September 2019

Harray continued to fish well, with good baskets taken out in open water but also from the skerries and shoreline. Fish were averaging just short of 1 lb, with plenty at 1 lb 8 oz on the go and the occasional seatrout too. Some of the better baskets included 13 for 10 lb 13 oz for Ken Kennedy; 12 for 9 lb 10 oz for Malcolm Russell; 11 for 9 lb 1 oz for Thorfinn Muir; 9 for 8 lb 13 for Stewart Wood and 12 for 11 lb for James Harcus. Malcolm Russell had a 2 lb 1 oz seatrout and Donald MacIsaac’s 2 lb 7 oz was the best I heard about. Tactics continued to be a mix of fast sinkers with mini lures and floaters, sink tips and intermediates with hogs and the like. Successful fly patterns included  Erlend’s Cat, Naked Boris, Merkister Maid, Black Hulk, Cod and Chips Muddler, Munchkin and Hogs in orange, coral, fiery brown and purple.
Swannay fished pretty well all season. This loch has the added advantage that it seldom “colours up” following strong winds so remains fishable when others lochs don’t. Kenny MacLeod’s basket of 8 to 1 lb 8 oz was typical for a blustery day on Swannay, with most fish taken on mini lures and a medium sinking line. Hogs come into play here when there are flies on the water, with the darker hues best. Otherwise, the Swannay Ace is hard to beat.
Kirbister arguably fishes best in September, or at least the better fish are more prominent as they gather near the spawning burns. Malcolm Russell and Kenny MacLeod enjoyed a fine day on the loch with 17 fish to the boat up to 1 lb 4 oz and lots of undersized also – all returned. Hedgehogs and black emergers with floating lines account for most of the action.
Strong winds around the middle of the month made boat fishing unsafe and churned up most of Orkney’s main trout fishing lochs. This seasonal scenario pretty much brings Orkney’s loch fishing season to an early end. Sport in the sea for seatrout continues until the end of October. The only report I heard about to date came from Richard Byers with a fine 2 lb 14 oz maiden.           



August 2019

Harray continued to fish pretty well into August – especially in the earlier part of the month. It was always a toss up between sinking lines in open water or high up stuff with hogs, and this varied from day to day. A good number of Cow Dung flies fell on the loch most days and kept fish looking up.
Harray’s fish were is great condition with baskets averaging just short of 1 lb.  Some of the
 better catches included  8 for 7 lb 3 oz and 12 for 9 lb 5 oz for Ian Hutcheon; 16 for 15 lb 8 oz for James Harcus; 13 for 10 lb 10 oz for Sandy McConnachie; 11 for 9 lb 11 oz for Norman Irvine and 12 for 9 lb 5 oz for Ken Kennedy. Successful fly patterns included hogs in various hues, with purple getting more than a mention, Erlend’s Cat, Hulks, Naked Boris and Cod and Chips Muddler. A few sea trout made an appearance and Thorfinn Muir’s 3 lb 7 oz specimen was the best I heard about.

Boardhouse usually gets a bit more difficult in August and this was indeed the case this season. But the fish again were in superb condition, with good numbers of 1 lb plus fish showing and a healthy proportion of specimens in the 2 lb range.  Baskets included 9 for 6 lb 6 oz for Hamish Miller and 7 for 5 lb 4 oz for Phillipe Avril. Ian Hutcheon’s 2 lb 6 oz specimen was one of the best I heard about.

Swannay continued to fish well. It has being doing so all season. The fish were generally smaller than found in the Swannay of old, but there were still good numbers of 1 lb plus fish turning up. James Harcus’s basket of 13 fish to 2 lb was noteworthy.

Sea trout usually start to move in to some of Orkney’s shallow beaches in late July. Visiting angler, Peter Page, was delighted to find a shoal at his feet on a Mainland beach and took 10 to hand up to 1 lb 8 oz – all returned.