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Early Bird success at Loch Watten is a first for Kevin

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Early Bird competition winner Kevin Imlach (right) with Peter Creasey, who had the best fish of the morning.
Early Bird competition winner Kevin Imlach (right) with Peter Creasey, who had the best fish of the morning.

A theory that trout move into shallow water to feed in early morning and then move to deeper water as the temperature rises led to Dounreay Fly Fishing Association (DFFA) instigating the Early Bird competition nine years ago.

Theories are all very well, but trout don’t always abide by them, as 14 members found out the hard way at Loch Watten on Saturday morning when 10 of them had nothing to weigh in. The murky water following recent strong winds did not help either.

As boats left berths at 6am it was flat calm, and some decided to start with buzzer-type flies as they spread out around the loch. A light south-west wind developed after one-and-a-half hours but didn’t improve the fishing before lines up at 11am.

With only four bags to weigh, it wasn’t long before Kevin Imlach was announced as the winner of the Grouse Trophy and 14 Boat League points – the first win for him in a DFFA competition. His brace of trout weighing 3 lb 1.5 oz were caught along the Targets shore using a Di 5 line and White Cat flies.

A single fish at 1 lb 11.5 oz gave Peter Creasey second place and 12 points plus the bonus point for best fish of the morning. He had used a floating line, with a 10ft Midge Tip and a Watten Warrior fly doing the business in a rare bit of clear shallow water near the Skerries.

Peter's boat partner Neil Clyne took third place (10 points) with another single trout weighing 1 lb 5.25 oz from the same area. Neil had fished a Bibio Snatcher fly on a Sink Tip line.

Aivis Kreslins secured the nine points for fourth place with a 1 lb 2.5 oz fish that fell for a Green Cat fly on an Intermediate line in deeper water out in Laid Bay.

As the top four in the Boat League failed to score any points, the first three places are unchanged with Toby Bracey leading on 47, Billy Thomson second on 44 and Alex Donald third on 41. Aivis has moved up to fourth with 36, James Simpson drops to fifth on 35 and Peter enters the top six with 33 points.

The club's next event is an evening boat competition for the KML Trophy on the evening of Wednesday, July 27.

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