If you are a keen fisherman or a novice then you will be spoilt for choice in Kerry. There is something for everyone's taste, be that lake fishing, river fishing, sea fishing, or shore fishing. Opportunities are plentiful all around the Ring of Kerry for fishing and angling mainly due to the unique geographic location of the peninsula. The Iveragh peninsula which the Ring of Kerry circumnavigates is the westernmost land mass in Europe. Off its shores is the Wild Atlantic Ocean and it is this which has earned Kerry its world-famous reputation for salmon and trout fishing. The first stop for a wild Atlantic Salmon is Kerry. The second geographic consideration for the salmon and trout then comes into play, a good spawning ground with plenty of fresh water. Nestled in the middle of the Iveragh peninsula is Ireland's highest mountain range, the MacGuillacuddy Reeks, from which flow an abundance of freshwater via the many rivers and streams which rise in the mountains. Along the way between mountain and sea nature has created some fabulous lakes and fishing grounds.
Fishing in Kerry rules and regulations:
The most comprehensive guide to the rules and regulations on fishing in Ireland and Kerry can be had from the South West Regional Fisheries Authority (www.swrbf.com). The vast majority of the lakes and rivers are state-run but the complexities as regards who own fishing rights are, to say the least as complex as landing a hundred-year-old salmon in one day. The following are some of the main considerations.
Licenses and Permits
Fishing licenses are issued by the state and basically allow you to fish. Trout fishing is free, however, you will need a state rod license for salmon.
Fishing permits allow you access to fish in a particular lake or river and are usually purchased locally. There are juvenile permits available and fishing methods such as worms and spinning are allowed. Rules and regulations regarding these fisheries are normally printed on the permits.
Fishing in Killarney
In Killarney you can spend a day fly fishing for trout on Lough Leine (one of the lakes of Killarney) or if you are lucky you may even hook a salmon. The lake has a plentiful population of reasonably sized wild brown trout. Large Ferox brown trout can be caught by trolling artificial baits. Access is good throughout and boats and guides are available for hire locally. Lough Leine is drained by the river Laune which gets a good run of Salmon and Grilse, the better Grilse runs being around the first week in June. It's also a great river to spend an evening casting a fly for brown trout observing the local wildlife and taking in the beautiful views of the Kerry mountains. Permits are available locally.
The Ring of Kerry coastline is a sea angler's dream. The Kerry coastline varies from magnificent sweeping bays to rugged inlets to sandy beaches. Places such as Valentia, Portmagee, and Ballinskelligs offer wonderful marks. The headlands jut out into the deep Atlantic Ocean bathed by warm Atlantic Drifts ensuring a wide variety of species from Cod to Conger. Great fun can be had in late summer fishing for Pollock and Mackerel with light tackle. When shore angling please observe recognised safety precautions and pay particular attention to tides and wave height.
Fishing in Waterville:
If it's sea trout you are after then the world-famous Lough Currane in Waterville is the place to go, boats and gillies are again available for hire locally.