Lough Sheelin Angling Report By Brenda Montgomery, IFI – May 2nd – May 8th 2016

‘Be patient and calm – for no one can catch fish in anger.’
Herbert Hoover

image001Sunset over Chambers Bay, Lough Sheelin May 3rd

The first of May on Lough Sheelin was heralded in by heavy showers of hail and downpours of rain intermingled with bright cold sunshine – not a conducive mixture for good fishing on a lake that has a reputation at the best of times for bringing even the most experienced trout anglers to their knees.
Good or bad fishing on Sheelin is irrevocably and intrinsically intertwined with the weather, if there is a persistent cold coupled with blustery winds similar to what we have been having, then there will be poor fly life, the scattering of olives that are there won’t be able to get off the water and the bulk of the trout will stick to the lower water columns because there is no temptation there to encourage them to the surface. When the weather warms up a little then the fishing reflects that change as it did mid week with a steady appearance of good buzzer hatches and condensed pods of olives in Bog Bay and Sailors Garden when daytime temperatures headed for the ‘near tropical’ 15 degrees.

An angling report cannot be written without a constant reference to the weather so it was with interest that this writer listened to Danny Healy-Rae’s recent outburst to the Dail Chamber this week when he stated ‘I believe God above is in charge of the weather and that we here can’t do anything about it’ whatever the scientific connotation of this remark it might be helpful to anglers when they are battling with the elements to remember who Mr Healy-Rae is choosing to blame.

The Catches…


Doing it the French way with the weight of the week – Yann Caleri twice world fly champion guided by Lough Sheelin Guiding, lands a Sheelin classic

This was a slow week for angling on the lake, with fly hatches still not firing on all cylinders. There were reports of good buzzer hatches mid week and scattered and patchy appearances of olives often in single figures but in heavier clusters in the very sheltered areas of the lake. There was some pitching of trout and some surface feeding.

A number of French anglers fished the lake over the past five days, two of which were Yaan Caleri and Philippe Dolivet. Yaan who lives on the Swiss/French border has the coveted title of being world champion in fly fishing, not once but impressively twice over. He has also represented France ten times. Sheelin tested the metal of all these anglers but despite difficult conditions, Sheelin did not disappoint and some beautiful fish were caught, the heaviest of which was over 5 ½ lbs.
Lough Sheelin has now cast its spell over the French angling fraternity with bookings of groups of anglers from Brittany planned for later in the season.
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 this week was a trout of 5 ½ lbs caught by Yaan Caleri, France using wet flies.

Total number of trout recorded: 31

Selection of the catches

Kevin Sheridan, Cavan – 2 trout averaging 2lbs on wets.image022

Brendan Kilroy, Dublin – 3 trout for the week using Silver and Peter Ross Dabblers.

Pat Brady, Cavan – 2 trout heaviest at 3 ½ lbs on a Sooty Olive

Des MacDonagh, Sligo – 1 trout at 3lbs using a Claret Dabbler

Gene Brady, Cavan – 1 trout at 5lbs on a Sooty Olive

Philippe Dolivet, France – 3 trout heaviest at 54 cm pulling wets

Mark Connors, Dublin – 3 trout heaviest at 3lbs using Claret Dabblers and Sooty Olives.

Daniel O’Neill, Portadown – 1 trout at 3lbs fishing a team of wets

Arijandas Zabilavicius, Meath – 8 fish (all released) heaviest at 4 ½ lbs using small lures.

Valdas Drevinskas, Lucan – 2 fish heaviest at 2 ½ lbs.

The Hatches and the Flies…

The most popular flies for the week were the Sooty Olives, the F Fly, the Klinkhammers, the Dabblers particularly the Peter Ross, Claret, Silver, Green and Fiery Brown, the Cock Robin, the Dunkeld, the Black Pennell, the Pheasant Tailed Nymph, the Golden Olive Bumbles, Olive patterns and the Buzzer Patterns which include Epoxy Buzzers, Buzzer Pupae and Balling Buzzer. The lures are still featuring with the UV Humungus and a small white Minkie landing some nice trout.

The best flies for this week were the Klinkhammers, Sooty Olives, the Dabblers particularly the Claret and Silver patterns, the Black Pennells, the Hare’s Ear, the Connemara Blacks, Buzzer patterns – Emergers and Epoxy, the lures – small Humungus in black, silver and white, the Diawl Bachs, the Stimulator in Green, the Bibios and the Golden Olive Bumbles.

The areas that yielded the best results, again very weather dependent was Bog Bay, Lynch’s pt, Chambers Bay, Holywell, the back of Church Island, Goreport, Corru, Wilson’s pt and Sailors Garden

Crover, Lough Sheelin
Crover, Lough Sheelin

Now into May, a mixture of apprehension and anticipation is building up within the anglers who fish this lake and this is all down to one very beautiful insect – Ephemerophtera danica – the Mayfly. Many anglers choose May as their debut into their trout fishing season so this week saw the arrival of many anglers (who were last seen in 2015) along with their boats asking lots of questions and buying that very necessary fishery permit which incidentally must be bought before anglers go out on the water.

Crover,  Lough Sheelin
Crover, Lough Sheelin

This week I finally got to meet Bernie who runs a B&B close to the IFI offices at Kilnahard. I pass these premises what feels like fifty times a day on the Finea road and have seen the sign with good intentions to go in and check it out but somehow it never happened and so instead of the mountain going to Muhammad, Muhammad came to the mountain when Bernie came to me. I was impressed, Bernie is a very friendly person who offers great value for superb accommodation and beautiful food, she keeps bees and everything is fresh and homely but with a touch of class. It would be worth booking in there for any angler or visitor to this area – Lakeshore B&B at 00353 (0)86 8940228

image011The Competitions

ITFFA Youth Fundraiser Competition Lough Sheelin May 22nd 2016: The competition will work as follows: Anglers may fish with their own choice of boat partner. Anglers will be required to have a keep tank in their boat. Any plastic container approximately 60cmL x 40cmW x 30cmD will do the job. There will be a number of stewards on the lake to measure fish. Each angler will be given a map showing the locations of the stewards and a phone number for each steward. Stewards will al…so be wearing high visibility vests. When you catch a fish simply call the nearest steward and make your way to his location. The steward will measure and photograph the fish and the fish must swim away in order to be eligible.

All boats must be inside the markers at Kilnahard Pier by 6pm, any fish in keep tanks at this time must be presented for measuring by 6:15pm. Entry fee for this fundraising competition is €50 per angler. The winner will receive €1000 cash and the Youth Fundraiser perpetual cup, and bragging rights. There will also be several other prizes. Shannon region Fishery permits are required to fish Lough Sheelin. Permits are available online at the following web address: https://www.fishinginireland.info/midland-permit.htm Please note that day permits are available. This should be a very enjoyable competition as it takes place on a fantastic venue at a great time of the year when the Mayfly should be plentiful. We would like to encourage clubs to participate in this competition and support the Irish Youth Fly Fishing team.


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

image019It 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

5 year old Noah Breen Johnston





Sheelin Guiding Services

Grey Duster Guiding Sheelin
A catch & release policy is actively encouraged on the lake at all times


Philippe releases one of his smaller trout


Early afternoon in Chambers Bay, Lough Sheelin

Brenda Montgomery IFI