Fishing: Three Lothians venues among the eight picked for this year’s Scierra Pairs

Flashback to the Scierra Pairs heat at Morton Fishings near Livingston last year with Jimmy Rhind from Aberlour proudly displaying the biggest fish on the day, a 9lbs 4oz rainbow trout. Jimmy and his partner Gary Gormley from Dufftown won the heat. Picture: Nigel Duncan Media
Flashback to the Scierra Pairs heat at Morton Fishings near Livingston last year with Jimmy Rhind from Aberlour proudly displaying the biggest fish on the day, a 9lbs 4oz rainbow trout. Jimmy and his partner Gary Gormley from Dufftown won the heat. Picture: Nigel Duncan Media
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EIGHT Scottish venues have been confirmed for qualifying heats for The Scierra Pairs, which carries the highest prize fund in British competition fly fishing – and three of them are in the Lothians.

Stenhouse at Burntisland is the first Scottish heat on Saturday, March 23, followed by Raith Lake at Kirkcaldy on Saturday and Sunday, April 20 and 21.

Morton Fishings near Livingston follows on Saturday, May 4, with a new venue at Harelaw Trout Fishery at Neilston in Glasgow next, on Sunday, May 5.

Glencorse Reservoir in The Pentland Hills above Flotterstone follows on Sunday, June 16 with Black Loch near Limerigg on Sunday, June 30.

The final two Scottish venues are Beecraigs near Bathgate in West Lothian on Sunday, July 7, and the Lake of Menteith near Stirling on Sunday, July 21.

The final is at Grafham Water near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire on Sunday, September 8.

Phil Dixon, the organiser, said the format allows a pair of anglers to fish in the same boat.

Rules are kept to a minimum and the competition allows all flies permitted by the individual fishery.

You can enter for several heats, and Dixon, an international angler who has represented England on more than 15 occasions, said: “We are very keen to encourage junior participation. Every pair of anglers containing one or more anglers under 18 years of age can claim a discount of £10 on their first entry.”

All heats fish from 10am until 5pm but anglers can sign in from 8.30am. A briefing is held at 9.45am.

The first prize overall is £1,500, second £1,000, third £750 and fourth £500, with fifth to tenth teams winning various products from the sponsors. The best fish prize is £250 and there are prizes for individual heat winners.

Meanwhile, The Edinburgh Fly Dressers Club has resumed after the Festive break.

It meets every Wednesday at 7.30pm at Slateford Bowling Club at Lanark Road, Edinburgh EH14 1TH and on January 23 a special demonstration of saltwater patterns by Bob Perrett and Ian Whyte is planned.

Saltwater fly fishing is becoming more popular, indeed some anglers try their luck in the Musselburgh area, and the duo will use their wide experience of fishing overseas to illustrate some of the best used patterns. Incidentally, the patterns can also be used for pike and bass fishing.

The Bass Rock Sea Angling League opened their 2019 programme with the North Berwick Rover event this week.

Anglers fished at various locations between Gulland and Seacliffe beaches. Results are awaited.

Meanwhile, Amble Sea Angling Club host their popular 42nd open shore competition tomorrow (11am to 3pm) sponsored by Sonik. There is a £12 entry fee for all classes in the event which is rated one of the best on the East Coast and the prize fund is £6,000.