Lough Sheelin Angling Report By Brenda Montgomery, IFI August 3rd to August 9th 2015

“The act of fishing – for fish, dreams or whatever magic is available – is enough. It transports us to a special world, and a state of mind, where we are free.”  Fennel Hudson


Lough Sheelin 2015 

The Saw Doctors song ‘Will it ever stop raining’ came to mind on Sheelin this week as most days were dominated by heavy rainfall. Strong south westerly winds gusted across the lake on the bank holiday Monday which made fishing difficult if not a bit hazardous. Rain set in for Tuesday and Wednesday and was never far away for the remainder of this week. It was a mixed bag as far as fishing was concerned on the lake. There were literally millions of sedges but because of the rain these stuck rigidly to the bushes along Lough Sheelin’s shoreline and refused to make an appearance out on to the water. During the daytime there was little evidence of fly life on the surface and up to 4pm it was all about fishing blind. Dragging wet flies until the shadows fell, drawing in the evening time was really the only way for any degree of success and the dries were kept for the dusk and nightfall.

Teams of Dabblers, Peters, Silver Invictas, Bumbles and Claret & Mallard as well as Stimulators, Klinkhammers and wet Daddies all achieved results but it was tough going and although fish were landed during the day, it usually involved putting in a few hours out on the water, there were no easy and immediate catches.

One Dublin angler arrived down on Tuesday with the full intentions of ‘dapping everything’ from Daddies to Murroughs to Hoppers, things didn’t work out as planned and he had to resort to the wets with only one lovely fish of almost 4lbs on the dry Daddy, the other catches all falling to a mixture of Sooty Olives, Klinkhammers and Stimulators.

The Green Peter and Murrough fishing has tapered off somewhat from previous weeks although these sedges are still on the lake but in more reduced numbers. The Green Peter has made an amazing come back on Sheelin and only made its appearance felt last year and again this year with vast ‘after dark’ hatches met with impressive and substantial rises of trout. The last serious numbers of Peters were recorded well over 20 years ago, so it is a very encouraging sign for this lake to see their return.

Stuart Marry, Dublin winner of the L.S.T.P.A McDonnell (Catch & Release) competition

Stuart Marry, Dublin winner of the L.S.T.P.A McDonnell (Catch & Release) competition with his trout of over 4lbs measuring 56.2 cm, 8/8/15

After a fairly slow week on the lake, it was with some trepidation that the L.S.T.P.A held their annual McDonnell (Catch & Release) competition last Saturday August 8th.   Over 30 anglers set out from Kilnahard at 11am. The weather was reasonable, tinged with a slight seasonal chill but the rain held off until the finish at 6pm. Lough Sheelin did its anglers proud and good numbers of fish were recorded with plenty of trout being seen and plenty of near misses along with heart stopping surface boils. This competition went by length and there were quite a few anglers topping well over the 45cm mark with the winning fish caught by Stuart Marry at 56.2cm. Only one fish could be measured and entered per angler, so while only 14 trout were recorded, far more fish were caught on the day and despite the onset of heavy rain as prizes were being presented, nothing could dampen the high spirits of a good days fishing. The results of the competition were as follows

1st – Stuart Marry, Dublin             56.2 cm

2nd   Dessie MacEntee, Cavan       52.0 cm

3rd   Mark Dunne, Mullingar         49.5 cm

4th     Albert Berry, N.Ireland         49.3 cm

5th     Dara Murtagh, Cavan             48. 0cm

6th     Ciaran Newman, Mullingar 47.0 cm

Well done to all participants. 4 Albert Berry 5 Darragh Murtagh 6 Ciaran Noonan 7 Barry Hartan 8 Jack Eagan

3.5lbs on a Murrough3.5lbs on a Murrough

Evening Fishing on SheelinEvening Fishing on Sheelin

Sheelin shadows

Ginger QuillThe Emergers also had their fair amount of success on the lake this week.

Emerger flies imitate the in-between stage, when the fly is in the act of emerging from its nymphal shuck, case, or whatever. Emerger imitations are not fished under the surface, and they’re not fished on top of the water. Instead, they’re fished in the surface film of the water. The reason they are effective is because trout like emerging aquatic insects — they are more vulnerable than other stages. A nymph might escape the fish by swimming, or be swept away from the fish by a chance current. An adult, obviously, can fly away or skitter across the surface. The emerging insect is stuck — it’s trapped in the surface film, trying to get out onto the surface and into the air. Trout feeding just barely on the surface, so that they almost don’t make a ring in the water are probably dining on emergers. Emergers are fished the same as fishing with dries, but they do sink a little — they don’t sink down deep, but they don’t exactly float on top, either. They can be tough to see, sometimes. Some patterns have a flash parachute or some other marker to make them more visible, but in general the angler just has to be on his toes. Cast them upstream of feeding trout and drift them over the fish – remembering that the emerger is supposed to have come up from the bottom to the surface. The fish should not see the emerger land on the water.

Colin Cahill’s Sheelin gold

Colin Cahill’s Sheelin gold

Grass wonders

Mark from U.S with his Sheelin trout

Mark from U.S with his Sheelin trout (Guide Fishing Ireland)

'Into a fish'‘Into a Fish’

4 ½ pounder at Lynch’s pt.4 ½ pounder at Lynch’s pt.

2 and 1 ½ lb trout in Corru on a Peter

‘On the oars’ 5 year old Noah Johnston Breen‘On the oars’ 5 year old Noah Johnston Breen

L.S.T.P.A’s chairman presenting the Stuart Marry with the McDonnell L.S.T.P.A’s chairman presenting the Stuart Marry with the McDonnell cup at Lough Sheelin on Saturday August 8th.

image021Fishing the Hopper requires a leap of faith for most fly fishers. The Hopper will fish deep in the surface film, often hanging by surface tension right underneath it, and this is exactly where the angler wants them. Anglers won’t get too many splashy takes with these flies, just nice confident slurps from the trout, counting to three before striking and the angler will be well and truly in. With Hoppers the trick is to move the fly slowly when beginning to recast, so instead of ripping the flies off the water, a slow and steady lift is needed before applying the power into the back cast, this drags the Hopper across the surface, producing that lovely wake that active fish find so enthralling.

‘Casting Out’‘Casting Out’ Lough Sheelin, August 2015

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 Sedgehog, 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 Cinamon Sedge, Greenwell’s Glory, the Dunkeld, the Welshmans Button, Damsel Nymph and Pheasant Tail Nymph.

‘Into the night’ Lough Sheelin, August 2015 ‘Into the night’ Lough Sheelin, August 2015

 Angling poster

Up-Coming Events


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.

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


Michael 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.

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

image034It won’t work if you aren’t wearing it…

Water 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




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

image035Please 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  www.guidefishingireland.com

The heaviest fish for the week was the winner of the McDonnell Cup Stuart Marry with his fish of over 4lbs on August 8th.

Total number of trout recorded: 45

Selection of Catches            

image036Paul Davis, Dublin – 3 trout using a Green Stimulator and Claret Dabbler, heaviest 3lbs, fishing at the back of Church Island.

Pat Brady, Cavan – 2 trout at 2 ½ and 3 ½ lbs fishing detached Daddies and Klinkhammers around Corru Bay.

Trent Malcohm, England – 2 trout, heaviest 3 ¾ fishing Stimulators around Finea and Western Shore.

Des Shaw, Scotland – 3 trout, heaviest at 3 ¾ lbs using Klinkhammers and Bumbles, fishing around Church Island.

image037Brenda Montgomery IFI