National Championship > 2011
2011 Scottish National Champion
Ronnie Glass (Kelso AA)
I started fishing as a small boy on the River Teviot and some of the small burns around Kelso. However, a local farmer's stocked pond gave me my passion for Stillwater fishing by the age of 15.
In my late 20's a former Internationalist suggested I should try competitions- and I qualified at my first attempt !!!
I am a member of both Kelso and Coldstream AA's, and having just left Alba Orvis, I now fish with the Tweedvalley Tanglers.
This year I have reached the Carron Masters final and also the "Champions" final. I was in the Kelso "A" team that reached the Scottish Clubs final where we were 13th. I qualified for the River final - but that should be for younger, fitter guys now !!!
I have tied all my flies from about 14 years old (that's 10 years then !!! ).In fact it was my 1970 buzzers that got me my fishing on the farmer's pond.
Over the years I have been placed in a number of finals, the best until now have been a 3rd and a 4th. I have also had a 1st and 2nd in the River final. From Loch Internationals, I have 2 Phoenix Salvers and the same from a Rivers one. I have also had the honour of being captain of the loch team in 1993 and the River captain in 2000.
My competition venues pick themselves, as both Carron Valley and the "Lake" have always (well mostly) been good to me - especially in the 1990's. Work commitments and travelling difficulties have restricted practice days for me. This year however, I have had good practice with my mate Mick (Tait).
Practice for the semi final and the match itself were very similar - same flies and areas worked which is always a great help!!
For the final, I practiced with Mick on the Thursday, and found quite quickly that they were coming to nymphs held up by my foam backed Hare. While Mick only had the odd fish to blobs/boobies, I soon had 11. Changing to other tactics only produced 1 more fish!!
We started in the final in even better conditions, and although I dropped 2 of my first 5 fish hooked, I was quickly onto 7 fish.
As the afternoon wore on my boat partner Keith began to pick up more fish, so I changed to blob as well (for 2 fish). At 4pm I took 2 fish in 3 casts - both on nymphs. This made me continue with nymphs to the end of the match --- for only 2 good offers - while Keith added 2 more. At the end of the day I had 12 trout to Keith's 8.
It still feels strange to be Champion, when all you aim for is a place in the top 18. This will be cap 16, as I have 12 Stillwater and 3 River caps
2011 Runner-Up - Allan Smith (Stormontfield AC)
I started fishing 35 years ago and was introduced to competition fishing by Kenny Miller. I made it to the National final last year and qualified for the International Teams by finishing 16th. This second place is the best I have achieved. I am a member of Stormontfield AC and Kinross AC and was in the Kinross AC team that made it to this years' final of the Scottish Club Championship where we were 5th.
This year I went to Menteith for my heat and to Leven for my semi final and due to time constraints I only managed two practice days. For the final I tried to just keep an open mind.
2011 - 3rd Place - John Simpson (Ardrossan Eglinton AC)
I started sea fishing when I was around 10 yrs old and was converted to fly fishing at 16.
I started competition fishing after a couple of years fly fishing and initially I competed in local fishery competitions and then progressed onto boats and further competitions.
I am a member of Ardrossan Eglinton A.C. and Caley Liners F.F. and have fished about 10 club competitions with 3 firsts and 3 seconds. I also fished the Anglian Water but just missed out on making it to the grand final
I don't really enjoy tying flies but I would say I tie around 50% of my own.
The first time I fished in the National was in 2005 when I made it to the semis. I then fished it again in 2006 and finished 6th in the final which earned me a place in the Scottish Team for the home international at the Lake of Menteith in 2007 where I won the Phoenix Silver Salver.
This year I fished my heat at Menteith and my semi final at Carron and had 2 days practice before each but making sure I fished the day before the heat/semi. These waters are where most of the large competitions are held and so this is where I do most of my fishing
After a good practice day on the Friday before the final I had only 2 banker flies but was very confident with them. I also had 3 areas I wanted to concentrate on. For the final I set up with a midge tip line with a blob on the top dropper, candy booby on the tail and 2 diawl bachs in the middle. We were the only boat to head straight to the Heronry and after going 2 fish behind I never took my first fish 'til after 11 o'clock. We started moving around and caught a couple each at the Malling Shore. We then lost a lot of time going to Lochend for no fish and as we were heading back to the Heronry we spotted fish rising in Sandy Bay and stopped there. We were all alone there with 3 hours to go and managed to build up a good bag of fish. Keeping your eyes open for moving fish while motoring really paid off this time.
2011 - 5th Place - Jock Kettles (Change FF AC)
2011 - 7th Place - David McAllister (Port Glasgow AC)
I first started fishing in 1966 at the age of 10 on my local reservoirs in the hills above the towns of Greenock and Port Glasgow. I joined the Port Glasgow Angling Club the year after and took part in both their any method and fly only competitions on the Lower Gryffe reservoir. This was my first introduction into competition fishing which progressed through to the mid to late eighties when I began to compete in 3, 4 and 6 man team competitions such as the Scottish Clubs, Shakespeare and Benson and Hedges.
I am a member of Port Glasgow Angling Club and an honorary member of Newark Angling Club which is a travelling club that fishes the wild waters around the central highlands.
This year I fished the spring international match on Loch Harray in the Orkneys where I landed 7 fish. I also fished the Scottish Clubs contributing 3 fish to my team's 10 fish total with which we managed to gain our qualification for the semi final. We made it to the final of the Scottish Clubs and were 8th.
I tie my own flies though on occasions I will have some tied for me as well as buying some from shops if they are well tied and have the right attributes.
My previous placings in the National were 24th in 2009 and 4th in 2010.
I didn't have any practice days for my heat on Carron though I did fish the day before my semi final on the Lake.
I chose to fish Carron for my heat and the Lake for my semi final as I am fairly familiar with both venues and felt reasonably confident that, conditions permitting, I could winkle out some fish.
Six days before the final I was on the water with Derek Keenan and we found that dries were working well so I was happy in the knowledge that if the fish were up I should be able to take them on that method. I was there again with Derek the day before the final and although the conditions were perfect we avoided using dries as the forecast for the next day was supposed to be strong winds and rain. We tried different tactics to try and find a productive method and flies but both of us struggled to catch and could only get occasional offers despite being surrounded by fish and seeing other anglers constantly hooking up.
I wasn't too optimistic as we motored out at the start of the final and, despite the lack of success on the method the day before, began with a tried and trusted set up of the slow glass with a two tone blob on the top dropper, red holo ribbed diawl bach in the middle and a white cat on the point. We laid off at Sam's point drifting towards the Rookery but after nearly an hour with only a couple of offers I changed to midge tip and dries only to have the same result. I stuck with the midge tip and went back to the original cast and changed the white cat to the biscuit booby. We moved round into Gateside where I finally got my first fish around 11:30 followed quickly by another, both of them taking the blob. I changed back to the slow glass and put the blob on the point and a white cat booby on the top dropper and plugged away for the rest of the day picking up another seven fish, mostly on the blob, between Gateside, the Rookery and Reedy Bay.
2011 - 9th Place - Gus Shepherd (IBM Freshwater AC)
I started sea fishing at the age of 5 with my Dad and grandpa fishing Gourock pier and the Isle of Lewis every summer holiday. I didnt really take up fly fishing until I was 22, fishing the Kelly Dam with Skelmorlie Angling Club in Ayrshire. I am currently a member of IBM fishing Club, Grizzlecats AC and Dalry AC.
I didnt really start competitive fly fishing until 2001 when I joined the IBM fly fishing club. Since then competitive fly fishing has been a passion for me. I first fished the National Championships in 2004 reaching the semi`s then I made my first final in 2005 at Loch Leven where I managed 3 fish for 8th place and a place on the team going to Lynn Brenig. At Brenig I won the Silver Silver which is still my proudest moment in flyfishing. I qualified again at Loch Leven in 2006 and having obtained a carry-forward at Brenig I was lucky enough to fish the two internationals in 2007 at Rutland and Menteith.
This season has been a fairly good one for me. I again reached the final of the Carron Masters finishing 8th, reached the national final where I was 9th and our team, Saltire fly fishers, had a creditable 4th place finish at the Anglian Water final at Rutland
I was struggling to get a boat partner for practice for the 2011 final but my good pal Robbie Baldi agreed to fish with me on the Friday. Robbie had a cracking day catching around 14 fish mostly on a candie booby and I had 9 mostly on nymphs, so it wasnt rocket science to fish nymphs and a candy booby for the final. On competition day I was fishing with Ralph Irvine from Caley Liners and decided to start at Stable Point where I hooked and landed a fish 1st cast.................off to a flier. I think the best decision we made was to head down the Loch to Shear Point/ Hotel Bay area around 2pm as speaking to a lot of anglers who stayed up in Cages bay it did seem to switch off a bit there. At Shear Point and Hotel Bay I picked up another 5 fish which gave me a 9 fish toal for the day.
2011 - 10th Place Dugald MacGilp (Lochgilphead & District AC)
I started in 1950's fishing with my Father and Uncle - Archie MacGilp and Iain Mitchell and later I went to local competitions with them and enjoyed them. I am a member of Lochgilphead and District Angling Club and I tie trout flies.
I fished in the Scottish Club Championship this year but our team did not qualify. The best we did in previous years was a second in 2004. This team was myself my brother, Archie MacGilp and Cameron Crawford
I have reached the final of the National before and was 16th in 2004, 9th in 2007 and 19th in 2010.
I did quite well on Carron previously so chose it for the heat. The lake is my favourite place to fish and I was happy to fish it in the semi final. I had one practice day for the heat and semi.
For the final I had a practice the week before to test out flies and drifts. I caught 8 and used the same flies in the final and caught 8 again.
2011 - 11th Place - Allan Gamble (RAF Fish Hawks)
I started fishing around the age of 8 or 9 during the summer holidays and now fish with RAF Fish Hawks. I have been tying my own flies for about 4 years.
I got introduced to competition fishing through the RAF. Once I left training to my first posting in 2001 I joined the RAF's Northern League and from there I worked my way from novice up into the development team where I spent a couple of seasons and then progressed into the RAF's 'A' Team which I have been part of for 4 years taking on the role as team manager this year.
This year I have fished in the Lexus 6 man team at Rutland and also the Anglian Water 6 man team Southern Heat at Bewl but we got knocked out of both. I have also fished several club competitions finishing third in the RAF Championships at Grafham and then finishing third at the RAF's Inter League Match held at Mentieth. I also fished in the RAF Northern league finishing 6th having only managed to fish 4 out of the 9 matches. I was also part of the RAF's 14 man team that won the annual Inter Services match against the Army and Navy for the 5th consecutive year.
This was only my second attempt at the National. I first attempted qualification in 2007 but got knocked out at the first heat. Unfortunately despite finishing within the top three of the club every year since I was unable to make the heats due to work commitments. This year I made sure I had the time off planned well in advance.
I picked Carron Valley for my first heat and Mentieth for the semi in that order because those dates suited my time off better and also because I knew these waters better than the other venues. I managed 3 days practice before my first heat and 1 day before the semi.
I only managed to get 1 days practice before the final due to work. My good friend Dave Ogg offered to practice with me and was a great help having been on the lake a few days before. We struggled to catch much having 3 fish in the boat by 1630 and it wasn't until we got to Sheer Point that we got a lot more action putting another 5 fish in the boat in 30 mins.
On the comp day I was in two minds where to start opting to head for Sheer Point which proved to be the right choice for us. We fished an area from Sheer Point out to 200yards and round to International Bay and I had my first fish in the boat by 1000. By 1230 my boat partner was 8 fish to 3 up on me catching on a Cortland blue. I switched to a midge tip with an orange blob on the top, two diawl bachs in the middle and a cat booby on the point and started getting a lot more interest. I eventually managed to get the 4th in the boat after losing a few so we continued taking drifts in and out picking up the odd fish. I was beginning to think it was not going to be my day when I had a nice blue almost at the boat when another blue came up and took the other Diawl Bach. They both set off in different directions leaving me with just my blob and no fish. I tied on a new cast and managed two more fish finishing with 8 and my boat partner finished with 12. I was extremely pleased to hear my name called out in 11th place. It was an excellent days fishing with some great company and I must thank my boatman for all his help and I am looking forward to the international next year.
2011 - 12th Place Colin MacDonald (Dunoon & District AC)
I began fishing at around 8 years of age with sea fishing around the coastal waters of Dunoon. Thankfully sea fish were more plentiful then. After a few years I progressed to freshwater fishing for trout. The local Angling Club, Dunoon and District had a reservoir within easy reach of my home and which was stocked with ¾ lb rainbow trout. I was given my first fly rod at 11 years old by my father who , along with several other experienced anglers of DDAC, taught me how to fly fish initially fishing for trout. My father preferred fishing for salmon and sea trout making regular visits to the rivers and Loch Eck. After a few years and my casting technique had improved sufficient to allow me to accompany my father on the rivers and Loch Eck and this is where I became hooked on fly fishing.
I joined Dunoon and District Angling Club at the age of 13 and I'm still a member. I'm now in my final 3rd year as the Club President. It's an extremely well run club of approx 190 members and has eight waters with visitors permits available on all our waters: 4 salmon/sea trout spate rivers, brown trout fishing on a Hydro dam, Loch Tarsan, 2 smaller lochs, 1 stocked with quality rainbows and brown trout and Loch Loskin which is stocked with brown trout. We also have Salmon and sea trout fishing on Loch Eck.
I started entering competitions for salmon and sea trout on our rivers and lochs and managed to win a few local DDAC competitions in the late 70s and throughout the 80s. As a result of the reduction in numbers of migratory fish and to try and maintain fish stocks the angling club ceased competing for salmon and sea trout around 1990.
In 1995 I entered our club championship which was held on Loch Tarsan over 4 days throughout the season and I was delighted to win in my first year of entering. This allowed me to enter the National prelim rounds in 1996. I've continued to compete in our club championships and been successful on a few occasions. There's a small group of club die hards ( myself included ) that compete in our club championship and it's a very enjoyable days fishing among friends. We now enter the top 2-3 anglers from our championship competition into the National prelim rounds. The competition is now held over 5 days and this year I was in first place with several good catches of brown trout (4 largest catches of the 5 competition days count towards the championship).
Our Angling club only enters members for the Scottish National Championships and the Scottish Clubs. Our "A" team this year competed in the first round of the Scottish Clubs competition on May 7th and we were second placed and qualified for the semi finals. I was also joint 3rd with 4 fish and qualified for the Champion of Champions in October.
I started tying flies at around 14 years of age. Some of the DDAC members organised the tying classes during the winter months in the local community centre and most of the flies I tied initially were salmon and sea trout patterns and it wasn't until late 90s that I began to increase my selection of trout flies. Over the last couple of years I've replaced a lot of my old materials with the more modern "flashy" materials that are used today. It's a great advantage to be able to tie fly patterns to suit local conditions and has certainly helped me win several DDAC club championships over the years.
I managed to qualify for my first National final in 1996. Competing in my first National final was unforgettable not least for the fact Loch Leven was a daunting place, huge by comparison to any water I had fished previously for trout, needless to say I never moved a fin on that day. Despite not catching, a great day was had and it certainly inspired me to compete in future competitions. I fished a further 3 National finals at Loch Leven and thankfully my catch rate increased. The last final I fished was the year it was last held at Loch Leven. Since the finals venue moved to Lake of Menteith I have only managed to reach the semi final stages of the National Championships.
After failing to qualify beyond the semi final at Menteith last year with 6 fish I decided a bit more practice was required, especially in the weeks leading up to a heat. This year I fished the Lake of Menteith 4 times during the preceding 3 weeks and the weekend before while competing in the Scottish clubs. For Carron Valley I had 3 practice days during the weeks leading up to the semi final.
My choice of venues has changed over the years. I enjoy brown trout fishing and during the 90s my preference was to fish Loch Awe and Carron Valley as they were both brown trout venues. On my second year competing in the National qualifying rounds I had a first placing at Loch Awe with 5 brownies. For the first few years after the introduction of rainbows into Carron I caught mainly brown trout at my heats there and I failed to qualify for the next round.
This year I fished Menteith for the 1st round and Carron Valley for the semi final. Over the past 5 years I've managed to fish Menteith and Carron more regular and this has helped with the different styles of fishing required for the rainbows. My confidence has grown on these 2 venues and they are both great venues to fish and both are well managed fisheries. Many thanks to the staff at both venues for their help and advice.
As soon as I qualified for the final, I booked two practice days at the end of August and two days- Tuesday and Friday on the week of the final. For my practice days one of my good friends Lee Lindop accompanied me and we managed to locate and catch good numbers of fish on dries in the west and south end of the Lake. There were also good numbers of fish at Shear Point and Sams Point. I've really enjoyed my fishing this season and have had more confidence in the improved methods and tactics that I have used this year. As it had been a few years since competing in my last final my aim was to try and catch as many fish as possible to try and obtain a place in the National team.
On Finals day I was confident I was going to catch a few fish, conditions were similar to the practice days with heavy rain showers and strong winds which we had encountered on Tuesdays practice day.
I was fishing with Rab Maxwell and we decided to start at Sams point. I started with a midge tip and remained on the midge tip all day. My team was 4 flies to start with- Bibio hopper on bob, 2 nymphs and cormorant on the point. There were about 8 boats with similar ideas of starting at Sams Point. My first fish came about 10.00am to the cormorant not too far from the reeds, a good fish about 3.5lbs, "great! could relax a bit" Rab had a fish a short time later, a nice fish over 4lb, Rab dropped his second fish and missed a few to a booby. I missed a fish which rose to my bibio, "too busy looking the other way" and by 11.00 it had slowed and we decided to go to the Heronry. There were good numbers of big fish in this area in practice days. After a couple of minutes at the Heronry Rab had another to the booby. Time for a change I thought, a change of team and cast, downsized line strength and reduced to 3 flies: white cat booby, cormorant middle and shuttlecock on top. First couple of casts and lost fish quickly on shuttle and then started catching regularly on the booby. 5th fish on and nearly ready for the net Rab hooked his 3rd fish, Rab's fish decided to head for safety under the net which I had placed in the water to net my fish, oh!oh! Rab's top dropper stuck in my net, a bit of net juggling and thankfully catastrophe averted, we both netted our fish. By 2.00pm I had 6 fish and a few boats had moved in by then and the fish went off. A move to the Malling in the stiff wind and a change of fly for the blob, missed 2 quick fish running out of line as they chased my blob, minutes later caught my 7th fish which destroyed my cast. New cast on and next drift lost a good fish which jumped several times then swam straight towards the boat and shook out the hook "rats"
A move back to the Heronry and quickly caught my 8th fish. At 3.40pm we moved to Shear Point area and I never managed to hook any of the follows after the move. After Rab's statement that "he would eat his hat if I didn't qualify with 8 fish" I think I may have held him to that after all the hard work I'd put in over the past few weeks. A great days fishing in good company had come to an end. Thanks Rab.
Now the anticipation of waiting for the results, well what can I say "tense". 12th place and I'm absolutely delighted to have a place in the team for next year.
I am look forward to fishing as part of a very successful team and hope my success can continue as part of the team. Their achievements over the past several years have been remarkable. Could I say thank you to all the SANACC organisers and committee for all your hard work and dedication to Angling.
2011 - 18th Place - Shane Kelly
I have been fishing for about 15 years and fish with Hawick AC. This year with Hawick I have competed in the Anglian Water and the Scottish Clubs. We made it to the final of the Scottish Clubs but were 18th there.
This was the first year that I made it to the National final and the best I did in previous years was to reach the semis. I try to have three practice sessions before the match. This year I went out on the day of the final with nymphs and fabs on a midge tip line.
119th Scottish National Trout Fly Fishing Championship 2011
Sponsored by the Glasgow Angling Centre
Saturday 10th September 2011
Lake of Menteith
9.30am to 5.30pm