2013 Competitions Meig Open

The Meig Open is Loch Achonachie’s only open boat competition and is regarded as the 1st major fly fishing competition of the season. Held on a Saturday in Late April or early May the competition heralds the start of spring and gets everybody looking to the season ahead. You know the stuff, lambs bounding about, daffodils everywhere, the birch in early leaf, oh the joys of spring.

This year the date set, was Saturday the 4th of May, with spring well underway. Everybody wake up, on the Thursday, chucking it down with rain, on the Friday freezing cold and again chucking it down, not a lamb outdoors and the daffodils flattened. Saturday was forecast windy but what greeted the teams at the loch was to say the least a bit of a surprise. The rain that fell in Dingwall was snow in the glen, so as well as baling out boats full of freezing water the ground and not to mention the boat seats were covered in snow. Thankfully there was no rain overnight which meant that even though the loch was very high, the water ice cold, it was fishable. The wind that was forecast did not happen until the afternoon so spirits were high. 11 teams contested this year’s competition with Beauly club A & B plus Lairg angling club looking strong. The LAAC bogtrotters were hoping to do as well as last year and defend their boat and top rod titles. The hydro board entered a team for the first time and it was good to see Callum MacDonald back with his North Uist team. After their clean sweep at the 2012 members the Ross gang were expected to go well along with SGL who normally are there or there about. The three T’s, the Ullapool dabblers and LAAC dolly mixtures made up the rest. At 09:00 sharp Lewis Ross blew the whistle and the teams roared out into the loch. Most of the teams elected to go up to the top of the loch looking to find what little breeze there was. The fishing was as expected, slow but at least there was some trout coming to the net. SGL seemed to be doing well and Neil MacKenzie of Beauly A, quickly had 3 on the boat. Most of the fish caught were well down which was to be expected giving the unseasonable weather. Round about lunch time a strong gusting westerly got up and made fishing very hard with the teams looking, but not succeeding, in finding shelter. At the 5 o’clock weigh in there were more blanks than trout to weigh in. George Eccleson of SGL had 2 cracking fish of 2lb 2oz and 2lb exactly. Davie MacGregor, again of SGL had 8 wild brownies to 5lb 8oz. These 2 bags were crucial with Davie taking top rod and George taking the biggest trout. The combined weight saw SGL win the best boat.

 

Top Team
Name Team No Trout Wt Total Wt lbs Position
Davie MacGregor SGL 8 5.49 9.7 lbs 1st William Bartlett Trophy Winners
George Eccleson SGL 2 4.21
Brian Scobie SGL 0 0
Neil Mackenzie Beauly A 3 4.16 4.16 lbs 2nd
Frank Durdle Beauly A 0 0
John Gunn Beauly A 0 0
Neil MacRitchie LAAC Bog Trotters 3 2 3.9 lbs 3rd
Ali Hunter LAAC Bog Trotters 2 1.27
Lewis Ross LAAC Bog Trotters 1 0.63
Top Rod
Davie MacGregor SGL 8 5.49 lbs 1st Meig Cup Winner
George Eccleson SGL 2 4.21 lbs 2nd
Neil Mackenzie Beauly A 3 4.16 lbs 3rd
Heaviest Trout
George Eccleson SGL   2.2 lbs Strathconon Cup Winner
Neil Mackenzie Beauly A   1.98 lbs    

There was an excellent buffet to close at the cottage bar in Maryburgh and the club’s thanks go to Tracy for looking after the teams. Finally, a big thank you to all the teams who turned up and hopefully we will see you all again next year.

Lewis Ross: Competitions Secretary

 

Fannich Junior Competition

In our house the competition starts the night before, with us running around finding all our stuff and Dad getting more and more frustrated. On the morning of the competition I was woken early by Dad shouting at me and we quickly got ready and piled in Betsy (our land rover). We arrived in the square shortly before 8am followed by everyone else.

We headed up to Fannich and as we got further into the estate we could see the rain and feel that the wind was getting stronger. After we arrived at the keepers house we split in to our pairs and all went our separate ways. Everyone headed west of the lodge and headed up the loch, soon enough we arrived at our chosen spot and started fishing.

Through the day it rained and rained and the wind blew gusting in all directions. Casting became a challenge and I nearly fell over more times than I would like to admit. We even saw a waterspout, with the wind lifting the water off the loch. After fishing until three we headed back for the weigh in at half past followed by a barbeque, cooking was done by club chairman Neil Macritchie, and I think he`s done it before!! Burgers, pork sausages, beef sausages and wait for it sweet chillie and iron brew sausages, delicious, definitely got to go on Mam’s shopping list!! When the weigh started in was clear that some had had a much more successful day than others.

The results were as follows:
 

Place Fish Weight
1st Neil Ross 8 fish 2.68 lbs
2nd Emily Ross 3 fish 1.38 lbs
3rd Innes Donachie 2 fish 0.81 lbs

 

Biggest fish – Neil Ross, 0.57 lbs

Most fly caught – Ramsay Rait, 1 fish - 0.28 lbs

Best Pair – Neil Ross and Lewis Ross, 16 fish - 6.89 lbs

The best adults were Cliff Furlong with one fish for 5.66 lbs, “a monster in anyone’s book,” See the gallery and news story. Lewis Ross 8 fish for 4.21 lbs and Neil Macritchie with 1 fish at 0.92 lbs.

Overall a successful competition and a great day out for all. Many thanks to all who took part adults and juniors, all returning faces and new faces!! A special thank you to Rachel and Ruridh at Fannich estate, for having us into such a beautiful part of the Scottish countryside.
Now all the juniors will need to get ready for our next competition which our competition secretary (my dad) said will be in October, probably a Sunday, if you have a preference or any other ideas please get in touch with the competition secretary. It's held at Achagour trout fishery and the angling club pays for the juniors, a great place always plenty of fish and plenty room.

Emily Ross
 

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