May 2018

May saw all the Orkney lochs switching on. Swannay was popular early in the month. The fish were not too far off the stones but sinking lines still did best, with the Ace of Spades accounting for a lot of the action. Swannay baskets included 17 for 13 lb 8 oz for Norman Irvine; 19 for 12 lb 2 oz for Sandy McConnachie; 19 for 11 lb 8 oz for Thorfinn Muir and 10 for 8 lb 8 oz for Jim Adams.

Bosquoy trout

Harray was a bit slower to start. The fish were generally in shallow water and a cast over the shallow skerries and hard on the shoreline produced the goods. Midge featured throughout the month, and a plague of very small black terrestrials kept fish looking up. Some of the better Harray baskets included 12 for 9 lb 3 oz for Ian Hutcheon; 12 for 9 lb 6 oz and 9 for 6 lb 13 oz for Sandy McConnachie; 7 for 5 lb 12 oz for Norman Irvine and 8 for 6 lb 4 oz for Stuart Leslie. Fly patterns included wee black Hogs, Peach Muddlers, Black Snatchers and the Boris!! Most of the bigger trout caught in Harray are probably sea trout , or ones nipping through from Stenness. However, Andrew Morgan’s 3 lb 5 oz specimen was distinctly “brown” looking – albeit debatable!!
Over on Stenness, the fishing was decidedly poor. It’s seldom great on this brackish loch but so far this year I’ve heard very few reports of good catches. The loch is also full of Common Seals and Cormorants which I’m sure must account for the dearth of fish. Regardless, Colin Sutherland had 3 for 2 lb 14 oz and Kenny MacLeod also 3 for 2 lb 13 oz. 

Boardhouse was only lightly fished but some cracking fish were taken. John Munson had two over 2 lb for his day on the loch and Jim Adams also had a nice 2 lb specimen.
Over on Sanday, Shetland angler, Terry Laurenson had 9 specimen fish for his week, all from Bea Loch, with his best a belter at 6 lb 2 oz, and all returned. 
The smaller lochs produced well – especially early in the month. The often overlooked  Bosquoy, in Harray was popular with float tubers, and double figure baskets were common, with fish up to 1 lb 12 oz and loads of undersized.    
Alan Shearer told me he had been busy guiding anglers for most of the month. His clients, Peter Angus and party totalled 116 for their week, with most returned.