August 2018

The long hot summer finally took its toll on some of the Orkney lochs, with Boardhouse in particular affected by brown algae, and water levels low everywhere. Weed growth was also excessive, with large areas of the smaller lochs more or less unfishable.

Ken's Sanday fish (photograph by Jim Adams)

A fine Harray specimen caught and returned by Sandy McConnachie

Harray was a bit coloured up at the start of the month, but soon cleared and the big loch actually fished as well as it has this season. The Harray trout were taking well in deep water and also on the skerries and drop offs, so a combination of sunk lines and lures or high up lines and hogs could produce the goods. Some of the better Harray baskets included 11 for 8 lb 7 oz for Norman Irvine; 12 for 7 lb 14 oz for Ken Kennedy; 8 for 5 lb 15 oz for Gary Ballantyne and 9 for 5 lb 11 oz for Morris Rendall; 22 for 15 lb 11 oz for John Munson; 13 for 10 lb 11 oz for James Harcus and 10 for 10 lb 4 oz for Andrew Morgan. Fly patterns included the usual mini lures and hogs but the exception, and there is always one, involved the use of madeira thread. The Boris Hog, Naked Boris lure and various “Boris” style variants accounted for lots of Harray fish this season.    
Boardhouse did not fish at all well. But the size and quality of the fish remained excellent. Norman Irvine took 7 on a hard day, with two in the 1.5 lb range, one at 2 lb and his best at 3 lb. Sandy McConnachie boated 5 for 5 lb 8 oz including a fine 2 lb 3 oz specimen. Swannay came on towards the end of the month. Brian Foreman’s basket of 14 for 10 lb 9 oz, taken mainly on Hogs was one of the best catches I heard about. And on Hundland, Neil Chalmers took 10 for 7 lb 9 oz, again mostly on Hogs.   
Seatrout eventually made an appearance around the middle of the month. Ian Robertson enjoyed a wade at Brodgar on Stenness with 6 for 8lb 6 oz.