Lough Sheelin angling report April 21st – April 28th 2023

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

Benjamin Franklin

Nothing compares to you

This week’s fishing on Lough Sheelin was dogged by east winds with south and north easterlies whipping across the water, cooling the surface and putting an unwelcome chilly edge to the trout fishing here. But our eastern winds brought eastern promise in the form of beautiful slabs of Sheelin spotted magic with the heaviest catch tipping the scales at almost 7lbs.

A handful of happiness

Last Monday, April 24th I am told is the ‘kick off’ date for the buzzer fishing, seemingly nature flicks a piscatorial switch and fishing here, takes off in earnest – a soundless gong heralding the move from lures to fly fishing.

We are now, officially into buzzer season.  Water temperatures are climbing slowly and stand at 11 degrees from top to bottom and the trout are moving upwards.

Buzzer beauty

The weather, of course, is always the stumbling block and thundery showers, battleship grey skies and a dense cold put a halt to some anglers’ gallop.

Regardless of the lingering dregs of winter, spring is pushing ahead, visible in the greening up of shoreline trees, the candy floss bloom of the blackthorn bushes and the return of the swallows, swooping and skimming over the lake’s surface.  Best of all is the loud, clear call of our cuckoo, echoing across the Bog and Finea sections of the lake – the joy of an old friend returning.

Spotted display – Martin Allen

The bulk of this week has been cold but warmth is promised and today, April 28th there is a soft warmth which will encourage the buzzer pupae to rise in the water and to undergo their final metamorphosis. As the pupae rise to hatch, the trout will quickly respond to this upward movement, and follow the ascending pupae up to the surface.  If the surface tension delays the insect’s emergence, so much the better for the waiting angler.  This is why, when fishing the emerger buzzer patterns, a light ripple or calm conditions are ideal as these trap the emerging buzzer and the trout can pounce before the insect escapes in the winged adult form.  This week saw a noticeable move from lures to buzzer patterns and although Minkies, Dabblers and Humungus were there in the catches, the buzzer patterns – epoxy and emergers were high on the agenda. The old tried and tested favourites of Sooty Olives, Connemara Black, Dunkeld, Claret & Mallard and Fiery Brown are also gradually knocking the lures off the top position.

Sheelin perfection

Despite heavy rainfall Saturday April 22nd saw good catches of trout averaging 3 – 4 lbs caught on lures and buzzer patterns. Tuesday April 25th was the pick of the fishing week, with light winds, warmth and excellent buzzer hatches.  Fish were taken mainly on epoxy combinations – black & red, Traffic light and green & black.  The Diawl Bach, Shuttlecock and Nymph patterns as droppers brought in some trout of over 4lbs.  When there was no hatch visible, diawl bachs, Hare’s Ear and Crunchers with their general nymphy profile appealed to the buzzer feeding trout.  Small spent midge patterns, Bob’s Bits or Shipman’s Buzzer proved successful too.

Bobs Bits – Steve Cullen

Anglers targeting the buzzer feeding fish need to stay away from open water and instead head for the sheltered areas of the bays and the lee side of the islands. Areas fishing well were Chambers, Orangefield, at the back of Church Island, Ross, Rusheen, Goreport, the Stony Islands, Sailors Garden and Corru.  Anglers using large lures were more successful around the western shore and mid lake.  When the water clarity wasn’t good after rain and gusty winds brightly coloured lures and flies with a bit of bling in them were a better choice.

Camera shy – Ciaran Flynn’s Buzzer fish

Trout do move around, to quote the late Lough Sheelin angling  legend, Sean McIntyre –  ‘they are like cattle grazing, they don’t stay in the same spot’.

The boat numbers on this lake remained steadily in the double figures on most days. Lough Sheelin is a big lake, the aim of each fly angler is to seek out a quiet undisturbed spot where hopefully there will be a pod of feeding fish.

Lough Sheelin is wonderful stretch of trout water and will, undoubtedly be inflicting both pain and joy on all its anglers in the coming months.

Victoria Sakowicz releases her trout
Unreal verses the real
Crover line up
Martin Allen conquering the waves
Sheelin’s Buzzer
A Sheelin classic


Spotted glory
Nearly there

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.
Finea, Lough Sheelin


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

Hands on the future

Total Numbers of catches recorded: 67

Heaviest Trout Recorded: a 6.8 lb trout caught by Kildare angler Markus Sakalusas on a Diawl Bach and Nymph set up

Selection of catches:

Darren Maguire, Ballyconnell – 1 trout at 2.5lbs on a Buzzer pattern, April 22nd.

Paul Owens – 1 trout at 4lbs using Buzzers.

Kevin Curran, Drumshambo – 1 trout at 4.5lbs on a Buzzer pattern.

Marc Mulligan, Co. Fermanagh – 1 trout at over 3lbs using Buzzer patterns.

Saulius Rmonas, Lusk – 2 trout, heaviest at 4lbs on lures.

Laimis Pavilionis, Navan – 1 trout at 3.7 lbs using lures at the back of Church island.

Paul Lunney, Northern Ireland – 1 trout at 5.5lbs on an Epoxy Buzzer, April 25th.

David Connors, Tyrone: 1 trout at 4lbs on a Cruncher fishing a Buzzer pattern, Bog Bay, April 23rd.

Alan Murray, Swords – 1 trout at over 3lbs Buzzer fishing in Rusheen, April 23rd.

Luke Walpole, Navan – 1 trout at 4lbs, Buzzer fishing in Corru Bay.

Eamonn Ross, Ballyconnell – 6 trout up to 2lbs (all released).

Dominic Kerrigan, Belcoo – 1 trout at 3lbs plus, Buzzer fishing in Corru.

Ciaran Flynn – 1 trout at 3.8lbs on a Buzzer pattern, April 27th

Reflecting at Ross