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Alex leads the way at mid-point in Bank League


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Alex Donald won last Friday evening's competition and had best the fish.
Alex Donald won last Friday evening's competition and had best the fish.

Anglers are never happy, it would seem, as one Friday evening they are complaining about too much wind and exactly a week later the wind is too light or even flat calm.

For last Friday evening's Bank League competition on Loch Watten, the light wind saw Dounreay Fly Fishing Association members well spread out around the six-plus miles of bank for the 6pm start.

By lines up at 10pm, it was a flat calm and a few of the 13 entrants had already given up. But others fished to the last minute before gathering at the Brown Trout Hotel for the weigh-in.

Alex Donald had stayed on the Sandy Point to Kiddies' Corner bank to the end and then put three nice trout weighing exactly 5 lb on the scales. He had used a Midge Tip line with a Lavender Half Hog fly accounting for all his fish, including the best one at 3 lb 0.25 oz that gave him the bonus point along with the Robertson Cup and 13 Bank League points.

Neil Clyne fished the other side of the loch, covering much of Laid Bay for a pair of trout at 2 lb 13.5 oz that secured second place and 11 points. He had used a Clear Intermediate line and a fly tied to a pattern from Orkney.

The third place (nine-point) bag came from Tony Chalmers, who had also fished the Sandy Point to Kiddies' Corner bank. His two fish weighing 2 lb 5.25 oz were caught on his trusty Wakesaver line with the more traditional pattern flies, Loch Ordie and Bibio.

Toby Bracey and James Simpson each added a trout to the total of nine put on the scales – the former's weighing exactly 1 lb and Simpson's half an ounce less, giving them fourth (eight points) and fifth (seven points) respectively.

At the mid-point of the Bank League, Alex Donald leads with 28 points, one more than Neil Clyne. Robbie Hawken is third on 18, followed by Tony Chalmers 14, Toby Bracey 11 and Kevin Imlach sixth with nine.

DFFA’s next event is the All-Night competition on Loch Watten on Friday, June 17.

Toby Bracey barely had time to go home to get ready for the journey south to meet up with the rest of the 14-man Scottish team to fish in the Spring Home International on Loch Melvin, about 20 miles north-west of Enniskillen in Ireland.

This is Toby’s first cap for Scotland and his place was earned by his performance in the final of the 2019 Scottish championship. The international was delayed by two years due to the pandemic but the team members were allowed to retain their places.


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