The River Feale



The Feale rises in the mountain district of North County Cork, near rock Chapel and flows west for 75 kms. through the towns of 
Abbeyfeale and Listowel and enters the sea south of Ballybunion.
Throughout its meandering journey to the sea it flows through a picturesque landscape of heathered bogland, 
fertile valley’s and rolling hills. It drains a catchment of approximately 160 kms. 
Even though it drains such a large area, the Feale is a typical fast-flowing spate river, subject to big floods.





The lower section is dominated by large, deep fish-holding, pools and an important feature of the upper river and its tributaries
is the frequency with which deep holding pools occur. It is presumably this latter feature that makes it such a good fishery so far upstream.
At the bottom it is tidal, almost to Finuge Bridge and rod and line fishing ends about 1 km. below this bridge. 
This is a big river and wading is necessary at times. Body waders would be a great help and a wading staff is essential.
In times of low flow the water runs clear but takes on a dark, peat stained appearance in a spate. 
The Feale gets equally good runs of salmon and sea trout In a good season, with frequent spates to bring the fish up, 
it is estimated to produce at least 1,500 salmon and grilse and well over 2,000 sea trout.
The best of the salmon fishing is from the tide up to Abbeyfeale. The sea trout tend to run quickly trough the middle reaches 
and the best fishing is considered to be either below Listowel or above Abbeyfeale.
There are fish in the river from opening day on 1st. March, and the best of the spring fishing is from opening day up to mid-April.
Grilse begin showing in mid-June, with a top in mid-July and the bigger fish run the river in mid-August. The spring fish average about 9 lbs.
and the grilse about 5 lbs. All legitimate fishing methods are allowed, except shrimp fishing.
Popular spinning bates are: the Lane minnow, Devon minnows and spoons and the ‘Flying C’.
The popular salmon flies are: Garry Dog, Fiery Brown, Blue Charm, Hairy Mary and Wilkinson.






Sea trout enter the system from early May and provide sport right through to September. The bigger fish arrive early,
and the peak of the season is mid-June into August.

They range from ½ lb. to 7 lbs. Most of the sea trout are taken downstream of Listowel by spinners, Mepps spoons and Lane minnows.

The best of the fly fishing is said to be above Abbeyfeale. Dark flies are best for daytime fishing: Zulu, Connemara Black, Black Pennell and Bibio,
size 10 – 14. A small dry fly can get results too, for example a Grey Duster or a Black Gnat, size 18 – 20.

At night try silver bodied flies, such as: a Bloody Butcher, a Silver Doctor, a Priest or a Teal, Blue and Silver.



 Brown trout




On the entire river there's good fishing on brown Trout.






A State licence is necessary for salmon and sea trout angling. National and Regional licences are available for full-season,

21-day and 1-day periods. About 50% of the River Feale is controlled by 5 angling clubs 
These club stretches are some of the best angling waters and each club offers day tickets for visiting anglers.

Killocrim/Finuge Angling Club controls approximately 6,5 kms.of water downstream of Listowel.
Good salmon and grilse angling and fair sea trout angling as the fish run through. Day permits from Dan Joy, Listowel, Tel.: 00 353(0) 68-40310.

North Kerry Anglers Association.  has access to about 15 kms. of fishing in the vicinity of Listowel on both the main river and its tributary,

the Smearlagh. Good salmon, grilse and sea trout fishing. The town stretch has some beautiful salmon pools, which have been recently developed

Day tickets from Jim Horgan, Mary’s Delicatessen, Six Square, Listowel, Tel.: 00 353 (0) 68-21504.


Tralee & District Anglers Association.  have 3 kms of river located downstream of Kilmorna Bridge. 

This is nice salmon water with 15 named pools.

Day tickets from Joe O’Keeffe, Kilmorna, tel.: 00 353 (0) 68-45189 or Mat Doodey, Abbeyfeale, Tel.: 00 353 (0) 68-31983.


Abbeyfeale Anglers Association.  have about 8 kms. of river. The greater part is located downstream of Abbeyfeale.

Good salmon fishing from July and sea trout from June.

Permits available from Ryan Bros. Tackleshop, New Street, Abbeyfeale, Tel.: 00353 (0) 68-31411 or Denis Dennison, Tel.: 00 353 (0) 68-31118.


Mountcollins-Brosna Angling Club.  controls 13 kms. river from below Owveg River confluence, up past Mountcollins , 

to within a short distance of Ahaun Bridge. 

This stretch produces a small catch of grilse but excels as a sea trout fishery from mid-May to September.
Tickets Pat Danaher, Mountcollins, tel.: 00 353 (0) 68-44281.










More information or questions send E-mail

TIGHT LINES!    Johan Scholten


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