Lough Sheelin Angling Report By Brenda Montgomery, IFI August 12th to August 18th 2013

“The angler forgets most of the fish he catches, but he does not forget the lakes in which they are caught.”

– Charles K. Fox

Sheelin’s Caperer (Halesus radiates)

Sheelin flexed its muscles this week in a seeming warm up for the fast approaching last leg of the fishing season and in the process gave its anglers a taste of what is to come over the next four to five weeks.
There were good catches of trout with the heaviest recorded for this week as tipping just over the 6 lb mark caught by Italian angler – Renzo Giordano. The number fishing the lake is increasing as the anglers, a lot of whom last visited the lake during the mayfly, are now returning to this great trout fishery.  The one thing that has remained a constant over the past number of weeks has been the impressive rises of trout reported by all anglers leaving nobody in any doubt as to the extensive stock of trout within this lake.

A heavy weight Sheelin trout caught on a Fiery Hopper

The trout are steadily moving away from their recent fry feeding frenzy and are now taking sedges and a variety of other insects available to them on and below the surface.
It is an annual and accepted occurrence that after the mayfly is over the trout ‘go on’ the perch fry but this year the gorging on fry seemed to have lasted an eternity so the change of diet which started happening during the first week in August was met with a great sigh of relief by all the Sheelin anglers.  One of the reasons why the trout move away from the fry is that the perch are getting bigger and the shoals which used to be easy to target are now breaking up and spreading out, this coupled with the fact that the fry are now getting bigger and faster means that the trout have to work a lot harder to catch their meal so they move on to the easier prey of sedges and nymphs..
The most successful flies this week were the klinkhammers, hoppers (particularly the fiery hopper), the red arsed peter, the claret dabbler and the claret bumble, also a wide variety of wets and dries did achieve some degree of success as well.

Fiery Brown Hopper

Elk Hair Hopper

The Claret Hopper

Fishing the Hopper requires a leap of faith for most fly fishers.  The Hopper will fish deep in the surface film, often hanging by surface tension right underneath it, and this is exactly where the angler wants them.  Anglers won’t get too many splashy takes with these flies, just nice confident slurps from the trout, counting to three before striking and the angler will be well and truly in.  With Hoppers the trick is to move the fly slowly when beginning to recast, so instead of ripping the flies off the water, a slow and steady lift is needed before applying the power into the back cast, this drags the Hopper across the surface, producing that lovely wake that active fish find so enthralling.
The weather was very favourable for fishing throughout the week with only a few hiccups here and there when there were heavy deluges of rain particularly on Thursday which chased the fish down deep.  Overall conditions were good with Tuesday being the best day with text book cloud cover, steady winds giving the desired corduroy ripple and temperatures hovering around the early twenty degree mark.
Day time fishing is best and depending on cloud cover and wind directions alternated between mornings and late afternoons for some good catches.  There were on occasions some very black ominous skies which stuck around for a long time before a heavy shower broke up the dense coverage.  Very black clouds are not good news because if the sky is black, the water will be blacker and the fish will not surface to feed.

Tony Grehan's 2lb trout on Sheelin

Mick Devereaux 1.5lb trout

It was encouraging to see the Garda All Ireland fly fishing competition – The Ulster Shield return to Sheelin this year – August 14th, after a number of year’s absence.  Sheelin did not disappoint the competitors and by producing some lovely catches and great rises of trout has secured its place as a venue for this prestigious for 2014.  The winner of this year’s competition was Mullingar angler (now stationed in Dublin) Mario Kenny with a trout weighing in at 2.7lbs.  Most of the fish caught were on the wets – the dabblers, peters and some perch fry imitations also featured.

John Murphy, Crover with his 48cm trout caught on a Claret Hopper at Wilson’s pt.

Upcoming Competitions

The Lough Sheelin Trout Protection Association will host their end of season Lough Sheelin River Enhancement/Rehabilitation fly fishing competition on Lough Sheelin on Saturday October 5th.
For further details please contact Eamonn Ross @ 087 9436655 or Thomas Lynch @ 087 9132033

The McIntyre/Guider Cup – Saturday September 28th, starting at Kilnahard 11.0am to 6pm, this is an open fly fishing competition and gives a good warm up before the biggest competition of the season on October 5th.  For further information please contact Dessie McEntee on 047 77216 or 086 8937568 or Francie McNally on 087 2374503.
The Cavan/Monaghan Garda Divisional Fly Fishing Championship and Open Competition – Sunday October 6th from Kilnahard Pier, fishing from 11am to 6pm.  Competition is for the heaviest fish (visitors) and the heaviest fish (Cavan/Monaghan Garda members), presentation of prizes and refreshment dinner at Crover House Hotel at 7pm sharp.  Any queries please contact Dessie McEntee on 047 77216 or 086 8937568.

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……………

There are a good selection of Sheelin ghillies/guides available and they are well worth investing in if angling visitors are unfamiliar with the lake, or perhaps haven’t that much fly fishing experience or maybe are a little ‘cut for time’ due to work or other commitments.  If one guide is unavailable it’s an absolute certainty that there will always another capable one to step into the breach.
The main ones are:
Lough Sheelin Guiding Services (www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com) – a group of local anglers who were all practically reared on the lake.

Michael Kelly @ 087 2608068
Michael Farrell @ 087 41941456
Damien Willis @ www.Loughsheelinbuddies.com

The Italians took the top position for the trout of the week,  Renzo Giordano,  caught a lovely trout of over 6lbs using a claret dabbler fishing on the western side of the lake on Tuesday August 12th
Total number of trout recorded: 78

Selection of Catches

Peter McArdle, Dundalk – 19 trout for the week, heaviest at 2 lbs, fish were caught on the Claret Bumble, green sedge pupa nymphs and perch fry imitations.
Francesco Russo and Giuseppe Esposito, Italy – 10 trout for the week, heaviest was 4 lbs, the rest averaged 1 ½ – 2 ½ , caught using sedges and dabblers.
Thomas Lynch, Cavan – 1 trout at 1 ¼ on a Claret Dabbler.
Martin Delaney, Kells – 2 trout at 1 ¾ and 2 lbs using hoppers on Tuesday August 13th.
Joe Carpentar, Derry –  3 trout averaging 1 ½ – 2 ½ lbs caught on klinkhammers and hoppers.
Theo Farrell, Mayo – 2 trout at 1 ¾ lbs and 2 ½ lbs, caught on a Claret Dabbler and a Claret Hopper.
Arthur Mullin, Dublin – 3 trout averaging 1 ½ lbs, caught using Peters and Hoppers

Kilnahard, Lough Sheelin August 12th 2013

Brenda Montgomery IFI