Youngsters show sportsmanship

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MIXED showers and sunshine last Sunday afternoon at Allochie Lochan did not put club youngsters off attending for their Bob Massie Shield competition, and although a turnout of three out of several dozen potential junior fishers was vaguely disappointing, the trio which did compete proved very worthy of the organisation behind the event and the essential safety supervision provided by a team led by club president Martin Webster.

Jamie Thorpe took first place with two bonny rainbows and a couple more lost. Jemma Critten just shaded second place with one trout, one lost at the net and several missed, while brand new member Conner Cheyne quickly picked up the basics of fly-fishing to take his first-ever trout and run Jemma very close indeed. A big well done to those youngsters for their persistence, enthusiasm and sportsmanship.

Hours before this Bob Massie Shield event, the club’s adult members had met at Crossley Quarry in rather harsher weather conditions (lashing rain, in fact!) to compete in their own Andy Gordon Shield outing.

But fish don’t usually mind getting wet and responded brilliantly to surface and sub-surface flies. Stuart Wright was outright winner with nine trout, with Hugh Mitchell (six), David Littlewood (three), Jim Leiper (two) and Bruce Mackie (one fish) completing the tally. All fish were safely returned to live and maybe fight another day, and the various competitors were delighted with the sport they had enjoyed.

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IT’S now official, Ury Estate is no longer in receivership, after being bought by Ury FM Ltd. Having had the misfortune along with Ditta Neumann of SEAS (the Sustainable Energy Association Stonehaven) to have found itself trying to deal with liquidators Messrs Zolfo Cooper of Glasgow (trying being the operative word!) during the past two years or so, the angling club is delighted to be in communication once again, with a local company with local interests.

Already, the owners have been in touch giving the go-ahead for the exciting but long-delayed Intake Pool fishpass and fish counter project on the River Cowie, and the SDAA is not letting the grass grow under its feet here.

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TALKING of vegetation, it was hilarious to see the wide-eyed expression of panic on the face of a delivery driver on Monday when he tipped up at the River Dee Office at Mill of Dinnet to find the car park there swarming with white boiler-clad folk wearing full facial visors, and hand and foot protection. Was this an incident connected to the Tottenham riots? Had a dastardly ‘murrrder’ been committed in quiet rural Deeside?

No, this was simply a group of conservation-minded people from the Don, Dee and Cowie taking part in the second of two rather intensive one-day courses run by Laurencekirk-based RingLink and aimed at gaining a herbicide qualification. Subject to a later exam and practical exercise, this would entitle them to supervise the spraying of pest plants such as Japanese Knotweed close to watercourses (where of course this ubiquitous pest tends to like to grow and spread in the first place).

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BACK on the competitive (or socio-competitive) front, the Stonehaven angling club is running a sea fishing boat outing on the splendid Lady Gail 2 this weekend and although I suspect that organiser Norrie Hart has a full-house contingent of anglers, anyone wishing to join them at late notice should contact him ASAP on 764687.

“Tight Lines”