Orkney v Shetland Intercounty 2017


The annual Intercounty fly fishing competition took place on Swannay loch over the weekend, 10th/11th June and although the weather was far from ideal, the sport was very good on both days.

Jim Harcus,Ian Hutcheon,Sandy McConnachie,JIm Bews,Neil Chalmers and
Norman Irvine

The first day on Saturday found conditions quite challenging with a fresh to strong southeast wind, but with good cloud cover all day which certainly improved the prospects. The morning session up to lunchtime proved to be a very productive session for the Orkney lads, who seemed to master the conditions and find fish very quickly, mostly to Hedgehogs, although some were taken on mini lures. This set the scene for the rest of the day and by the time the weigh in occurred, it was clear that Orkney had taken a commanding lead. Orkney’s aggregate for the team was 55 fish for 40lb 10ozs, where Shetland only managed a disappointing 25 for 18lb 4ozs. Orkneys best rod for day 1 was James Bews, on top form at the moment, with 18 fish for 13lb 7ozs, this, combined with the strong team performance, had set Shetland a very tall order to overhaul their total on day 2.
Much more pleasant conditions greeted the anglers on Sunday which dawned brighter with a moderate wind, which only increased slightly as the day wore on. It was very much a repeat of the Saturday result come the end of the day, with Orkney’s 46 fish for 34lb 1oz to Shetland’s 33 fish for 26lb 8ozs , which amounted to a comprehensive victory over the piece. Once again it was the OTFA anglers who mastered the conditions with Orange, Hares Ear and Mole Rat Olive Hedgehogs being the successful flies.

Darren Laurensen with his 2lb 4oz heaviest fish

Following a superb meal at the Empire, the participants retired to the Legion for the presentation and celebration of the weekends angling. James Bews, with 26 fish for 20lb 1oz, Orkneys top rod over the weekend, received the Intercounty Cup on behalf of his team mates, Sandy McConnachie, Norman Irvine, Ian Hutcheon, James Harcus,(captain), and Neil Chalmers. Shetland’s top angler was Darren Laurensen who managed a very creditable 16 fish for 12lb 8ozs for his weekend, which included the heaviest fish at 2lb 4ozs. The anglers then enjoyed some much needed refreshments where the toast was the Intercounty and Swannay loch in particular, which had provided such good angling over the weekend.
One wee interesting fact came out in the ensuing socialising which maybe of interest. It transpires that Shetland FFA have not won an Intercounty in Orkney in 40 years, since 1977, the very same year that Shetland angler Frank Watt was born! Could this be just a coincidence or do Shetland suffer from the” Curse of Frank”!