The Castle of Ross has proudly overlooked the famous fishing waters of Lough Sheelin for close to 500 years. With horse-hair, twine and flies tied from feathers, occupants of the castle have fished these waters for centuries. Initially they would have pursued the noble Brown Trout, that made these waters famous beyond the boundaries of the Counties Meath and Cavan. Trout were not only caught in large numbers but also as large specimens, feeding annually on the various hatches of flies and the abundant shoals of smaller fish.
It is documented that pike was introduced to the lake well after the time of the Castle’s erection, in the 16th or 17th century. Since then the coarse fishery for pike has been enjoyed for the size of the pike caught, often exceeding 20 and even 30 pounds. Today most local anglers pursue the trout, especially during the spring Mayfly, while visitors from abroad enjoy specifically the coarse fishing for pike, bream and roach. The eel fishery has been a traditional fishery, today owned and managed by the local power corporation, which controls the outflow out of the lake.
Geologically Lough Sheelin forms the easternmost extent of the River Shannon drainage basin, the largest river system in the British Isles.
The trout and coarse fishery on Lough Sheelin is managed by the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board, which sets standards and rules for the fishery and engages in surveys, the maintenance of infrastructure around the lake as well as the incidental stocking of trout fingerlings.
Fishing licenses must be obtained for any angling on Lough Sheelin. The open season extends from March 1st to October 12th.
Steeped in the tradition of living at and of the lough below, Ross Castle offers the ideal base for fishing excursions and extensive fishing retreats. A landing site for boats is situated immediately below the Castle’s walls.
Your hosts at Ross Castle can arrange for the hire of boats or the services of a local fishing guide – called a gillie. Information on the fishing can be provided. The required permits can be obtained.
For visitors looking for a variety in fishing experiences, scenery and fish to be caught, Ross Castle can offer this as well: situated in the heart of the Irish Midlands, which are dotted with dozens of famous fishing waters, other loughs, like Deravarra, Owel, Ennell or Ree and even the mighty River Shannon are within an hour’s drive.
For specific information on angling rules and conditions in the Upper Shannon Drainage in general and Lough Sheelin specifically, please click HERE.