Salmon Fishing In County Kerry

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If you’ve ever dreamt about catching a salmon or sea trout in County Kerry and wondered how to turn your dream into reality then the answer is at your finger tips. 

Start planning your trip now with this easy to use guide providing information on where to go in Kerry and who to contact to help you get the most out of your visit. 

With a huge network of rivers and lakes, Kerry is the one of the few last refuges for wild salmon and sea trout attracting anglers back year after year.

This useful guide provides information on the variety of waters Kerry has to offer, the best times to fish and suggested methods to help in the pursuit of this noble quarry.

Salmon and sea trout anglers can use a wide range of methods including, bait, spinning and fly fishing to pursue their quarry.

On rivers, the fishing is normally divided into beats managed by the Regional Fisheries Boards, private fisheries or local angling clubs.

When tackling loughs and lakes, boat fishing is generally more productive than bank fishing as it allows more ground to be covered. Game angling guides, fishing are a good source of information on local services.

When to go and catch the Salmon: 

Salmon fishing opens on January 1 on a handful of rivers and after that the remainder of rivers open on various dates in February, March, April and May. 

The majority of rivers close on September 30th but some rivers remain open for sea trout fishing to October 12. 

River Sheen

This Spate river is one of three rivers that enter the sea at Kenmare.  The River Sheen rises in Kerry's Caha Mountains, and flows in a Northerly direction for some 13 miles before entering the sea at Kenmare bay. 

The Sheen is very much a spate system and is subject to violent floods, which can disappear just as quickly as they arrived. It's quite a prolific little river, producing around 1000 fish every year. 

The salmon fishing is mostly concentrated on the first 5 or 6 miles of the river up to Dromagorteen Bridge (just North of Bunane on the N71), with the first 4 miles up to Dromanassig, being the best of the fishing. 

The best pools are Sheen Pool, the Flat Pool, the Sand Pool and the Weir Pool, just above the Sheen Falls. 

There are a few more pools worthy of attention, right up to Releagh Bridge (N71), but bear in mind that the water runs off really quickly on the upper river. 

There are also a few pools worth fishing on the Coomeelan River (also known as the Coomeelan Stream), which joins the Sheen from the East just above Dromagorteen Bridge. 

The Sheen gets a decent run of spring fish, which begin running from the start of the season, but it can be May before it's worth wetting a line. 

The impressive Grilse run starts at the end of May and continues right through until the end of August, with June and July being the peak season. 

The river also gets a run of Sea Trout from May, but like many other rivers, their numbers have been in steady decline. The Brown Trout fishing can be good as well, with resident fish up to 3lb. 

Fishing the River Sheen 

River Sheen Season 

Salmon - 15th March - 30th September 

Sea Trout - 15th March - 12th October 

Brown Trout - 15th March - 12th October 

River Sheen Methods 

Bubble Fly, Fly Fishing, Shrimp and Prawn, Spinning, Worming. 

River Sheen Permits

As well as a rod license, you'll need a permit to fish the River Sheen. You can get permits from any of the following distributors: 

Sheen Falls Lodge 



Tel: +353 (064) 66 41600 

River Croanshaugh and Glenmore Lake:


This short spate system is extremely prolific with runs of Spring Salmon coming in March and Grilse and Sea-Trout in mid June to late July. This like all the river systems in Kerry is in a very picturesque part of the region. 

Season - Salmon: 15th March to 30th September, Sea-Trout:15th March to 12th October.

River Roughty

The Roughty River flows in a westerly direction through the village of Kilgarvan into the top of Kenmare Bay. This short spate system is extremely prolific with runs of Spring Salmon coming in March and Grilse and Sea-Trout in mid June to late July. 

This lovely river drains a catchment of 78 square miles and is approximately 20 miles long. It gets a run of Spring Salmon and a very good run of Grilse from mid June to late July. It also gets reasonable runs of Sea-Trout. 

Angling access is good throughout the system. Two Angling organizations manage most of this river and are tourist angler friendly. 

There is one stretch at Ardtully Castle that is the property of Kenmare Salmon Angling Ltd and another stretch at Kilgarvan on which day tickets may be obtained. 

This like all the river systems in Kerry is in a very picturesque part of the region. 

Season - Salmon: 15th March to 30th September, Sea-Trout:15th March to 12th October.

River Blackwater

These rivers and lakes of Waterville drain a large catchment and are regarded by many as the foremost Salmon and Sea-Trout fishery in the country. The lake system is well developed with access to boats and guides being readily available to the tourist angler. The Sea-Trout caught here are renowned for their size and quantity. 


Salmon from 17th January to 30th September. 

The River Blackwater is a top spot for salmon, brown trout and white sea trout. This river and lake system drains a catchment of 34 square miles and is 10 miles long from source to sea. 

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 license as there is a fine. 

It is managed by the South West Regional Fisheries Board and gets a run of 1500 Salmon and Grilse approximately every year. 

The run of Sea-Trout head for lough Brin at the headwaters of the system. Access throughout this river is excellent. There are two boats available on Lough Brin.

River Inny

Info On Way

Lough Currane

This famous lake is on a spate river system and so water and weather conditions impact on fishing. There is an excellent network of angling guides and boat hire on this free fishery. Fair to good run of fish dependent on water. All legal angling methods allowed. 

The best times are from early June to September. Sea trout to over 10 lbs. (4.5 Kilos) recorded annually from this famous lake. Better numbers of specimen fish have been recorded in recent years and a good run of summer fish. Free fishing but a state licence is required for both salmon and sea trout. All legitimate angling methods allowed. 

Rivers Laune, Flesk and Caragh River and Lake

This medium/large river drains a catchment of 154 square miles. Access is poor throughout this system and there is no management plan in place which can be a challenge for the angler that desires wild fisheries. 

This river gets a good late run of Salmon and Grilse and a good run and sizeable Sea-Trout all through the season. 

The River Laune... Fantastic for spring salmon, sea trout and brown trout, the River Laune, and in particular the town of Killorglin, is a fantastic base for an angling holiday. 

The scenery is breathtaking to say the least, against the backdrop of the McGillycuddy Reeks, and Killorglin itself is a fairly lively town with plenty pubs and restaurants. 

The River Laune is an excellent salmon fishing river. The river boasts a run of Salmon and the river also drains the largest of the Killarney Lakes which is known for its brown trout. 

The Southern Fisheries Board have organised joint development programs with local boards to make the rivers and lakes more accessible to Anglers. The Fishery boards also stock a number of lakes to ensure a successful days fishing. 

Please note a state license is always necessary for salmon angling. Licenses and permits are available from Regional Fisheries Boards, license distributors, tackle shops, hotels and guest houses throughout the county

The River Feale

River Feale... The River Feale, near Listowel in North Kerry, is an excellent salmon and trout river. The best spot for fishing along the river is on the banks near the bridge as you enter the town. 

Another great spot is in Finuge, located about 2 miles outside Listowel. This area for fishing is known locally as "The Wall". Our advice is to get here early, as it's a very popular place. A salmon licence is required for the Feale, which can be purchased from Halpins Fishing Store in Listowel town.

Barfinnihy Lake

Barfinnihy Lake is stocked monthly by the regional fisheries board. It's located about 6 miles from Kenmare town with stunning views of Molls Gap. You'll find rainbow trout in abundance here and spinning and fly-fishing are the most popular methods used.

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