Edinburgh angler training hard ahead of Home Internationals

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Buffy McAvoy has back-to-back silver medals in the Home International Sea Fishing competiton but would love to claim gold with the event comes to the Montrose area in early July.

The dates are July 3 and 4 and the five-strong squad are currently sharpening their bait presentation, beach craft and casting at venues in Scotland. The next session is on June 15 and 16.

Looking back nearly 12 months and McAvoy was heartbroken when gold was snatched from the Tartan team in the final minutes of last year’s event in Wales, and the Aberdeen-born angler admitted that it will be tough to make the top of the podium, even with local knowledge.

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The nucleus of the Scottish team are experienced, McAvoy, Lesley Maby from Cumbria and Gill Coutts from Largs. Buffy and Gill regularly fish mixed competitions North of the Border.

Edinburgh angler Buffy McAvoy.Edinburgh angler Buffy McAvoy.
Edinburgh angler Buffy McAvoy.

Maby has been involved for some time while Australian-born Joanne Barlow, who qualifies because of a Scottish grandparent, and made her debut two years ago, has been practicing on local beaches around her home in Brighton. She is in regular contact by phone and internet with Tayside-based team manager, Kevin Lewis.

Charlene Stoker from Dumfries made her debut last year but has been entering mixed events in Scotland this year to develop her skills and McAvoy, a finance manager, said: “We have experience.

“What we are doing in the build-up will add to that, but, even with home water knowledge, it will be difficult, but we are hoping to claim gold and working hard to achieve that.”

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Team boss Lewis confirmed that England are fielding an experienced team but Wales have dropped out leaving Ireland as the third team. They are understood to have new faces in their team.

Lewis said: “All teams have experienced anglers but we will be prepared and have scheduled several sessions together in the build-up.

“We’ve been in Dumfries and will be fishing in the Montrose area ahead of the match. We’ll also be on beaches in the Montrose area in the days leading up to the international.

“We’re confident as we’ve got the same team last year when we had to content ourselves with the silver medal.”

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On to fly fishing and Kirsty Muray was elated at earning her first cap in the Scottish Ladies Fly Fishing team, but deflated by finishing in fourth position in the Home International in Wales.

The Dunfermline-based angler is now determined to help lift the Tartan Team up the standings in the future after the disappointment in Wales when the Tartan team totalled 2,864 at Llyn Brenig. Ireland were third with 3,095 points, with hosts Wales second for 3,197 points.

England won with 3,710 points and Kirsty said: “A massive well done to England Ladies. Conditions had changed drastically over the last two days (of practice) and the match day was completely different to what we had practiced in.”

Ireland is the venue next year and Kirsty said the national squad are desperately keen to recruit to make a real impact and that is one of the reasons they are holding an Open Day at Burnhouse Lochan Fishery near Bonnybridge on Sunday, June 9 from 9.30am to 5pm. The cost is £20 and that includes a BBQ lunch.

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Contact [email protected] for any information and to book but Kirsty said: “We can do so much better than we did in Wales and we are determined to develop the squad and introduce new faces.

“We also need sponsorship as it is costly being part of the team as we are largely self-funding. Travelling to Wales was expensive and travelling to Ireland will be more expensive.”

The Scottish Ladies Flyfishing Facebook page is being revamped to include up-to-date information on fund-raising and fishing and an entry form for the Scottish Ladies National fly Fishing Championship at the Lake of Menteith in September on Sunday, September 8 is now available on the social media portal.

Kirsty added: “We would love to hear from anybody keen to join us and we are really committed to making Scotland a force in British ladies trout fishing.”

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Local water reports indicate that Kevin Walkinshaw was again top rod during a session at Newlands Tweeddale near Gifford with 12 on vicar buzzer and black buzzer with white cheeks.

Kevin McCabe and Jim Crawford had a good day at Glencorse near Penicuik. McCabe had 34 and Crawford 13 in bright conditions and two anglers had 18 to the boat at Loganlea on bibio and snatchers.

Over The Pentland Hills at Harlaw Reservoir, Grant McCormack tempted 14 trout, three on a yellow Mayfly and 11 on black spider, his best ever day at the water. Alan Stead had 11 rainbow trout and four brown during his session.

Graham Munro hooked into a 10lb brown at Bowden Springs near Linlithgow and Allandale Tarn regular Josh Gray caught seven in 45 minutes.

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Further afield, Millhall near Polmont have a new phone number which is 07939 437691 as the landline has been discontinued and the fishery is open to 10pm, Monday to Friday.

The Lake of Menteith reports good fishing.