Lough Sheelin Angling Report By Brenda Montgomery, IFI July 13th to July 19th 2015

‘I’ve gone fishing thousands of times in my life, and I have never once felt unlucky or poorly paid for those hours on the water’. William Tapply

‘Going Home’ Lough Sheelin, July 2015‘Going Home’ Lough Sheelin, July 2015

The mayfly fishing season this year on Lough Sheelin was a bit of a damp squib for many anglers, expectations because of previous years, were high, with the bubble being burst as stubbornly persistent cold and high water levels crushed the normally spectacular surface rises of trout.
Lough Sheelin was forsaken, with the bulk of its anglers leaving for supposedly easier fished waters or lakes that were allegedly fishing that bit better. The disappointment and frustration hit hard and the words ‘useless’ and ‘no good’ were bandied around about this great lake.
Sheelin became quiet with only the faithful few fishing this beautiful jewel of water. The season moved on and gradually water temperatures increased, winds softened and summer wrapped itself around this lake like a soft cloak.

Michael FarrellHH Happiness is a Sheelin trout – Michael Farrell ([email protected]) with
his catch of the week – tipping the scales at over 8lbs

For those anglers who never gave up the ghost and who watched and waited patiently, never doubting this lake, their patience and belief was rewarded, for Sheelin over the past 2 weeks and in particular over the past 7 days has changed from being a difficult sluggish fishing water to a place alive with fish and an abundance of fly life.
This was a great week, with large numbers of catches and some very happy anglers. The weather, of course is always a deciding factor with how this lake fishes and good fishing times varied from afternoons to late nights with a few early morning starts when there were substantial hatches of caenis. Monday was wet and unsettled in the morning but became mild and favourable with a north east wind blowing which made for some good fishing in Corru Bay between 3 – 5pm, after that the wind changed to the north making things a little more challenging because it was difficult to find sheltered areas.
It is the evening fishing that is better on Sheelin for now, with many anglers staying out long after the light faded into dark.
There were substantial hatches of sedges, murrough and peters on the water.
This is a magical time to be on this lake, a time to get into night mode as huge hatches of the Pyryganea species also known as the Green Peter to you and I, the Murrough or Great Red Sedge along with copious numbers of small brown sedges all succeeded in bring up Sheelin’s heavy weights to gorge on this huge variety of surface food. It was fairly heart racing stuff as a number of trout over the 8lb mark were recorded.

Lough Sheelin’s Top Three

The green PeterThe MurraghThe Green Peter                                                                  The Murrough

The Bloodworm

The Bloodworm

Along with the vast variety of sedges, the bloodworm featured strongly and was responsible for a substantial number of catches because trout as a rule just love bloodworms.

The bloodworm is the larval stage of the buzzer and although the brown trout are great all-rounders when it comes to the variety of food they will feed on, this one is an important food item on their menu.
The buzzer/gnats or chironomids have a life cycle of egg – larvae (our bloodworm) – pupae – adult. During the bloodworm stage the larvae will become pink and eventually dark red. This red colour comes from the haemoglobin in the buzzer fly’s blood. This iron-containing compound allows the larvae to breath in the low oxygen conditions in the muddy or silty bottom of the lake. During the bloodworm phase, the larvae will be in a C-shape. Most of the buzzer fly’s life is spent in this phase of its development, during which it will move itself with a swimming-like motion that includes wriggling in a figure of eight hoops. Two to seven weeks into the bloodworm stage it will enter the pupae stage. Three days after, the emerging pupae (in varying colours of black, brown, reddish-brown or green), will swim to the surface and the adult buzzer will emerge a few hours later.

There were literally heaps of bloodworm around Corru, Goreport, Bog Bay and Sailors Garden in particular.

As a rule, anywhere with silt or reeds is a good spot to find this larvae as bloodworms spend 99% of their life in the mud bottom, out of danger from the trout.

Bloodworm fishing is precision fishing at its best where the angler has to get his fly ahead in the path of the feeding trout and if he is a few steps in front of that feeding line, it will be an almost certainty that the trout will take the proffered pattern.
Bloodworm patterns vary – a red rocaille bead for the head, a body tail and bit extending from the head of red holographic tinsel will work well. The silver of the tinsel creates the necessary glitter of attraction to the feeding fish.
An angler, Arthur Cove refutably used a bloodworm invention with a piece of red elastic band tied to the hook and clipped near the shank so it could wriggle. This pattern was so effective that apparently (or so the story goes) Mr Cove buried the pattern in the ground, never to use it again for fear of other anglers using it and clearing out the lake……

Cathal McNaughtonCathal McNaughton, Antrim with his Sheelin trout

The patterns that fished best for this week, were the sedges, bloodworms and buzzers. On Sheelin more often it is the small traditional flies such as the Blae-Winged Sooty, Sooty Olive and Greenwell’s Glory in a good wave and some pupa patterns in calm conditions.
There are literally hundreds of flies out there, perhaps more to catch fishermen than fish but a standard policy on Sheelin is that it is the old tried and tested patterns and their variants that are the ones that will always work best on this water. One angler has been using the same bloodworm pattern on Sheelin for over 40 years so this kind of speaks for itself.

There were great hatches of caenis from first light around 4.30 on calm mornings, when again precision and the use of a black lure or Ted Wherry’s size 18 -30 caenis imitations lead to some good catches of trout.

Fishing conditions were ideal for most of the week (until a wet weekend slowed things up) and the fish were up and about in large numbers with impressive rises to surface feed on the mired of gnats, sedges and an occasional terrestrial. Pupa fishing was good as well as the use of emerger patterns.

All fish caught were reported to be in excellent condition, well fed and ‘fighting like demons’.

Kenneth O'KeeffeKenneth O’Keefe, Cavan putting his Sheelin catch back

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, Damsel Nymph and Pheasant Tail Nymph.

Swords angling centreSwords angling Centre reports – Good fishing on sheelin the last couple of weeks, couple
of fish most evening we went down, good evening on tuesday with six fish for myself up to five pound.

Lough Sheelin FutureLough Sheelin’s future

Blood wormThe Bloodworm

MurraghThe Murrough

Damien WillisDamien Willis, Cavan with his Sheelin trout caught using a CDC Emerger
(copyright 2015 loughfishingbuddies)








Green PeterFace to Face – The Green Peter

IFI MatThe french PatridgeThe French Partridge

Another beauty form SheelinAnother beauty from Sheelin

Limnephilus flavicornisLimnephilus flavicornis

David Penny Resting on the shoreline-

David Penny with his evening Sheelin trout
(copyright 2015 loughfishingbuddies)


’Into the night’ – Lough Sheelin, July 2015’Into the night’ – Lough Sheelin, July 2015

Leo Foley’s SedgeLeo Foley’s Sedge

Lawrence Finney’s Blue Bottle HopperLawrence Finney’s Blue Bottle Hopper

A blast from the pastA blast from the past

This photograph came from Guide Fishing Ireland and was a 9 lbs 13oz trout caught in August, 1991 on Daddy, measuring 28.5 inches.       

Claret DabblerClaret Dabbler

NewspaperWell known owners of the popular Lough Sheelin Guest House, Mark and Lisa Sanders had their minds momentarily taken off their angling guests with a surprise arrival last weekend when their baby Shiane decided to make her premature appearance into the world with very little notice – 15 minutes to be precise. Despite the shock, Mark still prepared breakfast for his guests a few hours later, ‘ the work must go on’ he laughed. Congratulations to all from IFI.

Lough Sheelin’s Damsel flyLough Sheelin’s Damsel fly

Up-Coming Events

The Lough Sheelin Trout Protection Association will be hosting a Youth angling day on Saturday July 25th. This popular event will include fly tying, fly casting and trout fishing followed by a Bar B Q. Casting instruction will be given by APGAI and participants will have the opportunity to catch fish and receive a small prize. For further details contact Thomas Lynch @ 087 9132033 .

4 year old Joshua Yorke, Moate, Co.Westmeath4 year old Joshua Yorke




The McDonnell cup will be held on Saturday August 8th 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 three years which proved to be very successful. Measures will be provided for all boats with the cup awarded to the longest fish. This competition is open to members of the club only but membership is available on the day

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 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

D.C Angling & Guiding Services – contact David @ 087 73946989

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

Kenneth O’ Keeffeimage040
Grey Duster Guiding
[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

image041It 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




image044Please 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 a beautiful trout of over 8lbs caught by Westmeath angler Michael Farrell on a dry sedge.

Total number of trout recorded: 98

Selection of Catches

image045Kenneth O’Keefe (Grey Duster Guiding) – 11 trout for the week, averaging 2 ½ – 3lbs caught on sedges. Best fish weighed in at 4lbs on a caenis pattern.
Pat Bannon, Cavan – 1 trout on July 13th, at 2 ½ lbs on a dry sedge.

David Casey, Belfast – 1 trout at 4lbs on a buzzer pattern in Corru Bay.

Martin Corbett, Dublin – 7 trout for the week, heaviest weighed in at over 4lbs using sedge and bloodworm patterns.

Michael Farrell, Finea – 6 trout for the week, late evening fishing, using bloodworm patterns and sedges, heaviest fish was over 8lbs.

Kent Kilroy, England – 5 trout, heaviest 6 ½ lbs on the Green Peter, others averaged 2 ½ lbs caught using dry sedges and murrough patterns.

Patsy Smith, Cavan – 3 trout at 2 ½ – 3 ½ lbs fishing Murrough and small dry sedges.

Colin McStay, Belfast – 2 trout at 4 ½ and 3 lbs using pupa and emerger patterns.

Don Regan, Northern Ireland – Fishing around Bog Bay, 3 trout averaging 2lbs, fishing using sedges, peters and murroughs.

Frances Selville, Drogheda – 5 trout for the week, heaviest 4 ½ lbs on a dry Buzzer, rest got on sedges and bloodworm.

Rusheen BayRusheen Bay, Lough Sheelin – July 2015

Brenda Montgomery IFI