2011 Spring Home International Report – Loch Harray Orkney Scotland

Firstly I would like to thank all of the people that made this event possible, the IFFA members and special thanks to Ian and his wife who enabled me to get the results posted on the match evening. Big thanks to John Ball who without his tireless fund raising efforts, we the competitors would have had to stump up a significant sum of money.

Scotland the host nation who organised the venue, accommodation and provided full assistance in helping us make our arrangements.

The Ayre hotel and all their staff were incredibly helpful to all the teams and the facilities and food provided were first class.

Massive big thank you to Brian Thomas and all the boatmen, especially Willie, James and Andy who I had the pleasure of fishing with on some of the days, I am sorry I can’t remember all of your names guys, but take this from me I have a high respect for you all and your wonderful Orkney Trout Fishing Association.

Finally the whole team commented on how all of the Orcadian people we came into contact with were extremely pleasant and friendly and of course was much appreciated by all of us, I personally will be back to visit the island again.

Loch Harray proved to be a first class wild brown trout venue, though the average trout is only twelve ounces they certainly gave a spirited fight for their size.

A view of the loch looking towards the Merkister Hotel.

We had four practice days leading up to the match day.

Day One

Conditions – Light wind, overcast

Hatch – Olives

Best Methods – Dries, Hogs fished on floaters and intermediates, some fish caught on sinkers but when the olives were up top of the water action was fast.

Day Two

Conditions – Strong wind, sunny

Hatch – Nothing significant

Best Methods – Di3,5,7 lines with local mini lures such as merkister maid, norski lad, black and green, cormorants, various muddlers etc.

Day Three

Conditions – Strong wind, sunny, some overcast periods

Hatch – Nothing significant

Best Methods – greased Hogs fished on floaters and intermediates, during overcast periods around the skerries, sinking lines with mini lures over deeper water in brighter periods.

Day Four

Conditions – Very strong winds,and sunny

Hatch – Nothing significant

Best Methods –  Sinking lines with mini lures over deeper water in brighter periods. The sweep lines worked for some of the lads.

Conclusion – over the four days we never had less than 137 keepers and significantly more on some days, as to methods there were two obvious ones, hogs on floater / intermediates, mini lures on sinkers. Nymphs and dries also worked but only in calm conditions.

Match Day

Conditions – moderate wind, overcast with sunny periods

Hatch – overnight hatch of caenis, which meant that the caenis nymphs would be active over the deeper water and that the sinking lines and lures should work.

How to explain the result is difficult, I started on the hogs and caught over both shallow and deep water catching four keepers and many small fish in the first two hours, my boat partner struggled to get any keepers using the Di7 Sweep and mini lures but into the afternoon started to catch I followed suit had one keeper and we ended up 7 – 5 to him.

I know all of the lads in the team fished hard all day, I had comments from the other competitors who fished with our guys saying “They worked their nuts off for little result, doing exactly the same as I was catching on!”  We have all been there and in a sense that is fishing!

John and I would like to thank you all for all the effort put in during the week, we did not get the result we wanted, but we did have a thoroughly enjoyable week.

Clive Collier  Captain

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