Trout Fishing in Ireland

Fishing for trout in Ireland

A great meal awaited us as my boys played at fishing with sticks in the canal that ran through the small Irish village.

As the boys pretended to fish, a scruffy-faced Irishman who lived on a houseboat on the canal came by carrying a real fishing pole. His cheerful mutt Juke panted beside him, and as the boys petted the dog, the man foisted the pole on them.

“Take it. It’s yours. Go fishing. I love Americans!” he told them. He was exuberant, feeling no pain.

“No thank you,” they politely refused.

“It’s yours,” he gushed, pushing it into their hands. “I love Americans!”

Houseboats along the Grand Canal in Sallins Ireland

They were proud and excited about the gift, but a little frightened too, unsure of whether they should have accepted it.

the magic ages quoteThe pole pointed the way to a chance for us to relax after a busy two weeks traveling the country. We checked our guidebook and found a stocked fishpond a few villages away.

Each of my sons watched the road with impatience, excited to get a chance to catch a fish. They were ages 9 and 8, the magic ages when catching a trout in a small, stocked pond was as grand as landing a marlin on the open sea.

At the pond, a boy only a few years older than my two gave us bait in dirt-filled, beat up cans. He carried a little club with him to knock the caught fish on the head, a job he managed with shy compassion.

Trout caught in Ireland collage

Since we weren’t going back to our cottage until the night, we needed to keep the fish cold. We asked for help in several small shops with no success. The young woman on our third attempt radiated sweetness, but was utterly baffled by my request for a bag of ice, available on every other street corner in America but apparently non-existent in the country of Ireland.

I found a lonely box of peas in the bottom of a freezer. I was luckier with the ingredients for preparing the fish, finding an onion, lemon, and, best of all, a mixture of garlic butter.
We spent the rest of the afternoon touring a nearby estate and gardens, our well-caught trout staying cool on the thawing peas.

Trout dinner in IrelandIn our little cottage’s kitchen, I found a frying pan and had everything I needed. I dressed the fish with the garlic butter and lemon, and stuffed them with slices of onion. Even my picky eater dug in with enthusiasm.

A great travel meal connects the people and the land. The unexpected gift, the Irish countryside, the quest for ice, and the thrill of catching our own all made for a thoroughly enjoyable meal, peas on the side.

About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.
This entry was posted in Food, Scene from a Memoir, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Trout Fishing in Ireland

  1. iasoupmama says:

    What a fantastic memory! I’m sure your boys will keep it close to their hearts always.

  2. What a great story! I have always wanted to go to Ireland.

  3. Cheryl T says:

    Sounds like some great memories were made that day!

  4. Awwwww, what great memories. And the boys look so tiny. Where did the time go?

  5. what a great story. and how wonderful and giving everyone was!

  6. bnatividad says:

    I love this story — it’s such a wonderful, fun memory!

  7. Vanessa D. says:

    So great that they caught some fish! I used to love fishing with my grandfather.

  8. Dayle Lynne says:

    What a lovely story and wonderful memory to hold onto! . . . And I’m jealous! Ireland is in the top 5 of my list of places I want to travel to! 🙂

  9. 50peach says:

    My nephew is 9. Such contagious enthusiasm!

  10. nataliedeyoung says:

    What a lovely memory! Those are the best ones I have with my family – unexpected fish or crab caught and eaten on the road. Bon appetit!

  11. Christie says:

    Sounds awesome. I love the photo with all of the houseboats.

  12. Gina says:

    I loved seeing the photos accompanying this wonderful story. I love travel. It’s magical!

  13. I would love to go to Ireland someday. I’ve heard it’s beautiful. Must have been fun staying in a cottage. I loved this story. You have captured what sounds like a wonderful memory.

  14. Peas on the side! Love it! Great story and beautiful family.

  15. What a wonderful memory to be able to share with your kids!

  16. Esther says:

    I love this little story! You pepper it with exactly the kinds of details that transport us there.

  17. Karla says:

    You have a way of writing that makes me feel like I was there, too! Can’t wait until Hunter is a little older to be able to do things like that. 🙂

  18. Tracie says:

    This is a great memory, and a fantastic experience!

  19. Happy Sharefest!
    How fantastic?? I’ve never been to Europe and would love to go there.
    What a fantastic day and memory for the boys..!


  20. How nice to fish with your boys…and in Ireland!! Fantastic 🙂
    (Visiting from SITS)

  21. Pingback: Searching for Dan Donnelly’s right arm | (Don't Be) Too Timid and Squeamish

  22. Jeff says:

    Ha! Lucky boys! And what great catches! I’m sure it’s a memory they’ll never forget!
    Jeff recently posted..Best Portable Fish Finder? Introducing the Deeper Portable FishfinderMy Profile

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