For the past few years I have spent a few days on Lough Sheelin with Aidan Rush. This year we again made plans and we were looking forward to some Green Fly and Spent fishing. Normally we would boat 3-7 fish on an average day on Sheelin
and up to ten fish depending on weather conditions. Lough Sheelin can be a very moody lake but that always adds to the challenge. Flies were tied and we were full of expectation for the few days ahead. But to be totally truthful we could never ever of imagined
in our wildest dreams what would take place on the lake during those two days.
Reports were that the fly was hatching early, so we made plans to fish mid-week and to be out on the water between 8.30 and 9am. The great thing about Sheelin
is that there are rarely boats out before 10 am mid week and most of the time the anglers that go out mid week really only fish the spent in the evening due to work commitments
At 8.45am we headed out of Chambers bay and up to Stoney, as we travelled
to our chosen spot we could see fish feeding in the flat calm in most directions. There were Spent and Greens on the water along with thousands of shucks from the hatch that had been going on for 2 weeks at this stage
was deserted and we pulled in close to the shore to start the first drift. We were both set up to fish dry Mayfly’s in the calm. Fish moved sporadically in front of us as the fly began to hatch. Most of the fish rose way out of our reach and were only rising once and then disappearing. A fish turned some thirty yards in front of the boat, casting towards the fish Aidan more
in hope than anything else, tried to guess where the fish would appear next. He did not have to wait long as his fly was sucked down from the surface of the lake. The fish exploded on the water as Aidan set the hook. To be honest I do not like playing fish
in the flat calm as no matter which way they run, they are towing the boat putting extra pressure on the leader and the hook hold. Thankfully the fish behaved and plodded deep in front of the boat. After a powerful but short battle the fish came to the
surface and the first fish of the trip was in the net. A fish of over 4lbs proved the roll over mayfly had not lost its magic charms.
Shortly afterward a fish head and tailed on my Mosley and again after a Spirited battle another mint
Sheelin fish of about 4lb graced the net. Unfortunately the hatch never came on in the area and after catching a few very small fish which was great to see, we decided to head to pastures new. We met Aidan’s Brother Cahill and Stephen Collins
for Lunch. They had done very well that morning, with 7 fish landed to nearly 6lb. During lunch they told us that there were s fly hatching for most of the morning but in small numbers and the fish were feeding well.
Looking out from the shore I could
see fish rising so after a rushed lunch we headed back out.
The lads were right dead right, by 5 pm Aidan and I had managed another 10 fish, on Mosley’s and the Roll over Dry Mayfly, most of the fish took the Green Roll over. I did pick a few
up on a slow intermediate and wet mays fished really slowly but the dry’s were king.
By now the hatch had stopped and we turned our attention to the Spents. Driving up the lake to Orangefields we could see a few spents on the water. Again
we went to shore for a quick break as we were hoping we wouldn’t get another chance that evening as we would be too busy.