Boardhouse saw a lot of attention. It certainly can’t be said the loch fished well, but it had its moments – especially if terrestrials were on the water and when olives were coming off. It was pretty much top of the water stuff with floaters and intermediates along with Hogs, Hoppers and Daddies. Some of the better baskets included 10 fish for 7 lb 9 oz for Brian Foreman; 6 for 6 lb 7.5 oz for Neil Chalmers; 8 for 5 lb 14.5 oz for Stuart Leslie and 8 for 5 lb 14 oz for John Munson. James Harcus had a belter of 2 lb 12 oz from hard on the Tufta shore and Paul Miller took a fine 2 lb 7 oz specimen. Most of the top baskets were on dries and small hogs, with Elk Hair Sedge, F Fly, Culs and Munchkin Hog mentioned in despatches.
Harray fished very well throughout August. There were at least two ways of ensuring success – floating or intermediate lines with Hogs etc over the drop-offs or fast sinkers with mini lures out in the open water. When flies were on the water, the former method generally out-fished the latter and vice versa. Olives trickled off on favourable days and windblown Cow Dungs and Daddies came off the fields fairly regularly. Generally, the top end of the loch fished best but Kirk Bay and Tormiston both saw a lot of action. Some of the better Harray baskets, and there were plenty, included 31 for 19 lb 8 oz for James Bews; 18 for 14 lb 14 for Ken Kennedy; 23 for 14 lb 9 oz for Thorfin Muir; 21 for 13 lb 8 oz for Sandy McConnachie; 23 for 13 lb 7 oz for Norman Irvine; 14 for 9 lb 7 oz for Brian Watt and 8 for 7 lb 10 oz for Ian Hutcheon. . Fly patterns included Cats, Hulks, Hogs in various hues, Dabblers, Hoppers and Daddies.
The Association’s “Final Fling” on 6th September saw some cracking baskets being taken off Harray – mainly on fast sinking lines. Top rods included Norman Irvine with 21 for 15 lb, Ken Kennedy with 18 for 12 lb 14 oz and Stewart Wood with 12 for 10 lb 13 oz.
Sea trout appeared fairly regularly in Harray catches, with Brian Watt’s 3 lb 6 oz specimen the best I heard about. Sandy McConnachie had one at 2 lb 8 oz and John Munson one at 2 lb 14 oz. Fish in the 1 lb range appeared in several baskets. Colin Barnett’s 3 lb 6 oz fish was thought to be a brownie, as was George Gillispie’s superb 3 lb 10 oz specimen and Malcolm Russell had a brownie of 2 lb 6 oz which took a Sunburst Hog - with legs!!
Kirbister continued to fish very well indeed, with good numbers of fish in the 8 oz to 1.5 lb range and in superb condition. From the bank, Brian Arnold had 16 to 1 lb 4 oz and Malcolm Russell 13 to 1 lb 4 oz taken mainly on Hogs. James Harcus and Brian Thomas took around 30 to their boat with several fish over 1 lb and many in the 11 to 12 inch range and Stewart Wood and Keith Young boated 36 fish over 10 inches with another 20 or so undersized, all returned. OTFA President, Brian Thomas commented that the Kirbister fish were in outstanding condition.
The diminutive St Mary’s Loch in Holm produced a nice 2 lb 1 oz brownie for Ian Hutcheon and the same angler took a fine 2 lb 4 oz specimen from the Loch of Hundland.
On Stenness, Stewart Hutcheon recorded a superb basket of 19 seatrout up to 2 lb 8 oz and one 2 lb brownie. Sport continued in the sea during October and by all accounts there were reasonable numbers of fish around. Brian Foreman took a cracking basket of 12 fish from the East Mainland, with 12 fish mostly in the 2 lb to 4 lb range, with his best, a well coloured 7 lb specimen returned to spawn.
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