Lough Sheelin Angling Report By Brenda Montgomery, IFI – March 31st to April 6th, 2014

 The man who knows all about trout does not exist, although you have probably met him ….. Samuel G. Camp 1911

Lough Sheelin, April 5th 2014Lough Sheelin, April 5th 2014

 With the clocks moving forward by an hour last Sunday, Sheelin matched the sluggish but welcome adjustment to Summer time by producing sporadic catches of trout which improved significantly as the week progressed.

Lough Sheelin’s fishing this week could well be compared to last Saturday’s Grand National because as other trout lakes featured throughout the week, reporting bigger and better catches, Sheelin remained quietly in the background and then suddenly as the weekend approached this lake picked up and drove straight through to the finish with Gary McKiernan’s ‘Pineau De Re’ – a fabulous trout of over 7 lb. caught using wet flies.  And one of those pre-race comments about that winning horse is very applicable to Sheelin ‘beautiful but must be taken seriously’.
Gary McKiernan of Lough Sheelin Guiding Services (www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com) with his impressive 7lb plus trout caught Saturday April 5th
It’s easy when you know how……
Gary McKiernan of Lough Sheelin Guiding Services (www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com) with his impressive 7 lb. plus trout caught Saturday April 5th
At the moment it feels like a waiting game on this great lake – anglers are waiting for water levels to go down and temperatures to increase and remain constant.  They are also waiting for the olives and buzzers to arrive and some real fly feeding to happen on Sheelin. To be fair this lake has never been renowned for its duck fly hatches, other lakes take that title and although there have of course been sporadic hatches of this fly in sheltered bays and when there was a bit of heat in the day the Sheelin trout have only been vaguely interested in the pro-offered smattering of this fly on the water surface with the main hatches staying in the surrounding shoreline bushes due to the inclement weather – it’s  just not enough to get those trout up to the surface.  The fish particularly since the increase in water levels after Wednesday’s down pour are still feeding down low with no incentive to bring them up to even sub surface, we need those olives and buzzers which hopefully will oblige in a few weeks’ time. Our trout for now are feeding on larvae at the bottom of the lake and small shoals of silver fish in the shallows along the washed out shoreline.  The water looks black and ominous but anglers need have no doubt that beneath that gloomy exterior lies a trout stock second to none.
The Humungus and Minkie’s still rule supreme as being the top trout catchers on the lake for this week but the Dabblers are catching up and featuring more and more in the trout returns.

Silver Dabbler

Grizzle Bibio

Fiery BrownA deadly trio – The Silver Dabbler, the middle dropper – the Fiery Brown Dabbler and the top dropper – the Grizzle Bibio

Other flies that featured were the Sooty Olive, Black Pennell, Glister Ollie, Golden Olive Bumble, Connemara Black, Chilly Dabbler, Peter Ross Dabbler and Claret Dabbler.  An interesting new comer was the Banana Split Dabbler which landed its user a nice 2 ½ lb. trout on Saturday.

The Banana Split Dabbler

The Banana Split Dabbler

Stuart McMurran, Lisburn with one of his four trout caught on Sheelin on April 5thStuart McMurran, Lisburn with one of his four trout caught on Sheelin on April 5th

 Because of the feeding patterns of the trout the best line to use is a di 3.  The di3 is a good steady fly line with a sink rate of 3 inches per second, it’s a great line for searching out feeding fish at a medium depth with great control but anglers should remember that in the next week or two things are going to change and this line will not be good as the trout become surface and sub surfaces feeders.

Craig Sheridan, Bray with his Sheelin trout, April 4thCraig Sheridan, Bray with his Sheelin trout, April 4th

Sheelin - A sluggish fog which persisted earlier in the week on SheelinA sluggish fog which persisted earlier in the week on Sheelin

 What we are now waiting for are the lake olives. These insects belong to the Ephemeridae family of which the mayfly is the largest member. These beautiful flies have large upright wings and long wispy tails. Olives are much smaller than mayflies and there are many different species in Ireland.

Sheelin - Phily Berns with a beautiful trout caught on Friday April 4thPhily Berns with a beautiful trout caught on Friday April 4th

 Sheelin - David Reilly’s 5 ½ pounderDavid Reilly’s 5 ½ pounder being carefully released back into Sheelin

 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.

Sheelin - Save the brown troutA catch & release policy is actively encouraged on the lake at all times

 Most of the fish featured in these angling reports are returned carefully and safely to the lake

Sheelin - Practice Catch & ReleaseSheelin - LSTPASheelin - Catch & Release – a gift to another anglerCatch & Release – a gift to another angler

 Sheelin - Happy fishermanUpcoming Competitions             
The popular Sheelin Classic trout competition now in its 10th year will be run on Lough Sheelin on Saturday April 19th which is the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.  The kick off time is 11am with a finish at 6pm.  All boats should be on the shoreline and ready to go by 10.50am.  There is a strict 15” size limit and the individual with the heaviest fish wins.  There comes an impressive list of prizes with this competition with a 19ft Sheelin boat as a first prize.
Sheelin - Lough Sheelin classic posterFor further information on this competition please contact Noel McLoughlin at 087 2179460
On Saturday April 26th The Ulster will be hosted on Lough Sheelin.  This prestigious event was last hosted on this lake in 2009 so we welcome its return.  The Ulster is normally run on a rota system between Lough Erne, Lough Melvin and Lough Sheelin.  To enter anglers must be a member of the Lough Sheelin Trout Protection Association or be affiliated to a Northern Ireland trout angling club.  The winner of this competition will be officially the best fly angler in Ulster for the year and will be awarded the Ulster cup.
For further information please contact Thomas Lynch @ 087 9132033

Sheelin - Rising Trout Photography by Oystein RosseboRising Trout Photography by Oystein Rossebo

Please remember All anglers are required to have a Fishery Permit to fish Lough Sheelin which must be purchased before going out on the lake.

The heaviest fish for the week was an impressive 7 lb plus trout caught wet fly fishing by Gary McKiernan, Cavan on Saturday April 5th.
 Total number of trout recorded: 35

Sheelin - CartoonSelection of Catches

Simon McDowell, Antrim – Thursday April 3rd 1 trout at 3lbs using a Dabbler.
Gary McKiernan (www.loughsheelinguiding.com) – April 5th 1 trout at over 7lbs and 1 at 5lbs, 55cm using wets.
George and Dennis from the Clane anglers – on Tuesday April 1st 2 trout at 1 ¾ and 2 ½ lbs using a small Humungus.
Andrew Brown, Dublin and Gary McKiernan, Cavan – Wednesday April 2nd 5 trout (all released) averaging 2 – 3lbs using the Glister Ollie and Dabblers.  Andrew landed 2 other trout earlier in the week at 2 and 3lbs using Dabblers and Bumbles.
John Ryan, Dundrum (ghillied by Lough Sheelin Guiding) – 1 trout at 3 ¼ lbs on Friday April 4th.
Joey Casey, Athlone – 1 trout at 2lbs on April 4th around Orangefield using a Black Pennell.
David Reilly, Drogheda – on April 3rd 3 trout at 5 ½ lbs, 2 ½ and 1 ½ lbs, all released.
Craig Sheridan, Bray fishing with Phily Berns – a number of trout were caught on April 4th    by this dynamic duo using Dabblers, heaviest was around 3lbs.
Stuart McMurran, Lisburn – fishing on April 5th, 4 trout averaging 3lbs each using wets and Dabblers.
Troy McGannon, Dublin – 1 trout at 4lbs on a Banana Split Dabbler fishing around Goreport.

Sheelin - ‘Tea break’‘Tea break’

Brenda Montgomery IFI