Lough  Sheelin Angling Report By Brenda Montgomery IFI – August 19th – August 25th 2013

The Raymond Dabblers

‘We go fly fishing to catch fish, to experience the rush of adrenaline when a trout rises to the surface, grabs the fly and the line goes taut. But the fly line is more than a way to connect human beings to fish. Each cast of the fly line connects us to nature, to other and to the Divine Presence.’

John Murphy, Crover reeling in his over 2lb trout

Sheelin is really testing its anglers, certainly their patience and perseverance.  Last week the fishing was good and things seemed to be picking up and heading in the right direction but this week Sheelin still had the reins on and although some nice catches were recorded, the Sheelin trout are stubbornly playing cat and mouse with its anglers with sporadic rises and huge quantities of smaller fish around 6 to 8 inches taking the flies while the bigger trout seldom made an appearance.  There was a lot of trout activity particularly around the middle of the lake but again it was the seemingly millions of small trout that were surfacing, with one angler who was dapping the grasshopper ruefully commenting that all 15 of his hoppers were taken by 4 – 6 inch trout.  Small trout are great to see and all anglers are delighted to see them but understandably they feel at times tortured by the” little feckers” as they take the flies time and time again.
This is a very different year to the usual in that everything was late and a little mixed up and it’s the same with the fishing.  We are now heading towards the end of August and it is amazing to still see some mayfly appearing, also unlike previous years the water temperature is high at 17 degrees and has steadily remained at that mark for the past month or two which for Ireland is unusual. Nature responds to the weather patterns and cycles and Sheelin in turn is governed by these so nothing is predictable in fishing this year so perhaps we could be still seeing mayflies on the close of the fishing season – October 12th.

There were some nice hatches of sedges particularly towards the evening but the fish didn’t appear interested as this lake for now is a mid-morning to early evening fishery.  It was mainly wet fly fishing with the dries featuring when conditions were calm.  The best combination is a fly with abit of silver in it, like the silver invicta which because of the take on the pin heads or fry acts as an attractor to the trout and then to have the second fly to be a daddy or a gorgeous George.  The seasoned anglers will advise for now to use anything with legs and this is sound advice as it is the ‘leggy flies’ that have landed the most trout for this week.  Also the hoppers are have not disappointed.

The Sheelin Peter – Agrypnia varia

The Gorgeous George

Sometime in the sixties a brilliant MacIntosh pattern enjoyed popularity for a time. The fly was named the Gorgeous George after the flamboyant wrestler, a bad guy in the ring with long blond curly hair, a novelty in those days. One story has it that St. Mary’s guide the late Hal Horton created the fly. Hal was a quiet, kind and generous man who was well liked on the river. Another story is that the fly was created by a city boy who always travelled with a gun under his seat.  Either ways the Gorgeous George has landed some good fish on Sheelin.

Claret Muddler
Claret Muddler

Daddy Drowning
Daddy Drowning

There were a lot of Daddy Long Legs or Crane flies on the lake this week so because of this a lot of Daddy variants were used – Drowning Daddy, Anorexic Daddy, the  Silver Daddy, the Red Daddy and the Muddler Daddy to name but a few.  Gorgeous George achieved some good successes as did the Claret George.  Other flies were the Klinkhammers, the Raymond, the Chernobyll, Michael Kelly’s LF fly, a variety of Hoppers, the Claret Dabbler, the Purple Peacock, Stimulators, Humpies, the Sedges and Peters.

“People talk too often about suicide in terms of bravery and cowardice. I don’t think it’s either of these things. I just think of it as a great sense of loss, of emptiness.”
– Wayne Moroney
The LSTPA are running a competition in aid of the Cavan branch of SOSAD on Saturday August 31st from 11am to 6pm, starting out from Kilnahard.  This competition is open to everyone but participants must provide their own boat and engine.  Entrance fee is €25and all money will go towards SOSAD.  There will be numerous prizes with the top prize going to whoever lands the heaviest trout.  For further details please contact
Eamon Ross @ 087 9436655 or Thomas Lynch @ 087 9132033

Work in the Mountnugent River, Lough Sheelin

The OPW along with IFI as part of a major enhancement plan are this month in the process of rehabilitating/enhancing a section of the Mountnugent River which is one of the main nursery rivers flowing into Lough Sheelin.  This work will greatly improve the spawning and trout nursery areas with the proposed introduction of spawning gravel, pools, deflectors and rubber mats along with bank protection and fencing.

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……………

Michael Farrell @ 087 4194156 – Michael has been fishing Sheelin and the surrounding waterways for many years and has an in-depth understanding of the lake.  He is a versatile and accommodating ghillie and would be recommended to anyone interested in fishing Sheelin and its surrounding rivers and lakes.

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
Damien Willis @ www.Loughsheelinbuddies.com

The heaviest fish for the week was a 4 ½ pounder caught by Joe McSharry (fishing with Vincent O’Connoll) wet fly fishing.

Total number of trout recorded: 53

Oliver Collins
Oliver Collins

Selection of Catches

Cian Murtagh, Cavan – Thursday 5 trout, heaviest at 2lbs, fishing off Arley and Merry pt. using a Silver Invicta and a Gorgeous George. 1 at 1 ½ lbs on Watson’s Fancy on Friday.  On Monday August 19th 1 trout at 1 ½ – 2 lbs using a Claret Gorgeous George.
Dara Murtagh, Cavan – 1 trout at 2lbs using a Dabbler.
Peter Neeson, Antrim – 1 at 3lbs using dry flies.
Joe McSharry – fished the lake during the week, 2 trout at 4 ½ and 3 lbs, 15 small trout 6 -8 “on the Hoppers.
Ned Clinton, Cavan – 3 fish averaging 1 – 1 ½ lbs caught on the wets.
Malcolm Leveridge, Fermanagh – 4 trout using Klinkhammers heaviest was 2 ½ lbs fishing around Church and Crover.
Frank Smith, Westport – 5 trout averaging 1 – 1 ¾ lbs, heaviest at 3 lbs using the Daddy and the Peter.
Peadar McAviney, Clones – August 23rd around Crover 2 trout, heaviest was 1 ½ lbs using a dry sedge.
Seamus Norris, Ballyshannon – August 23rd, 1 trout at 1 ½ lbs on a black hopper.
Des Elliott, Dublin – Friday August 23rd a number of small trout (under the 1 lb mark) using a variety of both wet and dry flies.  Saturday August 24th 1 trout at 1 ½ lb on a sooty olive.
Brenda Montgomery IFI