Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Stronsay School angling trip to Harray and Kirbister (24th & 25th May 2015)



CAMERAAs you may have noticed, we’ve had a pretty poor spring… Actually, a couple of days ago, I read that the month of May had been as wet as the month of November, which is usually the wettest of the year… Seemingly the spring of 2015 has also been the wettest for at least 40 years! Needless to say that I was a bit anxious as the date of our annual angling trip was getting closer!
When the Stronsay ferry berthed at the Kirkwall pier, the weather was almost promising and the spirits were high on the minibus, heading for the Harray Loch!

The plan was to only spend the afternoon fishing Harray, which is usually a bit more challenging than the Kirbister Loch, where we would spend the following two days.
The four Stronsay pupils, accompanied by Andy Rose, Jim Erskine, who kindly helped the youngsters for two days, and myself started along the Bochan shore and worked their way north toward the Broch.
James was on the fly while Jack, Ieuan and Thomas used either torpedo floats and flies or bubble-floats and worms. In spite of the bright and windy conditions, a dozen beautiful Harray trout were caught by the youngsters. There was a display of impressive skills with the fly rod and those on fixed-spool reels proficiently cast and retrieved, without tangles or hook-ups. The Stronsay boys were working like a well-oiled machine!
By 4:30, it was time to leave Harray and head north for the Birsay Hostel for something to eat and a good sleep… Before we reached the hostel, it had been briefly mentioned that the freshly caught Harray trout could make a nice starter but by the time we had unloaded fishing rods, night bags and food box in the pouring rain, the thought had pretty much escaped me. Someone remembered though, and as I walked into the kitchen, James was already in the process of gutting the fish over the sink! To keep him company, I grabbed the sharpest knife I could find in the drawer and started on the filleting! In no time, Andy was supervising the frying operation and the golden fillets were piling up nicely!
Once on the table, our fish fiend Ieuan made short work of his share and dived for more… And let me tell you: the fish starter was a big hit!
MayTrip10The following morning, the sun was shining over the West Mainland and with the prospects of shoals of hungry trout waiting for our baits, the young anglers decided it would be wiser to make a little detour through Stromness and get some extra worms, just in case…
Unfortunately, Kirbister proved just as dour as it’s been over the last couple of years and only Jack managed to grass two trout.

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