Bracey has winning basket at dreich Loch Calder
Dounreay Fly Fishing Association (DFFA) held a new event (at least for all those taking part) when all the competitors fished from boats on Loch Calder last Saturday. Thanks to the Royal British Legion (Thurso) Angling Club and one of its members, DFFA was able to procure enough boats to accommodate the 12 members who had entered the competition.
As the anglers prepared their boats for a 9.30am start, a fresh north-west wind was blowing down the loch and raising fairly big waves that gave a rough passage for the crews that fancied the north end of the large loch. Surprisingly, in the rather dreich conditions, good numbers of mayfly were hatching and trout were feeding on them, especially in the north-west corner.
With everyone having fish to put on the scales in the welcome shelter of Donald Mackay’s farm shed, the proceedings took longer than some previous events this year but eventually Toby Bracey was announced as the winner of the 20 Boat League championship points with a basket of 14 trout weighing 7 lb. He had caught them in the north-west corner and along the west bank on a Floating line and Olive Sedge Hog, Black Hopper and Black and Olive Dabblers.
Neil Clyne fished the same areas as the winner with an almost identical result – his 14 fish “only” weighing 6 lb 14.25 oz and coming from Clan Chief and Peach Muddler flies attached to a 12ft sink tip line. The 17 points for second place was Neil’s best result of the season so far.
The third place (15 points) basket was brought forward by Robbie Hawken who had concentrated on the New Bay plus a drift or two at the mouth of the opening. His total was seven trout for exactly 6 lb and included the bonus points winning fish – a hard-fighting 2 lb 15.5 oz specimen. His choice of tackle was a floating line with Green and Black Hoppers and Peach Half Hogs.
Tony Chalmers shared the third place boat and took fourth place (14 pts) with 10 for 5 lb 10.25 oz, and David Alexander on his first DFFA competition for a few years bagged fifth (13 pts) with seven for 3 lb 15.75 oz from the New Bay. Completing the top six (for 12 pts), Ian Cannop weighed in 6 for 3 lbs 13.25 oz.
The remaining six who all weighed in were Angus MacDonald, Peter Creasey, Alex Donald, Scott MacColl, Bill Robertson and John Campbell.
After four rounds of the Boat League championship Toby Bracey has extended his lead and sits on 69 points. Tony Chalmers holds second place on 56 with Ian Cannop on 50, Robbie Hawken on 47, Scott MacColl 42 and Alex Donald sixth on 33.
DFFA’s next competition is on Loch Watten on the evening of Wednesday, July 24.