Angling: Scottish heats of Scierra Pairs are already proving to be a hot ticket

Flashback to the weigh-in at the Scierra Pairs heat at Glencorse last summer.Flashback to the weigh-in at the Scierra Pairs heat at Glencorse last summer.
Flashback to the weigh-in at the Scierra Pairs heat at Glencorse last summer.
The Scierra Pairs, one of Britain's leading fly fishing competitions, is filling up rapidly with a number of Scottish heats already sold out according to organiser Phil Dixon.

The event at Stenhouse Trout Fishery Burntisland on Sunday, March 13 is one of those with a full list of entrants and the new venue of Eden Springs at Letham Toll, Cupar, on Saturday, March 26, is also packed.

The heat at the Lake of Menteith near Stirling is also full and that is on the calendar for Saturday, April 23 and Eden Springs is also fully subscribed on Saturday, May 21. Glencorse on Saturday, June 4 is also full and two dates at Harelaw Trout Fishery near Neilston, Glasgow are also booked out on Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5. However, at the time of writing, the heat and the Black Loch near Falkirk on Sunday, June 19 still has spaces but the second heat at Glencorse on Sunday, August 7 is also full.

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The popular event starts at Knockaderry in Ireland on Saturday, March 5 and the Grand Final is at Llyn Brenig in Wales on Sunday, August 28.

Prize guys from last year's heat at Glencorse. Left to right: James Hope, Bill Taylor (Glencorse owner), Jock Kettles, Mike Connet and Kenny Hope.Prize guys from last year's heat at Glencorse. Left to right: James Hope, Bill Taylor (Glencorse owner), Jock Kettles, Mike Connet and Kenny Hope.
Prize guys from last year's heat at Glencorse. Left to right: James Hope, Bill Taylor (Glencorse owner), Jock Kettles, Mike Connet and Kenny Hope.

Meanwhile, places are also filling fast for the Scottish Open Fly Fishing Championships with a first prize of £2,000. The runner-up takes home £1,000 and third placed £500 and each heat winner gets £100.

The heats are May 15 and 29 and June 12, all Sundays, and the Grand Final is on Sunday, September 4. There is a practice day on Saturday, September 3 and all heats and the final are at the Lake of Menteith.

The entry fee is £70 per heat and £40 for the final and to enter contact Ben on 07462 148303 or email [email protected].

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Locally, Paul Dancer was the toast of Bowden Springs near Linlithgow this week with a superb 12.5lb rainbow trout landed. Tom Niven also enjoyed his session which included an 8lb rainbow and a 6lb brown trout. Best patterns at the water have been egg, white cat, buzzer, cormorant and wotsit.

Bowden Springs' bait pond has also been performing well with Freddy Boyd and three friends hooking nine trout weighing-in over 22lb. They are open seven days from 8.30am to dusk.

Over at Rosslynlee near Penicuk, owner Nicola Perfect reports that the water has been fishing well and proof of that was in the bag recorded by G Wilkinson with 16 to the net on egg patterns.

Other anglers have enjoyed success lures and buzzers, including dogs bollox (correct) and she said that fish have rising when the sun has appeared. Rosslynlee is open from 9am to 4pm daily.

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In East Lothian, Jimmy McLachlan reports that the water temperature remains low and therefore the resident fish have probed reluctant. However, anglers have been catching with 6lb and 8lb trout recorded.

Pink has been the best colour of late and the most consistent patterns have been cat bugs and mini pink nomads. Ally McCoist and big lures have also scored. The fishery is open seven days from 8am to dark.

Nearby, Tweeddale Millennium at Gifford enjoyed good sport last weekend with a daddy long legs tempting trout when the water was calm.

The best fish recorded have included a 6.5lb brown trout. Red holographic diawl bach and buzzers have produced but lures have not been as successful in recent days.

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Owner John Jackson said the wind during the week made fishing hard. Tweeddale is open seven days from 8am to 4pm.

Remember, Cramond Angling Club host their opening day BBQ on Saturday, February 5 from 9am at Fair a Far weir near Cramond. All welcome.

Meanwhile, Scottish Federation for Coarse Fishing (SFCA) bosses are keen to increase the size of the international squad and Gus Brindle, the caretaker manager, has invited nominations for several events this year.

The first one is in March and it is the Sensas Challenge on the Gloucester Canal in England followed in June by the European Championships in Portugal.

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The world championships are in September in Croatia and the Home Internationals are set for October with the Northern Nations Feeder Championships set for Barston Lakes in England.

Fife-based Brindle, who has held the caretaker role since Chris Paton stood down in 2018, said that depending on the number of nominations additional events may be considered.

He added: "Obviously, each match will require time off for travel and practice time and I will discuss this with those who are nominated.

"Due to changes in the funding arrangements, all those selected will be required to actively engage in fund-raising activities as the cost of representing Scotland is sadly, at present, borne entirely by the individuals selected."

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He hopes to hold a squad meeting to discuss the season and deliver the mandated anti-doping training.

The nomination process for the carp team and possibly a lure team will be set out separately and if anybody requires any information call 07812 241816. Scotland, incidentally, are also looking for an international team manager.

Onto sea fishing and the final leg of Mike and Chris's heaviest cod winter series is on February 5 and Chris Horn, one of the organisers, said the outcome was still in the balance.

The leading fish remains at 6lb 14oz with the second weighing in at 6b 1oz.

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Kirkcaldy-based Horn won the fourth leg last weekend with a bag of 10lb 1oz with Simon Pattinson second with just over 9lb 13oz with David Cargill third with 7lb 4oz.

The heaviest fish was hooked by Jimmy Milne and it weighed 6lb 1oz. Fishing in the final leg is from 16.30 to 21.30 and registration is at the Victoria Car Park in Arbroath from 15.00 to 15.30 and all depart at 15.30. The venue is from Carnoustie to Ferryden Lighthouse. Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers rules apply.

Finally, Derek Anderson of Aquamarine Charters of Eyemouth confirmed that angling spaces are available on Sunday, January 30 from 8.30am. Cal 07860 804316.

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