Lough Sheelin Angling Report By Brenda Montgomery, IFI July 21st– July 27th 2014
‘In my experience, there appears to be six stages or plateaus of desire in the life of an angler:

1) to catch a fish
2) to catch a lot of fish
3) to catch big fish
4) to catch difficult fish under difficult conditions
5) refinement of tackle and method
6) to catch a fish … ‘ Charlie Kroll

A time for contemplation – Lough Sheelin, July 2014A time for contemplation – Lough Sheelin, July 2014

Sheelin was embalmed in a sultry oppressive heat for the entire week with only a small amount of rain at the weekend breaking the deadlock of sunshine and temperatures which peaked into the late twenties.
Daytime fishing on Lough Sheelin came to an abrupt standstill as that surface hot thermal layer returned and the trout migrated to the lower and bottom colder regions of the lake.

We are having one of those nostalgic forgotten Irish summers of long ago when warmth and sunshine was a given, for at least a few months and where a complacency of relaxation creeps in with the relaxing realisation that everything doesn’t have to be packed into the one or two days of good weather.

Ryan Houston, Enniskellan with his Lough Sheelin catchRyan Houston, Enniskellan with his Lough Sheelin catch

Exposure to warm air and sunlight heats water and high water temperatures stress trout. Although many guide books say that trout can ‘tolerate’ high temperatures, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good for them. When the water gets warm, there’s less dissolved oxygen, the fish have less energy and any undue stress might be the deciding factor in whether they survive or not. So just because anglers can fish during the hot day time doesn’t mean that they should but this didn’t pose a problem on Sheelin with its tropical heats because the trout just didn’t surface at all until the sun went down and to a visiting angler it would seem as if there was no life in this lake as they cruised despairingly around its 4500 acres.

The only way anglers were successful this week was when they adopted the ‘Go Early, Go Late’ principal, grounded firmly in the well proven fact that in warm conditions trout feed predominantly at first light and again near dusk and after dark.
The break of dawn is often the feeding hour for many trout on summer days but with Sheelin its late evening and the night time when most of the trout surface particularly around Bog Bay, Goreport and Inchacup (for the Green Peter). Lower temperatures, as well as shade or subdued lighting, can also mean that big trout are on the prowl and catchable. Bright, overhead sunlight can make trout easier noticed by predators so the fish in general head for cover and also to get away from that overwhelming heat.

David McPhail’s mixture of Daddies and SedgesDavid McPhail’s mixture of Daddies and Sedges

There was a small amount of caenis fishing in the early morning hours when conditions were right, dead flat calm and warm. Caenis is precision fishing at its finest and is not generally a popular choice among anglers here. The Green Peter fishing has slackened off somewhat, to be replaced by a small brown sedge which hatched in its hundreds from the afternoons up to dark, sticking stubbornly to the sides of boats and to the anglers. The trout although coming to a small size 14 imitation brown sedge pattern appeared that bit more interested in the emerger imitations like the Eden Caddis Emerger and the Dazzle Caddis Emerger.
We are well into sedge fishing on this lake and to get the imitation right it is important to understand a little bit about the sedge. Evolution has allowed this insect to develop into the fully formed adult when in a state of pupation and so the adult rises to the surface contained within the pupa ready to break away from the pupal shuck as it hits the surface film. It’s important and helpful for the angler to remember that a few things happen as this sedge pupa rises to the surface – firstly the pupa ascends and descends several times before breaking through the surface film so with that in mind an angler may well take a fish as they rise up to the higher layers of water by using a weighted pupa. The next point to remember is that in order to break out of that pupal shuck, the insect pushes the shuck away by inflating it will gas. This will cause the shuck to shine so a fly with a little bit of glitter (like the Claret Bling) or tinsel in its design may well help. Lastly when the trout are feeding on the surface, they will often only take the fly that is truly emerging and is part in and out of the film so anglers need patterns to cover this. Deer Hair (Deer Hair Sedge), CDC or Snowshoe fur maybe needed in the dressing to allow the fly to be suspended in the water where the fish are expecting it.

A touch of gold – Sheelin at sunset July 2014A touch of gold – Sheelin at sunset July 2014
Size 10 OctopusSize 10 Octopus

             Sedge EmergersThe Green Peter The Green Peter                                                           Sedge Emergers

No Name Sedge No Name Sedge

All kinds of everything – Sheelin’s Parapoynx stratiotataAll kinds of everything – Sheelin’s Parapoynx stratiotata

Lough Sheelin has an abundance of insect life, visible on its surface and invisible sub surface – Sedges, Green Peters, Murroughs, Hoppers, Daddies, Buzzers, Midges and Terrestrials. To get that fly right the angler must study the insect around him as well as keeping an eye on wind directions and weather conditions.
Because of the heat this week it was advisable to head for the deeper areas of the lake during the day but for late evening fishing, behind the Stoney Islands, Gaffney’s Bay, Watty’s Rock, the Sailors Garden, Ross Bay, Rusheen, Inchacup, the back of Church Island and the bottom of Goreport Bay and Bog Bay were all reasonably productive.

The most successful flies were the Sedges 14- 16’s, Daddies, Sedge Emergers, Deer Hair’s Ear, Hoppers, Buzzers, Dabblers, Green Peter, Yellow Humpies, Octopus, Golden Olive Bumble, the Raymond, Klinkhammers, the F fly, Silver Invicta and the Greenwell’s Glory.

Sheelin trout and net

David Reilly, Tullynallen releases his 4 ¾  lb trout caught on a dry Sedge

David Reilly, Tullynallen releases his 4 ¾ lb trout caught on a dry Sedge

Please remember anglers to abide by BYE-LAW 790 which strictly prohibits

• All trolling on the lake from March 1st to April 30th (inclusive).

• From May 1st to June 15th – no trolling between 7pm –6am and no trolling under engine between 6am – 7pm and

• June 16th – October 12th – no trolling under engine between 7pm – 6am.

• No trout less than 14 inches should be taken from the lake


Eden Caddis EmergerEden Caddis Emerger

Fish Trophy

Up-Coming Events

Circle c cartoon

The McDonnell cup will be held on Sunday August 10th on Lough Sheelin, fishing from 11am till 6pm from Kilnahard pier with an entry fee of €20. This competition has been fished catch & release for the last two years which proved to be very successful. Measures will be provided for all boats with the cup awarded to the longest fish.

There will be lots of prizes on offer and this day is generally viewed as a great day out.
For further details contact Thomas Lynch @ 087 9132033.

The Lough Sheelin Protection Association’s Stream Rehabilitation competition has been set for Saturday October 4th. Match booklets will be out by mid- August and will also be available to download off the LSTPA’s web site.
Fishing Happy CartoonA catch & release policy is actively encouraged on the lake at all time

Save the trout

It won’t work if you are not wearing it

LifejacketWater rarely gives second chances and a life jacket is just that – it saves your life, so we would implore anglers and all other users for their own safety as well as it being the law under

SI No 921 of 2005 – Pleasure Craft (Personal Flotation Devices and Operation) (Safety) Regulations 2005

Please put on and keep on that life jacket until you are back on dry land.

Caoimhe SheridanCaoimhe Sheridan, Cavan – getting it right

Lough Sheelin Guiding Services (www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com) 087 1245927

Michael Farrell @ 087 4194156Telephone: +353 43 6681298 Email: loughsheelinguide@hotmail.com

Most of the fish featured in these angling reports are returned carefully and safely to the lake
The heaviest fish for the week was a trout of 4 ¾ lbs caught by David Reilly, Tullynallen on the sedge.
Total number of trout recorded for the week: 27

Selection of Catches

Sheelin - Cartoon fishermanMelyvn Wood, England – ghillied by Lough Sheelin Guiding 1 trout at 2lbs on the sedge.

Andrew Brown, Dublin – 2 trout at 4lbs and 3 ½ lbs using a team of wets with a Golden Olive Bumble as the top dropper.

Peter McArdle, Dundalk – 6 trout evening fishing averaged 1 ½ – 3lbs, 2 on the Green Peter and 4 pulling wets.

Oliver McCormack – fishing around Church Island on the sedge, 3 trout up to 4lbs in weight.

Martin Connor, Armagh – sedge fishing around Bog Bay and Goreport 4 trout averaging 1 ½ – 3 ½ lbs.

Gary McKiernan (Lough Sheelin Guiding) – fishing the Peter and Sedge 3 trout heaviest was 2 ½ lbs.

Fish down under cartoon

Brenda Montgomery IFI