The Cork (or Munster) Blackwater River
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"Island Stream"
Lower Kilmurry
"The Island Stream"
"Lower Limestones"


    The Munster Blackwater is Ireland’s second largest river next to the mighty Shannon. 
It rises in the mountains of East Kerry, flowing eastwards for 75 miles (120 km) through Counties Cork and Waterford until it enters the sea at Youghal in East Cork. 
It has a catchment area of more than 1,200 square miles.  
It’s also an extremely beautiful river and has well deserved the title “the Irish Rhine”. 
As a large mature river, it is not subject to the whims of the weather, like a typical spate river, and consequently can provide excellent fishing even in low water.
    It has extensive tidal reaches, stretching for approximately 20 miles from the estuary mouth at Youghal to Lismore.  This provides a unique haven for salmon and seatrout
in low water     conditions when they are waiting to run the main river.
    The best of the salmon fishing is to be found between the tidal limit just below the bridge
    at Lismore and up as far as Mallow (approximately 45 river miles upstream). 
Below Fermoy, there is an excellent mixture of fly runs, glides and deeper pools.
    The fish can run unhindered through the lower river until they encounter the weir at Careysville.  The Blackwater Lodge has four beats downstream of the weir.

Compared to most other Irish rivers (notably the Moy) 
    the fishing pressure is very light. 
Nevertheless, it is estimated to yield an average of
    between 5,000 - 6,000 salmon to the rods each year. 

    It was declared Ireland's most prolific salmon river in 1998. Statistics issued by the Central & Southern Regional
    Fisheries Boards confirm that the Cork Blackwater had the
    highest rod catch of salmon of all Irish rivers that year.

   The total was a staggering 8,063 - over 35% higher than the Moy.  It was reputedly the third highest of all the rivers in the
   North Atlantic (Canada, Iceland, UK, Norway etc.) - beaten only by two rivers on the Kola Peninsula in Russia.

Salmon Fishing Season: February 1 - September 30

Four Distinct Salmon Runs

Spring: From Opening Day on February 1st. through April,
spring salmon from 8 - 20 the deeper, cold water lies.
Grilse: Late April to the end of July. The early run is mainly fish in the 5 - 7 lb. class, 
dropping by late June to 2 - 4 lb. when the prolific run is at its peak.
Early Summer: Late May/early June. Salmon in the 10 - 15 lb. class run for 2 - 3 weeks,
coinciding with the onset of the grilse run
Backend: Through August & September. Larger salmon from 8 - 20 lb.
Seatrout: From late May on - fish to 3lb. or more, especially in the lower beats.


Spring Fishing:

The prospects for spring fishing from the Opening Day on February 1st. can vary with the conditions in January.
The lower river – from the Careysville weir downstream to Lismore is renowned for spring salmon fishing.    

The perfect conditions for spring fishing are low cold water.
 This means that the fish only run very slowly and tend to remain below the Careysville weir. 
They are then concentrated in the Lodge's lower seven beats which are situated between the tidal limit and the first weir.

In years when the river is high and temperatures are mild in January, we would expect an early run of spring salmon.
The higher warmer water encourages the spring fish to run further – often as far as Ballyhooly and Castletownroche in the middle reaches, and even as far as Mallow.
Fish are then often taken on the Lodge's upper beats from Fermoy to Mallow in this case.
These conditions spread fish more through both the lower and middle reaches of the river, which can make them less easy to find.  
It is also good for the survival of the spawning fish, as many of the kelts should be washed back out to sea in the high water, helping the recovery rate.

Springers are mainly fish in the 8 - 12 lb. class, but with a good share of fish to 18 - 20 lb. February can be a contrary month,
 but the river and the run are usually settling and more consistent by March. 
The best spring fishing is normally in March and early April.   

Under way in May:

The prolific grilse run gets under way in mid-May, though the first grilse can usually be spotted from Mid-April.
The early grilse tend to be larger (5-6 lb) and their arrival is accompanied by a run of double figure fish which appears for
the latter part of May and the first week or so of June. These fish are in the 10-15 lb class.
Thereafter, the grilse run builds up and peaks in late June and early July. 
The grilse fishing is excellent on the lower river in low water, when the fish run more slowly. 
In medium or high water, the wonderful streams and runs of the middle and upper reaches fish best when fish run hard through the whole river system. 
Throughout the summer, sporadic runs of large summer salmon can provide a surprise for anglers mainly concentrating on grilse fishing.

Backend Sport:

There is a superb autumn run of larger fish, usually in late August or early September. 
If there is a summer flood, these backend fish can move in as early as the beginning of August.

The run consists mainly of fish in the 8 - 12 lb. class, but with a good share of fish to 18 - 20 lb. - similar to the spring run. 
This continues right up to the end of the season on September 30th.  These fish mainly concentrate in the beats on the lower river (below Careysville).


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