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Simpson ends up with top basket after sporting response by fellow anglers

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Aivis Kreslins (left), who had the best fish, with winner James Simpson.
Aivis Kreslins (left), who had the best fish, with winner James Simpson.

Dounreay Fly Fishing Association members took to the hills for the fourth event of their Bank League championship last Saturday when they fished on lochs Coire nam Mang and Druim a’ Chliabhain.

The lochs nestle in the hills to the west of the the Ben Griams and are accessed off the Kinbrace/Syre road from near the Garvault Hotel, and if the fishing is a bit slow there is the possibility of seeing a golden eagle soaring around the high tops.

The forecast of light northerly wind and sunshine turned out to be fairly accurate as the 11 anglers arrived at the smaller Coire nam Mang where a few of them started fishing. However, the majority hiked on to the large expanse of Druim a’ Chliabhain which normally holds a good stock of free-taking trout – but this has not been a normal summer for loch (or river) fishing, as results were to prove.

James Simpson thought his day's fishing was lost when he realised he had left reels, lines and flies at home but thanks to the sporting attitude of his fellow anglers he was quickly provided with a reel, line and selection of flies. This generosity could well have been regretted at the nam Mang boathouse weigh-in when Simpson produced a basket of nine fish for 4 lb 7.75 oz that secured the Iain Hay Hill Lochs Trophy and 11 Bank League points.

He had fished the north shore of Druim with the borrowed floating line and Foam Daddy Long Leg, Loch Ordie Hog and Kate McLaren Muddler flies.

Neil Clyne fished about half of the north end of Druim before moving to the east bank as the wind veered to north-east for his second-place (nine-point) bag of four for 2 lb 15 oz. His set-up was his favourite clear intermediate line with three trout falling to a Loch Ordie Hog and one to a Green-Tailed Kate McLaren.

A delighted Aivis Kreslins produced his best result so far with three more Druim fish weighing 2 lb 1 oz giving him third place (seven points) plus the bonus point for one at exactly 1 lb. He had used a floating line with a slowly retrieved Silver Butcher fly doing the damage along the north end of the loch.

Also putting trout on the scales were Kevin Imlach, Peter Creasy, Alex Donald, Tony Chalmers, Ian Cannop, Toby Bracey and Jan Hughes.

The Bank League now has Alex Donald leading on 30 points followed by Neil Clyne (27), James Simpson (23) and Jan Hughes (21), while a tie for fifth sees Toby Bracey, Ian Cannop and Kevin Imlach all on 19.

The final event of the League is on Loch Caluim for the Ken MacLeod Trophy on Saturday, September 11. Will Alex Donald manage to hold on to his three-point lead or can Neil Clyne's late-season form see him take the championship?

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