Lough Sheelin report by Brenda Montgomery, IFI – March 1st to March 3rd, 2013

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips it’s turn.”
Hal Borland (1900-1978);

 

Crover, Lough Sheelin
Crover, Lough Sheelin

It’s been a long winter or feels that way for many of Lough Sheelin’s anglers and as the opening season date – Friday March 1st approached there was a welcome appearance of clean and freshly painted boats lined up like soldiers in Kilnahard and at various locations around the lake which for the past months have been deserted except for the odd forlorn out wintered boat, its bow inevitably sticking out of the receding flood water.

While this great lake rested, its catchment did not and was caught up in a roller coaster of dramas and losses –  swinging from armed raids and kidnapping in its local town, to the deaths of three great anglers, to the shooting of garda Adrian Donohoe a native of the catchment, to its meat factory – Liffey Meats being embroiled in the horse meat scandal and finally with deep sadness we record  the death of the greatest advocate, supporter and lover of Sheelin, the irreplaceable and irrepressible Trevor Champ retired research officer with the then Central Fisheries Board. He will be greatly missed – Requiesce in Pace, mi amice.

‘The ever shifting sands of ever moving time.’

The local angling club – The Lough Sheelin Protection Association held their AGM last Saturday evening, February 23rd in Crover House Hotel.  The meeting was well attended and the enthusiasm and excitement about the new season was barely containable and it felt like a kick off to the angling season.  In an age where recession and depression dominant I felt honored ( as a guest speaker) to witness the strength and passion of this angling club who forge forward regardless of everything and who’s heart is solely dedicated to the protection and care of Lough Sheelin.

For anyone who is interested in joining this club, please contact Eamonn Ross 087 @ 9436655 or Thomas Lynch @ 087 9132033.

The L.S.T.P.A were not idle during the close season and ran a very successful series of fly tying classes starting in November and ending last Monday February 25th, these classes were very popular and the enthusiastic participants ranged in age from 8 up to over 60 years.  More of these classes will undoubtedly be run later this year.

Jack Brady, Mountnugent, Cavan at the LSTPA fly tying class at Lough Sheelin
Jack Brady, Mountnugent, Cavan at the LSTPA fly tying class at Lough Sheelin

 

Sheelin is back….

Peter Boyle with his 5lb trout caught March 1st on Sheelin
Peter Boyle with his 5lb trout caught March 1st on Sheelin

Sheelin stamped its mark of superiority on the very first day of the trout season courtesy of Peter Boyle, Monaghan who caught 3 trout at 1 ½, 3 ½ and 5 lbs.

The first three days of the fishing season was cold with temperatures dipping to 1 degree at night and averaging 7 – 8 degrees during the day, this coupled with flat windless conditions made fishing tricky as trout go down deep in the cold and are generally reluctant to surface.

In early season for Lough Sheelin the trout are mainly fishing on freshwater shrimp and freshwater louse.  The best fishing is mainly along rocky shores and exposed points, depending on wind direction, the areas worth trying are the Sailors Garden, the south shore of Derrysheridan, Ross bay and all the north shore from Chambers Bay to Crover.

Peter Boyle releases a fish on the first day of the season
Peter Boyle releases a fish on the first day of the season

Wet fly fishing is best at the beginning of the season and fly patterns such as Hare’s Ear, Claret & Mallard and Sooty Olive can work well particularly if conditions get a little milder (as promised later on in the week).  A large black lure like the Sweeney Todd fished on a sink tip line or a Minky are all worth trying

The first competition of the year – 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.

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

Please remember All anglers are required to have a Fishery Permit to fish Lough Sheelin which must be purchased before going out on the lake.

Sheelin awaits its anglers - February 28th 2013
Sheelin awaits its anglers - February 28th 2013

Brenda Montgomery IFI