Bracey emerges from rain as clear winner of Caluim Trophy
On the way home from Loch Caluim last Saturday afternoon, a veteran of many Dounreay Fly Fishing Association competitions commented that “we have possibly had wetter days but I can’t remember one”. Certainly, none of the 10 anglers who had bank fished the loch situated about five miles south-west of Dorrery would have disagreed.
Continuous, sometimes very heavy rain had lasted through the day until starting to ease about an hour before lines up at 4pm. Surprisingly, in the cold north to north-west wind, the trout were taking quite freely at times and some good baskets were produced at the nearby parking area.
Toby Bracey was the second to last angler to weigh in after netting two fish from the west bank before moving to the north end where he added 24 to his bag for a total of 14 lb 5.25 oz. This made him the clear winner of the Caluim Trophy and the 20 points put him in a strong position to add the Bank League title to the Boat League won the previous weekend. His choice of tackle was a floating line with Red Hopper, UV black Cormorant and Gold Dabbler flies.
Tony Chalmers also moved to the north end after taking two trout in the rough conditions at the south end, to put 21 on the scales for 11 lb 15.25 oz. His choice of flies on his favourite Wake Saver line were Clan Chief, Claret Half Hog and Bibio Hoppers and they secured the 17 points for second place.
James Simpson obviously remembered doing well in similar wind conditions two years ago so he fished back and fore along the south end all day and was rewarded with third place (15 points) for his basket of 16 for 10 lb14.25 oz. He had used a 12ft Intermediate tip line with Merkister Maidplus various Hopper and Sedge Hog flies.
Neil Clyne did well early on, when most were struggling to locate fish, and took fourth (14 pts) with 15 for 9 lb 9.5 oz, and only one ounce behind, also with 15 trout, Ian Cannop finished in fifth place (13 pts). The top six was completed by Alex Donald on 13 for 8 lbs9.5 oz and 12 points.
Also weighing in were Robbie Hawken, Bill Robertson, Peter Creasey and John Campbell and the bonus points for heaviest fish were awarded to Ian Cannop for one at 1 lb2 oz.
With only one event remaining, Toby Bracey has a healthy lead in the Bank League on 66 points, ahead of James Simpson on 54 and Neil Clyne 53. Alex Donald and Tony Chalmers are fourth equal on 49 and Peter Creasey sixth with 43.
As Bracey and Simpson are committed to fishing in the final of the Scierra Pairs competition in England on the same day as DFFA’s final Bank League event (on Saturday, September 7) they won’t improve their league positions so a good performance at Seilge/Coarach could see either Chalmers or Donald pip Bracey for the championship.
Everyone is hoping for at least a dry day on the 7th.