish are taken by trolling or spinning and this holds true throughout the season. 

There is no reason why they should not take a fly, but the tradition is for trolling and spinning. Access to the lough is very restricted, but there is a public access at the outflowing river. 

There are lots of boats and boatmen available for hire along the north and west shores, or a boat and boatman can be arranged through Carl Daly, Glencar Hotel, Glencar, Co Kerry.

The best salmon fishing is at the southern end along the west and east shores and along by the mouth of the inflowing river. The early season fish average 14 lb and the record for the lough is 24 lb. 

The sea trout arrive in the lough in July and the bay at the out flowing river is probably the best area to find them. The brown trout are to be found on all the shores. They come three to the pound and a day’s fishing should produce at least a dozen keepable trout, of which a few should weigh at least ½ lb with perhaps one near to 1 lb. 

The trout at the southern end are bigger than elsewhere and can average nearly ½ lb at the mouth of the inflowing river. A fast retrieve is recommended for the brownies and any bright fly stripped across the surface should bring a response. 

Try Black Jungle Cock, Alexandra, Peter Ross, Butcher or Delphi in small sizes. Lough Caragh is remote yet well serviced and the scenery is superb. Beware of sudden squalls if your are out on your own on windy days. 

K R D Fisheries Ltd controls the river downstream of the lough and Glencar Hotel manages the Upper section. 

 Barfinnihy Lake

Barfinnihy Lake is a 35 acre mountain lough, 6½ miles from Kenmare and one mile off the Kenmare to Killarney road, at Molls Gap. In a superb location, the entire shoreline is overlooked from the nearby road. Access is open and excellent, the rocky shoreline 100% fishable and the sparkling clean, clear lake waters especially attractive.

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The lake holds a very good stock of small wild native Brown Trout and adult Rainbow Trout are stocked regularly to maintain a high stock density and give worthwhile angling recommended methods include worms, using a float - artificial flies, or try a small spinner. The banks are fishable all round, it is possible to wade out on a gravel bank at the southern end.

Season: Trout are taken during June 1st - August 31st, and the best method of fishing is Fly,spin and worms.

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