Lough Sheelin Angling Report By Brenda Montgomery, IFI – September 2nd to September 8th 2013

Sheelin - 08.09.13 1
Thank you, dear God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough. Thank you for the rain. And for the chance to wake up in three hours and go fishing: I thank you for that now, because I won’t feel so thankful then’.
  Garrison Keillor

Sheelin - Seamus Brogan, Sligo with his beautiful catch from SheelinSeamus Brogan, Sligo with his beautiful catch from Sheelin

This week was split in two weather wise, up to mid-week we were still immersed in the warmth and heat of summer with temperatures reaching up to the early twenties and bright hot sunshine but towards the end, after Wednesday, Autumn’s tentacles clawed in with temperatures dropping to 2 degrees and the familiar September chill and early morning mists shrouding the lake.
Lough Sheelin’s water level is at an all-time low and this coupled with the persistently high temperatures over the past months means that it would be impossible for this lake to escape a temporary discolouration but, now with the weekend’s heavy rainfall and drops in temperatures this will bring a renewed vitality, a flushing out and an injection of freshness into this lake and its fishing.
Fishing was good but tough going during the week.  This lake is making its anglers work hard for their catches and there is never any certainty from one day to the next. Monday was magical for one overseas angler who scored a personal best of 5 lovely trout (all carefully released) but when that same angler returned the following day to the exact same spot, spirits high and hopes soaring, conditions had changed and he drew a blank with not even a glimpse of a trout, not even a fin.  But this is what Sheelin is all about particularly at this time of the year, and its unpredictability is its appeal.  This lake forces its anglers to think and to focus on what’s happening out there, in the here and now – wind direction, weather, fly life and cloud cover as Ernest Hemingway said ‘Anyone can be a fisherman in May’ but now requires a lot more effort and focus but anything worth having is always worth the wait and on the whole Sheelin will deliver and perseverance does pay.

Sheelin - Shadows

After weeks of huge rises of small trout the big ones are finally on the move and this was confirmed by this season’s first specimen trout of 10 lbs 2ozs caught by Martin Connor, Armagh using a Claret Hopper over by the Stony Islands.
The Silverstream anglers ran their inter club competition on Sheelin last weekend.  This club runs a series of competitions for its members during the trout season and their choice of venue depends on what lake is fishing well and for them Sheelin didn’t disappoint with their eleven competitors landing a total of 9 trout.  The winner of this competition was Noel Shiels with 2 trout at 101 cms.
There were large amounts of Daddy Long Legs on certain areas of the lake and the leggy flies are working well at the moment.  There were also good hatches of sedge reported after 7pm earlier in the week but anglers would be advised to fish this lake before the evening chill sets in, usually before 6pm.

Daddy Long Legs
Daddy Long Legs


Claret Hopper
Claret Hopper

Black Klinkhamm
Black Klinkhamm                                       

The favourite flies for this week were the small brown sedges (size 14-16), the Sooty Olive, The Dabblers – Claret, Silver and Golden Olive, the Silver Invicta, Gorgeous George, Humpies, the Terminator, the Chernobyll, the Raymond, the Alexandra, the Red Tailed Green Peter, A Red Tailed Green Peter Daddy, Daddy Long Legs variants, a Claret Snatcher, a Claret Hopper, Klinkhammers, Stimulators, the Watsun’s Fancy, Bumbles, Hoppers and a Red Ended Peter type Sedge fished wet style on a floating line.
Daddy Long Legs Detached
Daddy Long Legs Detached


Claret Bumble Muddler
Claret Bumble Muddler

Sheelin - Liam Duffy (SOSAD) presenting Frank Kelly with his prize               Liam Duffy (SOSAD) presenting Frank Kelly with his prize after coming first (with a 3 ½ lb trout) in the recently held SOSAD charity competition on Lough Sheelin hosted by the LSTPA.

Wednesday September 4th was clouded over by the news of the tragic and untimely death of Tom Caffrey, Oldcastle.  As well as being a business man within the Lough Sheelin catchment, he was an environmentalist, who cared deeply about the lake and was a quiet, unobtrusive and constant supporter of Lough Sheelin and it’s IFI staff and for now it is impossible to grasp the loss of this man to this area.
Requiesce in Pace.
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.

Sheelin - 08.09.13 2A catch & release policy is actively encouraged on the lake at all times

“Beginners may ask why one fishes if he is to release his catch. They fail to see that the live trout, sucking in the fly and fighting the rod is the entire point to our sport. Dead trout are just so much lifeless meat.” Ernest G. Schwiebert, Jr

Please remember anglers to abide by BYE-LAW 790 – we need to keep our small fish alive……………

Sheelin - Cartoon
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 Farrell @ 087 4194156
Michael Kelly @ 087 2608068
Damien Willis @ www.Loughsheelinbuddies.com

The heaviest fish for the week was a 10lb 2 oz trout caught by Martin Connor, Armagh using a Claret Hopper.
Total number of trout recorded: 41
Selection of Catches
Andrew Brown, Dublin – on September 7th, 2 trout best 2lbs, fishing high out off Church Island using Bumbles.
Alan Molloy, Dublin – Wednesday September 4th 3 trout, best was 2 ¼ lbs.
Oliver Reilly, Tyrone – 1 trout at 3 lbs on the wets.
Mick Devereaux, Navan – 1 trout at 2 ½ lbs using a sedge, fishing around Orangefield.
Tony Grehan, Rathfarnham – 1 trout at 2 ½ lbs using a green peter at Plunkett’s Pt.
On Saturday 2 trout at 2.4 lbs on a green dabbler and 2 lbs using an octopus at Orangefield.
Michael Farthing, Mayo – 2 trout at 3 ½ and 2 lbs on September 4th, caught using dabblers and hoppers.
Tim Goulding, Cork – 3 trout, heaviest 3 lbs using dabblers and green peters.
Brenda Montgomery IFI