Brian Turner is a reagular guest on the island and has been fishing Islay's lochs since 1995. You an read on his website why he visited Islay in the first place: "In the winter of 1993 myself and two fishing friends from the Scottish Borders, Charles Waldie and Keith Orr, decided to bring to fruition our thoughts of an annual wild trout fishing trip to the islands off Scotlandâ€™s west coast. So it was that in May 1994 we sailed to Mull for what was a most enjoyable and rewarding maiden trip taking in the Mishnish Lochs, Loch Frisa and Loch Assapol. After our 1994 trip we made plans to visit Islay in 1995 and each year thereafter a different island. We did indeed sail to Islay in the May of that year and as I write in June 2011 we have been unable to stray beyond this captivating place with the exception of adhoc hops over to Jura during the subsequent years"
Brian and I frequently email since several years now and this year Brian sent me a wee version of his whereabouts on the island which he visited from 28th May to the 4th of June, just after the big storm. Brian: "We missed the big storm but the trees all over the island now look like they are in Autumn. It is amazing how far the sea spray got inland. We came back on the new ferry (broken down on our way there) and it is amazing. On the car deck I was particularly interested to see that the deck raised and then more cars parked below. Continue reading.....
We had relatively good weather all week although a bit breezy earlier in the week. Fished all six days covering Lochs Finlaggan, Gorm (twice), Drolsay, Leathan, Cam, Kinnabus, Ard Achadh, Nan Gillean, Mhurchaidh, Smigeadail and Giur-bheinn. We caught just over 300 trout which were all safely returned to the Islay waters. Highlight of the week was to accept an offer from Willy Inglis in Islay Estates to go out to the lochs on the far North East of the island on the argocat which is a specialist vehicle designed to cross the roughest of terrain. These lochs are so far out it would have been difficult to walk out and cover them all in one day. I guess very few people have had the opportunity to cast a line on Mhurchaidh or Smigeadail. Many thanks to Islay Estates and Alan our guide for the day.
At Smigeadail we were on a mission to prove that it was not fishless. In the end we proved little as we did not catch any fish - but they may be there. We met Mr Fletcher one day and were extended an invite to go up to Persabus for a dram. In the end we did not make it up which may have been a good thing! Kinnabus did not fish that well hence the bone art diversion (see image). We got our boats for Loch Gorm this year from Jim McHarrie at Ballinaby Farm and these were very good with the outboard motors. Whilst at Ballinaby we heard, but did not see the Corncrake. I was keen to get a decent photo of a Brown Hare but they were reluctant to come out from the grass tufts! At Kinnabus two Goslings decided I was their adopted parent and decided to follow me around. Eating out is becoming difficult and we struggled after getting back from fishing to get somewhere to eat. Our problem is we never know when we will be off the water which makes booking in advance not practical. Thank goodness for the Chinese Restaurant in Bowmore!
Islay Sheep Bone Art