Another good turnout of 15 fly fishers assembled at the Bixter Hall last Thursday evening for round six of the Shetland Angling Association’s fly bank league.
Despite the cyclonic winds and calm conditions all anglers were desperate for points and so were champing at the bit to get going.
In fact, when everyone raced past Leslie Barclay at the start and he felt there was still a minute to go before kick off, he was so put out that he decided to lodge an official complaint at the weigh-in. However, the allegation was laughed out of court as everyone felt that Leslie complaining about an early start was a bit like the pot calling the kettle black, and also since it was the competition secretary himself who had led the early charge.
The start saw anglers spread out over most of the lochs in the Clousta road with perhaps Vaara and Clousta getting the bulk of the early attention. The weather settled down into a steady north-east breeze which slowly died away as the evening progressed. It also meant that sport was patchy in the lochs with some anglers reporting seeing a lot of action over the four hours and others seeing very little.
At the weigh-in it was the on-fire Frank Watt who ran out the clear winner with nine trout out of Vaara for 4lb 7½oz. Frank had scored with “Cormorants” in the calm conditions. Second was Peter Laurenson with four fish for 3lb 1oz from Clings Water and Northouse. His top fly was a “Pearly Bibio”. Third place went to Bobby Irvine with five fish from Vaara for 2lb 9½oz and fourth place, despite his slow start, went to Barclay. His four trout from Vaara weighed 2lb 3oz and his top fly was a “Clan Chief Sedgehog”.
Others gaining points were Mark Sandison, Billy Reid, Jeemie Sandison, Alex Fullerton, Barry Robertson, Alastair Jamieson, Magnus Reid and Derek Tithridge.
Jeemie Sandison had the heaviest fish at 1lb 10oz from Northouse which fell to a “Golden Slipper”.
Fly fishers are generally always keen to do one another a good turn and this was illustrated perfectly on Thursday night.
Dave Wright, perhaps not renowned for having the best sense of direction in the world, or indeed time-keeping skills if it comes to that, found himself marooned at the north end of Clousta at 10 o’clock. Faced with a daunting 20-minute hike back over challenging terrain to retrieve his car from the south end of Clousta, he was fortunate to run into Alex Fullerton who offered him a lift back. Anglers are reminded to study maps carefully, plan their route well and make all necessary preparations before embarking on an evening’s angling.
With six out of the nine competitions fished the fly bank league now takes a break until 23rd July.
Current league positions: Frank Watt 109; Bobby Irvine 101; Billy Reid 92; Peter Laurenson 89; Mark Sandison 82; Leslie Barclay 63; Alastair Jamieson 59; Kevin Robertson 57; Barry Robertson 55; Harry Sandison 52; Jeemie Sandison 52; Magnus Reid 47; Alan Smith 25; Dave Wright 25; Alex Fullerton 22; Craig Smith 18; Derek Tithridge 8.
Last Saturday saw the annual marathon that is the Pottinger Benston trophy. It was great to see Rae Phillips turning out to mount a challenge to Billy Reid and John Laurenson who have dominated this competition in recent years.
A flat calm made what is a particularly difficult competition even more demanding. At the 2am weigh-in it was John Laurenson who took the honours with a 2lb 4oz trout which fell to small sedge pattern. Well done John.
The next fly competition is the Tulloch Midsummer Shield which takes place tomorrow with a 10am start at the Tingwall boat shed.
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Three wins in a row for year’s top spinner
A few well-selected anglers checked in on Saturday morning at Collafirth Pier for Shetland Anglers Association’s annual competition for the Duncan Trophy (Ronas Hill lochs).
It was the third spinning competition of the year and with Stephen Johnson taking top points from the first two, an opportunity for trailing anglers to recover some ground.
Good conditions saw anglers land some nice baskets and after a long eight hours the winner was Stephen Johnson with an excellent basket of 29 fish weighing 19lb 8oz. Dave Wright took second place with a fine basket of 24 fish for 12lb 15oz. Other successful anglers were Tam Terris and junior Fraser McKenzie.
A couple of incidents need a mention, the first being Tam who with his line tangled managed to hook a fine specimen around a pound and a half. During the ensuing struggle to clear the tangle and land the fish young Fraser inadvertently crossed lines with the frustrated Tam. The inevitable happened and the fish escaped to fight another day.
The other involved Stephen who arrived back at his vehicle and packed away his fishing gear for the journey to the weigh- in. Then he noticed the vehicle keys were missing, and after a long and not so thorough search a member of the group noticed them in the door lock. As the weigh-in was a 40 minute walk over rough terrain, embarrassment was overcome by relief.
The next spinning competition is for the rescheduled Cee & Jays Cup on Saturday, 27th June, with a 10am check in at Mavis Grind.