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2010 final

National Championship > 2010 heats

118th Scottish National Trout Fly Fishing Championship
Sponsor: The Glasgow Angling Centre

The 2010 Scottish National Champion Peter Auchterlonie being presented with the trophy by SANACC Chairman Ian Campbell

Runner-up Ian Storrer (on left) and third placed Ronnie Gilbert (on right)
with SANACC Chairman Ian Campbell

Ewan Clark with the trophy for the heaviest fish (3lb 11oz)

Peter Auchterlonie - 2010 National Champion

When did you start fishing:
I started at the age of 9, being taught flyfishing by my father and uncle and being brought up in St.Fillans at Loch Earn there was plenty of opportunity with 7 miles of loch and also some river on the doorstep!

How did you get into competition fishing:
I got into competitions at an early age with the St.Fillans & Loch Earn AA which had a very well subscribed and busy competition calendar at that time. I won my 1st Trophy at the age of 11 and I was Scottish Youth Champion in 1987.

Which clubs are you a member of:
I am a member of St.Fillans & Loch Earn AA, Crieff Flyfishers,and our 6 man team club, (for the Anglian water comp) Menteith Ospreys.

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What other competitions have you fished this year and how did you do in them:
Anglian Airflo Individual at Grafham Water in May: 7th place
Scottish Clubs -Top individual in heat and team qualified for semis
National Semi at Lake of Menteith- Top rod with 18 fish
Team (Menteith Ospreys) won through to International final at Rutland in October winning our heat by a good margin.

Do you tie all your own flies:
I tie most of the flies I use...........if I cant scrounge enough off my team mates!

What were your previous placings in the National:
I fished my 1st final in 1991 and qualified for the Scottish Team from my 5th final in 1998. I won the Brown Bowl in my 1st international the following year at Loch Leven with 20 fish. I was second in the 2002 National and 2010 was my 14th National final.

How many practise days did you put in before your heat and semi:
I fished the day before each and as much as possible in the weeks beforehand on each venue.

What made you choose the heat and semi venues:
I chose them (Lintrathen and Menteith) as I like both venues and I am confident on both. Lintrathen is an underestimated water.

How did you approach the final:
I practised with my good friend Ronnie Gilbert on the Wednesday and Friday before. I wasn't going out to win or specifically go for an international place and my plan, as always, was to catch as many fish as I could. I never set any numerical targets, I always just aim to catch as many as I can!

I started off with a slow glass line which I used all day. My flies were a red holographic bodied cormorant size 10 on the bob, size 10 red holo diawl bach in the middle and a candyfloss booby on tail. The candyfloss was the only fly I changed which was after I met my good friend Nigel Burns around 1 o' clock and at that time he was catching well on a cat booby.

Area wise I started in Hotel Bay where we had found fish in practise but unfortunately the wind was too strong in there so I headed for Gateside Bay. On the way there we had a drift in the Rookery but to no avail. It was after 11 am when I finally caught my first fish of the day. I stayed in Gateside till 4-20 when I headed back to Hotel Bay. It was a lot calmer in there by then and I managed to pick up 2 fish.

As the day went on I just tried to keep concentrating on catching my next fish as I was aware that there were some good catches on the day and it would be a close result.

Ian "Tosh" Storrar - Runner-up

When did you start fishing:
I started fishing at a early age mostly worming at Lochore Meadows when it was still rough and ready. It was a great way to pass time through the school holidays and when I was about 11yrs my father started taking me to the Earn and Tay where I learned to spin for whitling and sea trout. I was introduced to fly fishing on Loch Leven at 12 by my father and my uncle and from then I was smitten.

How did you get into competition fishing:
My competition fishing really started when I joined Kelty Artisans AC and after 4years there I joined Blairadam AC. I fished with them for 15 years and during that time I fished various comps. For the last 8 years I have fished with Balbeggie AC and I am now also a member of Change Fly fishers AC.

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What other competitions have you fished this year and how did you do in them:
This season I fished the Anglian Water competition and we made the Lake evening final but did not make it to the grand final. After that all my efforts went into the National.

Do you tie all your own flies:
Flytying I do enjoy but I am restricted because of my colour blindness which some people seem to like making fun of. Things like "what colours ma shirt" gets boring after a while. I get flies from good friends and team mates but also buy from various tyers.

How many practise days did you put in before your heat and semi:
Before my prelim I had 3 days practice on Carron Valley which went very well. I then had 3 days practice for my semi at the Lake which were mixed due to the weather but thankfully the game plan worked on the day.

What made you choose the heat and semi venues:
I have gone down the Carron Valley and Lake of Menteith road since the demise of Loch Leven where I used to always fish my semi after a prelim at the Lake.

How did you approach the final:
For the final I fished the Lake the weekend before and followed that up with the Thursday and Friday. On the day my aim was to make the team. I had three lines laid out to use, a floater, midge tip and 5ft ghost tip. I had decided that there was no need to go deeper as in practice I had tried deep lines without much success. My starting set up was midge tip line and 4 fly cast of cruncher on the bob, then 2 diawl bachs and a cat booby on the tail. I only changed two flies all day and I never changed my line. By 12-30 I had 5 fish and thought if I could pick up another 2 fish I would be in the team. My boat partner, Nigel, was also doing well and he had 3 fish by 12-30 but had lost two. We both decided to bite the bullet and slog it out in Cages Bay for the rest of the day and luckily for us it paid off. I finished with 10 fish and Nigel had 8. I was a very proud man when my name was shouted in 2nd place.

Kevin Porteous - 5th

When did you start fishing

I've been fishing for as long as I can remember. If my memory serves me well I had a rod in hand at the age of 6 and has predominantly been on Lochs and Reservoirs. I started out using the worm and developed into fly fishing at the age of 9. I can remember my dad taking me to Woolworths to buy my first fly rod. It cost 9.99.

How did you get into competition fishing

I can attribute my competition fishing to three people, my brother Alan, my father and Bill Robertson who is our club secretary. All of them had a large influence in my fishing development.

Which clubs are you a member of

Dounreay Fly Fishing Association
Frozen North Angling Club

What other competitions have you fished this year and how did you do in them

I've only managed a handful of local competitions this year due to me concentrating on the National and Lexus European Teams. I represented DFFA in the Highland Federation 3 man team in which we finished 3rd out of 22 teams. I was also captain of Team Frozen North during the 2010 Lexus fished at Rutland. We ended up 11th out of 22 teams.

What internationals have you fished in and how did you get on

I have been fortunate enough to represent Scotland on three occasions with the junior team. We competed twice at Trawsfynydd and once on the Lake. I was part of a winning team when the International was on the Lake and captained the team on my 3rd cap in Wales. Its nice to see some of my old youth team mates doing well on the competition scene.

Do you tie all your own flies

I have been flytying for about 18months. I'm still relatively a beginner but under the watchful eye of my brother and advice/materials from James Bews I'm managing to turn out some respectful patterns. I read an interview with Ronnie Gilbert after he won the National and he mentioned the importance of tying your own flies. I would concur with this 100% and it has been a large factor in my success this year.

What were your previous placings in the National

I've only ever been in one other final back in the days of Leven. I had a great day and finished up 24th just missing out on a cap. In the 2008 & 2009 final I was lucky enough to get the chance to be boatman for my brother and his boat partner. It's a great way of learning and I picked up a lot of experience that helped me during this years' final.

How did you approach the National this year

As soon as I made it through the semi final I got to work gathering information and tying flies. I was expecting the red legs to be out so I came up with lots of variations to tempt the trout, however the red legs never appeared this year, ah rats! I drew a map plotting areas that had fished in previous years taking note of the water clarity and temperature. I did some fine tuning in my tackle box and removed anything unnecessary as I didn't want to be wasting time digging through a cluttered box. I also spent time on little things like ensuring my drogue was going to work well and learning where every fly is in my boxes. Its so much harder living in Caithness and having to compete against the best fly fisherman in Scotland on a water they are very familiar with. It's like trying to beat a scratch golfer on his home course so preparation was vital. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

How many practice days did you put in for your heat and semi.

I approached the heat and semi in a similar fashion to the final. I would need two days practice to learn what was going on especially on a large water like Carron. It is fair to say my practice for the heat at Carron never went too well but I was fortunate enough to be paired with Paul Sharp who had managed to locate feeding fish. It was then a matter of quickly adapting tactics on the day.

What made you choose the heat and semi venues.

I picked Carron for my heat as I had been lucky enough to compete there in my youth days and know the water fairly well. It's been rather good to me! My semi was on the Lake which I'm beginning to know now also. Since the final is on the Lake the more time I can spend on it the better.


I had hoped that in the final I would be drawn with a big name that knew the Lake well but was drawn with a port angler. It was evident that my practice was going to be that bit more important and I practiced for the two days prior to the final. This was as much eliminating areas as well as finding fish. It was evident that the Lake was fishing hard and most anglers were finding it tough. During the two days I located a pod of fish on the Road Shore but I knew they were hard to hook up. I had about 20 offers in this area but never landed one of them! I knew that this area held fish and if it worked on the day could prove rewarding. On the morning of the final despite having hard practice days I was there to win and not make up numbers!

I opted to head for the spot I knew was holding fish the day before and had a smile on my face when I realised I would have the area almost to myself. I had set up to fish the washing line close to the surface using a blob booby on the tail and a couple of cormorants. I opted for a 3 fly cast as I thought the fish were a little spooky. After a few drifts onto the Road Shore it was evident that the wind had put it off! Not wanting to waste time I quickly moved to the Cages where there was about 30 boats vying for position. I spent a while here trying a few different drifts. Fish were being taken by the odd angler but I could not work out the method. I tried all the usual buzzers, nymphs, dries and lures to no avail. It was now 12.00 and I had not moved a fin! We noticed that there was a few fish being caught in the Cages but the maths never worked out. If it continued to fish the same way competitors would have an average of about four fish, not enough! So it was time to make a quick move. I steamed down to Sheer Point which had produced fish on the practice day. I saw my first fish here and finally managed to hook one up which came off under the boat. Quickly after I hooked another fish which pulled of my dropper. I was beginning to think it was just not my day. Plan z kicked into action and I headed round to International Bay. I still had the washing line set up and changed a couple of flies for snatchers. The fish soon started to come and I landed my first trout about 13.00. Within two hours I managed to land six fish all within International Bay using the blob booby and snatchers. The fishing slowed down and it was not until 17.00 that I caught my seventh. I had the feeling during the competition that I was doing just fine. This was confirmed when a good angler caught a fish behind us and never returned it. In fact they never even de-barbed indicating it was their first or second fish. On hitting the shore at 17.30 I was confident that I had done enough to get into the team but was surprised to find out my basket was good enough for fifth.

Neill Barret - 12th

When did you start fishing

I began fishing at around ten years of age on holiday in the south west of Ireland, worm and spinning for trout and salmon. From then on I was hooked! On returning from that holiday I pestered a neighbour to take me fishing locally and spent my youth fishing mainly the River Esk, from Musselburgh all the way to Lasswade and the Water of Leith at Colinton with bait for trout and grayling. Fly fishing came a little later in my teens when I was introduced to Ronnie Gatti Snr, who taught me how to tie flies and got me involved in the local fly fishing club. Fly fishing didn't come naturally to me and it took me some time to get the casting to an acceptable level.

How did you get into competition fishing

Competition fishing came much later again, I just missed out on a final place in the Junior Scottish Team after what can only be described as a 'bad day' on the then brownie only Carron when NOTHING went right and saw my boat partner get 20 odd fish to my two!

I've only really become interested in competition fishing in the last five or so years. My seasons seem to be getting better and better culminating in qualifying last year for a place in the heats of the National to this year where I've managed to win several outings with the club and clinch our clubs championship just this week! I enjoy competition fishing and want to do more!!

Which clubs are you a member of

Gilmerton Miners Fly Fishers - Formerly Loanhead Miners - originaly Straiton & County Flyfishers which I first joined fifteen years ago.

Do you tie all your own flies

Back in the early days I did but in my teens I lost interest. I recently bought a vice and under the close supervision of my good mate and mentor Colin Broadhead aka Nobby Im going to be tying over the winter. I'm very fortunate to know a few great tyers so I'm never short of a few specials!

What were your previous placings in the National

Believe it or not this is my first attempt at the Senior Nationals!! Beginners luck maybe? Na bloody hard work!

How did you approach the National this year
Was determined to do well, but most of all enjoy the experience! Iv had a consistent couple of seasons so had a positive attitude going into it. I was confident in how id been fishing and only recently learned how to fish buzzers properly which proved to be invaluable!!

How many practice days did you put in for your heat and semi.

I made sure I had two practice days immediately prior to the heat and semi and the odd day here and there on the weeks leading up to them.

What made you choose the heat and semi venues.

The Lake is always my first choice as I've always enjoyed fishing there. Carron was my second choice but I had to pull out of there at the last minute as I had to go work in Ireland at short notice. I was kindly slotted in to Leven which I hadn't fished for years!! Panic set in!! Time to get the head down I thought!!
I had several poor practice days there and have to say I thought I would struggle, as it's a huge water to conquer in just a few days practice. Willie and co at the fishery were very helpful and many thanks go out to them and my boat partner Stephen Leask as I qualified with 6 fish, dropping twice as many all on my newly mastered buzzers!!

Final: How many practice days did you do

I had the odd day in the weeks leading up to the final and then the Thursday/Friday before. I wouldn't say I was trying to win, I just wanted a place so much! Id fished really hard and would have been really disappointed if I hadn't made it.

Practice days had been productive in and around Gateside Bay and the Malling Shore and later around Kates Brae. My boat partner also picked up fish in these areas during practice so Gateside Bay was the first line of attack. This seemed apparent for everyone as it seemed the whole fleet headed in that direction! An experience I'll never forget with boats almost touching each other, full pelt up the water, wishing we had one of those shiny new white outboards!!

We managed to get into where we wanted in Gateside Bay and settled quickly. I started on the midge tip with a cat booby on the point and three skinny buzzers which had produced the day before. Fish seemed to come to other boats quite quickly which hadn't happened in previous days, and the confidence in the buzzers flagged rapidly as it seemed everyone around me was catching and I wasn't!! Over an hour had gone by and no takes so plan B kicked in, Traffic light cormorant on the tail, Kate Mclaren variant (cheers Nobby!!) one up, Clan Chief then the UBB (cheers again Nobby) on top dropper. First cast, first fish!! To the cormorant on a slow figure of eight retrieve. Finally a smile on the face as takes came regularly to the Kate Mclaren and the UBB and by lunchtime I had four, but still didn't think this was enough. I think my boat partner had two at this point. A good couple of hours went by with nothing and unproductive drifts through the rookery had the head down. Boats seemed to disperse a little from the top side of Gateside Bay late on in the afternoon so I decided to head back in there, and my final two came from there on a black hopper (swapped from the cormorant) and the UBB respectively with the last one taking so violently it drew blood!

Much to the disgust of my boatman Keith Renton I lost two fish in the last half hour, one which I should have hooked but for the excitement of watching this huge bow wave come to my hopper I pulled the thing right out its mouth!!! Oops!

I had seen a lot of fish being caught during the day and was gutted at loosing the last two. I thought eight would be just enough and I thought six wasn't enough. It wasn't till we got back to the car park and saw that there were a lot of disappointed faces and lots of fives and sixes and I knew it was going to be a close call. The last half hour of waiting was murder and to hear my name being called was just amazing. I'm really looking forward to joining the team and hope my consistency continues for the team!!

Agnes Thomas -13th

I started fishing with my bothers and father mainly during the holidays. This was both sea fishing from piers together with bank fishing on lochs and the occasional river, using all methods, depending on the venue. I later fished with my husband and father in law mainly on rivers using bait or flies. It was not until the birth of my daughter that I took up fly fishing seriously and started to fish loch style from the boat.

My first competition was a ladies competition which Kevin Burns organised (Nigel Burn's father), which was sponsored by Country Life in Edinburgh, where I came 2nd . This gave me the bug to continue with competition fishing.

It was through these events that I learnt of the first Scottish Ladies National Championship which was held on Loch Leven. In the inaugural event I came 5th, which meant that I was a member of the Ladies International team, fishing my first International on Rutland in 1991 where we won Gold. This introduced me to a number of ladies who fished with the St Serfs Ladies and this was the first club that I joined.

I continued to fish in the Ladies National Championship winning it on Loch Leven in 1996 and 1997 and again winning this time at the Lake of Menteith in 1999. I was runner up in 1998. I was a member of the Ladies International Team for 10 years during which time we won 4 gold and 6 silver medals. The last time I fished the Ladies International was at Loch Leven in 2000 where Scotland took Gold. I had the honour of captaining the Ladies team the year before on Rutland where I picked up the Quaich for the top Scottish ladies rod.

In 2000 I joined the Bank of Scotland and became a member of the Bank of Scotland East A.C. I won the club championship in 2001 making me eligible to represent the club in the Scottish Senior National Championship in 2002. I previously made the final in 2005 but unfortunately failed to qualify for the team.

I am now a member of both the Bank club and Thalassa A.C. and it is with the Thalassa club that I enter the 6 anglers team events. This year we are in the final of the Anglian Water which will be held on Rutland in October, where we are hoping to do better than our position in last years final.

I do tie my own flies but have to confess that compared with the other team members in Thalassa mine would be regarded as the 'poor relations'.

As in previous years I fished the National heat at Lake of Menteith. This is a venue which I fish quite a bit early and mid season due to club outings and team competition events resulting in only an extra days practice prior to the heat. I then fished my semi at Lintrathen having fished it on the Saturday at a club outing and then a practice day on the Monday. In the run up to the final I was on the water Saturday the 14th and Sunday the 22nd and then the Thursday and Friday prior to the event itself.

On the day of the final I went out with a midge tip line, fishing a booby on the point with 2 cormorants above. I picked up 1 fish early on at the Rookery on the cormorant. I then changed to a neutral density line as my boat partner had picked one up on the Cortland blue. First cast on changing lines saw me pick up another fish on the cormorant on the bob, again at the Rookery. We then tried Hotel Bay but to no avail, also spending a short time at Gateside Bay. This time I changed to a floating line with dries having seen 3 fish being picked up on dries, but again to no avail.

Having fished at Kates Braes on the Thursday and picked up fish, decided to go to there. I changed back to my midge tip line with a booby on the bob and tail and cormorant in the middle. I quickly picked up my third fish on the booby on the tail followed by my 4th fish on the cormorant on the middle having dropped a fish earlier . My boat partner also picked up a fish on the cormorant. I changed from the booby on the bob back to the cormorant that had previously picked up fish in the morning and picked up my 5th fish at Kates Brae. We then moved over to the Gravel Pit and picked up my 6th fish again on the cormorant on the bob. We continued fishing down into Loch End where my boat partner picked up his 3rd fish in front of the chalets.

My goal was to get my first cap for the Senior International team and I was delighted on the day to gain this.

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