April 8th to April 14th, 2013

With every cast the possibility of perfection arises. That brief moment when randomness ceases to exist and time and the universe stop to enjoy the beauty of your struggle.

Lyman Yee, in Fly Rod & Reel, July/October 2004.

Gary playing a fish

There are no  mountains around Sheelin but for many anglers who live in sight of mountains their angling ‘rule of thumb’ is to wait until the snow has gone off the peaks before fishing this lough so as a result we are still missing a large contingent of anglers because the snow stubbornly still remains.

Monday and Tuesday of this week were plagued by the return of the cold easterly winds. On Tuesday the lake was covered with white horses and these rough conditions forced the anglers to the confines of the bays and sheltered areas around the islands, there was however no complaints from Sligo angler Frank Stenson who  caught an impressive 6 lb trout just outside the bay at kilnahard using a peter ross dabbler.

Friday was positively mild with temperatures hitting the 10 degrees and this improvement in weather was clearly reflected with a marked improvement in the number of anglers on the lake and with that an increase in catches.  It felt like Spring was finally here but it was lucky we all contained our excitement as the weekend hit back with frosts, rain and strong south to southwesterly winds knocking the fishermen back again

It is an undisputable fact that the  weather this season so far has been challenging for the fishermen – it feels like there have been numerous ‘false starts’ and as yet the anglers haven’t had a proper clear run at this lake and as we are now into mid-April that could be called frustrating.

Normally there is a first major hatch of duck fly from now, about April 15th onwards to peak in late April and continue to early May but this has so far been a strange year with everything behind schedule (absolutely no sign of any olives, whereas this time last year there were plenty) so it will be interesting to see what happens.  Disappointingly the fly hatches on the water have been small and scattered mainly in the sheltered areas where there is a bit of calm water.  On Saturday there were huge hatches of duck fly in the bushes around Orangefield but with the stormy weather and cold water none ventured out on the lake’s surface and we presume that they eventually died off without touching the water.  At this late stage one would think that perhaps the duck fly is coming to an end and that we will be moving into buzzer fishing soon – it’s only a thought.. This lake needs fresh water and a bit of mixing up to get things freshened up so the expression around here ‘a bit of rain is badly wanted’ rings true for Sheelin at the moment.

There was some movement of fish at the weekend but it was sporadic and it was difficult for the fishermen to cope with the gusty conditions as well as focusing on their fishing.

The weather feels like a big heavy over coat which we have been struggling to shed since March 1st but so far it’s still on our back.


Colm Lynch, Navan with his beautiful trout weighing in at over 3lbs
Thomas Lynch (www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com) with his 4lbs fish caught last Wednesday April 10th on a silver ollie

They say that no day is the same fishing Sheelin and for this week that was certainly true, with a mixed bag of weather and a wide variety of flies being used with various degrees of success.

The most popular flies used were a selection of dabblers – Peter Ross ,Claret, Fiery Brown and Pearly and also the Silver Ollie, Hare’s ear, March brown, Silver Invicta, Cock Robin The dunkeld, Sweeney todd, Raymund, Jack Flash as well as the Minky’s and Stimulators

The Dabbler has proved popular on Sheelin this year and indeed in previous ones.  This fly was devised by a man whose nick name was Dabbler and so the name stuck on his invention which was originally golden-olive made from some carpet material he had on hand.  Now the Dabbler comes in many different styles but its original purpose remains the same it that it is supposed to be fished in front of a drifting boat in a good wave so last Saturday with those strong south westerly’s should of done the trick using this fly….

Frank Stenson, Sligo with his 6lb trout (25'') caught using a Peter Ross Dabbler on April 9th
Gary McKiernan with his 2½ lb Trout caught on a Claret Dabbler

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


Selection of Catches

Declan Conlon, Kildare – on Saturday April 13th, 3 trout at 6 ½, 4 ½ and 3 ½ lbs in Chambers Bay using a sooty olive and a silver dunkeld.


Frank Stenson and Seamus Corrigan, Sligo – Tuesday April 9th Frank landed his fish of the week a 25” 6lb trout despite white wave conditions and being confined to the bay out from Kilnahard.  This fish was caught using a peter ross dabbler.


Thomas Lynch (www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com) – April 10th fishing with Maurice Lyttle, Mountnugent 1 trout at 4lbs at Holywell on a silver Ollie and 1 trout at 2 ¼ lbs in Chambers bay. On Saturday April 13th around Watty’s rock 1 trout at 1 ¾ lb using a silver Ollie.


Aidan Heffernan, Dublin – in Walkers Bay on April 13th 2 trout at 2 and 3lbs.


Simon York, Moate – on Saturday April 13th using a black Minkie, 2 trout at 2 ½ and 3 ½ lbs.


Paul Lunney, Derrylin – on April 13th, wet fly fishing 1 trout at 1 ½ lbs.


Gary McKiernan ( 087 1245927) – 3 trout on Wednesday April 10th using a Claret Dabbler, best weighed in at 2 ½ lbs.


Colin Cahill, Carbery – on Saturday April 13th, 3 trout heaviest at 3 lbs.


John Brennan – on April 13th , 2 trout at 1 ½ – 2 ½ lbs wet fly fishing.


Michael Kelly, Dublin – on Friday April 12th fishing the western shore, 3 trout heaviest 2 ½ lb caught using a Raymond on a floating line around Orangefield, Other trout averaged 1 ½ – 2 lbs caught using Michael’s own variation of the Dabbler.  On Saturday April 13th Michael caught a 2 ½ lb trout using a pink Minky on a drift at Reynolds and 2 more trout at 3 – 3 ½ lbs in the Bog Bay again using a pink Minky.


Thomas Harton, Kilnaleck – on Friday April 12th 1 trout at 1  ½ lbs on the wets.


Peter Boyle, Monaghan – on Wednesday April 10th, 5 trout (all released) heaviest weights at 3 ½ and 3 lbs, fishing around Wilson’s pt. using a peter ross dabbler and a pearl & black humongous.


Colm Lynch, Navan (East Coast Angling) – 1 trout averaging over 3lbs on the wet on April 13th.