Lough Sheelin Angling Report By Brenda Montgomery, IFI August 10th to August 16th 2015

‘A lake carries you into recesses of feeling otherwise impenetrable’

~William Wordsworth

Lough Sheelin, August 13th 2015Lough Sheelin, August 13th 2015

Fishing on Lough Sheelin this week relaxed into the the traditional sluggishness of late summer.

It’s holiday time and for many the attraction of venturing abroad and elsewhere in Ireland is temporarily luring many of the Sheelin enthusasts away from this lake. September will undoubtedly see their steady return but in the meantime with reduced numbers on the lake the trout returns took a slight dip compared to previous weeks.

Sheelin although seemingly in the slow lane, still produced some fine fish with a 7 ¼ pounder by David Meyers impressively taking the top weight for the week.

The previous weeks of specatular Green Peter and Murrough hatches have now been reduced to a scattered few and only at dusk and at and beyond the edge of darkness.

There were plenty of the smaller sedges, in fact millions of them but the majority remained stubbornly stuck in the shoreline bushes with few going out on to the water’s surface and for those that did, the trout did not seem interested, which was again reflected in the poor numbers of trout taken on the sedge despite some ideal sedge fishing conditions of cloud with a ripple moving accross the water.

‘Summer Days’ - Sadbh, Shay and Freya Lyttle, Crover, Lough Sheelin

‘Summer Days’ – Sadbh, Shay and Freya Lyttle, Crover, Lough Sheelin

It’s ‘pinhead’ time on Sheelin with the vast majority of trout gorging themselves on small perch and roach fry in the shallows of the lake. On most evenings this week, trout could be seen chasing the fry and the water seemed at times to be erupting every few minutes as the trout hammered these small fish.

Sedge patterns (and a lot of other patterns) simply don’t work when the fry are thick on the surface and the trout are consumed with bashing them so tactics must be changed and persistence is the name of the game. Using a fly like a Pearly Invicta or patterns like a Silver Dabbler, Silver Daddy or Silver Invicta can really pay off when fishing in the shallows when the trout are in this frenzy of fry feeding. The trout were fiesty and fought hard this week and were not easily got but when it did happen, the resulting Sheelin classic was well worth the battle.

‘Still hanging on ’ – Lough Sheelin’s night time Murrough

‘Still hanging on ’ – Lough Sheelin’s night time Murrough

Pinheads‘Sheelin’s Pinheads’ Roach fry, Chambers Bay 


4lb Sheelin trout

A 4lb plus trout caught on a Murrough, Lough Sheelin 2015

The bloodworn fishing featured well on the lake this week and although fish were ‘hard got’ there was a consistency every day with bloodworm patterns being responsible for some steady catching. The bloodworm is the larval stage of the buzzer lifecycle and under normal conditions this bloodworm pupates and it is the pupal stage that migrates up through the surface column of the water. Sheelin seems to be unique in that the bloodworm is forced by gases to the surface and is clearly visible to both man and fish. Normally the bloodworm stays in the silt so on other lakes a sinking line is required but for Sheelin this rule doesn’t apply and the angler must head for a floating line and get the pattern directly infront of the feeding fish. Bloodworm fishing is precision fishing and there is no margin of error permitted. This week saw some ideal bloodworm fishing weather – cloudy, warm, hazy sunshine and calm. The trout push the water a couple of inches ahead of them as they feed on this larvae and it is imperative to remember to wait until you feel the fish taking before lifting, strike too soon and result is an absolute certainty of loosing your fish.

The best areas for the bloodworm are the silty/weedy areas – the mouth of the River Inny and from Ross all the way round to the Sailors Garden, look for the reeds, not too far out and watch for those tell tale bubbles on the surface indicating that the bloodworm are there and so too are the trout, for trout just love bloodworms.

The bloodworms are red in colour because that’s the haemoglobin in them to supply the necessary oxygen when they are down deep in silt but lift a bloodworm out of the water and he’s more claret than red so aim for a claret rather than bright red colour in the pattern with a couple of turns of coppery peacock hair to draw in the trout – or so the experts tell me.

Hot Spot Chocolate Drops size 12 & 14Hot Spot Chocolate Drops size 12 & 14

(Irish Lake Flies)

Mark Dunne, Mullingar with his 49.5cm fish

Mark Dunne, Mullingar with his 49.5cm fish

       Hare's ear                      

Hare’s Ear (Irish Lake Flies)

There were a few early morning caenis hatches. A size 18/20 caenis pattern landed a few 2 – 3 lb trout for one Dublin angler who was willing to set out on the lake at first light, now with autumn fast approaching – 5am.

Although the fry seem to be the main course on the Sheelin trout’s diet for this week, there were still a lot of fishing moving, pitching and rising and patterns like the Hoppers, the Detached Daddy, the Silver Daddy, the Dabblers and the Zulus all landed fish, all of these patterns were accompanied with a large amount of patience and persistence.

Encouragingly large numbers of smaller trout – one pound and under were reported at the mouth of the River Inny, round the Ring of Rushes and most in evidence down along Holywell.


Lawrence Finney’s ‘Detached Daddy’ and ‘Silver Daddy’

A Sheelin heavy weight set free to fight another day

A Sheelin heavy weight set free to fight another day

The best flies for the week gone by were the dry Sedges (a pale brown/beige 12-14) CDC Sedge fly, the Green Peter, Hare’s Ear Sedge hog, the Silver Invicta, the Silver Dabbler, the Golden Olive Bumble (good for creating that all important disturbance on the water), the Stimulator, the Hoppers, the Black Pennell, the Murrough, the Royal and Green Wulff, the Grey Klinkhammer (12-14 Emerger), the Cinnamon Sedge, Greenwell’s Glory, the Daddies – Detached and Silver, the Sooty Olive, the Chocolate Drop, the Dunkeld, the Welshman’s Button and the Bloodworm.

Azim from Mauritius with his 5lb 13ozs Sheelin trout Azim from Mauritius with his 5lb 13ozs Sheelin trout (Guide Fishing Ireland)

A 3 ½ pounder caught on a Murrough at Lynch’s ptA 3 ½ pounder caught on a Murrough at Lynch’s pt.

Newly hatched Peter and Murrough Newly hatched Peter and Murrough (Agrypnia varia and Phryganea grandis)

5 year old Noah carefully holding his first catch‘The Future holding the future’ 

5 year old Noah carefully holding his first catch

After heading out every night this week from the recommended 10pm onwards and battling against stubborn cloud cover I finally witnessed the much published ‘meteor showers’ – numerous shooting stars disappearing into the blackness of the lake. This phenomenon happens each year in August and is the result of the earth passing through a cloud of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle. The debris is made up of ice and dust particles that heat the air around them as they break into the Earth’s atmosphere. This is reportedly what creates the streak of light that we see with shooting stars. Intermingled with this natural phenomenon was the occasional splashy rise of a trout which was the icing on the cake. Returning in the pitch darkness across the water, I found it more than useful to remember what I’d been told some weeks previous by Sheelin angler John Murphy i.e. to follow the line of the shoreline trees to get yourself back safely to base when you travelling across water in total darkness and it worked…..

Sheelin’s Shooting StarsSheelin’s Shooting Stars

This week the Irish Independent ran a feature on the sale of Woodlawn House – a Georgian style house and farm sitting on 138 acres close to the banks of Lough Sheelin carrying a cool price tag of 1.5milliion. Woodlawn house, originally owned by the Reynolds family was the first ever B&B for anglers fishing Lough Sheelin. Previously this lake was only fished by the aristocracy and the so called ‘ordinary’ angler was discouraged from fishing this ‘ prestigious’ lake.

Well known fly tyer and instructor Lawrence Finney will soon be embarking on a promotional tour of Irish angling which will include Lough Sheelin, in America. Lawrence will also be launching his book ‘Happy Wrapping’ which is about his life as a fly dressing instructor and how he got to top. This book will be launched in Ireland in March 2016

The White Ermine moth ‘All Kinds of Everything’

The White Ermine moth (Spilosoma lubricipeda) Mullaghboy, Lough Sheelin

‘Into The Night’ Lough Sheelin, 2015‘Into The Night’ Lough Sheelin, 2015

A 2 ½ lb trout being played on a Murrough at Lynch’s ptA 2 ½ lb trout being played on a Murrough at Lynch’s pt.

A Claret Bumble Golden OliveA Claret Bumble and a Golden Olive Bumble

(KsG Flies)

Welshman’s Button SedgeWelshman’s Button Sedge

Sooty Olive & Blae Sooty (Irish Lake Flies)Sooty Olive & Blae Sooty (Irish Lake Flies)

Angling poster


Up-Coming Events

The Guider /McIntyre Cup – Saturday September 26th, 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 Frank McNally on 087 2374503

The Lough Sheelin Protection Association’s Stream Rehabilitation competition has been set for Saturday October 3rd. Match booklets will be out by mid- August and will also be available to download off the LSTPA’s web site.

The Cavan/Monaghan Garda Divisional Fly Fishing Championship and Open Competition – Sunday October 10th from Kilnahard Pier, fishing from 11am to 6pm. This 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.

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

image027Michael Farrell @ 087 4194156Telephone: +353 43 6681298 Email: [email protected]

Kenneth o Keeffe                   Grey Duster Guiding 0868984172

[email protected]

For anyone interested in joining Lough Sheelin’s Angling Club – The Lough Sheelin Trout Protection Association please contact Thomas Lynch @ 087 9132033.


image029Lough Sheelin 2015

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
  • June 16th – October 12th – no trolling under engine between 7pm – 6am.
  • No trout less than 14 inches should be taken from the lake

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

image030image031image032Please remember All anglers are required to have a Fishery Permit to fish Lough Sheelin which must be purchased before going out on the lake.

   Guide Fishing Ireland


The heaviest fish for the week was a 7 ¼ lb trout caught by Northern Ireland angler David Meyers using a Silver Daddy.

Total number of trout recorded: 34

Selection of Catches            

image033Cian Murtagh, Cavan – 2 trout at 2lbs each, fishing off Wilson’s pt. both fish caught using a Silver Daddy.

Mark Dunne, Cavan – 2 trout heaviest at 2 ½ lbs fishing Green Peter and Silver Dabbler.

Felix McCabe, Coothill, Cavan – 1 trout at 3 ½ lbs on a Golden Olive Bumble.

Leslie Harte, Wexford – 2 trout at 1 ½ and 2 ½ on a Pearly Invicta and Peter Ross Dabbler.

Tim Regan, Dublin – 2 trout at 2 ½ and 3 ¼ lbs fishing

David Martin's SheelinDavid Martin’s Sheelin

Brenda Montgomery IFI