Lough Sheelin Angling Report By Brenda Montgomery, IFI July 1st to July 7th 2013

There he stands, draped in more equipment than a telephone lineman, trying to outwit an organism with a brain no bigger than a breadcrumb, and getting licked in the process.
~ Paul O’Neil

‘MurroughTime’  Lough Sheelin

This was a quiet week on Lough Sheelin where angling activity was sporadic and scattered throughout the days and into the weekend. Most days however saw at least ten to fifteen anglers venture out on to the water with some degree of success.
This is a renowned sleepy time on the lake, the gap between the franticness of the mayfly and the time when the sedge fishing really picks up, which is usually around the last week in July.
It is difficult not to compare the sparse angling numbers now with those of a few weeks ago when, in excess of a hundred anglers swarmed on to the lake daily during the mayfly season.
One would wonder where these anglers disappear to afterwards, do they vanish or is there a life in the trout angling world after Sheelin’s mayfly?

The last of the 2013 Mayfly

– Bog Bay, Lough Sheelin

We know that the trout just don’t stop feeding when the mayfly is over and what we also know is that it isn’t the trout that stop but more accurately it’s the majority of anglers who come to an abrupt halt.
Fishing on this lake has changed from easy to challenging but the trout numbers and tantalizing weights are still there, it is just a question of starting to think more about what’s going on out on this lake and to take time to study this great expanse of water.
There are still mayfly and spent on the lake but the trout are not interested, it seems that they have had an overdose of the greens and are looking for a change of diet.
What has happened this year on Sheelin is that because the mayfly was late, the sedge hatches overlapped this season a little so as a result we had mayfly, spent and sedge all there instead of distinct and separate blocks of hatches.
For Lough Sheelin’s trout fishing season the main insect hatches basically go in the following order:
Olives – Buzzer- Mayfly – Sedges – Murrough – Green Peter.
You will of course get overlapping and intermingling but normally there is a dominant fly hatch with the others featuring only in the background.
Sheelin at the moment has an abundance of fly life with murrough carpeting certain areas particularly behind the Stoney Islands, Gaffney’s Bay, Ross Bay and around Goreport and Bog Bay.  The sedges have the edge on the rapidly disappearing mayfly.
On Sheelin there are over one hundred varieties of sedge so for the ever hopeful angler it’s not just a question of tying a basic sedge pattern and hoping for the best, the variety is considerable and the fish are choosey and why shouldn’t they be, the ball is in their court, there’s such a selection, they can pick and choose and the Sheelin angler must now more than ever study the water carefully and watch what the fish are taking and more so what exactly the hatches are, they must ‘match the hatch’ and its difficult because there’s a lot going on out there.

Mark Johnston, Cavan with his Sheelin trout

Along with the fly hatches, the lake particularly around Plunkett’s Point to Kilnahard, along Derrysheridan Shore and Goreport Bay is literally teeming with millions of perch fry or pinheads.  These tiny almost embryotic fish swim in massive shoals of thousands where the glint of silver around the eye is sometimes all that is visible so transparent are their bodies as they dart in their masses through the water. The trout at the moment are gorging on these pinheads and after bashing them with their tails to stun them, they simply suck them down like some cannibalistic feast.
Anglers are reporting little surfacing of fish during the day time and maybe an odd pitching here and there before 5pm.
Success on Sheelin for this week was really more or less confined to the evening time when as it touched dark, the murrough started to hatch and there were some nice trout landed.  Again this lake and its angling is very subjected to winds and dropping temperatures so there were some disturbances to potentially good nights by changing wind directions and temperatures going that bit too low.  Sheelin’s waters are unpredictable in that an angler could be rigging himself up to go out and the water could be calm and promising but by the time he’s actually pushing the boat out the wind could of blown up and the whole scene has changed in a matter of maybe ten minutes.
There should be at least another two weeks of good murrough fishing left on the lake and then the green peter starts to feature.  The green peter is nearly as big an insect as the murrough but its distinctive dark green body separates it out from the variety of murroughs, the green peter is best fished just before dark and again at first light in reasonably calm and warm conditions.

Limnephilus flavicornis – Caddis Fly (sedge)

The most popular flies used for the week were the murrough, the welshman’s button, a small brown sedge (12 – 14), the Raymond, the Bibio, the buzzer,Watsons Fancy, the Fiery Brown Sedge, the Chocolate Drop, the Grey Flag, hoppers the Hare’s Ear Sedge, the Sooty Olive, the Wulff (grey and in green) the red-assed Green Peter, the Welshman’s Button, a variety of Bumbles, the F fly and the Sweeney Todd.  Also some success has been achieved using Klinkhammers.

Adult male Buzzer

Lough Sheelin

Cathal McNaughton’s 3lb 4oz trout caught at 11.30pm in Kilnahard

Perch fry – pin head

Roach fry


No complaints here Seamus Meegan, Monaghan and Mr Johnston,Cavan with their Sheelin trout

Long – horned Sedge – Oecetis ochracea

Long-horned sedge adults present are in large numbers on the lake at the moment and typically emerge in late afternoon to dusk on July evenings.  There are usually visible maybe 10 feet from the shore.  These are a varied group of many caddis (sedge) species that range all the way back from black dancers to white millers.  Trout always sip them with delicacy, apparently realizing that the naturals are not going to get off the water in a hurry.  They’re small, size 16 to 18, and should be imitated with patterns that let the body float flush in the surface.  The naturals have grayish- brown wings and yellowish-tan to pale brown bodies.  A CDC dressing works very well on the sorts of peaceful waters where this sedge hatches.

Welshman’s Button –Sericostoma personatum

A catch & release policy is actively encouraged on the lake at all times

Bill Chapman carefully releasing his trout

Catch and Release fishing is a lot like golf. You don’t have to eat the ball to have a good time.
~ Anonymous

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

lemon & lime crystal cat

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 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
In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide. Approximately 500 lives a year are lost to suicide in Ireland.
In spite of the extent of the problem the subject is often regarded as taboo. Our understanding of both that level of despair and that very particular experience of grief is incomplete. Behind the stark statistics are the human experiences of despair, of loss, of grief.
SOSAD (Saving Our Sons And Daughters) Ireland was founded by Peter Moroney, along with the help of family and friends, in 2006 after his second son committed suicide following a long period of depression
SOSAD Ireland offers assistance to those who are considering suicide, who have attempted suicide, and also to the family and friends of those who successfully end their own lives.
They provide an emergency call out service 24 hours a day, regular counseling free of charge, support groups and a bereavement support pack containing information and guidance to the bereaved.
“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, Simon Moroney’s brother

Brenda Montgomery IFI