Returning to Brechin with an International Gold Medal is an unusual event but that is exactly what happened earlier this week.
Brechin Angling Clubs representative in the Scottish Youth Fly Fishing team Michael Craig returned from the Home International at Grafham, fresh off the back of a medal winning performance for Scotland.
Speaking to Michael on his return he said that the two practice days were difficult and a little worrying and that on Tuesday just before the start the Scottish Captain, Callum Stephen, had to be evacuated to hospital with abdominal pain which meant that they had to fish with the team a man down.
Fishing Boobies on a fast sinking line retrieved at speed did the business with most of the Scottish boys getting fish early. This proved a great boon as the sun and a strong wind put the fish down and few fish were taken in the later part of the day.
Scotland were victorious with 38 fish weighing 80lbs to beat Ireland with 32 fish at 66lbs. England were third and Wales a distant fourth.
Michael wishes to send his best wishes to Callum for a speedy recovery and I am sure all local anglers wish to echo this.
Also this week the Esk Salmon Fisheries Board confirmed that they will not be taking any steps to repair the breached Morphie Dyke on the lower North Esk. The breach does not seem in any way to impede the passage of fish on their upstream run and this with the totally unclear ownership of the dam the decision has been made to remove some steelwork which is jutting out into the stream and thereafter to allow the river to make a new course for itself.
Historically it powered a watermill on the north bank at Morphie Mill and was a source of water for the town of Montrose in the south lade as well as the now closed Glen Esk Distillery.
Runs of salmon are worrying many right up the east coast as returns are at a record low in the majority of the major rivers The Spey, Dee, the Esks, Tay and Tweed have seen nothing like it and the grilse run seems either very late or nonexistent.
I fished on the South Esk all last week and given that the river was low it was still heartbreaking to see so few fish in the river. Even after the recent heavy rain, fish were not seen entering the rivers even with so much fresh water to tempt them. I fear all we can do is hope and perhaps nature will come to our assistant with a good late run.
Tight Lines, Bill Balfour.