Lough Sheelin Angling Report By Brenda Montgomery, IFI April 29th – May 5th

“I have fished through fishless days that I remember happily without regret.” – Roderick Haig-Brown

Andrew Brown, Dublin practices the catch & release policy on Sheelin as he lets his 5lb trout caught on a dabbler back into the water

The week started off cold with west to north west winds, bright sunshine and frosts of 1 – 2 degrees at night, winds changed to a warmer south west towards the end of the week but created mayhem on Friday afternoon/evening with stretches of ‘white water’ covering large sections of the lake.  The absence of fly life on the water is frustrating particularly as over the weekend with the increase in temperature there seemed to be some hatches of buzzer around and on the shoreline but little or nothing carrying out on to the water. It’s not just the fishermen that are searching for fly life, the swallows have returned to the lake and are continually sweeping low to the water in search of the elusive fly.

The bank holiday weekend started off turbulent with most anglers on saturday sticking to sheltered areas although there were a few brave souls out in the open who they were rewarded for their tenacity with some lovely catches of trout touching the 5 lb mark in some cases.  Life member Oliver McCormack certainly seemed unperturbed by Saturday’s rough conditions as he coolly landed himself a trout of over 4 ½ lbs using a green stimulator. Sunday was the best fishing day of the week with warmth and a kick to the water.

It is still early days for Sheelin as far as the mayfly is concerned and a lot of anglers are appearing for the first time this season on the lake, John Harrington president of the Dublin anglers was tentatively pushing out his boat ‘The King Fisher’ into Chambers Bay and was more concerned about immersing himself in the peacefulness and tranquility of the lake than with catching a trout. He had recently been on a visit to Kehlsteinhaus in Austria, a retreat designed by a famous German leader and he equated the beauty of that building overlooking the sweeping green landscape of Berchtesgaden to Sheelin, in that this lake had the same peaceful effect on him as the famous ‘Eagle’s Nest’ in Austria.

Anglers are reporting plenty of movement of fish but this week they seemed on some days hard to connect with but one fact that nobody denies is that this lake has a big of stock of lovely trout beneath its surface, it’s just a question of finding the right attraction…and better weather

It’s still all wet fly fishing and lures predominantly the dabblers (peter ross, green and claret), cock robin, johnson’s fancy, sooty olives, claret bumble, sooty olive bumble, gosling, octopus, stimulators (claret and green) and minkies.  With the flies it seems to help to have a little bit of sparkle threaded through the fly.

Playing a fish – May 2nd, Lough Sheelin











A goose protectively shields her 5 goslings against the waves crashing against the Crover shoreline, Lough Sheelin May 3rd.

It was good to see some visiting anglers from abroad fishing the lake this week, mainly French, New Zealanders and Australians.  Twelve french anglers from Paris made their debut on to the lake last Tuesday and will remain until May 4th and in their own words about Sheelin – ‘c’est le plus beau fleuron de Irelande’.

We are now heading into mid-May and the lack of fly life on the lake is worrying but it is hoped that once the warmer weather settles in that things will become ‘normal’ once more.

Danny Murray, Dublin with his 3 ½ lb trout caught on May 2nd

Bob Priestly assures us he is wearing an english floatation jacket in this photo.

Bob Priestley with his trout caught on a silver dabbler in Bog Bay

Gary McKiernan of www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com with his 5 lb trout caught May 3rd

Danny Murray, Dublin holding his ‘soon to be’ released fish of 2 ¾ lbs caught May 2nd

Andrew Brown’s 2 ½ lb trout caught on a dabbler

The Gathering is coming to Crover House Hotel, Lough Sheelin on the weekend June 7th, 8th and 9th and as part of this the local angling club – The LSTPA in conjunction with Cavan County Council are hosting an angling day primarily to attract anglers and would be anglers from outside the state.  Local ghillies will be giving their day free to bring anglers out fishing on the lake and there will be fly tying, casting, a competition with prizes finishing up with a Bar B Q at Crover House Hotel.  This not to be missed event will be free but places are limited and those of you from Northern Ireland or from overseas should contact

Eamon Ross @ 087 9436655 or Thomas Lynch @ 087 9132033


The popular Sheelin Classic trout competition now in its 9th year will be run on Lough Sheelin on Sunday June 9th 2013 – 11am to 6pm.  This is a heaviest fish competition with 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 May 31st. Entry fee is €70 for a boating angler and €90 a non-boating angler.  Entry fee includes a meal in Crover House after the competition

There will be numerous prizes (up to 10) which include:

1st 19ft Sheelin boat & trailer & crystal & the coveted Davey O’Connor perpetual cup

2nd 5 hp 4 stroke outboard engine & crystal

This is a competition well worth marking in your diary and because of the popularity of the Sheelin Classic and to avoid disappointment, it is advisable to secure your entry sooner rather than later by contacting Noel McLoughlin at 087 2179460 for further information

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

Please remember anglers to abide by BYE-LAW 790 – we need to keep our small fish alive……………

Heaviest catch for the week was a 7 ½ lb trout caught by Thomas Harton on Sunday May 5th using a golden olive stimulator.

Total number of trout recorded: 53

(in most cases anglers are releasing their catches)

Selection of Catches

Pa Tormey, Kells – 2 trout at 2 2 ½ lbs

Thomas Harton, Cavan – on Sunday May 5th 6 trout heaviest was 7 ½ lbs using a golden olive stimulator and a pearly dabbler.

Ivan Bolton, New Zealand fishing with Ned Clinton – April 30th 2 trout at 2 ½ and 2 lbs.

Gary McKiernan (www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com) – May 3rd 3 trout heaviest 5 lbs. all released.

Danny Murray, Terenure, Dublin – on May 2nd availing of loughsheelinguidingservies landed himself 4 trout heaviest was 3 ½ lbs, the rest weighed in at 2, 2 ½ and 2 ¾ lbs, all trout were released

Pat Sweeney, Cavan – 1 trout at 3 ½ lbs

Oliver McCormack, Cavan – using a green stimulator 1 trout at 4 ½ lbs on Saturday May 4th around Lynch’s pt. later on that afternoon Oliver landed himself 2 other fish at 2 and 2 ½ lbs again using the green stimulator.

Patsy Smith, Cavan – 2 trout at 3 and 2 ½ lbs

Aidan Heffernan, Dublin – 2 trout at 1 ½ – 2lbs wet fly fishing.

Eamon Ross, Cavan – on May 6th 3 trout heaviest was 2 ½ lbs using a peter ross dabbler.

Thomas Lynch, Cavan – 1 trout on Saturday May 4th at 3 ¾ lbs and 2 trout on Sunday May 5th at 2 and 2 ½ lbs, all landed using a claret dabbler.

Gary McKiernan (www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com) – local ghillie Gary took out on his own on Sunday and landed himself two lovely trout at 1 ¾ and 2 lbs on a claret dabbler.

Noel McLoughlin, Kells – May 5th 3 trout heaviest was 5 ¼ lbs using a claret dabbler around Goreport.  May 6th 2 trout at 2  and 2 ½ lbs using a dabbler.

Gary Connor, Armagh – on Saturday 3 fish heaviest weighed in at 5 ½ lbs, all caught using a dabbler.

Peter McArdle, Dundalk – on Saturday May 4th 1 trout at 2 lbs on a claret dabbler.

Ken Kearns, Dundalk – on May 4th using a bibio 1 trout at 2 ½ lbs.

Brenda Montgomery IFI