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Bracey takes top spot in fifth Boat League competition

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The winner, Toby Bracey (left), with Kevin Imlach, who had the best fish.
The winner, Toby Bracey (left), with Kevin Imlach, who had the best fish.

Dounreay Fly Fishing Association held its fifth Boat League competition of the year on Saturday when 15 members took to their boats on a chilly Loch Calder for a 9.30am start.

A fresh west wind saw boats staying near to the west bank or in the New Bay, although two crews did venture across to the east side but only stayed there a short time.

Occasional showers passed over for most of the day until the final hour when there was almost continual heavy rain. Fortunately, it had stopped by lines up at 4pm as the weigh-in was held at the berth area at the south end of the loch.

First to be called to the scales was club competition organiser Toby Bracey, who put forward a bag of trout weighing 10 lb 14 oz. Although another two members had the same number of fish, a 1 lb 2 oz trout was enough to give Bracey first place, the Parry (1966) Trophy and 15 Boat League points.

He had fished the north end of the west bank but mostly along the north end using a Fast Tip line with Foam Daddies and Olive Dabbler flies.

Bracey’s boat partner, James Simpson, used the same type of line with mayfly pattern and Foam Sedge Hog flies to catch the same number of fish but his 10 lb 1.75 oz basket dropped him to second place and 13 points.

For third place, Billy Thomson matched the top two in number, an unusual result except when only a few have weighed in single fish. Thomson caught most of his trout around the entrance to the New Bay – a trip to the east bank only produced one trout so a quick return to the west side saw them back into fish again.

Thomson’s bag weighed 9 lb 7 oz and came from Mayfly Booby, Raymond Dabbler and an old Orkney pattern called a Flashing Willy on a floating line and gave him 11 points for third place.

The remaining top six places went to Alex Donald (7 lb 8 oz and 10 points), Ian Cannop (6 lb 4.25 oz and nine points) and Aivis Kreslins (5 lb 4 oz and eight points).

The best-fish bonus point went to Kevin Imlach, who finished seventh, while others weighing in were Robbie Hawken, Peter Creasey, William Plank, Michael Skerrit, Neil Clyne, Callum Mackenzie, John Campbell and Bill Robertson.

DFFA will have two members fishing in the final of the Scottish fly-fishing championship on the Lake of Menteith, near Aberfoyle, on September 21. James Simpson fished a semi-final at Harelaw Loch, south of Glasgow, on June 21 and did well to finish second of the 14 who qualified from the 30 competitors.

Alex Donald fished on Menteith a week later and did well on a cold, blustery day to finish seventh of the 14 qualifiers from a field of 30.

DFFA’s next event is the Early Bird competition on Loch Watten on Saturday, July 6.

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