Updated
2015-08-26

Swedish version

 

Local Magic in the West of Ireland
By Nick Scott

  Casting one’s fly into Irish loughs and rivers exalts all that is truly special about fishing and makes up our wonderful passion. The beauty, often breath-taking, wild and empty, leaves your inner silence finally undisturbed, accompanied by the gentle sound of wind and water always at your side. Its climate is infinitely variable and full of surprises for first-time visitors. Though it is true to say it rains often, there are frequent and invigorating bursts of golden sunlight, only known to those who will frequent these distant northern places and are there when the weather breaks. It is said that in the West of Ireland you can sometimes witness all four seasons in five minutes. This weather is especially true of the Irish Atlantic coast, which brings in weather fronts in rapid succession, palpably adding a sense of energy to the experience, nowhere more than in Waterville and Lough Currane, which we briefly illustrate below.

Irish Light
Irish Light

  The particular charm of Irish salmon and trout fishing is that it seems largely casual and mostly free from the empty protocol that can be found elsewhere. It has the ability to always feel natural and happily improvised, in an entirely charming and endearing way, no matter the context or the company, it is unique. Nowhere in the world is one closer to the basics than here. It is rare indeed, in these modest fishing huts to encounter pomposity or be subjected to “fishing certainties” or perhaps matters of void etiquette, always and mercilessly a contradiction in terms. Even the flies are known for it, the way they are tied and the names they are given: the RA Green Peter, the Murrough and, famously, the spinning bait, the flying-C. The good ones will usually be a bit scruffy and irregular too, with uneven leg numbers for example...... to be any use they must be and will always come across as very natural, close to nature.

Flies, flies, flies!
Flies, flies, flies!

It may please some of you to briefly look at the video in the following link about Puck Fair, that so perfectly embodies this natural and quintessentially Irish modesty and dignity - http://puckfair.ie/history-of-puck-fair.

In these Kerry waters the fishing, including the blank days, is excellent by any standard and sometimes it can be supreme. It does not give its prize up lightly mind you and every take, as always, is to be valued as a small miracle. You will, however, be rewarded handsomely if you persevere.

Grilse
Grilse

Currane is a big lake. It can be a hard place to fish and must be treated with respect. As we have said, weather changes can be rapid. It requires years of accumulated knowledge to even begin to cover this water with confidence. Indeed, it is one place where the services of an expert ghillie with boat are essential and will add much to your enjoyment. The smaller upper loughs on the system are perhaps easier places to cover fish on without having intimate local knowledge, it being enough to apply your overall fishing experience and to read the water with care and concentration.

Beauty & Anticipation
Beauty & Anticipation

Despite the number of boats hidden in the bays, there are never many afloat on Currane and one always has plenty of space to fish in reserved privacy; surprising perhaps in this lough, the premier seatrout fishery in Ireland, offering great sport with springers, grilse and especially seatrout. That’s one of its attractions. You will rarely know if the gentle take you are seeing on your line is that a large but timid seatrout, swimming towards the boat, a salmon gently sucking down the fly or even a small brownie. You will, though, always be excited and never without expectation! For the record, more specimen seatrout, up to 10 lbs and over, are caught each year on Lough Currane than in any other Irish water.

The view!
The view!

Above this bottom lake lie three more, from which the Cumeragh and Owengarriff rivers flow: Derriana, Namona and Cloonaghlin, nestled in their spectacular hills; all with boats on them and all splendid places for a day’s amazement. Great fun can be had with the rivers in the area too. The Inny, in the valley next to Currane, plus the smaller Cumeragh, running from Lough Derriana into Lough Currane and, of course, the “Butler’s Pool”, the 500-odd metres of outflow from the main lake into the Atlantic; all excellent on their day, each demanding different skills.

The Butler's Pool
The Butler's Pool

I should add that, though I am now the happy prisoner of my fly rod, it wasn’t always so, and I much respect the man who practices thoughtful spinning; a fishing method often requiring skill and the need for true water knowledge. It is no more noble to repeatedly cast the wrong flies into the water with a splash than to hurl in a lump of metal with one’s spinning rod. The nobility, if such it can be, lies in the heart of how it’s done, not which method is emptily identified as being the most worthy. Spinning is allowed on all the water we have named and, especially in the rivers, I suggest, it will be challenging and successful.

Skellig Michael
Skellig Michael

The area is naturally brimming with other things to do and see and this makes for a perfect family holiday. Alongside the fishing excellence, you can easily enjoy international golf at Waterville Links, some great walking country to explore, a phenomenal coast line with white beaches and surf, visits to Killarney town and its national park, a drive to Valentia island to eat scallops, with an optional and short return journey by ferry, pony and horse rides, boat trips out to the Skellig islands, an epicurean ride to the Chocolate Factory, on the way to Portmagee and a pint in a cosy, sea-front pub, whale and dolphin watching, pub music, village fairs and so; all within an hour’s drive at most. In July and August there are also important music festivals in the area and, of course, Puck Fair at Killorglin, 40 minutes away. In essence, absolutely perfect for our non-fishing companions.

The pub after a day's fishing
The pub after a day's fishing

It is rare that a holiday in Waterville leaves you untouched. It may be the stunning scenery, the captivating glint in the eyes, or even the anarchic meteorology, but some part of it will surely get under your urban skin and embrace your soul.

Irish good luck
Irish good luck

For further information on this subject please look at the website of Shintilla Cottage, owned by the author, or contact Nick directly, on +39 348 1458074 or nscotthorsfall@gmail.com

By Nick Scott 2015

 

 

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