Logo: Irish Angling Update, fishing reports ireland

Latest Reports

More angling Reports

In the press

Weekly update

Sheelin quiet after mayfly madness

July 4th, 2017 | by

‘My best fishing memory is about some fish that I never caught’
George Orwell

Bent into a trout

Bent into a trout

Now into July, Lough Sheelin eased itself  gently into summer fishing which for this lake means the remnants of the mayfly, buzzers, sedges, the odd terrestrial, daphnia and with the promise of some blood worm fishing later on in the month.

Jeremy O’Brien, England with a beautiful 60cm trout (Loughsheelinguidingservices)

Jeremy O’Brien, England with a beautiful 60cm trout (Loughsheelinguidingservices)

Although angling numbers weren’t huge on the lake for the week gone by, every day still saw a respectable amount venturing out to fish.  Traditionally there is a crash in numbers after the fanaticism and frenzy of the mayfly and this season has been no different.  There seemed to be a mass exodus from the lake in tandem with the petering out of the greens and spent.  Sometimes, as a trout angler it is hard to understand why many anglers just vanish from here as the trout do not stop feeding just because Ephemera danica has done its thing, this lake is still full of premier wild brown trout so without meaning to compartmentalise it seems to be that the majority of anglers like easy fishing and Sheelin and the word easy definitely do not belong in the same sentence.

Lough Sheelin's Ephemera danica

Lough Sheelin’s Ephemera danica – still a few about

There is good sport to be had on this lake at the moment with plenty of takes, nibbles, tugs and lots of splashing at fry and the occasional fish taking a sedge.

Michael Farrell's trout on the dries

Michael Farrell’s trout on the dries

The Hatches…

With water levels at their lowest, water temperatures approaching their highest along with the warmth of the summer sun (we hope), July can be a month for testing an anglers skill and passion for this chosen sport.  Perch fry make their presence felt from late June onwards and can become an important food item on the trout’s menu. The trout appear to feed exclusively on the shoals of small fry and the anglers attention is generally attracted to the scene of the action by a succession of noisy, splashy rises, as the trout lash the fry with their tails in an apparent effort to stun the tiny fish. They then feed on the dead fry lying on the surface. This activity usually occurs early in the morning about 8a.m. and again in the early afternoon. The areas noted for it are from Plunkett’s Point to Kilnahard Point, and along the Derrysheridan Shore and into Goreport Bay.  Fry patterns in appropriate sizes fished on the drift, close to weed and white lures close to the surface and side sweeping in the late evening, also floating fry patterns picks up fish turned on to fry. Silver and gold bodied flies – Silver Dabbler or Silver Minkie fished very slowly or even stationary can get results.  A good artificial needs to be nothing more than some pearl tinsel wrapped round the shank of a size 14 hook tied in with black silk dotted with two spots of white varnish to represent eyes.



The best fry patterns are the ones that float in or hang in the surface film, the best tactic (I was reliably informed) is to cast them out into a feeding area and then not to move them as after all trout are expecting to see stunned fry.  If a trout swirls at an imitation and does not take it, a sudden, short and fast retrieve can often induce a savage take.  When the trout are locked into the fry it is next to impossible to tempt them on to anything else so the best idea at this time of the season is to avoid the areas on the lake where this is happening.

Real and imagined

Real and imagined

The weather this week has been unkind to the caenis fans, where winds relentlessly whipped up at the wrong times and destroyed this painfully difficult, at the best of times, kind of fishing.

Sheelin sedge

Sheelin sedge

While some anglers are larks and others are owls, for now this lake is favouring  the owls and redemption was only found somewhat in the late evenings with the arrival of the sedges and in particular the murrough and even at that the murroughs hatches have been stunted somewhat because of unfavourable squally winds and nightly drops in temperatures.  Any shoreline with rocks is a good place to find hatching murroughs.

Lough Sheelin’s Mighty Murrough

Lough Sheelin’s Mighty Murrough


This is a month of extensive variety of food for the Sheelin trout but summertime on this lake is still primarily associated with Trichoptera or the sedge or ‘caddis’ which is an aquatic moth like creature with tent shaped wings and two long antennae.  They can provide sport at any time of the day but are best known for their evening egg laying activities during mid summer.  They lay eggs while dipping and fluttering across the water surface.  The trout have to move fast to catch them and therefore the rise form is a distinctively splashy one.

The real meets the unreal

The real meets the unreal

The sedge pupa is rather a fast mover by nymph standards and fish feeding on these do so with a characteristic “whorl” or giant swirl.

There was little surface fly activity so it was up to the angler to bring the fish up during the day. There were a few terrestrials knocking about mainly in the sheltered bays and coves of the lake – ants, beetles and Daddy-Long-Legs. Terrestrials are non aquatic and are therefore doomed as soon as they land on the water and if it is windy they will quickly drown and sink.  Wet flies that were predominantly black with a touch of silver worked well – Black Pennel and Zulu.  For the dry fly enthusiasts  it was Hoppers all the way with the Black Hopper topping the poll.

Christopher Defillion

Christopher Defillion

The artificial Daddy patterns worked well for Cavan angler Cian Murtagh with a lovely fish of over 2lbs using a Brown Daddy.  ‘Daddies’ are poor flyers and on any breezy day when they are emerging some inevitably tumble with their clumsy legs on to the surface water and trout just love them.  There are numerous Daddy patterns but preferably one where the hackle is cut down as much as possible so that a good part of  the body and the trailing legs are in the surface film.

Sheelin’s Poplar hawkmoth

Sheelin’s Poplar hawkmoth – not popular with trout

the Catches…

Now, reminds me of the second, though not so well known, part of that saying ‘the early bird catches the worm’ followed by ‘but the second mouse gets the cheese’ and so it is the way on Sheelin where the predominance of catches favoured the later part of the day from afternoon to when the light faded into darkness.

Happy out – Nigel Gibbons and Jeremy O’Brien on Sheelin

Happy out – Nigel Gibbons and Jeremy O’Brien on Sheelin

Predictably the weather did not behave itself with a North wind swinging in on Friday and persisting throughout the weekend.

Continually on the hunt for fishing feedback, the wind comes into nearly every conversation with excited recalls  of perfect rises, perfect conditions and then a sudden three point turn in wind direction and all is spoilt.  Good Fishing is definitely at the mercy of the vagaries of the weather here.

Thomas Harten with his summer trout

Thomas Harten with his summer trout

The weight of the weight of the week was a trout of 4 ½ lbs caught by Mayo angler Michael Drew using a Silver Dabbler

Total number of trout recorded : 29

Selection of Catches

  • George Stonehouse, Cavan – 2 trout heaviest at 3 ½ lbs on Bibios and Dabblers.
  • Mark Prendergast, Castlebar – 6 trout for the week, using wet flies – Claret Dabblers and Bumblies, heaviest was 3 ½ lbs using an Orange Stimulator on the top dropper.
  • Peter McArdle, Dundalk – 3 trout, 2 at 1½ lbs and 1 at 2lbs, all on Sedges.
  • Cian Murtagh, Cavan – 1 trout at 2lbs on a Brown Daddy.
  • Pat Brady, Cavan – 2 trout at 2lbs (on the Murrough) and 2½ lbs on a Claret Bumble.


The Flies…

Leo Foley's lightly dressed Claret Dabbler

Leo Foley’s lightly dressed Claret Dabbler

Claret seems to be the colour for July here with the Claret Stimulator, Mallard & Claret, Claret Pennel and Claret Bumble all achieving modest degrees of success during daytime fishing.


There is a bewildering but exciting food choice out there on Sheelin with catches for this week swinging between Stimulators, Yellow Humpies, Claret coloured wet flies, Dabblers, small dry sedges, Daddies and Murrough patterns.  A Northern Ireland spooned his 3 pounder on Saturday to try to shed light on what exactly an angler should use now, his discovery being that the trout was packed with green sedge pupa and not a perch fry in sight……..

Muddler daddy

Muddler daddy – Kevin Sheridan

‘You pays your money and you takes your choice’ but one thing for sure this is not a time for procrastination for this kaleidoscopic fickle lake is putting up the challenge and as they say ‘anything worthwhile is worth the effort’

Kevin Sheridan's trout

Kevin Sheridan’s trout


With the weather being predominantly overcast along with our changeable winds wet fly fishing with patterns like the Silver Invicta, Wickhams Fancy, the Bibios and the Kate Mclaren had reasonable degrees of success. The use of natural or black cdc Emergers fished on the surface worked for some anglers. The cdc emerger in it’s many guises suggests an emerging insect caught in the surface tension of the water. Cdc emerger patterns are many and varied and include the ‘yellow owl’ shuttlecock, the brainchild of scots angler Bob Fitzpatrick, other variations include the natural cdc, the black cdc, fiery brown, hares ear and red too name but a few.  Being armed with at least a few cdc shuttlecock emergers is not a bad plan for Sheelin.

French angler in the waves

French angler in the waves

One long time Sheelin angler repeatedly tells me that summer on Sheelin means hoppers, hoppers and more hoppers.  Hoppers are a good general suggestive dry fly to use when you don’t know exactly what the fish are feeding on.  They roughly represent many species including adult buzzer, daddies and hawthorns. The Bristol Hopper is one of the best patterns to use.

The flies most used this week by anglers were the Murrough, a Small Brown Sedge (12-14 or smaller),  Klinkhammers, , the Bibio, Gorgeous George, Yellow Humpies, the Fiery Brown Sedge, the Chocolate Drop, the Grey Flag, hoppers, the Hare’s Ear Sedge, the Alexandra, the Sooty Olive, , the Sedge Invicta, the G&H Sedge,  the Black Pennel, the Claret Pennel, the Welshman’s Button, the Diawl Bach, the Pheasant Tailed Nymph, a variety of Bumbles, the Dabblers (Silver, Pearly and Green) and the Silver Invicta.

Go fishing…

Youth angling day

Noah Breen Johnston

Noah Breen Johnston

The Lough Sheelin Trout Protection Association will be hosting a Youth angling day on saturday July 15th. This popular event will include fly tying, fly casting and trout fishing followed by a Bar B Q. Casting instruction will be given by APGAI and participants will have the opportunity to catch fish and receive a small prize. For further details contact Thomas Lynch @ 087 9132033.

Up coming competitions

The McDonnell cup will be held on Saturday August 12th on Lough Sheelin, fishing from 11am till 6pm from Kilnahard pier..  This competition has been fished catch & release for the last four years, which proved to be very successful.  Measures will be provided for all boats with the cup awarded to the longest fish.  This competition is open to members of the club only but membership is available on the day

There will be lots of prizes on offer and this day is generally viewed as a great day out.

For further details contact Thomas Lynch @ 087 9132033.

House Rules

A permit is required to fish Lough Sheelin. Buy your permit online at: shop.fishinginireland.info or from any of the permit distributors listed here.

A catch & release policy is actively encouraged on the lake at all times

A catch & release policy is actively encouraged on the lake at all times

 BYE-LAW 949 strictly prohibits:

  • The taking of any brown trout of less than 36 centimetres.
  • For a person to fish with more than 2 rods at any one time.
  • To fish with more than 4 rods at any one time when there is more than one person on board the boat concerned.
  • For a person to take more than 2 trout per day.
  • All trolling on the lake from March 1st to June 16th (inclusive).
  • To fish or to attempt to take or to fish for, fish of any kind other than during the period from March 1st to October 12th in any year.

Join the Club…

For anyone interested in joining Lough Sheelin’s Angling Club – The Lough Sheelin Trout Protection Association please contact Thomas Lynch @ 087 9132033.

Guides and ghillies…

Grey Duster GuidingGrey Duster Guiding
Kenneth O’Keeffe
086 8984172 Email: trout@live.ie

Christopher Defillon
Tel: +33 68 596 4369  Email: evasionpecheirlande@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christopher.defillon

Lough Sheelin Guiding Services
Tel: 087 1245927 Web: www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com

John Mulvany
johnmulvanyfishing@gmail.com 086 2490076

D.C Angling & Guiding Services
contact David @ 087 3946989

Michael Farrell
Tel: 087 4194156 or  +353 43 6681298
Email: loughsheelinguide@hotmail.com

Michael Flanagan,
Trout and Pike Guide.
Email: mick@midlandangling.com Web: www.midlandangling.com


We would implore anglers and all other users to wear life jackets for their own safety as well as it being the law.

Getting it right – Caoimhe & Oisin Sheridan

Getting it right – Caoimhe & Oisin Sheridan

Life jackets are required by law – SI No 921 of 2005 – Pleasure Craft (Personal Flotation Devices and Operation) (Safety) Regulations 2005.Water  rarely gives second chances and a life jacket is just that – it saves your life.

Please put on and keep on that life jacket until you are back on dry land.

Sheelin Sunset

Sheelin Sunset

This post is in: Lough Sheelin, Trout fishing reports