Lough Curran Waterville


The angler may proceed any morning he feels disposed, to Waterville

river and lake, southwest of Killarney, in the County Kerry; there is a

car from the Kenmare Arms Hotel about eight o'clock in the morning,

passing through Killorglan at the foot of the river Lane, which you have

in view up to this place; Three miles farther on you come to the river

"Corra," where there is an Inn, at the Bridge, for the accommodation of

anglers, and where they may procure capital sea-trout and small grilse

fishing; the lake Carra, out of which the river flows, is seen to the

left before reaching the river at the bridge. It would be worth while

staying a few days at this place, as the sea-trout fishing is beyond

comparison, below the bridge to the sea, and above it as far as the

lake, and also in the lake. The flies I have just named will kill well

in the Carra, with a small black one, like a midge, ribbed with silver,

with a honey dun fly made very small.



You reach "Cahirceveen" in about eight hours from Killarney, from whence

you take a car eight miles further on to Waterville, where you arrive

comfortably in the evening to rest and have a talk with Mr. Butler, the

proprietor of the "cuts;" the angler will find him most civil and

polite, and on asking you get instant permission to angle for salmon in

the river, and "keep all you catch" which has been a general rule for a

length of time; the lake is free for salmon and trout fishing, it

abounds with fine sea-trout, which appear to be continually running up

between the bars of the "cruives." The river is very small, having but

one pool in it close to the sea for salmon, the run of it is very short

as the lake and sea almost meet, they are separated merely by a neck of

land on which the bridge and "cuts" are erected, about three or four

perches altogether. There is good sport to be had in the lake and river

when it is flooded, and the angler will find every convenience with

respect to men and boats; there are two inns in the place, at least when

I was there in 1848, there were two.



The flies for Waterville are the same as those I have just given, except

for salmon in the river, which should be very plain and sombre, they are

brown bodies, with dark hackles over a roll or two of gold tinsel, and

brown turkey wings of a reddish hue; small blue flies, with gaudy wings,

ribbed with silver, and black heads, the hackle to be dyed blue, and

floss silk body, hook No. 10 or C. CC. When the water is up they will

take Nos. 3, 4, and 5 flies in the plates; and the fly No. 11 is most

excellent. They use a good sized fly in the lake for trout, when I

fished it my flies were of the smaller sort, and in the hot sun the

trout took small amber flies best with me. The local flies were

darker--say drake size, with brown bodies, black hackles, and turkey

wings, nevertheless they take them in a windy day exceedingly quick, and

in a very short time the fishermen in the boats catch a large dish of

them, say in about a hour; the trout and grilse in this lake I must say

are most delicious, "they almost melt in the mouth," says he.



The angler, when he gets tired here, may return to Killarney, and make

head for the west and north, "and sure enough he may have another throw

on the lakes, if he pleases, by way of bidding them good bye."



He might take a start before he goes across the hills to Kenmare, by

car, and have a day or two on the river Blackwater, usually called

"Kerry Blackwater;" it is about eight miles from Kenmare, on the

south-west side of the estuary of that name, on the road to "Derrynane

Beg," or Derrynane Abbey. There is an inn on the river as you cross the

road, but no town. The angler might go to it for a day or so from

Waterville, by hiring a car at the inn, there and back. He will have an

opportunity of seeing the mansion of the late Mr. D. O'Connell, at

Derrynane, as he passes it to his right off the road, in a most healthy

situation, sequestered amongst dwarf trees of the most fanciful

appearance, close to a bay of the sea, or what is called "Kenmare

River," the salt water of which is as clear as crystal.



The flies used on this prolific little river are brown bodies, three

ribs of gold tinsel, black hackles, and grouse and mallard wings; but I

would strongly advise the angler to have some of the small flies made

smaller still for this river, than in the plates of flies. A very small

blue jay, a silver grey or "hedgehog fly," with a small black one ribbed

with silver, are all good for this stream.



The angler returns to old Killarney, and takes rail for Limerick, from

thence by steam to Athlone, on the "Great Western;" there are fine Trout

and Salmon here in summer. Go on from here to Galway, and fly fish Lough

Carib (the river, I believe, is now broken up to facilitate the

navigation between the bay and this grand expanse of fresh water). There

are very large Trout to be met with in the Lough, and every

accommodation respecting fishermen and boats at the town. The angler

will find it very pleasant for a day or two's fish in the lake, with a

ripple on the water and a grey cloud above.



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