Lough Sheelin Angling Report By Brenda Montgomery, IFI – September 22nd – September 28th 2014

Nothing is ever simple about fish, whether it’s catching them or understanding them … A.J. McClane

Lough Sheelin, early morning September 2014Lough Sheelin, early morning September 2014

The dry weather persisted throughout this week, a persistence that was equally matched by the persistent toughness and challenge for anglers to catch a trout on this lake. Lough Sheelin over the past month has been locked into a grid of difficult fishing where with the end of the season in sight, hope is dwindling fast among the angling fraternity that the much anticipated seasonal ‘pick up’ in fishing is not going to happen.
We need rain and we need it soon. This lake is starved of fresh water which is badly needed to bring down those stubbornly high surface temperatures and to refresh and revigorate those lethargic sub surface feeding trout but for now with the surface temperatures still glutinously warm and with patchy insect life, the trout are feeding in the deep and fishing is a real test of patience.
This week saw a steady number of anglers fishing each day with an increase on Saturday which was due to two fishing competitions – The McIntyre/Guider Cup and the Royal Cup. There were two ideal fishing days this week – Thursday and Saturday where there were west to south westerly winds gently blowing across the lake and good cloud cover but fishing was disappointing with only a very short window of sedge hatches and rising fish and little or no fly on the water. A number of trout were caught during the week and it was the Daddies, Hoppers, Dabblers and Sedges that were accredited to most of these successes. The middle of the lake fished best.
At this time of the year anything goes as far as flies are concerned because its all about luck, if an angler is lucky enough for the trout to be looking up when the artificial is on the water then there could be a take. Anglers should use what they like themselves because at this late stage and with a lack of surface fly, matching the hatch has to put to one side so Green Peters, Muddlers, Flashy Dabblers in pinks, purples and reds, Hoppers and Daddies etc. all stand an equal chance of attracting that elusive Sheelin trout.
There are plenty of trout pitching and lots of splashy rises all over the lake but the trout show little or no interest in the what’s being offered, it’s as if they just want their presence felt and to remind the anglers of the magnificent number of trout in this lake.
John McGurl’s Autumn leafJohn McGurl’s Autumn 1John McGurl’s Autumn 2John McGurl’s Autumn
On Saturday the annual McIntyre/Guider Cup was held on Lough Sheelin. Hosted by the Cavan Anglers this competition was won by Armagh angler Tommy Rush with a 1 lb 15oz fish caught using a Daddy.
The Royal Cup competition was also held on September 26th. This competition now in its 9th year began when a small group of friends decided as abit of fun to hold a little event between themselves on the lake, this ‘little event’ has now grown and attracted 30 anglers mostly from the Ballyjamesduff locality. The winners of this competition were:
1st Gary Leddy, Cavan with a 3lb fish
2nd John Mulvaney, Kells with a 2 ¾ pounder
3rd Vincent Kelly, Cavan with a 2 lb trout.

Tommy Rush, Northern IrelandWinner of the McIntyre/Guider Cup – Tommy Rush, Northern Ireland

Art piece by Cathal McNaughtonThe above is an art piece by Cathal McNaughton from Antrim painted from a Sheelin trout photograph using oils on wood. Cathal hopes in the future to sell his fish art to anglers at home and abroad and it is an honour that he has chosen the Sheelin trout to be his first subject.

Kieron Thomas, WalesKieron Thomas, Wales (ghillied by Lough Sheelin Guiding)

The Silver DaddyThe Silver Daddy

Many anglers favoured ‘the Daddy’ this week with varying degrees of success. The weather was ideal for fishing this terrestrial on a number of days with warm breezes and good cloud cover. A large Daddy Long Legs fly makes an ideal top dropper pattern, a big fly to a trout suggests a substantial meal worth the effort swimming from the depths to the top. The dry fly is designed to float on the surface of the water. To prevent it sinking, water repellent hackles are wound around the hook to distribute the weight over the surface of the water. The hackles also simulate the legs and splash of an aquatic or terrestrial insect trapped on the water surface. It was the famous British fly fisherman Richard Walker who invented the Daddy Long Leg pattern that had legs, tied from pheasant tail fibers trailing backwards, rather than stuck out at the side. He worked out how to simple imitate the bent ‘knee’ of a crane fly’s long leg by just tying a knot in the pheasant tail fiber. Simple but effective. This technique is now used on other fishing fly patterns like the hopper and on certain nymph patterns.
. Most dry flies are deceivers designed to imitate a specific natural fly like the crane fly, ant and hopper series of flies. Other flies like the Adams and Wickham’s Fancy are more general designs that are just intended to produce an edible looking fly.

Simon Yorke, Moate fishing with Paul TappinSimon Yorke, Moate fishing with Paul Tappin, Wales – cracked Sheelin on Thursday last with this beautiful trout.

Pat Bannon (the Royal Bar) presenting the Royal Cup to winner Gary LeddyPaul Rush with his beautiful troutPat Bannon (the Royal Bar) presenting the Royal Cup to winner Gary Leddy and Paul Rush with his beautiful trout.

Lough Arrow Green
What is fly tying

Finea, September 26th 2014Finea, September 26th 2014

Barred clouds bloom‘While barred clouds bloom the soft dying day and touch the stubble plains with rosy hue’ Keats AutumnLough Sheelin September 25th

Up-Coming Events

Sheelin - Cartoon angler
The Lough Sheelin Protection Association’s Stream Rehabilitation competition has been set for Saturday October 4th. This competition is now in its 9th year and the entry fee is used to rehabilitate and enhance the rivers within the Sheelin catchement. The closing date for this competition is Friday September 26th. This is a heaviest fish event where there will be up to €8,500 in prizes. All rules, details and entry forms can be downloaded from the LSTPA’s web site at www.loughsheelinanglers.ie.
A catch & release policy is actively encouraged on the lake at all times
Release me
Lough Sheelin Guiding Services (www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com) 087 1245927
Michael Farrell @ 087 4194156Telephone: +353 43 6681298 Email: [email protected]
The heaviest fish for the week was a 4 ½ lb trout caught by Dublin angler Shane O’Reilly on September 25th using a Silver Dabbler in the middle of the lake.
Total number of trout recorded for the week: 21
Cartoon - SheelinSelection of Catches
Charlie Baugh, Cavan – 2 trout on the dries averaging 1 ½ – 2 lbs.
Seamus Reilly, Cavan – 1 trout at 2lbs on a Dabbler.
Troy McLoughlin, Northern Ireland – September 25th 2 trout at 3 lbs and 2 lbs caught on the sedge.
Mark Kinale, Dublin – 4 trout for the week caught on the Claret Dabbler, Green Peter and dry sedges, fishing around Merry pt. heaviest fish was 3 ½ lbs.
John Sutton, England – 2 trout using Hoppers and Daddies, fishing mid lake, heaviest was 2 ½ lbs.
Cat with 9 lives cartoon
Brenda Montgomery IFI