My romantic boat tours on Lough Leane are very popular with tourists especially those who have just got married or are celebrating an anniversary…

The great advantage of being on a boat on the Lake  is that you won’t get sea sickness. I take people to Inisfallen Island which contains the ruins of Inisfallen Abbey which St Fenian (the Leaper) founded in the 6th/7th century.

Last year I got a phone call from a man staying in a local hotel, who told me he wanted to take his girlfriend to Inisfallen with the intention of proposing to her. We made arrangements and the next morning I collected them at their hotel and brought them to the boat and took them across to the island and then came away to give them privacy. I came back to the shore and collected food in baskets that the hotel provided, and a folding table and chairs. I decorated the boat all over with white and red roses and was back off the island when I got the call to return. I set up the table and chairs on the island and set down the food. I walked over to the happy couple who I brought to their feast. I was offered and accepted an Aperitif which I toasted to the happy couple.

Now I have a policy of not taking alcohol on my boat but I made an exception this once. They had a great day. The weather was great and the deer came close enough to be included in photos which I took for them with their own camera.

On another occasion I took the bride and her father and bridesmaid to Inisfallen where she got married to her boyfriend who was waiting for her with his best man and a clergyman. It was like a scene out of a movie, everything was perfect on this sunny day in mid summer.

I also go to Ross Castle, the original home of O’Donoghue Ross, an Irish chieftain. The Castle was built in the late 15th century. This was one of the last strongholds to fall to Oliver Cromwell in the 1650s.

A boat trip on Lough Leane is a wonderful way to spend a summers day and is the best possible way to view the mountains, the red deer, the sika deer, mallard ducks, wideon ducks, pochard ducks, cormerants and lovely swans, not to mention the fish breaking around the boat. Aaaahhhh…

When possible I take people on romantic tours to O’Sullivan’s Cascade which is my favourite spot on the lake. Tomies oak wood surrounds this beautiful cascade which is usually deserted. I took two Americans who wanted to do some fishing to this special place as a break from the fishing. We had trawled the lake for trout quite successfully and one of the reasons I choose to bring them here was that I discovered that they were on their honeymoon. The couple had a desire to cook and eat some of the brown trout we had just caught.

I thought quickly. I got two stones and put them standing. I gathered dead oak wood which was lying around and lit a fire between the stones and I put a thin flat stone on top of the fire. I filleted the Trout and cooked it for them. They ate their meal to the sounds of the birds singing all around the waterfall. I left them to eat and went out into the Lake and had my coke and sandwiches. When I got the call later, I returned and we resumed our fishing. Since that day I always take a kettle, pan and a gas ring on the boat.

Our first Salmon Fishing Trip to Ireland will never be forgotten. Our instinct to ring Mick O’ Brien from Killarney Fishing Tours was fully justified. Mick is not only a ghillie, he instructs, he advises, he gives you a generous amount of his time, his expertise, his flies and his equipment and his knowledge is unbounded. His unerring good humour as you “tangle” with the three or four flies he makes you fish with, seems to make the whole exercise a joyous experience!
Elizabeth Harrington

Killarney International Fishing School
Tel: +353 87 122 9352  •  Email: