Destination Lough Sheelin

My sparring partner and I took the 0805 short flight from Edinburgh over the Irish Sea to Dublin, where we picked up our hire car. We quickly loaded up and headed for the Mayfly! Once we got the stupid Sat Nav working that was. Lough sheelin is a very handy 1 Hr 30 drive from the airport !


We met our guide, Mick Kelly aka “The sheelin Wizard” at his mobile home right on the bank of the Lough. He welcomed us in for a cup of the finest Tea I’ve ever had! As he was telling us stories of the amazing buzzer fishing he had the previous night, and showed us photos of 6lb fish he caught, he could see the excitement building up in my face “come on then let’s get tackled up”

Conditions weren’t great for fishing, with temperatures reaching 23 degrees and very little wind, not ideal for catching these tricking wild fish! Oh not forgetting the ridiculously clear water, you could actually make out every rock and weed on the lough bed 20 foot down!

With Advice from Mick , We set up with buzzers, on very fine fluorocarbon . I opted for the 9’3 #6 Surge light but powerful, and a #6 Brook floater for that extra presentation and to help turn over my light leader and buzzers.
A few Mayflies had started to flutter past us as we headed for a wee Bay up near the top of the Lough, but Mick reckoned the conditions still weren’t right for the big hatches.

We pulled up to a patch of lilies in the middle of the bay; I wasn’t feeling it as it looked to be only a few feet deep and the sun was scorching!!!! But I listened to the wizard as he’s the one with 40 years’ experience on the Lough. He gently kept our boat straight as we slowly drifted past the weeded area. My partner in Crime Andy let out a noise as the line was ripped from his hand! He was into his first Sheelin fish, not bad for 20 minutes. It gave him a right run around, in our eyes it was a real specimen about the 2lb mark!

13235401_1550061781962977_1652597580174554951_o.jpgI was having trouble keeping my buzzers up in the water, catching weed most casts. Mick gave me a couple of his special Kelly buzzers, much lighter than I was fishing. I chucked them and started to twiddle them back, as they reached the boat it all went tight, I honestly thought I’d hooked the bottom again, but this time it wasn’t coming off. I stood up to give it a good old wiggle, when I saw a huge fish flashing about, 7 foot down!! Then the carnage unfolded. At first I thought it was a pike , given its size but then it took off bow waving across the surface , displaying its massive spotted Brown tail ! The smooth drag on the Traxion 3 was tested to the full as the lined peeled off, I had it set light as I was only fish 4lb flouro. I eventually battled the beast to the boat, letting out a huge “YESSSSS” as Mick scooped his net under it. There were high fives all-round, Andy videoed the whole battle but it’s not clean enough for here, definitely a few naughty words. We slipped him back after a few trophy shots. In our eyes, the trip was made and we had only been there an hour or 2!

13230249_1550061795296309_7891141239606034214_n.jpgThe Mayfly progressed as the week went on but the weather still wasn’t perfect. We had some great sport pulling big Mayfly wets through the waves, not forgetting to “dibble” of course. We had numerous big fish, we didn’t weigh any of our fish but we both knew we had caught our biggest wild Brownies.

We really did have the trip of a lifetime, amazing fishing, great company and my ribs are sore from laughing at Micks stories!

If anyone is considering a trip to Sheelin, I would highly recommend looking up Mick Kelly on Facebook, he has 40 + years’ guiding experience on the Lough, He will take you to the fish and share his secrete flies.

All the Best



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