The 2nd round of the AFYD/OTFA Junior competition , involving 15 KGS 2nd year pupils, was held on Thursday 4th June at Kirbister loch. The wind was forecast to be Westerly, but then to become South East, making it difficult to choose the starting location. Depute head Neil Ewing decided that the pupils should start on the South shore and walk round to the Hatchery shore after the wind changed. It proved to be the correct choice.
The weather was very pleasant, with a light wind and sunshine. Quite a lot of trout were showing reasonably close to the shore. However, the smaller fish close to the shore proved very adept at nibbling worms off hooks, without being caught. Even when they were hooked, many of the trout escaped just before their excited captors managed to beach them. There were larger fish further out, but the competitors, who were only allowed to wear wellies, couldn’t cast far enough to reach many of them. The one pupil fishing fly found it particularly difficult.
Joe Drever caught a 14.25oz trout in the last hour to win the Junior Bait section and the new Bobby Windwick cup. His fish also proved to be the biggest one caught. Travis Low, who switched to ‘fly and bubble’( allowed in the bait section) after he found that Kirbister trout didn’t fancy sweetcorn, was 2nd with 3 trout totalling 12.75oz. Merrick Welbon came 3rd with 2 fish weighing 12oz.
This year there were 4 girls competing and they achieved 2 of the top 6 positions, each catching 2 trout. Caitlin Walls was 4th and Amy Wells 6th. 5th place went to Glen Foubister, also with 2 trout.
The competitors learned a lot about how to operate a fixed spool reel correctly and the importance of using swivels to prevent line twist and reduce the risk of fankles. With that knowledge and their improved casting skills, they should have more success if they return when the loch is fishing well.
Perhaps their parents will take them during the school holiday.
All the competitors received prizes financed by W S Sinclair, Stockans and a particularly generous donation from the family of Bobby Windwick. Bobby was OTFA secretary for 26 years and made a huge contribution to the development and organisation of junior angling for school pupils.
There was also a non-competitive angling trip to Kirbister on the previous day, involving a different group of 17 young KGS anglers. Despite a very strong West wind, heavy showers and rather uncooperative trout, the youngsters all worked hard and had greatly improved their casting skills by the end of the trip. They will catch a lot more trout if they return to Kirbister when the water level is a lot lower and the weather is less severe.
KGS staff Neil Ewing and Skip Summerville supervised on both days, with Kerry Warman and Mark Coulston helping on Wednesday; Judith Scott, Andy Torbet and Rick Thomson on Thursday.
(Jim Erskine – Photos: Skip Sommerville)