A BRECHIN angler is preparing to make his second appearance for the Scotland international team, almost 15 years after he was first selected to represent his country in the sport (by Steve Mitchell).
Jock Craig of Drumachlie Loan, is a well-respected champion within Brechin Angling Club and his efforts at club level are one of the many reasons he now has the opportunity to fish for his country, having also had to go through a rigorous qualification process.
Jock said: “We spent a week in Orkney (this past weekend) and then on June 6 we go up from the Monday to the Saturday, with the international competition taking part on the Friday on Loch Harray.
“We travel up by bus as we obviously have a lot of equipment.
“We will be competing against teams from England, Ireland and Wales.
“There are 14 anglers per team, a total of 56 anglers fishing altogether, and the standard is very high.
“I am delighted to be included in what is a great Scotland team.
“Two of my team-mates have nine caps and six caps respectively and are vastly talented and experienced anglers as you have to be to compete at this level of competition.
“This is my second cap, having won my first in 1995.
“You have to be, first of all, champion of your club to be selected. That is followed by two prelims and if you get through them there is a final selection for a final number of 28.
“I was delighted to finish eighth in the selection process and make it into the spring team.
“The competition is a one-day match. However, we get three practice days beforehand.
“You are given a section that you will fish in during the competition. However, you only find that out when you arrive for your practice sessions.
“At the end of the three practice days the organisers have a good idea what the fish are taking and you are supplied with a box of flies and that’s what you use for competing in the international matches.
“Scotland have a good record in the home internationals, having picked up the gold medal position three times and we are obviously hoping this will be the fourth in succession.
“The ideal scenario is to finish in the top six.
“If you can manage to do that, you retain your place in the Scottish team for next year.
“The sixteen year gap isn’t as significant in angling, because you can participate at any age.
“Footballers, by comparison, have a relatively short career.
“The only other Brechin Angling Club member to represent Scotland was a junior member a few years ago, so it’s a great honour.”
Jock’s knowledge of the land may come in handy during his next international appearance, having spent many years in agriculture, most recently at Blubberhill.