The 2017 Kirbister Loch OTFA /AFYD school competition was held on Thursday 1st
June. Conditions were reasonably favourable with a light South wind and good cloud cover. The 14 KGS competitors arrived on the Kirkwall-Houton bus and walked to the OTFA Hatchery to tackle up. After receiving instructions from Neil Ewing, the very keen young anglers were soon spread out from the Swartabeck burn mouth to the Groundwater shore.
The trout were well out from the shore and hard to reach for the 2 boys fly fishing and
lobbing the worm, who would have had better prospects if they had been allowed to wear thigh waders. The wind fell away in the last hour and midge feeding trout began to appear on the surface. Pupils who switched to fly and bubble (allowed in the bait section) then had the advantage.
The Senior Bait section and Orkneyinga cup were won by Baillie Rorie. His 12.25oz trout
also proved to be the largest fish, winning him the W Shearer cup. Bethany Jarvis was
second with 2 trout weighing 8.25oz. Gavin Sinclair and Alan Harbour were 3rd and 4th.
Brian Elder was the most successful young angler, winning the Junior Bait section and
Bobby Windwick cup with 4 fish weighing 1lb 4.125oz. Liam Barnett was 2nd with 2 fish
weighing 12.375oz and Megan Crofts was 3rd with a 6.625oz trout.
No fish were caught with fly rods, so the W S Sinclair cup was unclaimed. The 2 girls caught fish on fly and bubble, well out from the shore. Unfortunately, the wind direction and strength were unsuitable for dapping. Some pupils did learn how to dap with a 15ft dapping rod, but in the light wind could not reach the feeding fish.
All the competitors received prizes or gifts, which were donated by W S Sinclair, Orkney
Surveying Services and the family of Bobby Windwick. The W Shearer shop provided
discounted packs of floats, hooks and worms for all the competitors.
KGS Depute Head Neil Ewing organised the trip and supervision was provided by Skip
Sommerville, Phil Longley, Melanie Maclennan, Andy Torbet and Kate Blain. Kate was also the photographer. Skip has ably assisted with the Kirbister competition for a number of years, but this may be his last year, as he is moving to Australia soon.