The weather last week made fishing on Lough Sheelin both difficult and challenging for anglers – dropping evening temperatures, north east winds and showers of hail were not inviting combinations but despite all this fishermen were not deterred and all days saw numbers of boats scattered across the lake.  The continually changing wind directions particularly at the weekend made it hard to fish in the favourite spots and it was next to impossible to find a sheltered pocket to get stuck in.

4lbs Sheelin Trout  31st March, 2012
4lbs Sheelin trout caught a few weeks ago on 31st March, 2012

Last Monday the lake was flat calm and although ‘the hands would drop off you with the cold’ the Sheelin trout were on the move, with large numbers rising particularly around the Sailors Garden and Bog Bay end of the lake.  Huge hatches of olives were in evidence on most days, with good hatches of duck fly reported around Goreport on Sunday afternoon. There was a late rise of buzzer on Sunday night, but the buzzer is having difficulty due to the dipping temperatures.

A lot of anglers are fishing with olives but Sheelin trout will only feed on olives if they are splashing on the surface of the water if not the angler has to use another type of ‘fly’ poison.

One angler dragging a line landed himself a crayfish which he has not seen in the lake for ‘over thirty years’.  Crayfish are good and indicative of clean water so although this was not the desired trout it still in itself was a lovely catch.  The crayfish was carefully returned to the lake.

On Saturday April 14th film company Angling View Media visited Lough Sheelin.  This company has been contracted to produce 7 promotional films on fishing within Ireland and Lough Sheelin has been chosen for one of these films.

Last year this team produced a film called ‘Follow the Fly’ which also contained extracts from Sheelin in it.  Charlie Stewart and Richie Johnson along with their crew despite the cold were very happy with what they found and filmed the playing and landing of a beautiful wild 4½ – 4¾ lbs trout using a dabbler X olive combination in the Bog Bay area of the lake, they also lost another over 3 lb fish which was sufficient to bring this crew back later on in the season to continue filming.

Some catches

Richie Meacle with his best trout of the day
Richie Meacle fished Sheelin last Thursday with his father. They had 4 trout, including this beautifully coloured fish, all of which were returned safely.

Andrew Browne – Monday April 16th one trout at 2¾ lbs, wet fly fishing using a small olive in the Bog Bay area of the lake.  Andrew had 4 fish on and although he admitted the fish were ‘hard got’ he had a ‘most enjoyable’ day.

2 Offaly men staying at Innyside guesthouse, Finea fished the lake on Wednesday and Thursday and caught 4 fish heaviest at 5lbs using a claret bumble in Sailor’s Garden.

Martin Connor, Armagh – 4 trout wet fly fishing, heaviest was 5 lbs.

Peter McArdle & Ken Kearns, Dundalk – 3 trout 1-1½ lbs, all returned, fishing with small olives in the Bog Bay end of the lake on Saturday April 21st.  Both Peter and Ken saw a lot of small wild trout around the 9” mark but both anglers had difficulties negotiating the weather conditions with continually changing wind directions on that day.

Morris McDivitt, Donegal – Saturday April 21st using a dry olive one wild trout at 2½ lbs.

Brendan Carr, Belfast – one trout @ 2lbs using a buzzer.  Some trout were moving on the buzzer on Saturday night April 21st. There was also a late rise on Sunday.

Cian & Darra Murtagh, Baileborough, Cavan – Friday April 20th three trout wet fly fishing around Stoney, heaviest fish was 4 lbs.

Gene Brady, Ballinagh, Cavan – Despite a biting North wind Gene landed 3 lovely wild trout last week @ 2½, 3 and 3½ lbs using olives around Sailor’s Garden.

Tony Devlin, Tyrone – using a ginger quill, one trout at 1½ lbs around Bog Bay and Goreport areas of the lake on Sunday April 22nd.

Tony was with a friend of his from Dublin – Christie and although Christie said the fishing on Sunday was ‘all bad’ for him he told me that when he was leaving Finea he just wanted to ‘go back’ on to the lake and no doubt he will in the near future.  Both men reported fabulous hatches of olives.

Michael Kelly, Dublin – Wednesday April 18th – 8 trout averaging 2 – 4 lbs caught on mixes of large olives, buzzer, chernobyll and BF flies.  Michael caught these fish throughout the day and left the lake at 7pm.  Heaviest fish was caught on a ‘Pinky’.  Thursday April 19th – 5 trout averaging 1½ – 3lbs in the Goreport/Bog Bay section of the lake, 3lb caught using a dry buzzer, 2 caught on a BF when the wind was up.  Friday April 20th with a friend, 5 trout pulling wets averaged 1 – 2½ lbs, best was 3½ lbs caught in the evening just before a shower of hail.

Sheelin Classic trout competition

The popular Sheelin Classic trout competition now in its 8th year will be run on Lough Sheelin on Sunday June 10th 2012 – 11am to 6pm.  There will be a 15” size limit and only 2 fish per competitor.  This competition will involve an open draw for partners and entries must be in by June 1st.  Entry fee is €65 for a boating angler and €85 for non boating.  There will be numerous prizes:

  • 1st 19ft Sheelin boat & trailer & crystal
  • 2nd 5 hp 4 stroke outboard engine & crystal
  • 3rd €54 & electric engine & crystal

Please contact Noel McLoughlin for further details @ 087 2179460

A catch and release policy is actively encouraged on this lake.

Brenda Montgomery, IFI


There will be days when the fishing is better than one’s most optimistic forecast, others when it is far worse.  Either is a gain over just staying home.
Roderick Haig-Brown, Fisherman’s Spring, 1951