Outing to Loch Inver (21st Sept 2013)
With alot of rain over the last week and salmon and sea-trout able to move up river, conditions looked promising. Fifteen Islay anglers and one mainland member met at Port Askaig Pier to share transport on the ferry accross to Jura. Donald-Ewan met us as planned to take some anglers to the loch and on arrival we were met by two Jura members taking the total to eighteen.
The day started off with a very light wind coming from a southerly direction and made some parts of the loch look like a mill pond. The upside to having no wind meant that large salmon and sea-trout could be seen jumping and splashing all over the loch, particularly in front of the car park where the river flows in. Fisherman spread out round the loch, each choosing their own pattern of fly. Some guys opted for larger salmon flies, Ally shrimps, Whisky Muddlers, Cascades, etc and others opted for the more traditional sea-trout patterns, Teal-blue and silver, Peter Ross and butcher patterns. Some even went for brown trout favourites, one thing was for sure, all bases were covered. Ally Blair was first of the mark after 10 minutes with a nice brownie of just under the pound. Neil Carmicheal, using a mix or trout fies on the droppers and a salmon fly on the point, was next to land a fish. Neils fish would not have won many prizes in a beauty contest, a very long, lean sea-trout of a pound and a quarter took a doobry on the dropper, a fish none the less. Donny Holyoake had been busy at home tying some flies to try out and he was the next angler to let out a roar, of frustation as it turned out, as two salmon in quick succession gently sucked in his home tied size 16 fly of no name only to spit it back out when he lifted into them. It was to be third time lucky for Donny when a big brownie of 2lb 4oz swallowed the same fly of no name only this one put up a good scrap before making it to his net. Jim McDougall was the only man out on the float tube and as he paddled his way past Neil he asked how he was getting on, "not very good at all" was Neils reply. The words had no sooner left his mouth when he lifted into a nice fish, a cracking acrobatic sea-trout, tempted by an orange cone-head muddler, which when landed put his previous fish to shame in the looks department and weighed in at 2lb 5oz.
The wind freshened up considerably in the afternoon and lt was remarked by many that the water temperature was "Bloody Freezing!!"
Jim, after a break for lunch, headed back out on the float tube to do another circuit of the loch. Before lunch, Jim had managed to land a couple of small brown trout but it was towards the end of the day before he hooked into a reasonable sized fish, a brownie of 1lb 9oz. Over on the eastern shore-line a potential 'personal best' was being played by Bill 'the badger' Barclay. A sea-trout of an estimated 5lb had swallowed his "huge muddler" and was putting up quite a tussle. Noel had offered to lend a hand netting the fish for Billy but Billy "wisnae sure." As the fish got closer, but maybe "wisnae ready yet" Noel reached out and grabbed the leader. Billy's fish of a lifetime "by double" decided it 'wisnae' ready and took off round the other side of Noel's leg leaving a bemused ghillie holding nothing but a leader with no fly or fish attached. As they say, 'you learn something every day!'
At the weigh in, two bottles of whisky were up for grabs for the heaviest fish. Donald-Ewan presented a bottle of Jura single malt, courtesy of Inver Estates, to be kept for later enjoyment and the club presented a bottle of White Horse to be opened and shared amongst the anglers.
Neil Carmichael came out in first place, Donny Holyoake was in second and Jim McDougall third.
The salmon eluded us all once again but most guys landed and returned a few smaller brownies and a few decent sea-trout were caught. A day out on a different water is always a bonus and the stunning backdrop to Loch Inver is something to marvel. Once again, many thanks to Donald-Ewan and Inver Estates for their hospitality.
3rd Club Championship (7th sept 2013)
The penultimate competition of the season and another chance to add weight to the club championship bags. This competition is a pegged event
with anglers drawing numbers from a hat and making their way to their pegs for a one o'clock start. Each angler has 1 hr 15 mins in their 'zone' before moving up two slots for the next 1hr 15 min, each angler will stand at four different zones.
Conditions weren't great to start with for the twelve fisherman, with a strong north/easterly blowing and rain forecast. Tam Dunn started off on peg number twelve with the wind blowing straight into his face. Casting was awkward but the fish seemed keen to take, with him missing the first few offers to his 'olive muddled hopper'. On his first slot Tam landed eight fish and missed quite a few more. The next three slots were not as productive and he could only manage another six fish giving him a total of 14 fish for 3lb 4oz and putting him in third place.
After a very brief shower of rain the wind died down slightly and moved round to the east, there was even some blinks of sunshine. Donny Holyoake, fishing up the top left hand side of the loch, was catching fish regularly on 'yellow snatchers' and 'kate mclaren muddlers'. Donny, at the close of play, had 25 fish weighing in at 5lb 10oz and putting him in a very close second place. Jim McDougall, fishing the eastern shoreline, was also catching steady through all his zones. Jim's flies of choice were 'kate mclaren' and 'black muddled hopper'. The weigh in was close with Jim matching Donny's 25 fish but just beating him into first place by 4oz.
A day of mixed fishing and mixed weather saw a total of 116 trout landed. The heaviest fish of the day was caught by seasoned pro David Taylor with a fish of 13oz. Well done to Jim and David.
2nd Club Championship (18th August 2013)
Sixteen anglers arrived for our only evening competition and fished tough conditions in the hope of achieving a decent weight of fish to add to their overall bags from previous competitions. Although this is the second club championship, it is actually the fourth of six competitions to count towards the end prize of Club Champion.
A strong south/westerly was blowing and most anglers opted to head down the more sheltered side of the loch with only four guys braving the windy shoreline. Jim McDougall was one of the four and had a fairly slow start with not many fish being tempted to what he had to offer. After struggling for a few hours Jim found the fly, a pearly pennell, that would eventually land him 3rd place with nine fish in total and win the heaviest fish with a nice trout of 9.2 oz. Donnie McNicol was catching steady over on the sheltered side of the loch and found his trusty 'green peter' was getting him plenty offers. Donnie came out in second place with ten fish for 3lb exactly. Winner on the night went to Ronnie Mitchell who stands on the podium for the first time with a bag of thirteen fish weighing 3lb 7oz. Ronnie was fishing right on the point out from the clubhouse and tempted his fish with a green muddler. Well done Ronnie, all that tuition from young Andrew has paid off !!. A good evening for the Mitchell family as Andrew, once again wins best junior.
All in, 78 fish were landed and considering the windy conditions this was another good bag of fish from Kinnabus loch.
Diageo Cup random pairs (13th July 2013)
16 anglers arrived and were drawn into eight teams of two. Everybody headed across the moors to reach the two lochs that would be todays venues. Most fisherman stopped off at the smaller Ghillie Loch with about six guys carrying on to the School Loch. The weather during the past week had been wall to wall sunshine with very high temperatures and very little wind. Fortunately, at the start of play, conditions looked perfect with a steady breeze and overcast conditions... but for how long..?
Donny, Tam, Bill and Iain McCuiag were the first to arrive at the S/West corner of the School Loch and all caught fish immediately. Within the first 15 minutes Donny and Tam had four small fish each and Iain had landed a nice trout of just under the half pound. After about 20 minutes of perfect fishing conditions the sun decided to show itself and the wind picked up. After a 15 minute blank period Tam decided to move round the loch to the N/East shoreline where he started to steadily pick up fish using a sink tip line and the fly of choice, a black muddler with some sparkle tied in behind the head.
After about an hour and a half most anglers were now fishing at the School Loch due to a swirling wind and very few fish showing at the Ghillie Loch. A few fishing partners had met up to swap tactics and altough conditions were less than favourable some of the guys were having a bit of success. Donny had bucked the trend and moved over to the Ghillie Loch half way through the day where his home tied Kate Mclaren muddler was catching him some fish, nothing big but on a day like today every fish counted.
At five o'clock it was time for the trek back across the moor, usually an easy 10 minutes but after 4 hours fishing and in sweltering conditions felt more like a two hour mountain climb. Partners got together to find out how each other had got on and what flies had been successful.
In total 89 fish had been landed between the two lochs. The winning team of Jim McDougall and Tam Dunn accounted for 30 fish. In second place were Donny Holyoake and Noel MacLelland with 25, third place went to Gavin Campbell and Iain McCuiag. Heaviest fish of the day was the one that Iain caught in the first 15 minutes.
Bill Barclay awarding prizes
40th Anniversary Competition (6th July 2013)
Weather conditions looked favourable for the 26 anglers who turned out for the clubs anniversary competition at Loch Kinnabus. The wind was in a steady South-East direction and a fair bit of cloud cover kept the sun at bay.
The day started at 11 o'clock with Bill 'the badger' Barclay claiming to have left his fly box at home. Bill won the previous competition and it was remarked that he would not be winning anything today without any flies on his line. The man from the East coast had to beg, borrow and probably steal some flies from his fellow competitors, the poor man got a bit of a ribbing but took it firmly on the chin.
With anglers spread out round the entire loch the fishing could begin. A few got off to a good start and, for them, it looked like an excellent days fishing was going to be had. Robert Fitzsimmons landed a nice half pounder early on and Gordon Dunbar, aka 'Dod The Troot' had four nice fish in the first hour. Fishing for wild brown trout is a fickle past-time as we know and for many (with the odd exception) the day was to turn out more difficult than was expected. Dod had a three hour spell of inactivity before finally landing another fish or two and Robert couldn't really better his previous fish. At four o'clock everybody headed back to the club-house for a well deserved beer and burger.
Back at the club-house Iain had set up the 'bar' and the BBQ and Tam snr had the first course of venison burgers on the grill. Once everybody had a beer in hand we could begin the weigh in and prize giving. Kevin Morrison was in third place with 8 fish for 2lb 6oz and Richard McCulloch came second with a bag of 9 decent sized Kinnabus fish caught mostly on buzzers. The afore mentioned Bill 'the badger' Barclay, who had miraculously found his fly box after borrowing from anybody willing, came first with an amazing bag of 21 fish for 5lb 8oz. As yet, nobody is sure whether the fish took his own "wee black flee's" or the "borrowed flee's", it was suggested that he now be known as Billy'the fox' Barclay. Andrew Mitchell took first in the juniors and heaviest fish on the day was a very impressive fish of 1lb 4oz caught by Roderick Ewart. Silver salvers were presented to the winners by the only original club member present on the day, Donnie Ramsay. The raffle draw was also made and Keith McDonald won the expertly tied box of flies courtesy of Tin-Tin and co.
Billy 'the fox' Roderick Andrew
With the fishing over and business taken care of, it was time to enjoy a dram, some food and a bit of craic...
We soon realised that Stuart was quite camera shy... and maybe wasn't sure about the burgers,
but when Dod kneeled to say 'Grace'.... ....he was OK with that.
There was more food put on the barbie including marinated pigeon breast and fresh trout. There were a few more drams consumed and the generator was fired up to provide some welcome tunes with Robert doing an excellent job of DJ. As the night wore on, Dod, Robert and Jim pulled out all their best dance moves but unfortunately censorship prevents any more pictures being published (lucky for Dod and Robert). The celebrations continued and it has to be said that a thoroughly great day was had.
A huge thanks to everyone who helped out, to Graham for the pictures and to everyone who attended. Most importantly to the founding members of 1973 without whom there would be no club. We look forward to another 40 years...!
PORT ELLEN ANGLING CLUB 2013
Hugh Campbell Memorial Cup (29th June 2013)
This particular trophy is donated by the Campbell family in honour of the late Hughie 'Texa' Campbell. Hugh and his family used to live up at the old house above the loch and he was also one of the founding members of the angling club all those years ago and took up the position of secretary / treasurer.
Conditions were less than ideal with a cold wind blowing and a thick mist almost right down to the waters edge. Seventeen anglers turned out for a one o'clock start and as ever were greeted by chairman Jim McDougall.
A few anglers made their way straight down to the far away loch with the majority staying at the larger top loch. Fishing was slow all round and it seemed that the larger fish were staying down and were difficult to tempt. In all, 34 fish were weighed in, most of which being slightly smaller than average for these lochs. As all anglers know, the weather plays a huge part and it certainly did today.... thats fishing!!
Winner on the day was Bill Barclay with a reasonable bag of 7 fish, Bill tempted his fish on sedge-hogs, well done to him... Runner up was Donny Holyoake followed closely by Jim McDougall. Despite the conditions, a good day was had by all and a dram was raised in Hughie's memory.
Many thanks to Elaine Campbell for presenting Bill with the trophy
Scottish Club Championship's. Lake Of Mentieth
On the 14th of June the P.E.A.C team consisting of myself, Gordon Dunbar, Colin Tocher and Jim McDougall (as reserve) headed to the Lake of Mentieth for our heat in the Scottish Club Championships. Having all fished here before and being fully aware how different it is from our own home lochs we armed ourselves with boobies, buzzers and blobs, we were determined to finally crack it this year.
Our practice session from 6pm - 11pm on the Friday evening looked good with a light breeze and overcast conditions. I paired with Colin and getting info from the boys coming off the lake we headed for the road shore. I set up with a home tied May fly on the point and buzzers on the droppers, after getting several swirls under the May fly, I eventually took a fish on a black and red buzzer. Colin, unfortunately, hooked and lost a fish. A phone call from Dod at 7'ish told us that Jim also had a fish and it got me thinking that maybe we'd finally got the measure of this water ( I was wrong ). I hooked and lost another on the cat booby and maybe had another half dozen offers. Meeting back at the hut at 10.30, we all ended the night with one fish and at least it was a starting point for tommorrow !!!
Determined to get the hang of this place and the older boys not having the stamina for it, I headed back out on Saturday morning for the 9.30am - 5.30pm session. Blowing really hard and a big wave on the water I headed straight for the Malling shore where the wind was coming from. Same as the night before, I started with a dry on the point and two buzzers but this time I opted for 8lb flurocarbon as it was much finer than my usual maxima. This proved to be costly as on my third cast I hooked a fish on the dry and was snapped off within ten seconds ( back to the maxima ) I again ended up with 1 fish around 2 1/2 lb taken this time on a cat booby. Back to the hotel at 3 o'clock for dinner and returned for the 6pm competition start.
Met my boat partner Andy, he was on the engine and had fished here more often than me so I let him choose where we'd be fishing (not like I could point him in the right direction). It was now flat calm with the dreaded midges everywhere. There were surprisingly few fish showing early on and Andy decided he was going to fish a Booby on the point and a blob on the dropper on a sinking line. My thoughts being, good enough for him with plenty Rainbow experience, good enough for me. I also made the changes ( any Islay boys who probably aint heard of a Blob its what it says, a fluorescent coloured blob which would scare the life out of any fish on our lochs ) and sure enough, Andy took 3 fish within 15 minutes. I showed my inexperience when the bow wave chasing my booby eventually reached the fly, I lifted the rod when I should have kept stripping line till the fished hooked itself. 8 o'clock and at last I was into a fish, as soon as I lifted the rod I knew something didn’t feel right and after an interesting battle I brought a 4lb pike to the net (my first ever fish on a blob though). Shortly afterwards Andy hooked another pike around the same size. Back on a single dry later in the night with fish rising everywhere I eventually coaxed a 3lb Rainbow to take my Olive Klinkhammer. With 4 fish between us we headed back to hut for the 11pm finish.
Well done to Colin who had 3 fish (even though he was disgusted that he was using and catching them on a booby for the first time ever.. traditionalist our Colin). Myself and Dod had one each and Jim, fishing for another team that arrived a member short, also had one.
We had a brilliant time as always but sadly the Lake of Mentieth wins again !
two and a half pound Mentieth rainbow, fit for the oven.
The following is a report gratefully received from Brian Turner.
This year was our 20th year and 18th year to Islay. Thanks to Iain Laurie who gave us a Port Ellen Angling Club badge to mark the occasion.
We fished on Loch Gorm a couple of days taking and returning 160 fish up to 1lb 4oz (most in the 6 to 12oz category).
We also had a day on Jura on the Ardlussa Estate lochs where we had 95 fish landed and safely returned. I have put a YouTube video of this day on my website homepage.
On the Islay Estate waters we had a cast on Loch Drolsay, Cam and Leathan taking and returning 27 for the day.
So to our visit to your waters on the Oa. Jimmy Campbell and Keith Orr were dropped off on Glenastle and had 2 or 3 hours taking fish mainly in the 6 to 8oz category.
Whilst Jimmy and Keith were at Glenastle, Charles, Waldie and myself left the vehicle at your fishing hut at Kinnabus and walked over to fish on Loch nan Gillean (Ghillie Loch) and then on to Loch Ard Achadh (School Loch). We did not catch on Ghillie Loch but had success on School Loch. I especially had a great couple of hours at the north east end where a favourable wind brough the fish on and I had 31 fish (12 of which were between 10oz and 1lb - all returned). Charles had 15 returned fish at the south west of the loch although these were smaller 6 to 8oz.
Charles and I then headed back onto Loch Kinnabus where we were joined by Keith and Jimmy who had walked over from Glenastle. The four of us had 28 fish from Kinnabus mostly in the 8oz category and the best going to 12oz.
Our best flies for the day were Blackbird Fly, Doobry, Clan Chief and Hugo's Dirty Weekender (red/black hackled fly bought on way to Islay at the tackle shop in Lochgilphead). I think the Hugo in question is Hugo Ross of Caithness fame. I had great success all week on Islay and Jura with this fly (not sure about the dirty weekender name!).
Iain Laurie in the shop asked about the Blackbird Fly which Jimmy Campbell tied a few years ago and has been successful for us on Islay. I have attached a photo to let Iain/your readers see. The Blackbird came a cropper when flying into Charles's patio window so best not to let the feathers go to waste!
Good to see the Graylags with their new brood on the School Loch and for us border folk to watch the Choughs which of course we do not see over here in Berwickshire.
Once again many thanks to Port Ellen Angling Club and all our friends on Islay. Please look us up if you are down in the land of the Tweed.
Brian Turner (Islayfisher)
Many thanks Brian, hope to see you next year !
Coillubus Quaich (1st June 2013)
Seventeen hopefuls attended, not only to win the quaich but also to be included in next years team heading to the Lake of Menteith.
The day began overcast with fish taking flies off the surface. The bright yellow circle in the sky made an appearance within the first hour and remained there for the rest of the day. Fishing seemed to slow down a bit after that but a good many anglers still returned a decent bag of fish when time was called at five o'clock.
Gordon Dunbar came out on top with a bag of four pounds followed by Alex Dunnachie from Jura, third place was returning member Callum McAffer. All three will go on to represent the club next year. John Dix, who also travelled from Jura won heaviest fish. It was great to see the guys come over from Jura and to welcome back some old faces.
Gordon Dunbar being presented by David Taylor
1st Club Championship (20th April 2013)
Blustery winds were the order of the day at Glenastle as fifteen anglers turned out to hopefully make a decent start to the club championships. This is the first of six competitions where the angler combines their best four weights and the Club Champion will be the member with the heaviest bag at the end of the season.
With the fisherman placed round the loch the competition got off to a 1 o'clock start. It was obvious from the get go that the wind was going to be a little tricky, it was swirling in all directions and for some was making casting difficult. The cloud cover was just about right with the odd blink of sunshine.
Neil Carmicheal was first off the mark ten minutes in followed almost immediately by Donnie McNicol. This was to be the case for the first hour or so as both men continued to catch fish, one after the other. Donnie's flies of choice were a green cruncher and a green peter, while Neil caught most of his on a muddler with a blue palmered hackle. Noel decided that he was going to go snorkelling when a slip on the rocks brought him crashing down into the freezing cold water... He was due some good fortune and karma was on his side when ten minutes after his tumble he hooked and landed a nice trout of twelve ounces to eventually take the honour of heaviest fish for the day. (see picture above)
The wind continued to chop and change direction and sometimes disappeared altogether. There were plenty of fish rising out in the middle of the loch and the first swallows of summer could be seen taking flies just off the surface which meant that in the middle of the loch, at least, flies were hatching. The rest of the day was a mixed bag with most anglers catching a fish or two but even Neil and Donnie were now starting to slow down on their previous success.
Five o'clock and it was time to head back up the hill to the weigh in. Donnie McNicol reigned supreme with a total bag of 2lb 13oz with Neil Carmicheal coming a close second followed in third place by the slightly damp Noel McLellan. Junior winner was Andrew Mitchell who is turning into an accomplished angler and is beginning to 'strike fear' into the more senior members
In total forty one fish were weighed in which considering the conditions wasn't a bad day at all. We celebrated Donnie's win with a dram from his winners bottle, and.....
were very carefull ...... ....not to spill a drop !!
Next Club competition will be the Coillubus Quaich at Kinnabus on the 1st of June but before then we have the Feis - Ile competitions to look forward to....
Ardbeg 'Cast-off' Cup (16 March 2013)
A bitterly cold wind and grey skies greeted those brave enough to venture out and compete in this, the first ever, Ardbeg 'Cast Off' Cup
Twenty six anglers from all over Islay, Jura and from the mainland arrived at Glenastle and were greeted by chairman Jim McDougall who thanked all for coming and welcomed some new faces. Everybody got set up and headed down to the loch for a 1 o'clock start.
Walking round the loch in to position some fish were spotted on the surface which gave a little encouragement to those that saw them....5 minutes in and a cheer was heard across the loch as the first trout of the season made it to the net. The wind got up and the sun came out for the second half of the day with some anglers taking the short walk down to the lower loch.
Lots of different flies and tactics were used to encourage the fish to take but the going was pretty tough given the weather conditions and being so early in the season. In total eight fish were caught and at 5 o'clock everybody headed back up to club hut for a well deserved dram.
pictures courtesy of Ali Blair
Young Andrew Mitchell had a good day catching a couple of fish and winning the prize for best junior (and it has to be said beating all other 25 anglers). Tam Dunn came out on top in the seniors winning best bag and heaviest fish. Newcomer John Dix won a minature of whisky for the slightly tongue in cheek prize of smallest fish weighed in. Prizes were awarded by club chairman Jim McDougall.
A good day (if a bit chilly) was had by all and we hope to see those new faces back again and again for years to come...
Our thanks to Donny and Ali for organising...
And a big thank you to Ardbeg Distillery for the great prizes.