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2014 heats

National Championship

122nd Scottish National Trout Fly Fishing Championship

Sponsored by Ridgeline UK and Glen Garioch

Heat 10 - Lake of Menteith
22nd May

1st was Alan Gamble with 17 trout, he was fishing a floating line with two diawl bachs, blob and cat boobie between loch end and tod hole. In 2nd was Michael Thomson with 16 trout fishing a floating line and buzzers held up with a fab on the road shore. In 3rd place was Jimmy McBride who partnered Alan. Jimmy caught his 14 trout using a floating line cormorants, buzzer and blob.

The day started overcast with light northerly winds which kept swirling. Fish were moving just under the surface in most of the flat calms and some anglers managed to tempt trout while others found it a bit more difficult.

The wind picked up later in the day and after it settled into one direction the fish were less picky in the bigger wave which gave the anglers a bit more cover and rods were seen to be bending in most drifts.

There were some lunkers brought to the scales at the weigh-in with 2 fish over 5lbs and 3 over 4lbs along with tales from anglers who were smashed off with big fish.

Allan and Michael were presented with a bottle of the sponsors Glen Garioch.

Michael Thompson, Allan Gamble and Jim McBride

Heat 9 - Lintrathen
21st May

Jock Kettles was the top rod at Lintrathen on 21st May with 5 fish. Jock, who caught all his fish just to the left of the boat dock, used a fast glass with a cat boobie, 2 cormorants and a blob. Brian Fraser of Newtyle & Meigle AC was 2nd with 4 fish which he caught at the sawmills using a Cortland cameo line with a cat boobie, cormorant and blob. In 3rd was George Whyte of Crieff FF with 4 fish all caught on a "Stevie May" on a fast glass line again at sawmills .

The day started off with a light wind and bright sunshine. All but four boats headed towards the sawmill and as the day wore on the wind strengthened and the sun shone brighter and put the fish deeper. There were numerous tales of fish being dropped and leader breakages. Most of the trout were caught at the sawmill although there were fish caught at the rhododendrons.

Jock and Brian each received a bottle of Glen Garioch malt whisky.

Brian, Jock and George
with their Glen Garioch malt

Heat 8 - Loch Leven

Brian Mackenzie of Rowbank AC was 1st with 6 trout for 7lb 4 3/8oz. Brian was fishing a DI7 with a sparkler and dabblers at the east buoy and the bower. In 2nd was David Moore of Dunfermline Artisan AC with 5 fish for 5lb 14 1/8 oz. David fished a floating line with buzzers in the hole o the inch, sluices and the bower. In 3rd was Tom Burnett of St Mirin AC with 5 fish for 4lb 12oz. Tom also fished a DI7 with sparklers and dabblers at the east buoy and brock hole.

The day started off with most of the boats heading towards the hole o the inch, east buoy and mid buoy. Buzzers and sinking lines with mini lures seemed the norm. The easterly wind gusted throughout the day and the afternoon saw the wind lighten slightly and boats started to pick up fish around the buoys using mini lures being pulled on sinking lines with the odd boat fishing floaters and buzzers.

Brian and David each received a bottle of Glen Garioch Malt whisky.

David, Brian and Tom

Heat 7 - Harray, 18th May

There was a record entry for the National Qualifier last Sunday on Harray, with the local angler numbers being augmented by anglers from North and South of the county, bringing the total competing to 27 with half of the entry (14) to go through to the semi final.

Sunday's weather was an improvement in what had been experienced of late with light SE winds and full cloud cover for most of the day, falling to flat calm in the last hour. This had the midge hatching at various times and localities on the day, bringing on a good rise of trout, but they were very difficult to tempt at times.

The fleet set off in all directions at the 10am start, with, unusually, only 3 boats heading north of the Ess Holms, anglers had obviously found fish all over the loch in practise. Kirk Bay was most popular with the Anvil and Bochan also seeing a few boats taking their first drifts there.

photo: Jim Adams, Ian Hutcheon and Ken Kennedy

At the weigh in at 5pm it became abundantly clear that the anglers who fished the north end of the loch had made the correct choice. Top rod on the day was Ken Kennedy with 13 fish for 9lb 11 ozs, who fished Nistaben for the bulk of the day, in second spot, was Jim Adams who fished Merkister Bay and third place Ian Hutcheon who fished the Tenston Shore and Pontooth. Other hot spots included Ned's Island, the south end of Ballarat and outside Stoneyhill. The other qualifiers in no particular order were, Frank Watt, Kenny Mcleod, Malcolm Russell, James Bews, Kevin Muir, Colin Sutherland, Stewy Leslie, Kenny Adam, Sandy McConnachie, Darren Laurenson and Jimmy Grant, the cut off point was 4lb 6ozs.

There were two distinct tactics which seemed to work best on the day, with line choice either DI5 Sweep or slow glass the most productive. Top fly patterns on the day were quite similar for the successful anglers with Ken Kennedy fishing Erlend's Cat on the bob, two snatchers in the mid positions and McConn's Ace of Spades on the point. Ian Hutcheon preferred Peach with a Peach Midge on the top dropper and a Peach Muddler on the tail. Jim Adam's cast again included the Peach Midge, Hutch's Pennel and Erlend's Cat. It certainly paid to mix the mini lures and more imitative patterns on the same cast.

The event was well organised once again by Andrew Morgan and his Officials on the day, Billy Thomson and Alan Craigie, and Official Weigher, Norman Irvine. The successful anglers now go on to the semi finals, with the Lake of Menteith being the venue of choice for most, good luck and tight lines.


Heat 6 - Carron
8th May

Fourteen competitors contested heat 6 at Carron on 6th May with the top 7 going through to the semi-finals. Retained trout were capped at 2lb and 1lb was awarded for each returned fish. The first three fish were retained. For most of the day it was overcast with a very light breeze that occasionally produced a ripple. Towards the end of the session the wind strengthened to give a good wave.

photo: Stuart Mclean, Mark Stephen and David McAllister

Fish were showing in large numbers all day in most areas of the reservoir but proved difficult to tempt although some competitors found a working method. Within 15 minutes of starting in Carron Bay, Balfron Piscatorials angler David McAllister presented his black hopper to a rising trout that took strongly and looked like a good fish. When eventually brought to the net it was seen to be a superbly conditioned brown trout of 6lb. That trout, which was capped at 2lb, helped David to third place with his haul of 8 trout for 9lb 7.5oz.

David took all of his fish in Carron Bay on black dries.

Top rod was Stewarton AC angler, Mark Stephen, with 8 trout for 10lb 8.5oz. Mark took all his fish in Carron Bay and Thirty Minute Bay where he was fishing cormorants and dries on a floating line. Mark won a fly box donated by Jimmy Coyne of Carron Valley Fishery to the top rod.

In second place with 11 trout for 9lb 15oz was Stuart Mclean of East Kilbride AC. Stuart also took all of his fish on dries in Carron Bay. Stuart's boat partner, Morris Dixon of Largs & District AC also qualified for the semi-finals in 5th place with his 8 fish.

The 14 competitors caught 70 trout for 78lb 12.5oz.

The Championship moves to Harray for the next heat on 18th May.

Heat 5 - 6th May - Lake of Menteith

The Lake of Menteith excelled itself today when 54 competitors turned out for the halfway point in the National Championship. The day was overcast with a reasonable wind that was predominantly from the west and only a short spell of rain around noon threatened to dampen spirits. Small black flies were in abundance in various parts of the Lake and almost everywhere you went fish were feeding in large numbers. As normal the competition was on a partial catch and release basis with the first three trout being retained. When the 54 competitors came to the scales they recorded 439 fish caught for a projected weight (fish capped at 4lbs and a 2lb allowance for returned fish) of 937lbs 5.4oz. Three fish over 4lb and one of 5lb 5oz were weighed in.

Once again a father and son both qualified for the semi-finals with Derek Marklow of Loanhead & District AC giving his son Stuart a lesson in competition angling. Derek was second with 22 fish while Stuart was 16th with 11 fish. This was the first time that Stuart Marklow had fished the National and hopefully there will be more to come.

The top 27 anglers qualified for the semi-finals and the top rod on the day was Derek Pozzi of Thalassa AC who had 23 trout for 47lb 14.2oz. Derek, who is in the Autumn Team going to Lyn Brenig, spent all day in the Heronry where he was fishing 2 buzzers and a dry on a floating line. His boat partner, Brian Lockie, of Thistle AC also qualified for the semis with his 14 fish.

Derek Marklow of Loanhead and District AC was second with 22 fish for 45lb 7.4oz. Derek started off at Tod Hole before moving on to the Heronry, Sams Point and Kates Brae and had fish at all those locations. He was fishing a buzzer, diawl bach and a booby on a floating line.

In third place was John Simpson of Caley Liners FF with 20 fish for 42lb 4.6oz. John took his fish at Tod Hole, Heronry and Reedy Bay on a cat booby and buzzers on a floating line.

John Simpson, Derek Pozzi and Derek Marklow

The Championship moves on to Carron for Heat 6 on Thursday 8th May

Heat 4 - Lake of Menteith
1st May

Back to winter. The temperature in the car park at the Lake of Menteith just before the start of Heat 4 was 5deg and with a bitterly cold east wind it would have been even colder on the water. However the competitors were heartened by the sight of birds working low over the water and as the 48 anglers set off about half of them made for Lochend and the other half set off for Cages Bay. Twenty four qualified from this heat and a minimum of 5 trout was needed. As normal the competition was based on a partial catch and release basis with the first three fish being retained. An allowance of 2 lb was given for each returned fish and fish were capped at 4lbs. A total of 236 trout were caught with 2 over 4lbs, 1 over 5lbs and 2 over 6lbs being brought to the scales.

photo: Sean McCaffrey(3rd) and Andy Dunn (1st)

There were two father and son combinations competing and all four of them qualified for the semis. Davie (father) and David McMillan from Shetland FF qualified in 11th and 6th with the son showing his father how to do it. That will have been an interesting trip back to Shetland. Also well travelled were Ian (father) and Martin Runcie from Brechin AC who qualified in 17th and 21st. This was Martin's first step up from a successful time with the Youths and we wish him every success in the next stages. If you know of any youngsters that could be capable of representing Scotland at Youth level then please contact the Youth's secretary, Andy Boylan, at the phone number given on our home page.

Top rod on the day was our Autumn Team Captain, Andy Dunn, of Change FF AC who had 11 trout for 23lb 3.4oz. Andy was partnered with Robert Smith of Perth Anglers Club who finished in fourth spot with 10 fish for 19lb 9.8oz. Andy took his fish at the Malling Shore in the morning and at the Butts in the afternoon on cormorants and boobies on a slow glass line.

In second place was Derek Barclay of Port Glasgow AC with 10 trout for 20lb 15oz. His boat partner, Andrew Barrowman of Granite City also had a good day with 8 fish for 17lb 3.2oz. Derek took his fish at Kates Brae where he was fishing a cat booby on a fast glass line.

Third place went to Sean McCaffrey of North Shetland FF with 10 trout for 20lb 8.8oz. Sean was fishing boobies in Cages Bay.

The Championship remains at Menteith for the next heat on 6th May.

Heat 3 - Carron
29th April

Seventeen competitors turned out for heat 3 at Carron on Tuesday 29th April with the top 9 going through to the semi-finals. A cloudless sky with a south westerly wind didn't make things easy for the anglers but skill will out and at the end of the day the competitors reported 74 trout caught.

Top rod was Mike Willis of Bridge of Allan 76 AC who had 8 trout for 9lb 2oz. Mike took his fish on a carron rabbit and a yellow dancer fished on a Di3 at the Willows.

In second spot was Spring Team member Campbell Morgan of Strahleven FF who had 9 trout for 8lb 7oz. Campbell too his fish on a cats whisker, carron rabbit and pearly dabbler on a Di7 and on a black hopper fished dry in Carron Bay.

Campbell Morgan ands Mike Willis

Third spot was taken by George Telford of Avonbank Fishing Club. George had 7 trout for 8lb 1oz which he caught on a cats whisker and carron rabbit fished on a slow glass in Carron Bay and Puddock Bay.

John Spiers of Airdrie & District AC had a superb brown of 7lb 6oz.

The Championship moves to Menteith on Thursday 1st May for heat 4.

Heat 2 - Carron
24th April

The National Championship moved to Carron on Tuesday 24th April for the second heat and April weather returned with showers and good sunny spells. The wind switched about frequently from east to west during the day but was generally light in nature. Good hatches of buzzers kept fish showing for most of the day. Forty three competitors took part in this heat with the twenty two going through to the semi-finals.

photo: Alan Brock
Ronnie Gilbert and Alan Hill

As normal the competition was on a partial catch and release basis with the first three trout being retained. Retained trout were capped at 2lb and 1lb was awarded for each returned fish. Six fish over 3lbs and one of 4lb 1oz were caught and the 107 trout that were retained had a weight of 173lb 4oz which was reduced to 149lb 11oz after capping. Seventy two trout were returned.

Top rod was Alan Brock of Crieff AC who had 12 trout for 15lb. Alan, who is in the Spring Team going to Ireland this year, caught all his trout in Carron Bay where he fished blobs on a Di5.

In second was Ronnie Gilbert of Menteith Ospreys who had 11 trout for 10lb 10oz. Ronnie caught his fish at Thirty Minute Bay and Gull Island on blobs and a viva on a Di5 sweep.

In third place was Alan Hill of SPRA FFS West who had 9 trout for 10lb 9oz. Alan took his fish at Gull Island on a Carron Bunny on a Di5 sweep and on a mix of dries and buzzers in Carron Bay.

The Championship stays at Carron for heat 3 on 29th April.

Heat 1 - Lake of Menteith 22nd April

And they're off. The Scottish National Trout Fly Fishing Championship, sponsored by Ridgeline UK, got underway at the Lake of Menteith on Tuesday 22nd April. The competitors had been faced with good temperatures and clear blue skies on the practice days but on competition day it was a return to the type of conditions expected in March. On the upside the sky was overcast throughout the day but with a cold easterly wind strengthening as the day progressed the conditions were not easy. With the addition of rain getting steadily heavier some competitors came in early. However many of the competitors did not find the conditions at all testing and put together good bags of fish. The 56 competitors caught 351 trout of which 203 were returned. The 148 retained fish weighed 30llb 0.4oz which included four fish of over 4lbs. The top 28 competitors go through to the semi-finals.

Top rod was Ian Wilson of Clatto & Stratheden AC with 16 fish for 31lb 10.2oz. Ian took his fish at Tod Hole and International Bay where he was fishing a cat booby, candy booby and diawl bach on a Di3.

photo (from the left)
Kevin McCabe, Ian Wilson
and David Downie

The second spot was taken by David Downie of D & B Flyfishing with 14 trout for 30lb 15.8oz. David took all of his fish in Cages Bay on a cat booby and candy booby on a Di3. David's flies can be purchased at the permit office at the Lake of Menteith. The third spot was taken by the 2013 National Champion, Kevin McCabe of Change FF AC who had 14 trout for 30lb 8.6oz. Kevin took his fish in Cages Bay on buzzers fished on a midge tip line.

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