YOUNG Borders fisherman Russell Turnbull netted a place in a national final last week and can now tell the tale of a magnificent heat win, as well as the one that got away.
Taking part in his first national competition, the 11-year-old Lilliesleaf Primary School pupil travelled to Stonebridge fishing lakes, near Northallerton in North Yorkshire, for the Trout Fisherman magazine Trout Masters fly fishing competition.
Russell won his way through to the final round by gaining qualification at his local course at Kailzie fishery, Cardrona, run by Jimmy and Jane Barrett, when he was still only 10 years old.
The final itself ran over two days and Russell fished on Saturday morning, winning his heat by catching four fish. With heat two taking place in the afternoon, the local youngster spent some time learning fly-tying and taking casting lessons, courtesy of Trout Fisherman, while the other heat was in progress.
With the last heat on Sunday morning, the final took place on Sunday afternoon. The weather was variable and Russell was not so lucky. In total, 30 boys and girls took part with an age range of 10-15 years, many of the competitors from Scotland.
Russell has been fly fishing for two years after being introduced to it by his grandfather Alistair Ferguson. He fishes at every opportunity with his dad, who rather than stand on the sidelines, also took up the sport. Russell would like to thank Border Gun Room in St Boswells for sponsorship of his trip.