10 year old Caoimhe Murtagh appreciating the beauty that is Lough Sheelin

Lough Sheelin Angling Report June 29th – July 5th 2020

‘Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did’

Newt Gingrich

This has been a difficult week for fishing on Lough Sheelin. The usual culprit – the weather, struck with a vengeance again like an unwelcome visitor bring with it pulses of rain, dropping temperatures and gusty westerly weekend storms. Weather is the game changer here and is effectively destroying what could be some excellent fishing.

The calm before the storm

Along with our meteorological woes there are some other factors which are effectively pushing Sheelin trout fishing into this more challenging phase. Large shoals of fry, commonly referred to as ‘pinheads’ are gathering in the shallow areas and bays of the lake. Trout are always on the lookout for food but it isn’t just prey they are after, it is easy to capture prey, our trout want the most gain for the least effort so a congregation of a protein packed meal in the form of dozens of small fish is a very attractive and tempting option over the alternative of cruising a large area of water looking for an insect or two. As the fry get bigger they become that more aware of their marauding enemy so to overcome this the trout will hurtle themselves at full throttle into a shoal of small fish, in the hope of stunning some of them and then return to quietly pick off injured or dazed fish. Such ‘fry bashing’ is what the angler is looking for to try out perhaps a static floating fry or a semi-submerged pattern. While the trout are fixated on the pinheads, it can be a difficult time for the fly angler so the best plan would be to stay away from the areas where the fry congregate and head out into the open water where the trout might be shoaling on daphnia or stick to the late evening fishing when there might be a possibility of catching buzzer or sedge feeding trout, again the choice of fishing is very weather dependent and the weather simply wasn’t kind to anglers this week.

Lough Sheelin’s Cinnamon sedge

Going over the past seven days:

Monday was a humid day with temperatures stretching up to 20°C, moderate to fresh southerly winds along with drizzly rain made conditions unfavourable. Some trout were sighted performing aerial acrobatics but this was probably to rid themselves of lice rather than air diving for food. There were handfuls of sedges in sheltered areas but little or no surface feeding from the trout. The potential of good evening fishing on the murrough was destroyed by the onset of heavy rain. Mirror calm conditions prevailed throughout Tuesday with only a very odd sedge and damsel fly on the water, some caenis feeding fish were spotted in early morning. Wednesday was the pick of the week with light to variable winds and good cloud cover. Thursday was disappointing with heavy rainfall, temperature dips and only sparse amounts of fly on the water. Friday and Saturday were all a bit of a struggle as anglers tried to cope with strong and gusty winds and continuous rainfall and Sunday was a total wash out with drenching downpours, strong winds and a sky that stayed on the ground all day.

Chambers Bay

This week was all about teams of wets with little room for any dries. The orange Stimulator worked well as did any scruffy kind of fly used on the bob. Lough Sheelin has a large number of trout in the 4 to 5 lb bracket which is an enviable fact. These are big trout and big trout are often looking for flies that are showing signs of vulnerability and that means flies that are less than perfect. An imperfect copy of the natural real insect which has included a few good trigger points that portray the illusion that the prey is vulnerable in some ways is a good plan so keeping it scruffy and not too regimental could be the way forward when the fishing is being more challenging than normal.

A scruffy Leggy Claret Bumble

The traditional method of dapping a grasshopper was tried by one angler during the week with a moderate degree of success.

The numbers of anglers fishing the lake averaged 10 to 12 per day with a slight increase for the evening.

There were still plenty of the terrestrials being blown on to the water this week with ants, beetles, daddy long legs and some hawthorns being helped out on to the water by the daily breezes, providing a variety of temptation to a possible passing trout

Summer is Daddy time on Lough Sheelin

With the trout on the pinheads, fly dressing incorporating a thread of silver attracts these fish on the hunt for the silver of the perch fry.

Angling is poor at the moment but it will change and there is a lot to look forward to if the weather changes – sedges, murrough, green peter and bloodworm. July is also a good month for fishing hoppers and using terrestrial imitations.

Now into the third phase of the Covid unlocking roadmap, anglers can now travel anywhere in Ireland and there has been a noticeable increase in anglers from other parts to Lough Sheelin.

A Lough Ree angler who has a boat on Lough Sheelin fished the lake late last week. His boat is called ‘The Demon’ for various unflattering reasons. After purchasing his Midlands Fisheries Group Permit online he was eerily given the permit number 666 (Satan’s number) and now is feeling particularly cautious about future expeditions on this lake………..

Hope springs eternal

23 trout catches were recorded with a 63cm trout taking the catch of the week.

Fish catches this week were caught on a variety of patterns but the attractor patterns worked best. Attractor flies are great for now when it’s horrible weather and there are poor trout rises.  When you are trying to match the hatch, you have to wait before casting to the fish that you’ve spotted but with attractor flies you can cast randomly, a free license to almost cast willy-nilly but hopefully over likely pockets of water that should hold fish.

Changing flies more often is advisable when fishing attractor flies until you find the right combination and a good long drag free presentation is just as important as on any cast.

A traditional salmon fly and very apt for the weather that’s in it –  ‘Thunder & Lightening’ landed a fine 3lb trout during the week for one Dublin angler.

Humpies and Stimulators brought results but other popular patterns were Claret Bumbles, Golden Olive Bumbles, Bibios, Klinkhammers, dry Buzzers (sizes 8-12), Emerging Buzzers, Grey Duster (size 10), Royal Wulffs, Dabblers (Green, Golden Mayfly and International), the Octopus, Welshman’s Button, Chocolate Drop, Muddlers, Daddys, Hoppers, the Telephone Fly, Elk Hair Caddis, the F-Fly, Red Tailed Peters and small dry sedges.

Golden Olive George

The places that produced catches were down along the Western shore of the lake, Stony Island, at the back of Church Island, Merry Pt., Wilson’s pt, Inchacup, Chambers Bay and from Kilnahard down to Crover, Crane Island, Bog Bay, and Sailors Garden and into Goreport, Lynch’s Pt, Derrysheridan and Derry Pt.

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

Catch and Release 

 Please remember anglers to abide by BYE-LAW 949 which strictly prohibits from June 14th 2017 onwards:

  • The taking of any brown trout of less than 36 centimeters.
  • 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.


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

 Christopher Defillon 

[email protected] (+33685964369) evasionpecheirlande.net


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

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

John Mulvany  [email protected] 086 2490076

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

 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.

Between the light