Lough Sheelin Angling Report By Brenda Montgomery, IFI March 18th to March 24th, 2013

For the man sound in body and serene of mind there is no such thing as bad weather;

every sky has its beauty, and storms which whip the blood do but make it pulse more vigorously. ~George Gissing

‘Before the snow’ – Early morning at Lough Sheelin March 19th

Last Wednesday March 20th heralded the Spring Equinox (equal hours of day and night)– the first day of Spring and it was actually the only day of calm on the lake.  All through the week temperatures never rose beyond 5 degrees and rain and winds swept relentlessly across the lake making things dangerous and near impossible for our anglers. We were even ‘treated’ to some unseasonable snow on Tuesday. The statistics office announced that it is the coldest March for 50 years which doesn’t make life easy for the fishermen.

It is certainly not the kind of weather that would attract any hatch of fly and so this month continues on, coming in and seemingly going out’ like a lion’.

The lures are still ruling with the Minkie being in top position either in black or a pale peach colour.  All anglers are still fishing ‘the wets’ with flies like the Silver Invicta, Hare’s ear, the March Brown, the Dabbler Claret, the Dabbler Golden Olive, the Black Snatcher and also a weighted olive and Spot-on-Tan Shrimps achieving certain degrees of successes. Because of the wild conditions at the end of the week anglers confined themselves to the bays and sheltered shorelines.  There is no so called ‘bad or lean’ areas all places on this lake are achieving results and fishing well and any trout being  caught are always in excellent condition, thick from top to tail with clear well defined spots.

Despite a North East wind blowing straight from Russia tearing across the lake Michael Farrell,

Finea was not deterred and was rewarded for his effort with this beautiful 4lb trout caught on a dabbler and returned

Ned Clinton, Crover with his 3.08 lbs trout caught on a Minkie on Monday March 18th.


Kenneth O’Keefe (winner with a 5.14 lb trout) being presented

with The Kilroy Cup by chairman of the Lough Sheelin Protection Association Mr Frank Kelly

The Kilroy Cup was the first competition of the season on Lough Sheelin held on March 18th but sometimes in our enthusiasm to fish it’s easy to forget as to whom we are remembering so as a gentle reminder to us all – this cup was named after a Mr Tony Kilroy who lived close to Lough Sheelin all his life and was somewhat of an icon in that he was secretary of the Lough Sheelin Protection Association from the 1920’s to late 1960’s , he was a fanatical trout fisherman and a devotee of this lake.

This year was the most successful for this competition (see last week’s angling report).

What else is happening on Sheelin

The Gathering is the people’s party and throughout 2013, Ireland is opening its arms to hundreds of thousands of friends and family from all over the world, calling them home to gatherings in villages, towns and cities and for Sheelin June 7th to June 9th is when it’s all happening with the highlight of that weekend being The Sheelin Classic Competition hosted on the lake by the Kells Anglers and supported by the local angling club – The L.S.T.P.A.

The Sheelin Classic now in its 9th year is an extremely popular trout fishing competition (heaviest fish with a bag limit of 2) which attracts anglers locally and from all over Ireland as well this year because of The Gathering, from abroad.

The first prize is the coveted Davy O’Connor perpetual cup, a boat & engine and a piece of crystal, there will a 2nd, 3rd and 4th as well as numerous other prizes.

This is a competition well worth marking in your diary and 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

The March Brown

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

Heaviest Catch of the Week:

Michael Farrell his 2 trout at 4lb each caught on March 20th using Dabblers and Invicatas.

The Pearly Dabbler

Total number of catches recorded:  12

Selection of Catches

Michael Farrell, Finea – on Wednesday March 20th 3 trout, 1 trout at 2lbs and 2 at 4 lbs each caught on dabblers and a silver invicta.

John Gaffney, Dublin – on Wednesday March 20th, 2 trout at 1 ¾ lbs and 2 lbs both caught using a March Brown.

The Spring Equinox on Sheelin – cold and calm, March 20th


With cold weather forecasted to last through to the Easter weekend all we can do is wrap up and dream of what’s to come on this lake!

Brenda Montgomery, IFI

Lough Sheelin