Lough Sheelin Angling Report By Brenda Montgomery, IFI for June 10th – June 16th

I differentiate between fishermen and anglers. All anglers are fishermen, but not all fishermen are anglers. The fisherman hopes to lure fish, while the angler seeks an intangible catch. –O.W.Smith

‘Love at first bite’

Stuart Marry, Balbriggan with his Sheelin trout, carefully returned.

It was a mixed week on Sheelin this week with how good the fishing was being broken down into hours and times rather than particular days. The weather was rough and changeable and the lake’s fishing swung from excellent to hard work depending on what the elements dictated. Wednesday last June 12th was a case in point where the afternoon was mild with a slight breeze, tbere were some good hatches of mayfly, a large rise of trout and some great fish landed. As the day progressed towards evening and night fall, sporadic showers set in and with that it got cold and as a result hatches of fly remained stubbornly inshore with nothing happening on the water, fish just surfaced occasionally and trout were ‘hard got’ for the Sheelin anglers although some good sized trout were caught that evening.
Cathal McNaughton’s 3lb 9oz trout caught (11pm) & released at Sailors Garden
One angler commented that Sheelin is a temperamental lake but really it is not the lake and its trout that are unpredictable, it is the infamous Irish weather to which we are powerless to influence. For two weeks since the start of the first hatch of mayfly, fishing was spectacular and it was a fly fishing haven for both the experienced and inexperienced angler but then the weather broke last Monday moving away from the stable to the erratic and this had a direct knock on effect on the way the fly hatches and fishing went.
The mayfly on Sheelin is far from over with good hatches of the greens and falls of spent late into the evening. On Saturday there were clouds of mayfly along the western shore and anglers waited patiently and expectantly for the spent to go out later on that day and they were not disappointed as the spent carpeted certain areas of the lake. Sheelin trout however seem to be able to look after themselves and few fish were seen despite the volume of surface food but it was cold and this could of ‘put them down’.
As yet there is no tampering off of the mayfly here and the foliage on Church Island and the shorelines of the lake is testament to that were huge hatches are still in evidence.
In the earlier part of the week walking around Church Island in the late afternoon/ evening the clouds of mayfly would remind you of a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Birds, the fly was that dense.

The dance of the mayfly, Church Island June 11th

This week saw a slight move toward sedge and murrough fishing but the small green mayfly fished wet (in the wave) and dry in the calm proved to yield the best results. The wulff is still hanging in there with a few anglers deviating from the standard grey and green to the red which got some nice results. The spent gnat was used mainly in the evening and after dark and got some great fish.
Lough Sheelin’s mayfly season is definitely not over and if the weather would only behave itself, anglers on this lake really couldn’t ask for a better place to fish.
During the week, two RTE engineers – Pat O’Brien and Ian McMullan revisited the lake after fishing it for the first time last season and these two men were rewarded for the time they took out from their busy schedules by landing a few lovely fish.

A Pat O’Brien with his 4lb 2oz trout caught on a spent on June 12th

Sheelin has a great stock of trout whether they rise in large numbers or occasionally sip the surface flies, the fish are there and as one Cavan man put it bluntly ‘ if you don’t catch them then it’s your own fault’ All through the season the Sheelin trout seemingly just come up the once, there is no second chance. There are lots of good fish particularly around Church Island but this week they seemed to have been spooked possibly from all the anglers fishing the lake over the past week but they are there. The whitethorn blossom is starting to turn pink and the elder flowers have started to show and these are the natural indicators that the mayfly season is heading towards the finish, but for now particularly with the promised warmer conditions for this coming week there should be some great fishing.

‘Insect on a reed’

Bog Bay

The road to successful fishing is all about looking and studying what’s out there

As the season progresses it is interesting to see more and more overseas anglers fishing this lake and to date their experiences have always been very good. This week there anglers from far flung places like Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Alaska as well as a contingent from the regular countries like France, Italy, England, Holland and Spain. Saturday saw Eric from Switzerland expertly guided by Andrew Brown, one of the guides from the Lough Sheelin guiding services (www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com) landing himself a 3lb beauty just opposite Crover House Hotel.
Sheelin is attracting all sorts of anglers, all with strikingly different lives and interests – from entymologists to a guy like Pat Kelly who spent a career as a captain of a ship which was so big it took 17 miles to stop it, to Des Elliott, Dublin who brings his cat – Eartha Kit – out in the boat with him for company as well as being his lucky charm – but whatever the diversity of people, the one thing they all have in common is their passion for angling and this lake that they are on.
Sheelin never fails to create a lasting impression on visiting anglers, seemingly powerlessly drawn in under its spell and some will forever see this lake as a very special place.

Gerard Usher, Dunshaughlin with his catch of the week, a wild sheelin trout weighing in at over 6lbs caught on a spent

Denis Moss with his 3lb trout caught June 15th on a spent

Ryan Houston, Enniskellan with his 3.75 lb

Caught on a spent, one of 6 fish.

Brian Connaughton, Ballinasloe fishing with Athlone man Joe Casey. Brian caught this lovely trout on a spent

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 abit 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
Thomas Harton @ 086 8619698
Damien Willis @ www.Loughsheelinbuddies.com

JF Corrigan, Monaghan with his fine 6.9 lb trout caught on a spent.

The LSTPA are planning their youth angling day at Lough Sheelin on Saturday July 13th, this not to be missed day will include fly tying, casting and fishing with a Bar B Q and presentation of prizes rounding off the day. This day is open to all youth enthusiasts from 7 to 16 yrs, for further information contact Eamon Ross @ 087 9436655 or Thomas Lynch @ 087 9132033
A catch & release policy is actively encouraged on the lake at all times

‘ A good game fish is too valuable to be caught once’ Lee Wulff


Steve Collins puts his 4lb trout safely back

Please remember anglers to abide by BYE-LAW 790 – we need to keep our small fish alive……………
The trout of the week weighed in at over 6lbs caught by Gerard Usher using a spent gnat.
Total number of trout recorded: 325
Selection of Catches
Michael Martin, Belfast – missed two fish, broke on one and got two, the heaviest weighing in at 5lbs on a dark spent pattern.
Gerard Usher, Ashbourne – 1 trout at 6lbs on a half spent. 1 at 1 ½ on June 15th using a spent.
Willie McLoughlin, Tipperary – 3 trout weighing in at 1 ½ – 2 lbs
David Rogers, Kildare – 1 trout at 2lbs on a grey wulff on Saturday June 15th at the back of Church island.
Andre Payralbe, Holland – 1 trout at 6lbs using a red wulff around stoney islands.
Gerard MacShean, Cavan – 1 trout at 4lbs on a spent, Saturday June 15th. Gerard was fishing with John McGauran using his boat ‘Aoife’ named after his daughter.
Martin & Gary Connor, Armagh – on June 15th, Martin got 2 trout and Gary 3, heaviest was 3lbs using a yellow dabbler.
Eric, Switzerland – on June 15th 1 trout at 3lbs.
Eugene Fagan, Dublin – 8 fish for the week, best was 6lbs, all caught on the spent and all evening fishing.
Michael McClusky, Donegal – June 14th, 2 trout at 5lbs using a murrough.
Shane MacNamee, Clontarf – June 12th 1 trout at 1 ½ lbs caught on a dry green mayfly.
Colm Walsh, Boyle, Co.Roscommon – Wednesday June 12th 1 trout at 3lbs 10ozs using a spent gnat around Holywell. This was Colm’s first time on the lake and it was his first cast!
Ken Kearns, Dundalk – 3 trout averaging 1 ½ – 2lbs.
Peter Smith, Trim – on Tuesday evening June 11th using a spent 1 trout at 3 ½ lbs.
Kevin Smith, Co.Meath – June 12th 1 trout at 2 ½ lbs on a sedge.
Colm Higgins, Newbridge – 1 trout averaging 1 ½ – 2lbs on a spent.
Andrew Brown, Dublin – 2 at 3 ½ lbs and 1 ½ on Wednesday June 12th on the spent off Church and off Crover shore. 2 trout at the weekend at 3lbs 9oz at 11pm on a spent at Sailors Garden and 1 at almost 2lbs around Rusheen. Andrew found that on some occasions he had his spent variation spat out and shook out by some great fish and was refused by many more.
Marty from Macklesfield – 1 trout at 5 lbs 5ozs using a spent gnat,

Sheelin’s much ‘coveted’ mayfly June 2013

Brenda Montgomery IFI