Finally, some proper fishing weather with a warm westerly wind and dark skies for the open fly fishing competition on Harray for the WS Sinclair Trophy, affectionately known as the “Final Fling”. It’s a very popular competition as the 32 entries showed, although the 3 no-shows gave the organisers some last minute headaches, having to shuffle things about to suit. It was heartening to see some new faces and some overseas visitors there to enjoy the friendly competition.
It was Merkister Bay that received the bulk of the attention following the 10am start, with 90% of the fleet starting there, a result of last week’s big baskets coming from that area I suppose, but boat pressure in such shallow water soon puts the fish down and it failed to produce. Ballarrat saw a few boats as did Lochside but well spread out. It was the boys on the sinking lines at Ballarrat which saw the best of the sport on the day, although the loch fished well all over, with more fly life evident than there’s been for months. Daddies, sedge, olives and wee black midge were all making an appearance, and spooning revealed that the trout were also feeding hard on Sitickleback fry.

Ken Kennedy, Barbara Morgan (sponsor WS Sinclair) and Billy Sinclair

The weigh in at 5pm at The Smithfield Hotel saw a lot of happy anglers and good baskets of trout, and following the soup and sandwiches, which were much appreciated by all present, organiser Andrew Morgan of main sponsors WS Sinclair’s in Stromness presented the prizes for the day.
Retaining the WS Sinclair Trophy, with a tremendous basket of trout, 24 for 17lb 7ozs was Ken Kennedy, in second place was Malcolm Russell with 14 for 10lb 3ozs and third was Neil Chalmers with 9 fish for 7lb 2ozs, who all received generous tackle vouchers for WS Sinclair Tackle in Stromness. Best boat prize on the day was Billy Sinclair and Ken Kennedy with a combined total of 28 fish for 20lb 4ozs, the heaviest fish prize, sponsored by the Merkister Hotel, was won by Derek Moar with a bonny fish going 1lb 6ozs. Stuart Montgomery retained the prize fir the heaviest basket from an Overseas competitor, and relative newcomer to the gentle art, David Fletcher, won the Spoon, sponsored by the Smithfield Hotel, a meal for two at the hotel.
The most successful tactics for the top three on the day were very similar, with Ken, Malcolm and Neil all on the sinking lines, Ken’s cast of flies included Hulks, Erlends Cat, an Orange UV Muddler and a UV Black Cat. Malcolm’s best was the Naked Boris, a fly he gas done very well with lately on Harray. So that’s it, the 2018 competition season on Orkney comes to a close, but there are still some major competitions south with a big Orkney interest, so it’s all the very best to Colin Sutherland and Sandy McConnachie in the upcoming Scottish National Final at the Lake of Menteith, and to the team off to fish the Anglian Airflo International Final in October.


1. Monday 6th May Swannay. Thomson Cup for heaviest basket. Dowell Quaich for heaviest fish. 12 noon - 6pm. Weigh-in 6pm - 6.45pm at Site Hut.
2. Saturday 18th May Hundland for the Taffy Allan Trophy. 12 noon - 5pm.
Weigh-in 5pm - 5.45pm at Site Hut.
3. Saturday 1st June Harray for the Pomona Cup. 12 noon - 6pm.
Weigh-in 6pm - 7pm at the Pomona Inn.
4. Saturday 15th June Boardhouse for the Nick – Nick Trophy. 10am - 4pm.
Weigh-in 4pm - 4.45pm at the Site Hut.
5. Friday 21st June Harray for the Wm Shearer Plate. 6.30pm – 10.30pm.
Weigh-in 10.30pm – 11.15 pm at the Site Hut.
6. Sunday 7th July Boardhouse for the Barony Cup. 12 noon - 6pm.
Weigh-in 6pm - 6.45pm at the Barony Hotel.
7. Sunday 21st July Harray for the Miller Cup. 9am - 3pm.
Weigh-in 3pm - 3.45pm at the Site Hut.
8. Sunday 4th August Harray for the Clydesdale Bank Cup. 1.00pm - 7pm.
Weigh-in 7pm - 7.45pm at the Site Hut.
9. Sunday 25th August Any Loch for the Loganair Cup. 11am - 5pm.
Weigh-in 5pm - 6pm at the Harray Site Hut.

Note: An 11 inch limit will apply for all the seasons Brodgar League competitions.

Cancelled Competitions - In the event of any Brodgar League competition having to be cancelled the next available date below shall apply. Saturday 25th May; Sunday 23rd June; Friday 28th June (Evening); Saturday 27th July; Sunday 18th August; Sunday 1st September.