Forbes of Kingennie, Tayside
This past week has seen the resort hold the 8th annual international Stillwater Flyfishing Competition. This saw 6 anglers each from Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales arrive to stay on Saturday in preparation for 3 days of practice followed by the match on Wednesday 25th. The competition was being fished over the Boathouse and Burnside pools to give variations in approaches needed for fishing the different waters. Conditions leading up to the event had seen a lot of rain fall which had dirtied the water, yet with good forecasts and no more rain the water cleared steadily leading to great water conditions on match day.
Over the practice days there were lots of fish being caught from all over the pools, giving the anglers plenty of information on how they were going to approach the match. There were several methods taking fish but the bung, pulling and twiddling lures and nymphs seemed to be the main approaches. For the match the competitors would be fishing 4 pegs in the morning and 4 in the afternoon lasting 40 minutes, giving them 2 full rotations of the pools coving different areas.
Come the morning of the match the weather was settled with light winds and sunny conditions with the wind to get much stronger by the afternoon. From the very start fish were being caught all round the pools. As the morning progressed there was no clear leader as all the nations were picking away at fish very steadily. There were also several big fish landed with 4 over the 60cm capped size reported.
At lunch time the morning results were calculated and nobody could believe how close it was. There was 1 fish separating 1st, 2nd and 3rd! Scotland was just in the lead with 28 fish for 62 place points. England was second with 28 fish for 67 place points and Wales 3rd with 27 fish for 70 place points. The Irish had 19 fish for 101 place points. So going into the afternoon session it was anybody’s match and the windier conditions were going to make the fishing more challenging for everyone.
As the afternoon session started fish were continuing to get picked off steadily, however with the change in conditions the fish seemed to move deeper. There were several more big fish caught, with 7 anglers catching fish over the 60cm limit and by the end of the day only 3 anglers had failed to catch a fish bigger than 50cm. Of these big fish there were 4 large brown trout caught as well a couple of big blue trout. The biggest fish of the day was caught by the Scottish rod of Gregor Hannen with a huge rainbow trout measuring 76.9cm weighing around 14lb that he caught on a small Bloodworm from the Boathouse pool. As the afternoon wore on it became clear that there was a team that had cracked the method for the conditions and were picking up more fish than everyone else. Then the results were released and as expected England had secured the gold medal with an outstanding afternoon session landing another 37 fish. This brought the final result to England 1st with 65 fish, Scotland 2nd with 50 fish, Wales 3rd with 48 fish and Ireland 4th with 37 fish. This gave a total of 200 fish caught for an average of over 8 fish per angler. The top individual was Glenn Appleby with a total of 16 fish and only 7 place points, a great achievement and very well deserved. A mix of Bloodworms and black lures were the winning patterns for the English.
That night saw the prize giving and after several days of secrecy it was great to see all the nations sharing stories of the week, enjoying everyone’s company after a hard week of fishing.
A huge well done and thank you goes out to all the nations for their support and contributions to this competition. This is the 8th year of this event and it is growing in popularity and reputation every year.
Swanswater Fishery, Stirlingshire
A slightly more settled but colder weeks weather saw some good fishing. The water temperature dropped from 10 degrees to 8 degrees through the week but the fish remained very active and in the top 3 feet of water. Most of the action was on lures and nymphs fished with a moderate retrieve and on a floating line. Some wet flies still saw success and at the weekend Buzzers and Bloodworm were working well. Now that the clocks have changed opening hours are 8am till 5pm. Mark Kenyon, from Holland, caught 11 fish for 34lb 12oz including 4 golds, 2 blues and a 6lb rainbow in 3 visits; Marius Botezatu, Stirling, 4 for 14lb 8oz; Heather Johnstone, Glasgow, 4 for 13lb 8oz; Stuart McKay, Bathgate, 4 for 12lb 12oz; Danny Doherty, Denny, 4 for 11lb 8oz; George Dobbie, Glasgow, 3 for 12lb 12oz including 2 golds and a 5lb rainbow; Frank Barr, Falkirk, 3 for 10lb plus 3 returned; Billy Watt, Glasgow, 3 for 10lb; Allan Johnstone, Glasgow, 3 for 9lb 4oz plus a 5lb brown returned; Andy Tervit, Paisley, 3 for 9lb; Hector Cochrane, Bannockburn, 3 for 9lb; Kyle Crossan, Stirling, 3 golds for 9lb plus a brown returned; Allan Stirling, Bonnybridge, 2 for 7lb 2oz; Jordon Duncan, Stirling, 2 for 7lb; Henry Fulton, Greenock, 2 for 6lb 4oz; Ian Whitfield, Stirling, 2 for 6lb 8oz; James McCabe, 12 returned; Jamie and Martin Anderson, Glasgow, 13 returned on their first visit to the fishery; Stuart Hay, Glasgow, 7 returned; Tom Clark, Stirling, 6 returned.