April/ May 21
The start of the season was characterised by cold and windy weather but I did manage to get out on opening day and bag 6 on 'Diesel' loch and 3 on Druidibeg all from the bank. Since then more poor weather has curtailed fishing but Ive had a good days afloat on West Olaphat (15) and Upper Bornish (14). Snow and biting wind from 3 May made life difficult for Paul Clydesdale and Tony Connor but they had notible days on Stilligary (15 to 2.75lb), Grogarry (5 to 1.5lb) and Hallan (11 to 1.75lb). I had a fun day on Grogarry with Marc Macmillan who had 4 with 3 over 2 lb best just short of 4lb. David Ogg and Simon Barnes had a challenging week weatherwise but had good days on Clachen (4 is some terrible conditions), Stilligary (10 to 2.5lb). Bornish (13), Upper Kildonan (9), Grogarry (2 to 3lb) and Mid Ollay (8 to 31/4lb)). Guy Wardle had 9 on North Olaphat with me. New Uist fisherman Graham North, Duncan Brown and John Mclellan experianced the full range of uist weather and ended with 5 on Upper Bornish,12 on U Kildonan, 17 on N Olaphat and 8 on Mid Ollay.
Despite a steady S/SW wind direction weather has been rough for the last week and forecast till 20th, Despite 30mph wind Mike Jefferies and Graham Gow fished hard on Clachen (13 to 4lb), Druidibeg (29), Mid Ollay (13) and N Olaphat (6). Martin Bamforth and Colin West had 23 on Altebrug, 8 on Stillary, 12 on Mid Ollay, 3 on Bee including a stunning 4.25lb Brownie, their final day on Hallan produced 11 to 2.25lb. New to the Anglers' Retreat guests Julian Williams and Gareth Richards fished Mid Ollay (12), Bornish (5), Altebrug (8), Druidibeg estate side (23) and Grogarry (5) in some pretty difficult conditions. Tricky conditions, high wind then calm bright sun through to the 20th didnt stop Reuben Girling catching 6 on Clachen to 2.5lb and then together 9 on Upper Bornish in a gale, 9 on Dun a Cille and 6 on Stilligary with Mark James catching 2 at 2.5lb, they both rose and lost loads more including fish around 2lb. The highlight of the week was my day on Upper Kildonan on Saturday, we managed 23 to 2lb. Big leggy muddlers, bibio, black pennell and silver invictor have been the most consistant flies. The final week of the month saw new guests Willie Macleod and Duncan Macdougall have great days on Bornish (8) and Upper Kildonan (16) and a really fun day on East Bee with 6 to the boat and a number lost/ missed inc a large seatrout at the sluice.
There are no fishing guests planned for July so we could have family over. Generally though July is a poor trout fishing month and the lochs this year were very low which added to the difficulty. I went out occasionally from the bank and had a few. The salmon and seatrout started to appear is numbers on the 3rd week and moved into Roag and Fada with some early fish caught.
Aug 21 (Updated 31 Aug)
Craig Dalgliesh was new to fishing in the Uists but very quickly found his stride and in the first week managed 7 on Grogarry, 12 on Bornish, 4 on Stilligary to 2.5lb including witnessing a fabulous hatch in the evening. He had a fabulous 23 on Upper Kildonan, 10 on Frasers, 8 on Chlachen and 27 bank fishing on Loch a Bhursta. Simon Barnes, Rick Knock, Alan Craig and Brian Gibson fished last week is some very challenging conditions particular on Roag where they had 6 seatrout with Rick taking the honours at 5lb 4oz and Simon with 3lb. Grogarry produced 5 best 3lb, Fada 7 finnock but both Rock and Brian lost salmon in the burn mouth. They lost a boat day due to wind but bank fished and had 11 from Frasers, Druidibeg and Bhursta. I had a difficult day on Bee with Brain and Rick, the water is so low we ended up dragging the boat on more than one occasion but managed 4 and a few lost/ missed. The last day was the hightlight with Alan breaking his Machair duck with 5 fish in, 3 over 2lb best 2.75lb. Simon went for quality over quantity and had two of 2.75 and 3.25lb, the other boat had 8 on Upper Kildonan to 1.lb.
Next up came John Watson and Colin Potton who had a week of difficult bright and flat calm water but managed good days on Upper Kildonan (15) and Bornish (6) but the highlight was West Ollay where John got snapped by a huge fish following a reel malfunction but 2 hrs later landed a superb 4lb 9oz fish from the same area which saved the day. The final party of the month was the Paul and Scott Clydesdale, Tony Connor and Brian Fraser, again they had a difficult weather week with yet more sunshine and flat conditions. Highlights were 7 to Tony and Scott on Stilligary with 4 over 2lb, 13 on Mid Ollay for Paul/ Brian and 43 of Upper Kildonan from 2 boats. Scott lost a fish of over 5lb at his feet on West Ollay and on their final day we managed 30+ off N Olaphat.
Best catches to Date
Colin West - 4.25lb Brownie
Reuben Girling - 2lb Seatrout
Mark James - 15 Brown Trout on Upper Bornish