Chalmers emerges as deserving Bank League champion
MEMBERS of Dounreay Fly Fishing Association completed the 2019 season last Saturday when they held the final round of their Bank League championship on lochs Seilge and Caorach.
The lochs are situated in the hills above the SSE substation near the north end of the Strath Halladale road and contain some nice trout that averaged almost three-quarters of a pound in the winning basket.
The entry for the event that would decide the top six league positions was the lowest this year due to a couple of the leading title contenders fishing in a final near Cambridge and others having work and social commitments.
In contrast to the previous event it stayed dry all day and the sky gradually cleared in the light northerly wind so that by lines up at 4pm the six anglers were rewarded with some fine views of the Ben Griams to the south, plus Loyal and Hope in the west.
Tony Chalmers “only” required first place, or second plus heaviest fish, to secure the Bank League by a narrow margin and he did the job in some style with a basket of 21 trout (for 14 lb 13.25 oz) giving him first place, 20 points and the Iain Hay Hill Lochs Trophy. He caught most of the fish in a small bay on the west side of Seilge by 11.30am using his Wake Saver line with Clan Chief, Kate MacLaren, Bibio Hopper and Claret Bumble flies.
Neil Clyne checked in before Chalmers and had set a high target with another 21-trout basket but with a lower average size his total weight was 12 lb 14.75 oz. Neil had the consolation of the two bonus points for heaviest fish (1 lb 0.75 oz) to add to the 17 for second place.
He had caught the majority of his trout on the east side of Seilge late in the day using a 12ft Sink Tip line with Loch Ordie, Pearly Clan Chief and Olive Hopper flies.
Some way behind in third place (15 pts), Ian Cannop had fished Caorach all day for seven at 4 lb4.75 oz. His set-up was a floating line with various patterns of Hedge Hog flies.
Loch Caorach also produced the fourth (14 pts) and fifth (13 pts) places, Bill Robertson weighing in four for 3 lb 2.75 oz and Alex Donald (who had to leave at lunchtime) also with four – for 2 lb 8 oz. Peter Creasey took sixth place (12 pts) with three for 2 lbs 1 oz from Seilge.
When competitors best four results of the five bank events had been calculated, Tony Chalmers emerged as a deserving Bank League champion with 68 points – he was the only one to record two wins in the series. Toby Bracey was a close second on 66 with Neil Clyne third on 62.
The top six (who will represent DFFA against Shetland Angling Association next year) are completed by Alex Donald 61, James Simpson 54 and Ian Cannop 52.