Autumn  2015

I suppose it was always on the cards. Following a pretty hard season overall, Orkney’s lochs produced a back end bonanza, with bumper baskets and specimen fish galore.

Aaron Budge plays a lively Kirbister brownie

Harray saw a lot of the action. Some of the better baskets included 13 for 10 lb 5 oz for Ian Hutcheon; 11 for 9 lb 6 oz for Brian Thomas; 10 for 8 lb 8 oz for Billy Thomson; 13 for 11 lb for John Leask and 24 for 17 lb 7 oz for Malcolm Russell. Sea trout appeared in a lot of the returns, with many in the 2 lb range. However it was Ian Hutcheon’s 3 lb 9.5 oz wild Salmon that stirred a lot of local interest. It was the first Salmon off Harray for many years and took a White-hackled Invicta in Merkister Bay. Tactics for Harray varied between top of the water “hogging” and fast sinking lines with mini lures. Fly patterns included Hogs in orange and olive hues, Wooderski, Cod and Chips Muddler, Merkister Maid, Hulks and Erlend’s Cat.  OTFA President, Brian Thomas told me he gillied two veteran anglers for a day on Harray. The gentlemen, Willie Stanger and Eric Dyson, along with Brian, shared a combined age of 240 years and enjoyed good sport.

Boardhouse and Hundland both enjoyed some huge falls of Cow Dungs around the end of August and the trout responded well. Neil Chalmers took 15 for 11 lb from Boardhouse on Hedgehogs and Ken Kennedy has 10 for 6 lb 3 oz. Hundland baskets included 8 for 7 lb 12 oz for Jimmy Grant and 8 for 8 lb 8 oz for Kenny MacLeod.

Kirbister saw a lot of action towards the middle of September. Word had got around that the loch was fishing well. Floating lines, with Hedgehogs had Kirbister’s trout engaging in spectacular acrobatics, with a good number of fish in the 12 oz to 1 lb range. Alan Craigie and James Harcus boated 37 fish over 10 inches, with 17 over 11 inches and 5 over 1 lb. Junior angler, Erlend Muir, fishing with dad, Thorfinn, had 11 to 1 lb and young Aaron Budge, fishing with his Grandad, Jim Adams, enjoyed a good day on the loch with fish up to 1 lb.    

The smaller lochs started to fish again, as weed growth died back. Ian Hutcheon and Ian Robertson had fish up to 1 lb off Wasdale. Bosquoy produced fish in the 12 oz range and the tiny loch of St Mary’s, in Holm gave Ian Robertson two crackers at 3 lb 14 oz and 2 lb.