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    Caragh River and Lake

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    Well kept banks on the upper Caragh Fishery
    Blackstone Bridge
    Blackstone Bridge

    The Caragh System (Caragh Lake and the River Caragh)

    The Caragh system is located on the Iveragh peninsula in Co. Kerry in the south-west of Ireland. It is made up of what are generally recognised as three separate fisheries which include (1) the Upper Caragh Fishery, (2) Caragh Lake and (3) the Lower Caragh Fishery.

    The Caragh River originates from a series of small lakes and streams on slopes of the Magillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range in the heart of Co. Kerry. It flows through beautiful and rugged Kerry countryside for circa 15kms before entering Caragh Lake downstream of Blackstone Bridge. This section of river is known as the Upper Caragh Fishery.

    mapCaragh Lake, which is located in the middle section, separates the upper and lower fisheries. The lake acts like a reservoir, retaining water after rainfall and releasing it slowly into the lower fishery.

    The lower Cargah River then exits Lough Caragh in its north-west corner where it is known as the Lower Caragh Fishery. It flows in a westerly direction for circa 3.5km before entering the sea at Rossbehy Creek in Dingle Bay.

    Casting a flyThe river and lakes in this catchment produce good catches of salmon and sea trout annually. Atlantic salmon and sea trout run the river throughout the season and the Caragh fisheries get a run of spring salmon, summer grilse and summer salmon. There is good salmon fishing on the lake and on the Upper Caragh Fishery during the spring and summer months. The lower fishery gets a run of grilse and salmon in summer however spring salmon are also a distinct possibility on this fishery.  A licence is required to fish for salmon and sea trout. Fishing is subject to the salmon and sea trout regulations which are reviewed annually and to the rules and regulations of the fisheries and angling clubs. In 2015, the Caragh system accounted for 214 salmon, 56 of which were released by anglers back to the waters of the system.

    Rainbow over the lakeThe lower fishery is noted for the quality of its sea trout fishing. Sea trout enter the river from late March/April onwards and generally weigh from 1lb to 3lbs. In flood conditions, the lake retains water which is then released slowly into the lower Caragh River and fishery. The lower Caragh River runs clear even during high water conditions and this is particularly advantageous for anglers wishing to fish with the fly.

    (1) The Upper Caragh Fishery

    Well kept banks on the upper Caragh FisheryThe Upper Caragh Fishery is a private fishery which stretches for approximately 15kms from Bealalaw to Caragh Lake. Its beats vary from narrow and fast flowing to wide and slow-flowing. The fishery has some great holding pools on all of its beats and the many large in-stream boulders provide good holding areas for salmon to rest on their upstream journey.

    The Upper Caragh Fishery is a very well-developed fishery. It has fantastic access with stiles and footbridges along the full length of the fishery.  It has well maintained banks and anglers’ huts are provided on many of the beats. The Upper River Caragh can be fished from both boat and bank. Fishing is also available on Cloon Lough and the fishery provides access for anglers with reduced mobility. Boats for hire and guide services are available at the fishery. All details in relation to the fishing, waters controlled, rules and regulations, techniques allowed, guiding and permit availability etc. on the Upper Caragh Fishery can be checked with the fishery at uppercaraghmanager@msn.com

    lovely waterSome of the well-known pools on the Upper Caragh Fishery:

    Exiting the lake and moving upstream the pools are as follows (11) Lickeens Pool, (10) Blackstones Pool, (9) Kennedy Pool, (8) The Fly Pool, (7) The Long Range and Joinings, (6) The Boat Pool, (5) The Holly Bush, (4) Leanes, Doctors and Cliff Pools, (3) The Boundary Pool, (2) The Bridge Pool (1) The Foot Bridge

    (2) Caragh Lake

    Caragh LakeCaragh lake is located approximately two kilometres north-east of the village of Glenbeigh in Co. Kerry. The lake has a surface area of circa 490ha, with an average depth of 11m and depths to 40m. This lake is known for the quality of its spring salmon fishing and grilse fishing. The salmon fishing season opens on 17 January and this can be a busy time with many anglers looking to catch an early springer. These fish can average 8lbs to 10lbs in weight, although bigger fish are also a distinct possibility. Most of the fish are taken by trolling or spinning with occasional fish being taken on the fly. Salmon are reportedly taken on the southern end of the lake along the western and eastern shorelines. Access points to the lake are quite limited and anglers are advised to enquire locally. Boats and boatmen are available for hire along the northern and western shores of the lake. Fishing on the lake is free but anglers must have a salmon licence and fishing must be consistent with the salmon and sea trout angling regulations which are reviewed annually. Please see the following link for information https://www.fishinginireland.info/salmon/salmontagging.htm

    the lakePlease follow all safety precautions when boat fishing. It is recommended to avail of the services of an experienced, guide, gillie or boatman when fishing on unfamiliar waters.

    (3) The Lower Caragh Fishery

    Caragh Bridge FisheryThe lower Caragh fishery is a great fly fishing water but other methods (e.g. spinning) may also be allowed. Although generally regarded as a summer fishery, spring salmon are possible on the Lower Caragh. There is a run of grilse on the Lower Caragh and the average weight is circa 5lb. Summer salmon also enter the river during the months of June through August and can weigh up to 12lb. The period from April to July is considered to be the best on the fishery. Sea trout run early on the Lower Caragh and from late March/April onwards fish from 1lb to 3lb can be taken. The sea trout in the Caragh system tend to hold in the Lower Caragh River and reportedly do not appear to enter Caragh Lake in big numbers. The Lower Caragh River is fished on a rotation basis with specific times allocated to each session. All details in relation to the fishing, waters controlled, rules and regulations, techniques allowed and permit availability etc. can be checked with the fishery and permit providers below. Fishing is also subject to the salmon and sea trout regulations which are reviewed annually.

    Information on fishing in the Lower Caragh can be found at https://caraghbridgeangling.ie/ and https://www.facebook.com/caraghbridge/
    Email: caraghbridgeangling@hotmail.com

    Caragh Bridge Angling Club, C/O The Red Fox Inn, Ballincleave, Glenbeigh, Co. Kerry. Tel: + 353 66 9769184

    Anglers must have a salmon licence when fishing for salmon and sea trout. Licences can be purchased online at https://www.fishinginireland.info/salmon/salmon_licence.htm

    Location

    The Caragh system is located in Co Kerry in the south-west of Ireland, Co. Kerry. The nearest towns and villages are Killarney, Glenbeigh, Killorglin and Glencar.

    Fish Species: The Caragh system contains stocks of salmon and sea trout.

    Season

    Methods

    Angling methods allowed are subject to the Salmon and Sea Trout Angling Regulations. These are revised annually and the current regulations can be found at www.fishinginireland.info/salmon/salmontagging.htm

    Fishing must be also consistent with the rules and regulations of the various angling clubs and fisheries. Please check locally with fisheries and clubs below.

    Best Flies

    Salmon
    Hairy Mary
    Gary Dog
    Shrimp Flies
    Cascade
     
    Sea Trout
    Black Pennell
    Mallard&Claret
    Sooty Olive
    Claret & Blue
    Bibio

    Angling Tip

    Try reducing the size of your fly when salmon fishing in low water conditions in summer.

    Angling Guides

    Guides are generally available at the fisheries (see details above) and additional information on guides in the Kerry area is available at www.fishinginireland.info/guides/kerry.htm

    Angling Club

    The Caragh Bridge Angling Club has access to fishing on the Lower Caragh Fishery Web: https://caraghbridgeangling.ie/ and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/caraghbridge/                             Email: caraghbridgeangling@hotmail.com

    Permits and Fishing

    A permit is required to fish on the Upper Caragh Fishery and on the Lower Caragh fishery. Fishing is free on the Caragh Lake. Information on fishing permits and guiding on the Upper Caragh Fishery can be obtained from the fishery Manager at uppercaraghmanager@msn.com

    Information on permits, rules, regulations and availability on the Lower Caragh Fishery is available at    Web: https://caraghbridgeangling.ie/ and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/caraghbridge/                             Email: caraghbridgeangling@hotmail.com

    The Red Fox Inn, Ballincleave, Glenbeigh, Co. Kerry. Tel: + 353 66 9769184

    Salmon Licence Outlets

    Anglers must have a salmon licence when fishing for salmon and sea trout. Licences can be purchased online at https://www.fishinginireland.info/salmon/salmon_licence.htm

    A licence may also be purchased from Inland Fisheries Ireland, Sunnyside House, Masseytown Macroom, Co Cork. Tel: +353 26 41221 Email: macroom@fisheriesireland.ie

    Licences are available from a number of outlets in the Kerry area at the following link https://www.fishinginireland.info/salmon/salmon_licence-distributors.htm

    Boat Hire

    Boats are available for hire on the western and northern shores of the lake. (Please enquire locally) Boats are also available for hire to anglers fishing on the Upper Caragh Fishery.

    Ordnance Survey Map

    Visitors to the Waterville are will find Ordnance Survey Map No. 78 of great assistance in getting around the area.

    Getting to the River Carragh and Caragh Lake

    Roads: The Caragh fisheries can be accessed by way of the N70 (Killorglin to Cahersiveen)

    Airports:  The airports in closest proximity are Cork and Shannon. A number of low cost airlines operate between Cork and Shannon and the UK and Europe.

    Ferry Ports:  The Cargah fisheries can be easily accessed from the ferryports of Cork, Rosslare and Dublin

    Further Information and Asistance: 

    Inland Fisheries Ireland, Sunnyside House, Masseytown Macroom, Co Cork. Tel: +353 26 41221 Email: macroom@fisheriesireland.ie  Website: www.fishinginireland.info

    Access to Fisheries:  Access does not imply a right of way and anglers should ensure that, they have the necessary permission to enter or cross private lands. Where possible, anglers should walk along the river bank or lake shore.

    Country Code: Anglers should ensure that gates are closed and that fences are not broken or damaged. Care should be taken with crops and livestock. Litter must not be discarded and no fires are allowed. Vehicles should be parked in designated areas and in such a manner that they do not cause obstruction.

    Errors and Inaccuracies: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained on this webpage is accurate, no responsibility will be accepted by Inland Fisheries Ireland for any errors or inaccuracies contained herein.