July saw huge hatches of Caenis that featured for most of the month. Fish gorged on them to the point that they often would look a very little else, or wait till the next hatch before feeding again. Needless to say the fishing throughout the month was a bit iffy, but those getting it right enjoyed bumper catches.
Harray received a lot of attention. It always does in July, with locals on holiday and still lots of visitors around. Open water drifts with fast sinking lines and mini-lures was arguably the most successful method but high up stuff, and Hogs, over the skerries still worked well for some. Some of the better Harray baskets included 18 for 12 lb 11 oz for James Bews; 12 for 9 lb 4 oz for Kevin Muir; 13 for 9 lb 4 oz for Kenny Adam; 12 for 8 lb 15 oz for Stewart Wood and 12 for 8 lb 12 oz for Colin Sutherland. Successful fly patterns included Hulks, White Cats, Inter-county Cat, Erlend’s Cat; Coral Hog and Orange Hog. Regular visiting angler, Allan Liddle took two fish over 2 lb whilst fishing dries from the shore. Alan Craigie and James Harcus took over 30 fish over 11 inches to the boat, fishing floating lines and Hedgehogs, and BBC correspondent Jeremy Paxsman enjoyed a good day, with up to 30 fish boated using the same tactics with local gillie Norman Irvine.
Hundland was pretty weedy but clear around the skerries and in the middle of the main basin. Fish were generally hard to come by many of these caught were in outstanding condition. Jimmy Grant’s 4 for 4 lb 5 oz were taken on dark Hogs and Brian Foreman’s 6 for 3 lb 14 oz were partial to Suspender Buzzers.
Over on Swannay, some excellent days were to be had although the scarcity of 1 lb plus fish was noteworthy. Baskets included 10 for 6 lb 13 oz for Kevin Muir; 9 for 6 lb 6 oz for Norman Irvine and 8 for 5 lb 1 oz for Ken Kennedy.
Trout on Boardhouse were very much switched on to the seemingly endless hatches of Caenis. The loch was well fished throughout the month and some good baskets were recorded. It was mostly top of the water stuff with Hogs and Suspenders but mid sinkers and mini lures also did the business for some. Some of the better catches included 13 for 9 lb 5 oz for John Munson; 9 for 6 lb 6 oz for Philipe Avril; 10 for 6 lb 5 oz for Neil Chalmers and 10 for 6 lb 4 oz for Kenny MacLeod; 10 for 7 lb 3 oz for Colin Sutherland and 11 for 6 lb 10 oz for Ian Hutcheon. Norman Irvine and Stewart Wood brought around 30 to their boat with the heaviest around 1 lb 8 oz.
Hi Malcolm, my name is Christoph Boeing and I live in Belgium. I thought the following may be of interest for you for catch statistics so I decided to sent this email.
From 26th April to 3rd May my friend Dimitri and I were in Orkney for our annual fishing trip. We are regular visitors for fishing the Orkney Lochs, this year was the 7th trip for me. The fishing was quite difficult this year. Harray was still turbid with brown algae and a 1 1/2 pounder was the best we could manage. We then decided to concentrate more on the smaller lochs and Thursday evening my friend was into a good fish on Skaill. Unfortunately he lost it when it was close to the net. Next day (our last day) we went back to Skaill and after 2 hours I got a good fish of around 3 pounds. The fish was safely returned to the water. Only 1/2 hour later I was into another fish. This one I measured at 61 cm (24 inch). I would estimate the weight at around 5 pounds (unfortunately I have not much experience with browns of this size). Dimitri hooked another fish that afternoon but lost it. I heard of other fish taken from Skaill during that week, The loch seemed to fish very well.
Other highlights of our week were a day on Harray with Sandy Macconachie and a fish from Clumly.
I hope this was interesting for you. I have attached some pictures. I would like to thank you and all members of OTFA for preserving and maintaining these wonderful lochs. I really look forward to my next visit. Tight lines and best wishes from Belgium, Christoph & Dimitri