Whether for fishing, traditional smokehouses, superb salmon dishes, Ireland is king! Its many rivers, lakes, rivers and, of course, the sea that surrounds it promote this national sport and delight fans as well as regulars!
Wild salmon, highly valued and coveted, is strongly linked to the country’s history, myths and folklore. But its smoked salmon, coming from breeding is just as famous! Whatever your choice of sightseeing and discovery, this is a surprising topic for traveling in Ireland off the beaten path.
Salmon varieties in Ireland
There are two varieties of salmon in Ireland.
– Atlantic salmon, you have to come fishing early in the year. This is the period when their weight is the largest, with an average of 4 kg. To note, its appearance is a bit like King Salmon.
– Grilse salmon, which is caught in June. It is present in the entire river network of the country, its weight (1.8 kg on average) is more modest and it is also more lively, offering great challenges.
Irish waters are known for overflowing fish, and if salmon is popular, know that you can also fish for trout, pike, perch and bass!
Salmon and mythology … A typical Irish folklore!
Salmon has pride of place in Celtic myths and legends. It represents wisdom and the gift of omniscience, even the gift of prophecy. It is linked to several Irish legends, here is the story …
The salmon of knowledge and the tree of knowledge
In the fountain of wisdom rose a hazel – or mountain ash – whose hazelnuts feed the salmon swimming in its waters. These salmon are carriers of universal knowledge and transmit it to the first person who tastes their flesh …
Finn MacCumaill and the Salmon of Knowledge, or Wisdom
The father of the young Finn – or Fionn -, Cumaill, was the leader of the Fiannas warriors, protectors of the King of Ireland. He was killed by some of his jealous warriors. Muirne, Fionn’s mother decides to entrust him to a warrior and a druid, who live in the hollow of the mountains of Sliabh Bloom. They must hide and protect the child, while transmitting to him the teachings necessary to be accepted among the Fiannas: to defend and fight, to subsist in the nature and to hunt, and even to control the magic to annihilate his adversaries. Then, they send him to perfect his education with the poet Finnegas, to acquire the knowledge. Finnegas lives near the Boyne River, where he fishes every day hoping to catch the fish of knowledge. This fish is a salmon, which once lived in the water at the foot of the tree of knowledge and Finnegas dreams of acquiring this wisdom. After many tries, it is finally thanks to Fionn – to whom he does not reveal this secret – that he manages to seize the fish. The young man is then instructed to cook it without however tasting it before the poet. During the preparation, in spite of all the precautions that he implements, Fionn is splashed and burns himself, he carries his finger to his mouth to relieve the pain and thus becomes gifted with the knowledge … The poet realizes it immediately to the gleam of his eyes and send him back to the Fiannas, recover a leading position …
Salmon is very attached to Irish culture, something that seems to be a strong reason why Ireland is known as one of the largest salmon exporters in the world.