May 20th to May 28th 2012

Sheelin fished exceptionally well throughout most of the week with a dip at the weekend due to gusty westerly winds sweeping across the lake making angling conditions difficult.

Sheelin is attracting large numbers of anglers with over one hundred boats on its waters on Tuesday afternoon/evening but at 4500 acres of water this lake can more than cope.  Interestingly enough although fished predominantly by the local enthusiasts this lake is attracting more and more ‘outsiders’ with fishermen from Sweden, Manchester, Scotland, America, France, Italy, Belgium and Germany featuring heavily this week as well as anglers from all corners of Ireland – North, South, East and West.

‘What a tourist terms a plague of insects, the fly fisherman calls a great hatch’  Patrick F.McManus
‘What a tourist terms a plague of insects, the fly fisherman calls a great hatch’ Patrick F.McManus

Fishing on this lake has no age boundary and this week we saw a big jump from a very excited five year old to 93 year old Sean McCaul from Cavan both of which caught trout with the older gentleman showing more composure than his younger counterpart but both being equally elated.

There were very good hatches of mayfly on all parts but particularly around Stony, Rusheen, Church island, Hollywell, Walkers and Orangefield which was reported to be ‘thick’ with mayfly particularly in the earlier part of the week.  There were massive falls of spent predominantly around Derry pt., Orangefield and Wilson’s pt. but in general there were huge quantities of fly in all areas of the lake.  There was good movement of fish throughout the week but these trout are not easily got and our anglers have to work hard for their catches.

The most popular flies being used are selections of wulffs (grey, green and royal), sedges, murroughs, green mayflies, buzzers, green drakes, welshman’s buttons and spents, also the normal wet patterns in mays and sooty olives and bumbles.

The humpy dry fly patterns worked well this week, these flies are large enough to entice the big fish, are easily seen and float well, a lot of fish around the 3 – 5 lb weight were caught on this fly, particularly using the red humpy.

The ‘humpy’ dry fly – red humpies fall into the same fly category as the Royal Coachman and Royal Wulff, renowened dry fly attractors
The ‘humpy’ dry fly – red humpies fall into the same fly category as the Royal Coachman and Royal Wulff, renowened dry fly attractors

The fish of the week has to be a beautiful 9 pounder caught by Thomas Lynch, Cavan using a green mayfly on Monday last.


On Wednesday May 23rd Richie Johnston and Charlie Stuart of film company Angling View Media returned to Lough Sheelin to film another piece for their promotional film on fishing within Ireland.  The two men were more than happy with their shots of hatching mayfly and fly life on the lake and Ritchie had the added bonus of landing himself a 4 lb wild trout.


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 7th.  Entry fee is €65 for a boating angler and €85 for non boating, the number of boating anglers will determine the number of non boating anglers

There will be numerous prizes which include:

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

A catch and release policy is actively encouraged on this lake and on this we have an Edinborough angler visiting at the moment – Vaughan Ruckley who is a great advocate and supporter of ‘catch and release’ and is at the moment researching and writing a book (referencing over 500 sources in the UK and Ireland) on this topic so this will be a very positive read in the near future – thank you Vaughan.

Barry Fox’s 6lb trout caught on a spent off Derry Pt.
Barry Fox’s 6lb trout caught on a spent off Derry Pt.


Some catches

In a week which saw 287 trout landed some of the notable catches were:

  • Paddy Lyons, Cavan (L.S.T.P.A) and Robert Lynch, Duleck – 2 trout on Tuesday May 22nd , heaviest was 4lbs, 5 trout on Wednesday, ranged between 1½ – 5½lbs, all caught on a dry spent.
  • Pat Savage, Navan – 3 trout on Sunday May 27th, biggest was 3½ lbs on a spent.
  • John McGauran – 10 trout, heaviest 5 lbs on Thursday May 24th, all released.
  • John Murray, Mullingar – using a dry may fly, 1 trout at 3½ lbs.
  • Barry Fox, Mullingar – as well as a beautiful 6 lb trout (picture included) Barry landed himself 4 other trout this week, included in this was a 8½ pounder using a stimulator, fishing around Derry pt.
  • Peter Carlin, Dublin – using a dry mayfly, 1 trout at 6lbs on May 22nd.
  • Thomas Lynch (L.S.T.P.A), Cavan – Thomas had excellent fishing from Sunday to Wednesday of last week with 2 fish of 6½ and 3½ lbs on May 20th, 3 fish on Monday weighing in at 9lbs, 3 and 2½lbs, 2 trout on Tuesday at 2 and 2½lbs and 4 on Wednesday, heaviest weighing in at 4lbs.  All these fish were caught on green dry mayflies and all caught during the evening.
  • Morris Little, Cavan – 1 trout at 4 lbs on a dry green mayfly on 22nd May.
  • 16 anglers from Antrim – these annual visitors to the lake only landed in Finea last Friday and will be here for the week, so far they are having good fishing with the heaviest caught so far at 5lbs yesterday using a spent, although the green wulff has been the favourite poison used with these men – all are released.
  • Gary McKiernan, Cavan – last Monday May 21st one beautiful trout of 5lbs using a dry mayfly around Stony islands.  Gary along with 2 Galway men landed 2 other trout of 2½ lb each the following day May 22nd.
  • Peter McArdle & Ken Kearns, Dundalk – 17 trout for the week, averaged 2½ – 5¼lbs, heaviest fish was caught in the Sailors Garden, all were caught using the spent.
  • Morris McDevitt, Donegal – 6 fish on the spent, averaging 2½ – 5½ lbs.
  • Mickey McCluskey, Donegal – fishing around Ross and mid lake, 6 trout averaging 1½ – 3½ lbs.
  • Billy Sweeney, Donegal – 5 fish averaged 1½ – 2½ lbs fishing using the spent around Orangefield and Chambers.
  • Brian McAdams, Derry – fishing around Orangefield, 3 trout at 1½ – 2½ lbs, fishing the spent.
  • Dessie McNabb, Derry – using spent and dry greens, 2 trout at 1½ and 3¾ lbs.
  • Owain Pickersgill, Mullingar – on 21st May 1 trout at 4lbs using a dry wulff.

Brenda Montgomery

28th May, 2012

Kevin Sheridan with a beautiful 5lb trout Caught on May 20th – released.
Kevin Sheridan with a beautiful trout – released.
Gareth Jones, Wales - 4½ lb Caught during The Spring International - released
Gareth Jones, Wales - Caught during The Spring International - released