Billy secures President's Quaich in first Boat League competition
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Light and variable directions of the wind for more than half of the day had Dounreay Fly Fishing Association members struggling to find taking fish during their first Boat League competition of the season on Loch Watten last Saturday.
A light north-west breeze as the 18 anglers signed on for a 9.30am start saw more than half of the boats making for the north end or Kiddies' Corner, as it is commonly known. However, boats were steaming around all over the loch as the day progressed, until the wind settled to a light south-east mid-afternoon.
Also, the trout were probably feeling hungry as by lines up at 4.30pm two-thirds of the entry had something to weigh in at the Brown Trout Hotel.
Billy Thomson had caught an early fish near Sandy Point and added four more to give him a basket of five nice trout for 7 lb 2.25 oz. This was enough to secure the President's Quaich and 18 Boat League points plus the best fish bonus point for a cracking 2 lb 6 oz trout.
Billy had also had success in Kiddies' Corner and along the bank at Lynegar using a Fast Glass line with an Erlands Cat fly.
For second place and 16 points, James Simpson produced a bag of four fish for 4 lb 11.25 oz caught in Kiddies' Corner and down the loch at Lone Tree. He had Claret Sedge Hog, Kate McLaren Hopper and Quasimodo flies on his fast intermediate tip line.
Another bag of four trout (for 4 lb 2.25 oz) gave Toby Bracey third place and 14 points but he was unusually coy about the lines and flies used, claiming it was classified information... Thumbscrews are being prepared for the next event!
Other top-six performances came from Bill Robertson with four for exactly 4 lb and 13 pts, Alex Donald (12 pts) on three for 3 lb 1.25 oz and Aivis Kreslins (11 pts) for another three trout weighing 2 lb 13 oz.
For this event, rather than the usual pairings in each boat, names were drawn from a hat for boat partners. Everyone seemed to be still on speaking terms at the weigh-in, so this may become a regular feature of boat competitions.