Find a bug, have an idea, email us with feedback
Print Guide Print River Guide

Flesk River

  Grade:   4 to 5       Rating: river rating
  County:   Kerry   Date updated:18/10/2006
  Section Length:   3km   Version: 2 (History)

Brief River Description

The Flesk is a classic run that is easily accessible from a main road.

Directions to the Put-in

The Flesk is on the N22 between Cork and Killarney. From the Cork side go through Balleyvourney and continue up the hill and cross the Cork/Kerry border. At the top of the hill there is a restaurant type building on the right. Continue down the hill and take the first right for Claydadh Valley. This takes you onto the old Killarney road. Follow the road to the left and stop at the bridge on the right. This is the start of the Middle Flesk. The get on is across the bridge and take a right through a farmers field.

DO NOT park on the bridge. Park on the main road before the bridge. Local residents use this bridge and we once saw a tractor stuck after an idiot blocked the bridge.

Directions to the Take-out

The take out is on the main N22 road. Get back on to the main road from the get on and go down hill until you hit a bridge crossing the Flesk river. Its easiest is to park on the hard shoulder on the right side near the river. From here its also good spot to look over the bridge at the last drop.

River Description

The start of the river is above the get on bridge. Nothing major here until you pass under the bridge. The first drop should be taken on the left following the wave around. In high water this can be taken far right.

The next drop is the Pop-out spot /The Gates. There are 2 slots to choose. Take the right chute always. The left chute is usually shallow and a pin is possible.

The river meanders for a while over shallow ground. It turns to the left and gradient resumes. There are some small rapids then the triple drop appears on the horizon. This can be viewed from the river left bank. Below 1.3m take the main flow on the left. Above this the hole at the end gets very sticky. There is an option to take the far right drop but plenty water is needed.

There are some smaller drops for the next while and you then arrive at the Finger drop. This is a tongue on the left side of the river. Follow the tongue down to the end and drop off into a pool. Ensure you don't drop off to the right or left, a guy broke ribs here before.

Downriver from here the first gorge appears. To inspect take out on the river left bank. The ideal line is enter at the top left and drive right onto a pillow wave. From the pillow wave aim to ramp over the rock in the middle at the bottom. Try to avoid the left at the bottom as its sticky and rescue is difficult. The nasty part of the gorge is the final exit. This is about a 6-8 foot pour over. At normal levels take it 3 feet from the left bank at full speed. At higher levels the right is a better option. Beware of this drop over 1.5m, it can be hard to escape and has eaten many paddlers!!

The river continues on from here over various sections. There is one section in particular where the river turns sharply to the right. Go as far left as possible here.

The next major rapid is the second gorge. This is noticeable as the rapids get more
continuous. In particular there is a turn to the right where the main flow goes between two rocks. A few hundred metres below is the entrance to the second gorge. At lower levels its possible to break out on the left just at the start of the gorge. At the entrance to the gorge (on river right) there is an awkward rooster tail. This can easily throw you off line. The best line is to hit the rooster tail and go left and continue to the bottom where there can be a tricky hole. After the hole there is a little drop under a waterfall that can sometimes be chunky enough.

The river continues from here over some read and run stuff. The last major obstacle is Poll Gorm. There is an option to get out before the second last drop on river left.
The last drop and the second last drop are essentially one drop. The second last drop is best taken from mid flow and drive left over the hump. Going right here is awkward as there is a tight eddy that's hard to get out of. Going far left through a side chute is nasty as a guy got pinned there before. Poll Gorm is a classic drop. It has an S-turn in the middle from right to left. The ideal line is to hit the pillow wave on river right and shoot left. Then just before you hit the left wall the flow kicks you right and probably upsidedown. A roll is usually up against the left wall that is a little undercut.

Pass down under the bridge and pull into the pool on river left. Climb up the rocks and back to your warm car.

Local issues

At the put in do not block the bridge. It is in use and large vehicles pass through there all the time. Park on the main road before the bridge. The start of the river goes through farmers land and they seem to be ok with this. Do not break down any fences and close gates if you open them. Fishermen often use the pool at the last drop but that is usually only in Summer or Autumn. They are normally very friendly but keep an eye out.

River level gauge

There is a gauge on the river left side at the start bridge. A level of 70cm (0.7m) is normally the lowest level. Over 140cm (1.4m) is classed as high and for prepared boaters only. A real time gauge exists and more details to follow.


Original Author: Ian Roche
Latest Author: Ian
(Full History)

Please use the forum for banter or questions.
Please add river details by adding to/editing the guide.

About | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Contact Us | RSS Feed | ©2009