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Hamish Young

Inverness AC centenary casting competition
« on: September 04, 2017, 20:33:21 PM »
Over last Friday & Saturday the Inverness Angling Club held a Spey casting competition at the 'Little Isle' pool at the bottom of the Ness Islands and the Bught Park. This was the second competitive event run (largely) by the club the first being the Alexander Grant competition in 2015.

Now I must state here and now that I should have practised well in advance for this event as I knew it was coming. However.... I didn't  :z10 With other things dominating free time I just never found the time to get the practise in but I was reasonably confident I wouldn't come last. Or at least I hoped I wouldn't come last  :wink

On the Thursday afternoon, ahead of event registration and the draw for casting order, I met up with Scott Mackenzie and Lee Cummings to set up the ropes that Lee had brought up with him from Cumbria. Itís Lee that needs to take the credit for all his hard work bringing the World Championships to the UK next year, it was some of the ropes he had made for that event that he brought up with him. Once again, the competition had attracted an international field of casters with some exceptional local talent and some very strong representation for ladies and juniors.

I drew as caster #7 and with the opportunity to have a catch up with old pals it was back home to get sorted for Friday.
Unlike 2015 I was immediately Ďon the paceí on the Friday, casting 45 metres in the first heat with two longer casts being excluded when the indicator yarn landed the wrong side of the ropes. Thatís just the way these things go sometimes. However, with ten spaces in the Menís final I was hopeful of a place, but it was looking tight after the second heat where - true to my luck - the wind blew into my face and the 45+ metre casts I had been doing when limbering up ended up as 31 metres into a strengthening wind. I swore.  Really rather quite a lot of swearing actually.

I legged it home knowing that brownie points would be earned for being home timeously  :X2

Saturday dawned as a beautiful clear morning with a favourable breeze. It was grand to meet up with Magnus who had come through to cover the event for FF&FT and to meet other folk who couldnít make the previous day. Among them was Neen Mackay of Turas a Bhradain fame who was there covering the event as part of a new series of the Gaelic fishing programme which she is currently filming Ė watch this space! It was grand catching up with Neen who was telling me she is now also running the hugely successful Oykel Bridge Hotel.

The third and final qualifying session came and went and I didnít improve. But, as it turned out, there was a dead heat between myself and my pal Derek Doyle. Derek is from Ireland and is a very fine caster indeed, heís a winner of previous competitions in Ireland and a wily competitor. Anyway, we drew for who would cast first and Derek elected to cast before me. He cast well but, I am delighted to say, I did better and the last place in the finals was mine. For the first time I would be competing in the finals of a Spey casting competition with some of the finest casters in Europe Ė if not the world. No pressure then :!

Well Iím sorry to say that in the final I couldnít get into a rhythm and I came last Ė practise, practise practiseÖ.. Never mind, I made it there and the banter, craic and camaraderie amongst all the competitors really was a delight. Iíve added the distances in one of the pictures at the end.

This time the ladiesí final was contested by four entrants. As before Ally Bremner from the borders and Donna O'Sullivan from near San Francisco were there but this time so was Angel Cummings (wife of Lee Cummings in her first competition) from Cumbria and the hugely talented Anita Strand from Norway. Anita it was who championed with Donna a fine second and Ally a close third. Angela did ever so well in her first ever event and Iím really very confident she will only build on the foundation that was Inverness. 

The juniors event was a close-run thing but the two stand out casters were Blaine Lyon from Ayrshire and Jordan Grant from Inverness. Jordan it was who triumphed, a name to watch as he was putting high 40ís in every session and he is only 15 years old. A very fine caster to watch indeed.

There was a great atmosphere and I think it was a cracking event, possibly even better than last time, but I have to say that I thought the Salmon Festival as a whole seemed to have a fairly lacklustre advertising campaign which is a shame as the event deserves support. Due to family commitments, I didnít make it to the evening reception this time, but I met some great folk, renewed some old friendships, made some new friends and generally just had a blast!

Scott Mackenzie..... the smallest Ness beats..... long story.

Derek and Martin from the emerald isle - best craic  :z13

Anne Woodcock from FishPal and committee members of Inverness AC

Junior and ladies results

Mens results

Longest distances over event

More pics on Facebook and elsewhere on the www  :z18

« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 07:02:33 AM by Hamish Young »
Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience ;)

Mike Barrio

Re: Inverness AC centenary casting competition
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2017, 21:12:57 PM »
Great stuff Hamish, looks like you all had a grand time :z16

Mike   At the heart of your fishing ..... lies a great fly line!

Derek Roxborough

Re: Inverness AC centenary casting competition
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2017, 21:51:29 PM »
Didn't know it was on , very poorly advertised, well done Hamish, the American girl must go to the Golden Gate casting club, in Golden Gate park, I,m hoping to get there when I visit my son, :z13 Derek Roxborough

Hamish Young

Re: Inverness AC centenary casting competition
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2017, 07:09:07 AM »
I agree, the advertising could have been better. As a previous competitor I got plenty of information about the event but that leap to the next level of engagement with a wider audience is needed.

Unfortunately I wasn't free to attend any of the lectures/talks/demos given over the duration of the Salmon Festival, but I did get a chance to chat to the guys from (and am deeply impressed by the works being done by) the Ness & Beauly Fisheries Trust on the Pink Salmon issue. If you're on Facebook I recommend you follow their activities  :z16

H :z16
Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience ;)

Allan Liddle

Re: Inverness AC centenary casting competition
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2017, 08:42:46 AM »
Great stuff H, got a wee update from Magnus earlier this week  :z16


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