Brenda Montgomery reports from Lough Sheelin – March 3rd to March 10th, 2013

The Lake
The beauty of a lake is that it is always changing,
With the light, the weather and the season.
Yet each change holds a splendor all its own,
Each viewing precious for its own reason.
By Karl Fuchs

 

<strong><em>Sheelin weaves its magic again for delighted angler Andrew Brown with this wonderful 4 ½ lb trout caught on March 6th using Andrew’s own creation – a glister big Ollie</em></strong>.
Sheelin weaves its magic again for delighted angler Andrew Brown with this wonderful 4 ½ lb trout caught on March 6th using Andrew’s own creation – a glister big Ollie.

Fishing was challenging on the lake during the week due to the cold and choppy conditions that stubbornly prevailed.  Wednesday in particular confined anglers to shorelines and sheltered bays as the middle of the lake was rough and I found our own boat difficult to control – ‘uncomfortable’ would be an apt word to describe it but Sheelin is doing well to the constant observer, after all we are only just over a week into the season and already this lake is giving its fishermen a taste of what’s to come for 2013.

Trout that were caught this week were in beautiful condition, wild and feisty causing the capturer’s heart to skip several beats as he played in his fish.

Fishing is a sport and for that, Sheelin is unbeatable.  Grey skies, cold and unpredictability are all part of the package but the thrill is in the chase and this lake hands that out in abundance and unconditionally to all those who chose to avail of it.

At this time of the year when March is promising to ‘come in like a lion’ an hour or two out fishing will more than fortify the soul and brings with it an unrivalled escapism from the mundane of every day life.

A very good ghillie service operates from Lough Sheelin (www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com) and two of the men involved– Gary McKiernan and Andrew Brown showed us ‘how it’s done’ by catching some lovely fish during the week despite difficult conditions.  This site is worth checking out for the novice or intrepid angler.

Gary McKiernan with his 2 ½ lb trout caught on Wednesday March 6th
Gary McKiernan with his 2 ½ lb trout caught on Wednesday March 6th

Fishing with wet flies is probably the best method on this lake for the moment or at least until the hatch of the duck fly in early to mid April.  A variety of wet fly patterns are being used but mainly the most popular  are the Hares Ear, Claret & Mallard, Sooty Olive, Silver Invicta, Sawyer’s Killer Bug and Sweeney Todd  and then of course there are the various ‘creations’ by experienced Sheelin anglers who might share their secrets if asked nicely……

Artifical pupae (like the Invicta) are best fished ‘sink and draw’ on a floating line and a long leader.  It can sometimes pay to twitch a floating artificial occasionally to simulate the struggles of the natural.

Some trout have been caught this year on lures.  The line between lures and ‘imitative’ patterns is scarcely less blurred than that between traditional and attractor patterns.  Some lures like nymphs, which come in exotic colours bear little or no resemblance to any living creatures.  It seems probable that trout take these lures out of curiosity or aggression.  Black lures of any description are the most consistently reliable on lakes and the Black Minkie has proved to be a very useful lure on Sheelin.

Andrew Browne’s 2.75 lb trout caught off  the Sally islands using a silver invicata on Saturday March 9th.
Andrew Browne’s 2.75 lb trout caught off the Sally islands using a silver invicata on Saturday March 9th.
The Silver Invicta
The Silver Invicta

The first competition of the year on Sheelin – The Kilroy Cup will be held on the lake on March 18th from 11.0 am – 5pm.  Please contact Thomas Lynch @ 087 9132033 for further details

Heaviest fish of the week

Andrew Brown’s 4 ½ lb trout caught in Chambers bay using a glister Ollie on March 6th.

Total catch recorded for the week 12

Selection of catches:

Larry MacAlinden, Co. Down – on March 9th, one trout at 2 ½ lbs wet fly fishing around Chambers Bay.

 

Gary McKiernan, Sheelinguidingservices – Wednesday March 6th 2 trout at 2 and 2 ¼ lb  using wet flies.

 

Andrew Brown, Dublin – Wednesday March 6th 1 trout at 4 ½ in Chambers Bay using a glister Ollie, Saturday March 9th 1 trout off the Sally islands weighing in at almost 3 lbs using a silver invicta.

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

Please remember anglers that the size limit on this lake is 30 cm (11.8 inches) – we need our small fish alive…….

Andrew’s 4 ½ pounder is carefully released
Andrew’s 4 ½ pounder is carefully released

What else is happening at Sheelin

The local angling club – The LSTPA have started a project (in conjunction with IFI) of rehabilitation and enchancement of the Carrick river which is one of the 9 rivers which flow into Lough Sheelin.

  • Stage 1 of this project involved the opening up of this river by the cutting back and removal of trees, bushes and briars that have encroached on and inhibited this nice little nursery river which lies close to Carrick chapel.
  • Stage 2 will involve in-stream work which cannot start (due to spawning) till mid May.

This project which will hopefully be Leader funded shows the continual commitment of this club to do what their name states – protect Lough Sheelin who’s rivers of course are an integral part of the lake.

The Carrick River after Stage 1 rehabilitation work
The Carrick River after Stage 1 rehabilitation work

A change is coming –

Where are all our female anglers?? This question was asked of me several times last year and for once I didn’t have an answer but it’s true – of the hundreds of permits sold here last year only one was bought by a woman.

This year it’s going to be different because over the winter months a growing number of young women mainly from the locality have expressed an interest in learning to fish on the lake, after all the queen mother was a very skilled fly fisherwoman so maybe we’ll find her counterpart from our enthusiastic group of ladies.  Watch this space…….

Brenda Montgomery IFI