June 18th – June 24th 2018

“Success is all about going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”
Winston Churchill

Dan ‘Humpy’ Prunty, Dublin with his sunset Sheelin trout
Dan ‘Humpy’ Prunty, Dublin with his sunset Sheelin trout

 After the disappointment of the traditional mayfly fishing period, Lough Sheelin has turned the tables on its anglers and is now presenting some good fishing opportunities. This is mainly due to the our fickle Irish weather and for the past week the weather has been kind to those pursuing Lough Sheelin’s elusive trout – north west and the more desirable south to south westerly’s featured along with good cloud cover and a slight reduction in temperatures, comparable at least to the tropical heats of weeks gone by.  The best fishing days were from mid week through to the weekend where many of the regular anglers put in a frenzied number of hours before the onset of the fore casted ‘heat wave’.

Keith Lough, Scotland with his 60cm Lough Sheelin trout
Keith Lough, Scotland with his 60cm Lough Sheelin trout

The Hatches

Food for thought – a carpet of mayfly shucks
Food for thought – a carpet of mayfly shucks

The mayfly still predominates here, with hatches of these beautiful fragile insects, freshly hatched, sitting like little sailing boats on the surface water waiting for their wings to dry before taking to the air. Strong winds on Tuesday night kept the spent from going out but on other evenings, although not nearly as excessive as in previous weeks, we were treated to the familiar scene of exhaustion and death slicked across the surface of the lake as that elegant life of the mayfly ended and with it providing a tempting meal to a cruising trout.

Dancing at Church, June 19th
Dancing at Church, June 19th. 2018 boasted the biggest mayfly hatch on record for Sheelin, with swarms of these insects rising up into the air like smoke to begin their courtship dance. They bounce, there is no other word for it.  They fly up vertically, to about 12 to 15 feet, then parachute back down to about 4 feet from the ground, but then return back up again so abruptly it’s as if they have landed on an invisible entomological trampoline.

Hatches of mayfly were still in evidence on parts of the lake – Holywell to Crover, into Chambers Bay and around the islands.  There were small hatches of caenis in Goreport, Sailor’s Garden and Chambers Bay at first light at the weekend, best fished using a small Grey Duster pattern.

‘Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive’ Walter Scott
‘Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive’ Walter Scott

Now, with the longest day of the year, June 21st, behind us and with the month of July in sight, inevitably we are moving away from the mayfly and into what some anglers would consider the cream of the fishing calendar and that is the sedge fishing.  The transition from Ephemera to sedge has already been in evidence over the past week or so with the appearance of the Great Red Sedge – the Murrough as well as a vast number of species of smaller sedges present in considerable numbers particularly around Church Island, Stony and Derry Sheridan.  There are reputedly a bewildering 300 different species but for the sake of entomogical sanity, anglers really just need to know a few of the basics – a small brown sedge, the Cinnamon, the Welshman’s Button, the Murrough and the Green Peter.

The Welshman’s Button
The Welshman’s Button

Sedge is late evening, twilight and after dark fishing. The sedge pupae makes for the surface with an impressive turn of speed and emerging onto open water it must get to safety as quickly as possible before being eaten by a marauding fish. Trout feeding on moving sedge hit their meal with a tell tale slap as they pounce on the doomed sedge scurrying across the water in its attempt to get to a safe haven.

Murrough and Mayfly
Murrough and Mayfly

Local angler and Sheelin guide Ned Clinton caught two trout averaging over 3lbs at the end of this week both on Murrough patterns.

A rare white Welshman’s Button
A rare white Welshman’s Button

Best places for sedge fishing on this lake are behind Stony Island, Gaffney’s Bay, Ross Bay, Rusheen and the bottom of Goreport and Bog Bay.

Sedges on outboard
Sedges on outboard

The Catches

Christopher Defillon’s bar of gold
Christopher Defillon’s bar of gold

Lough Sheelin never has nor never will be an easy lake to fish, moody and erratic the main attraction to anglers is that this lake carries a stock of heavy wild trout and this in itself offers the trout angler angler an irresistible chance of catching that dream weight.

 Mark Lough, Scotland with a 57cm trout caught on a wet Mayfly pattern

Mark Lough, Scotland with a 57cm trout caught on a wet Mayfly pattern

Anglers as a rule have high expectations of here and when conditions are challenging and trout do not give themselves up, they move on, leaving this beautiful and capricious stretch of water to those who understand the intricacies of fishing a wild brown trout fishery.

Cian Murtagh’s Sheelin trout caught on a wet Yellow Partridge
Cian Murtagh’s Sheelin trout caught on a wet Yellow Partridge

Twenty seven catches were recorded for this week with a top weight of almost 7lb which is good considering the scattered numbers fishing these waters.

Peter McArdle’s trout of the week caught on a Murrough
Peter McArdle’s trout of the week caught on a Murrough

Peter McArdle easily took the weight of the week with a superb trout of almost 7lbs, a burnished gold piece of piscatorial perfection caught on a Murrough pattern near Corru Bay.

Selection of Catches
  • Ned Clinton, Cavan – 1 trout at 3lbs using a Murrough pattern, June 21st.
  • Cian Murtagh, Cavan – June 20th – 2 trout both at 3lbs using a French Partridge fishing around Church island and Curry point.  June 21st 1 trout at 4lbs on a French Partridge at Derrysheridan.
  • Gary McKiernan (Lough Sheelin Guiding Services) – 1 trout a 3lbs on a dry sedge.
  • Florian Tortel Le Ven, France fishing with Christopher Defillon – June 21st 1 trout at 65cm.
  • Johnny Murray, Ballymena – 1 trout at 2lbs using a sedge pattern.
  • Michael Donnelly, Dublin – June 20th 3 trout heaviest at 5lbs using Stimulators and Wet Mayfly patterns.
  • JJ Sullivan, Meath – 1 trout at 3lbs on a spent gnat, June 19th.
  • George Stonehouse, Ross – 1 trout at 3 lbs using wet mayfly patterns.
  • Michael Dunleavy, Dublin – 2 trout for the week, heaviest at 4lbs using a Spent Gnat pattern.
Ned Clinton with his 3lb trout caught on a Murrough pattern
Ned Clinton with his 3lb trout caught on a Murrough pattern

The Flies

During the day time and into early evening wet mayfly patterns worked well and in particular the French Partridge, although I am told any wet mayfly pattern would do. A person could get lost in the confusion of mayfly patterns out there, unhelpfully referred to as ‘wet mays’ but the patterns that keep appearing and producing successful fishing have been the Klinkhammers (Green and in Yellow), the Octopus, the Gosling (good as a top dropper), an Emerger Yellow Mayfly and the Olive May Muddler (an excellent pulling fly that can be greased up if you want to fish it on a floating line).  My favourite has to be Peter Hehir’s Lissane Lady which regardless of attracting a number of 3lb plus trout this week is just simply lovely to look at with of course having the added bonus of being great in a team of wet flies, in a rolling wave, fished on an intermediate or floating line.

A number of fish were caught using Spent patterns and it was the Wulffs which featured most – grey, green and royal. Aiden Rush’s ‘Lough Sheelin Spent’ and Mick Kelly’s ‘Leggy Black Spent’ were also favourites.

The most successful flies this week were the Mayfly nymph patterns, wet Mayfly patterns in greens with mixes of brown and claret mingled through, , the French Partridge, the Goslings, , CDC Mayfly Emergers, the Wulffs (grey and royal), the Spent Gnat patterns (a predominance of black worked best). For the sedge fishing a small brown sedge pattern (size 12) fished dry and Murrough and a balling buzzer on the dropper got results. Wickham’s Fancy, the Cinnamon Sedge and Black Gnat dry fly also got a look in. Other patterns catching fish were the Dabblers (Claret, Green and Silver), Stimulators and Bumbles (Golden and Cock Robin).


The McDonnell cup will be held on Saturday August 11th on Lough Sheelin, fishing from 11am till 6pm from Kilnahard pier… This competition has been fished catch & release for the last five 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 Trout Protection Association will be hosting a Youth angling day on Saturday July 21st. For further details contact Thomas Lynch @ 087 9132033 .       

boatsGo Fishing…

House Rules

A permit is required to fish Lough Sheelin. Buy your permit online at: shop.fishinginireland.info or from any of the permit distributors listed here.

Catch and release

Damien's  'catch and release'  #CPRsavesfish
Damien’s  ‘catch and release’  #CPRsavesfish

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

 BYE-LAW 949 strictly prohibits:

  • The taking of any brown trout of less than 36 centimetres.
  • For a person to fish with more than 2 rods at any one time.
  • To fish with more than 4 rods at any one time when there is more than one person on board the boat concerned.
  • For a person to take more than 2 trout per day.
  • All trolling on the lake from March 1st to June 16th (inclusive).
  • To fish or to attempt to take or to fish for, fish of any kind other than during the period from March 1st to October 12th in any year.


Join the Club…

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

Guides and ghillies…

Grey Duster GuidingGrey Duster Guiding
Kenneth O’Keeffe
086 8984172 Email: [email protected]

Christopher Defillon
Tel: +33 68 596 4369  Email: [email protected]
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christopher.defillon

Lough Sheelin Guiding Services
Tel: 087 1245927 Web: www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com

D.C Angling & Guiding Services
contact David @ 087 3946989

Michael Farrell
Tel: 087 4194156 or  +353 43 6681298
Email: [email protected]

Michael Flanagan,
Trout and Pike Guide.
Email: [email protected] Web: www.midlandangling.com


We would implore anglers and all other users to wear life jackets for their own safety as well as it being the law.

Life jackets are required by law – SI No 921 of 2005 – Pleasure Craft (Personal Flotation Devices and Operation) (Safety) Regulations 2005.Water  rarely gives second chances and a life jacket is just that – it saves your life.

Please put on and keep on that life jacket until you are back on dry land.

Lough Sheelin, June 23rd 2018
Lough Sheelin, June 23rd 2018