Lough Currane

Introduction

Nestled in the picturesque landscape of County Kerry, Ireland, Lough Currane captivates visitors with its serene beauty.

Situated near the charming village of Waterville, this lake is renowned not only for its stunning natural scenery but also as a premier destination for anglers from around the world.

Lough Currane spans an impressive 2,500 acres, making it the second-largest lake in Kerry. 

What truly sets Lough Currane apart is its status as one of Ireland’s top fishing spots. Anglers flock here for the chance to catch wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout, attracted by the lake’s reputation for yielding record-breaking fish. 

However, fishing is just one aspect of what Lough Currane has to offer. The lake’s shores are perfect for leisurely walks, where you can immerse yourself in the area’s natural beauty and perhaps even catch a glimpse of local wildlife.

Boating, kayaking, and birdwatching are popular activities that allow visitors to experience the lake’s tranquil waters and vibrant ecosystem up close.

Geography of Lough Currane

Location and Surroundings

Situated in the heart of the Iveragh Peninsula, Lough Currane is part of a dramatic, diverse landscape. The lake is fed by several small rivers and streams, including the Cummeragh River, which serves as its primary outflow.

This network of waterways connects the lake to the Atlantic, playing a crucial role in the migration patterns of the salmon and sea trout that the lake is famous for.

The surrounding terrain is characterized by rugged hills and lush greenery, providing a stunning backdrop to the tranquil waters of this wonderful lake.

Scenic view at Moll's Gap
MacGillycuddy’s Reeks

To the north, the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range looms in the distance, including Ireland’s highest peak, Carrauntoohil. 

Geological Features

Lough Currane is a glacial lake, formed during the last Ice Age when glaciers carved out deep basins in the landscape. The lakebed is composed of glacial till, a mixture of clay, sand, gravel, and boulders deposited by the melting glaciers.

Hydrology

Lough Currane’s hydrology is influenced by its catchment area, which includes several smaller lakes and rivers. Upstream, Lough Currane is fed by five other lakes: Loughs Namona, Cloonaghlin, Derriana, Toomeenbog, and Adoolig.

The inflow of fresh water, combined with the outflow to the Atlantic, creates a dynamic aquatic environment. This continuous exchange of water helps maintain the lake’s high oxygen levels, essential for supporting its vibrant fish population.

Ecological Significance

The lake and its surroundings host many bird species, such as herons and cormorants, and you might even see a white-tailed sea eagle (released in Killarney National Park). The rich vegetation supports various insects, small mammals, and amphibians, forming a vibrant ecosystem.

Fishing in Lough Currane

This expansive lake is famous for its abundant populations of salmon, sea trout, and brown trout. The lake’s crystal-clear waters, fed by mountain streams, provide ideal habitats for these prized fish species.

Bridge going over the Currane River in Waterville
Currane River in Waterville

Anglers from around the world are drawn to Lough Currane for its exceptional fishing opportunities.

Types of Fish in Lough Currane

Salmon

Lough Currane is renowned for its salmon fishing, attracting anglers from far and wide. Here are some key points about salmon fishing in this pristine lake:

  • Timing of the Salmon Run: The salmon season in Lough Currane typically starts in late spring and continues through the summer months. The best time to catch salmon is from April to September, with peak runs often occurring in April and May.
  • Sizes and Varieties: The salmon in Lough Currane are known for their impressive size. Hooking a salmon weighing between 8 to 10 pounds is common.
  • Fishing Techniques: Fly fishing is a popular method for catching salmon. Anglers often use double-handed rods and Spey casting techniques to cover the wide waters effectively. Spinning is another effective technique for deeper areas.

Sea Trout

Lough Currane is also famous for its sea trout, which offer exciting fishing opportunities. 

  • Abundance and Size: Sea trout are abundant in the lake, especially during late spring and early summer. These fish can vary greatly in size, with the average catch weighing between 1 to 4 pounds though larger specimens can reach up to 9 pounds.
  • Seasonal Patterns: The sea trout fishing season usually runs from mid-January to mid-October. The best months for sea trout are April to June when the fish are most active.
  • Fishing Techniques: Fly fishing is highly effective for sea trout, with wet flies and nymphs being popular choices. Night fishing can also be particularly productive, as sea trout tend to be more active after dark.

Brown Trout

Brown trout adds to the diversity of fishing experiences in the lake. 

  • Population and Distribution: These fish are known for their elusive nature and can be challenging yet rewarding to catch.
  • Best Fishing Periods: Brown trout fishing is particularly productive in April and May. Early mornings and late evenings are often the best times to fish for brown trout.
  • Fishing Techniques: Fly fishing is the preferred method for brown trout; dry flies, nymphs, and streamers are commonly used to entice these fish. Anglers often employ delicate and precise casting techniques to mimic natural insect movements. Trolling with small lures or spinners can also be effective, especially in deeper waters.

Rods and Reels

Choosing the right rod and reel setup is crucial for a successful fishing experience in the lake. Here’s a detailed look at what you need for each type of fish:

  • Salmon: For salmon fishing, a double-handed fly rod is often preferred due to the need for long-distance casting and handling large fish. A rod in the range of 13 to 15 feet with a line weight of 8-10 is ideal. For spinning, a robust 9 to 11-foot rod with a medium to heavy action paired with a reel capable of holding 200 yards of 15-20 lb test line is recommended.
  • Sea Trout: A single-handed fly rod in the range of 9 to 10 feet with a line weight of 6-8 is suitable for sea trout. For spinning, a 7 to 9-foot rod with a light to medium action, combined with a reel that holds 150 yards of 10-15 lb test line, works well.
  • Brown Trout: A 9-foot fly rod with a line weight of 5-6 is perfect for brown trout. Light spinning gear, such as a 6 to 7-foot rod with a light action and a reel holding 100 yards of 6-10 lb test line, is also effective.

Fishing Techniques

Fly Fishing

  • Salmon Fly Fishing
    • Casting Techniques: Spey casting is a preferred method due to the wide waters of Lough Currane. This technique allows anglers to cast long distances without needing much backcasting space.
    • Fly Selection: For salmon, use larger, colourful flies such as the Munro Killer, Hairy Mary, Blue Charm, and Black Doctor. These flies mimic the natural prey of salmon and are effective throughout the season.
    • Presentation: Present the fly across and downstream, allowing it to swing through the current. The aim is to make the fly move enticingly to provoke a strike from the salmon.
    • Retrieval: A slow, steady retrieve often works best. Occasionally, adding a few short, sharp pulls can trigger an aggressive response from a salmon.
  • Sea Trout Fly Fishing
    • Casting Techniques: Overhead casting and roll casting are commonly used for sea trout, especially when fishing from the shore or wading.
    • Fly Selection: Wet flies and nymphs are highly effective for sea trout. Patterns like the Claret Bumble, Fiery Brown,  Bibio, and Watson’s Fancy are favorites.
    • Presentation: Sea trout often feed near the surface at night. Present the fly with a gentle cast and allow it to drift naturally with the current.
    • Retrieval: A slow, steady retrieve is generally effective, but varying the speed and adding occasional twitches can increase your chances of a strike.
  • Brown Trout Fly Fishing
    • Casting Techniques: Precision casting is important for brown trout, as they can be wary. Use roll casts and overhead casts to place your fly accurately.
    • Fly Selection: Flies, such as the Sooty Olive, Mallard & Claret, and Black Pennel, are excellent for brown trout. Nymphs like the Pheasant Tail and Hare’s Ear are productive in deeper waters.
    • Presentation: For dry flies, let the fly land gently on the water surface and drift naturally. For nymphs, allow them to sink and drift near the bottom.
    • Retrieval: With dry flies, minimal retrieval is needed; let the current do the work. A slow, steady retrieve mimicking an emerging insect can be effective for nymphs.

Spinning

  • Salmon Spinning
    • Lures: Use larger lures like the Rapala and Mepps. Bright colors and reflective surfaces are often more attractive to salmon.
    • Casting and Retrieval: Cast the lure across the current and retrieve it with a steady, moderate speed. Varying the retrieve speed and adding occasional pauses can trigger strikes from salmon.
  • Sea Trout Spinning
    • Lures: Smaller spoons, spinners, and soft plastic lures are effective for sea trout. Silver and blue colors are particularly successful.
    • Casting and Retrieval: Cast towards structures like rocks or weed beds where sea trout are likely to be hiding. Retrieve the lure at a slow to moderate speed, and try to mimic the movement of small fish or insects.
  • Brown Trout Spinning
    • Lures: Use small spinners like the Panther Martin and Mepps Aglia. Natural colors that resemble local prey are ideal.
    • Casting and Retrieval: Cast towards areas with underwater structures or near the shoreline. Retrieve slowly and steadily, with occasional pauses to let the spinner sink slightly before continuing.

Trolling (Only in the early season)

  • Salmon and Sea Trout Trolling
    • Setup: Use a boat with downriggers or lead-core lines to control the depth of your lures. This allows you to target fish at various depths.
    • Lures: Large, flashy lures like Rapalas, spoons, and deep-diving plugs work well for both salmon and sea trout.
    • Technique: Troll slowly along the contours of the lake, focusing on deeper channels and drop-offs. Vary your trolling speed to see what triggers strikes from the fish.

Additional Tips for a Successful Fishing Trip

  • Best Times to Fish: Early morning and late evening are often the best times for fishing, as fish are more active during these cooler parts of the day.
  • Weather Considerations: Overcast days can be particularly productive, as fish are more likely to be near the surface. Windy conditions can also be favorable, as they create surface disturbances that make fish less wary.
  • Local Knowledge: Talking to local anglers and guides can provide invaluable insights into current fishing conditions, hot spots, and effective techniques.

Additional Gear

Having the right additional gear can enhance your fishing experience:

  • Waders: Chest waders are essential for accessing deeper parts of the lake and staying dry. Breathable waders with good insulation are ideal for comfort and mobility.
  • Fishing Vests and Packs: A fishing vest or pack with multiple pockets helps keep your gear organized and easily accessible.
  • Polarized Sunglasses: These are essential for reducing glare and spotting fish beneath the surface.

Licenses and Regulations in Lough Currane

Fishing licenses can be obtained at the Mace shop in Waterville village or sometimes can be purchased from your guide.

Conservation Measures

To protect the rich biodiversity of Lough Currane, several conservation measures are in place:

  • Habitat Protection: Anglers are encouraged to respect natural habitats, avoid disturbing spawning areas, and refrain from littering.
  • Invasive Species Control: To prevent the spread of invasive species, anglers should ensure their gear, boats, and clothing are thoroughly cleaned and dried before entering and after leaving the lake.
  • Reporting: Any sightings of unusual fish behavior, diseased fish, or invasive species should be reported to local authorities or Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Enforcement

Regulations are enforced by Inland Fisheries Ireland and local authorities. Regular patrols and checks are conducted to ensure compliance. Anglers found violating regulations may face penalties, including fines and the confiscation of fishing gear.

Summary of Key Points

  • Licenses: Required for salmon and sea trout; can be purchased at the Mace Shop or off your guide.
  • Costs: Vary by duration; annual, weekly, and daily licenses available.
  • Fishing Seasons: January 17th – September 30th for salmon and January 17th –  12th October for sea trout; January 17th to October 12th for brown trout.
  • Catch Limits: Strict limits for salmon and sea trout; sustainable practices for brown trout.
  • Methods: Fly fishing-only zones and bait restrictions are in place.
  • Conservation: Encouragement of catch and release, habitat protection, and prevention of invasive species.
  • Enforcement: Regular checks by Inland Fisheries Ireland and local authorities.

Fishing Guides and Services in Lough Currane

Local Fishing Guides

Hiring a local fishing guide can greatly enhance your fishing experience in the lake. Here’s why and what to expect:

  • Expert Knowledge: Local guides possess intimate knowledge of Lough Currane’s waters, including the best fishing spots, seasonal fish movements, and effective techniques.
  • Customized Trips: Guides often offer tailored fishing trips that cater to your specific needs, whether you’re targeting salmon, sea trout, or brown trout.
  • Instruction and Tips: Beginners can benefit from hands-on instruction in fly fishing, spinning, and trolling techniques. 
  • Equipment: Many guides provide essential fishing gear, such as rods, reels, lines, and flies, reducing the need to bring your own equipment.

Recommended Local Guides

  • Waterville Fisheries Development Group: This organization offers guiding services with experienced anglers who are knowledgeable about the best fishing practices in the lake.
  • Butler Arms Hotel Guides: The Butler Arms Hotel in Waterville has connections with several reputable fishing guides who can be booked through the hotel’s concierge service.
  • Individual Guides: Several highly regarded individual guides operate in the area. Notable guides include the likes of Michael O’Sullivan and Neil O’Shea, both of whom have years of experience and a deep understanding of the local fishing environment.

Boat Rentals

For those looking to explore the lake on their own, renting a boat is an excellent option. Here are the details on boat rental services available:

  • Types of Boats: Rental options typically include traditional lake boats and modern motorized boats. These boats are well-suited for trolling and accessing deeper parts of the lake.
  • Rental Providers: Local providers offer a range of boats for hire. Boats are often equipped with necessary safety gear, and some rentals include an electric motor.
  • Rates and Booking: Rental rates can vary depending on the type of boat and the duration of the rental. Daily and weekly rates are common, with discounts often available for longer rentals. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during the peak fishing season.

Fishing Clubs and Associations

Joining a local fishing club or association can provide additional resources and support:

  • Waterville Fisheries Development Group: This group works to promote and develop sustainable fishing practices in the lake. Membership provides access to local knowledge, organized fishing events, and conservation initiatives.

Accommodation with Fishing Services

Several accommodations in Waterville cater specifically to anglers, offering packages and services tailored to fishing enthusiasts:

The Butler Arms Hotel in Waterville
Butler Arms Hotel
  • Butler Arms Hotel: This historic hotel offers fishing packages that include accommodation, guided fishing trips, and access to private fishing waters.
  • Currane Lodge: A popular choice for anglers, offering comfortable lodging and fishing packages. The lodge is situated close to prime fishing spots and provides boat rental services.
  • Lough Currane Holiday Homes: These self-catering homes provide an ideal base for fishing trips, with easy access to the lake and facilities for storing and drying fishing gear.

Fishing Shops and Gear Rentals

  • Waterville Angling Centre: This well-stocked shop provides everything from flies and lures to rods and reels. The staff can offer expert advice on the best gear for local conditions.

Tips for a Successful Fishing Trip

Fishing Techniques

  1. Fly Fishing
    • Proper Gear: Use a double-handed rod for salmon (13–15 feet, line weight 8–10) and a single-handed rod for sea trout (9–10 feet, line weight 6–8) and brown trout (9 feet, line weight 5–6).
    • Effective Casting: Master spey casting for salmon to cover wide waters, and use precise overhead or roll casting for sea trout and brown trout.
    • Fly Selection: Use colorful, larger flies like Munro Killer, Hairy Mary, Blue Charm, and Black Doctor for salmon, Claret Bumble, Fiery Brown, Bibio, and Watson’s Fancy for sea trout, and Sooty Olive, Mallard & Claret, and Black Pennel for brown trout.
  2. Spinning
    • Appropriate Equipment: Use robust spinning rods (9-11 feet for salmon, 7-9 feet for sea trout, and 6-7 feet for brown trout) with corresponding reel sizes and line strengths.
    • Lure Selection: Opt for larger, flashy lures like Rapala for salmon, smaller spoons and spinners for sea trout, and natural-colored spinners for brown trout.
    • Casting and Retrieval Techniques: Cast across the current for salmon and towards structures for sea trout and brown trout. Retrieve at varying speeds to simulate natural prey movements.

Contact Information for Key Services

Other Recreational Activities Surrounding Lough Currane 

While Lough Currane is renowned for its exceptional fishing, it also offers a wide range of recreational activities that cater to nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and those looking to unwind in a serene environment.

The lake and its surroundings provide ample opportunities for outdoor fun and relaxation, making it a perfect destination for all kinds of visitors.

Golfing

Waterville is a premier destination for golfing enthusiasts, offering an unparalleled experience in a picturesque setting. It boasts the renowned Waterville Golf Links, which ranks among Ireland’s top golf courses.

Entrance to Waterville Golf Links
Waterville Golf Links

Established in the 1880’s near Inny Beach, this historic course is celebrated for its challenging layout, stunning coastal views, and impeccable maintenance.

Golfers can enjoy a round while taking in the breathtaking scenery of the Atlantic Ocean, with each hole presenting unique challenges, from undulating fairways to strategically placed bunkers.

The course’s design seamlessly blends with the natural landscape, providing a true link experience that both amateur and professional golfers appreciate.

Another course is the Hogs Head Golf Club but unfortunately, you have to be invited to play. They have a helicopter to collect you from Kerry airport or to bring you to another golf course.

Boating and Kayaking

Visitors can explore the lake at their own pace, taking in the stunning views of the surrounding hills and forests.

  • Boat Hire: Several local operators offer boat rentals, including traditional rowing boats and motorboats. It’s a peaceful way to enjoy the tranquility of the lake and its natural beauty.
  • Kayaking: For a more active experience, kayaking is a fantastic option. The calm waters of Lough Currane are perfect for paddlers of all skill levels. You can kayak out to Church Island, where a  Christian monastery and graveyard date back to the 12th century.

Hiking and Nature Walks

The area around Lough Currane boasts numerous trails and pathways that invite exploration. Hiking and nature walks are popular activities that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife of the region.

  • Kerry Way: One of Ireland’s longest and most scenic walking routes, the Kerry Way, passes near Lough Currane. This trail offers spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding countryside. Hikers can choose from short sections or embark on longer treks, experiencing the beauty of County Kerry up close.
  • Local Trails: Several shorter trails and loops around the lake cater to all fitness levels. These paths wind through forests, along the shoreline, and up gentle hills, providing excellent opportunities for birdwatching and photography.

Birdwatching

Lough Currane is a haven for birdwatchers, with its diverse habitats supporting a wide variety of bird species. The lake’s serene environment and rich biodiversity make it an excellent spot for observing both resident and migratory birds.

  • Resident Species: Common sightings include herons, cormorants, crakes & rails. You might be the first one to record a kingfisher. The lake’s islands and reed beds provide nesting sites for many birds, making it a vibrant and active birdwatching location year-round.
  • Migratory Birds: During migration seasons, the lake attracts numerous migratory birds, including swans, ducks, common sandpipers, and geese. Birdwatchers can enjoy spotting these seasonal visitors as they rest and feed at the lake.

Photography

The stunning natural beauty of Lough Currane and its surroundings makes it a paradise for photographers. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an amateur enthusiast, the lake offers countless opportunities to capture breathtaking landscapes, wildlife, and sunsets.

  • Landscape Photography: The varied terrain around the lake, with its rolling hills, rocky shores, and lush greenery, provides dramatic backdrops for landscape photography. Early morning and late evening light often produce the most striking images.
  • Wildlife Photography: The lake’s rich birdlife and diverse habitats offer excellent opportunities for wildlife photography. Patience and a keen eye can yield stunning shots of birds in flight, fish leaping, or deer grazing in the distance.

Horseback Riding

Exploring the countryside around Lough Currane on horseback is a unique and enjoyable way to experience the area’s natural beauty.

  • Equestrian Tours: The local stables and equestrian centres offer guided horseback riding tours, catering to all levels of riders. These tours take visitors through scenic trails, open fields, and along the lake’s shores, providing a different landscape perspective.

Kerry Dark Sky Reserve

The Kerry Dark Sky Reserve is a sanctuary for stargazers and astronomy enthusiasts. This unique reserve boasts some of the darkest skies in Europe, making it an ideal spot for observing celestial wonders.

Established to protect the night sky from light pollution, the Kerry Dark Sky Reserve covers over 700 square kilometres.

It offers an unspoiled view of the Milky Way, planets, and countless stars. The reserve is recognized by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), highlighting its commitment to preserving the natural nocturnal environment.

It will be perfect to be out in the middle of Lake Currane looking up at the stars.

McGill’s Brewery

McGill’s Brewery was established in recent years, and this small but dynamic brewery has quickly gained a reputation for producing high-quality, distinctive brews that capture the essence of the region.

Visitors to McGill’s Brewery can enjoy guided tours that offer a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process, from the selection of ingredients to the final bottling.

The tours often conclude with tastings, allowing guests to sample the brewery’s latest creations in a relaxed, friendly setting.

Natural Beauty and Wildlife

Lough Currane is a haven of natural beauty and biodiversity. Its serene waters, lush surroundings, and diverse wildlife make it a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

This section delves into the captivating flora and fauna that thrive in and around the lake, as well as the stunning landscapes that define the area.

Scenic Landscapes

Lough Currane is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, which offer a constantly changing canvas of natural beauty.

  • The Lake Itself: The crystal-clear waters of Lough Currane stretch over 2,500 acres, reflecting the ever-changing Irish skies. The lake’s surface, often calm and mirror-like, provides stunning reflections of the surrounding hills and forests.
  • Surrounding Hills and Mountains: The lake is framed by hills and the dramatic peaks of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks in the distance. These mountains, including Ireland’s highest peak, Carrauntoohil, add to the lake’s scenic grandeur and provide a dramatic backdrop.
  • Islands and Shoreline: Scattered within the lake are small islands, such as Tub Island, Rough Island, and Arbutus Island, which are steeped in history and add to the lake’s mystique. The shoreline varies from pebbly beaches to rocky outcrops and lush vegetation, offering diverse habitats and beautiful views.

Flora

The flora around Lough Currane is as varied as its landscapes, contributing to the lake’s vibrant ecosystem.

  • Woodlands: Surrounding the lake are patches of ancient woodlands, where oak, ash, and birch trees create a dense canopy. These woodlands are rich in undergrowth, including ferns, mosses, and wildflowers, providing shelter and food for numerous species.
  • Wetlands and Reed Beds: The lake’s margins include wetlands and reed beds that are crucial for maintaining water quality and providing habitat for birds and aquatic life. Plants such as bulrushes, reeds, and sedges dominate these areas.
  • Wildflowers: In the spring and summer, the area around Lough Currane bursts into colour with a variety of wildflowers. Bluebells, primroses, and foxgloves are common, adding to the lake’s visual appeal and supporting pollinators like bees and butterflies.

Fauna

The lake and its environs are teeming with wildlife, making it a hotspot for biodiversity.

  • Fish: The lake is famous for its populations of Atlantic salmon and sea trout, which attract anglers from all over the world. Brown trout, Arctic char, and eels also inhabit the lake, contributing to its rich aquatic life.
  • Birds: Birdwatchers will find Lough Currane particularly rewarding. The lake hosts a variety of bird species, both resident and migratory.
    • Herons and Cormorants: These birds are commonly seen along the lake’s shores, hunting for fish in the shallow waters.
    • Swans and Ducks: Mute swans and various species of ducks, including mallards and teals, are regular inhabitants of the lake.
    • Birds of Prey: Occasionally, visitors might spot birds of prey such as kestrels, sparrowhawks, and even the rare white-tailed sea eagle, which has been reintroduced to Ireland.
  • Mammals: The area around Lough Currane supports a range of mammals. Red deer, foxes, pine martins, and badgers are among the larger mammals that can be seen in the surrounding hills and forests. Otters, although elusive, inhabit the lake and rivers, adding to the rich biodiversity. Unfortunately, there was a mink farm in Waterville and many of those minks escaped. They are not native to Ireland.
  • Insects and Amphibians: The diverse habitats around the lake support a wide variety of insects, including butterflies, dragonflies, and beetles. Frogs and newts can be found in the wetlands and damp areas, contributing to the lake’s vibrant ecosystem.

Conservation Efforts

The natural beauty and wildlife of Lough Currane are the focus of ongoing conservation efforts to preserve this unique environment.

Looking up the Currane River in Waterville
Lough Currane Reeds
  • Habitat Protection: Initiatives are in place to protect the delicate habitats around the lake, including wetlands, woodlands, and reed beds. These efforts help maintain the biodiversity and ecological balance of the area.
  • Water Quality Management: Ensuring the pristine quality of Lough Currane’s waters is crucial for the health of its fish populations and overall ecosystem. Regular monitoring and management practices aim to reduce pollution and prevent the introduction of invasive species.
  • Wildlife Conservation: Specific programs focus on protecting endangered species and their habitats, such as the white-tailed sea eagle reintroduction project. Public education campaigns also promote awareness of the importance of conservation.

Tips for Visitors

Visiting Lough Currane offers a wealth of experiences, from outdoor adventures to cultural immersion. To make the most of your trip, consider the following tips, which cover practical advice, seasonal considerations, and local insights.

Seafront in Waterville Kerry
Seafront in Waterville

Planning Your Visit

  • Best Time to Visit: Lough Currane is beautiful year-round, but the best time to visit depends on your interests.
    • Spring (March to May): Ideal for wildflower blooms, birdwatching, and milder weather. This is also the start of the fishing season for salmon. The sea trout fishing season peaks during this time.
    • Summer (June to August): Perfect for warm weather, longer days, and a wide range of outdoor activities. This is the busiest tourist season, so expect more visitors.
    • Autumn (September to November): Enjoy the stunning autumn foliage and fewer crowds. 
    • Winter (December to February): Quieter and more peaceful, but the weather can be unpredictable. Some activities and accommodations may have limited availability.
  • Accommodation Guide: Book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak seasons. Options range from cozy B&Bs and guesthouses to luxury hotels and self-catering cottages. Consider staying in Waterville for easy access to Lough Currane and local amenities.
  • Transportation Guide: Renting a car is recommended for exploring the area at your own pace. Public transportation options are very limited, and having a car allows you to visit nearby attractions and scenic spots.

Preparing for Outdoor Activities

  • Fishing: Ensure you have the necessary permits and licenses before you go fishing. These can be obtained from the Mace Shop and local guides provide these as well. Familiarize yourself with local fishing regulations, including catch limits and fishing seasons.
    • Equipment: Bring your own fishing gear or rent from local providers. Many lodges and guides offer equipment rental and sales.
    • Guides: Hiring a local fishing guide can enhance your experience, offering insider knowledge on the best spots and techniques.
  • Hiking and Walking: Wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing, and sturdy footwear. Trails around Lough Currane vary in difficulty, so choose routes that match your fitness level.
    • Maps and Information: Obtain maps and trail information from online sources. Carry a map, compass, and GPS device when hiking in remote areas.
    • Safety: Let someone know your hiking plans and expected return time. Weather can change rapidly, so be prepared with extra layers, water, and snacks.
  • Boating and Kayaking: Check local conditions and safety regulations before heading out on the water.
    • Life Jackets: Always wear a life jacket and ensure your equipment is in good condition.
    • Rentals: Local operators offer boat and kayak rentals.

Exploring Local Culture

Statue of Charlie Chapin in Waterville
Charlie Chapin in Waterville
  • Events and Festivals: Check the local events calendar for festivals, music sessions, and cultural activities during your visit. The Charlie Chaplin Film Festival is a notable event.
  • Dining: Visit local pubs and restaurants to enjoy fresh, regional produce and the warm hospitality of the area.
  • Language: While English is widely spoken, learning a few basic Irish phrases can enhance your cultural experience and will be appreciated by locals. Common phrases include “Go raibh maith agat” (Thank you) and “Dia dhuit” (Hello).

Environmental Awareness

  • Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles to help preserve the natural beauty of Lough Currane. Pack out all trash, respect wildlife, and stay on designated trails to minimize your impact.
  • Wildlife Viewing: Observe wildlife from a distance and avoid disturbing their natural behavior. Refrain from feeding or approaching animals.

Practical Tips

  • Cash and Cards: While credit and debit cards are widely accepted, carrying some cash is advisable for small purchases and in case you visit remote areas with limited card facilities.
  • Communication: Mobile phone coverage can be patchy in remote areas. Check with your provider about coverage and consider renting a local SIM card or portable Wi-Fi device if you need reliable connectivity.

Conclusion

Lough Currane stands as a true gem in the heart of County Kerry, offering an idyllic retreat for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and those looking to immerse themselves in Ireland’s rich cultural heritage.

This enchanting lake, with its pristine waters and breathtaking surroundings, captivates the hearts of all who visit.

Whether you are a first-time visitor or returning to explore new facets of the lake, Lough Currane promises an enriching and unforgettable experience. Embrace the adventure, connect with the community, and let the magic of Lough Currane leave an indelible mark on you.

FAQ

1. Where is Lough Currane located?

Lough Currane is located near the village of Waterville in County Kerry, Ireland. It is part of the scenic Ring of Kerry route.

2. What activities can I do at Lough Currane?

Visitors can enjoy a range of activities including boating, kayaking, hiking, bird watching, wildlife photography, and most of all fishing.

3. What types of fish can be found in Lough Currane?

Lough Currane is famous for its salmon and sea trout. Brown trout and char can also be found in the lake.

4. Do I need a fishing license to fish in Lough Currane?

Yes, a fishing license is required for both salmon and sea trout fishing. Licenses can be obtained in the Mace Shop or from your fishing guide.

5. What is the best time of year to visit Lough Currane?

Spring and summer are ideal for enjoying mild weather and vibrant nature. Autumn offers beautiful fall colours, while winter provides a peaceful and serene environment.

6. How can I get to Lough Currane?

Lough Currane is accessible by car, with the nearest airport being Kerry Airport. Public transportation options include trains to Tralee & Killarney and buses from other parts of Ireland but the buses are few & far between.

7. What accommodation options are available near Lough Currane?

There are various accommodation options including hotels, bed and breakfasts, self-catering cottages, and campsites in Waterville and the surrounding area.

8. Are there any local festivals or events in Waterville?

Yes, Waterville hosts several festivals and events such as the Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival and the Waterville Regatta.

9. Can I rent a boat or kayak at Lough Currane?

Yes, boats and kayaks can be rented locally to explore the lake.

10. Are there guided tours available for Lough Currane?

Yes, guided tours are available and provide insights into the lake’s history, ecology, and best fishing spots.

11. What are some nearby attractions to visit?

Nearby attractions include the Waterville Golf Links, the Skellig Islands, Staigue Fort, and the Ballinskelligs Abbey.

12. What dining options are available in Waterville?

Waterville offers a variety of dining options, including seafood restaurants, traditional Irish pubs, and cafes.

13. Is Lough Currane suitable for bird watching?

Yes, Lough Currane is an excellent spot for bird watching, with a variety of bird species found in the area.

14. What hiking trails are available around Lough Currane?

Popular hiking trails include the Kerry Way and the Waterville Loop, offering varying levels of difficulty and scenic views.

15. What should I bring for a trip to Lough Currane?

It’s recommended to bring comfortable outdoor clothing, binoculars for bird watching, fishing gear if you plan to fish, and a camera to capture the beautiful scenery.

16. How far is Lough Currane to Waterville Beach?

It is 1 km away.

Enjoy