Caurnie Angling Club goes from strength to strength

ANGLERS hooked on the popular sport of fly fishing hit the water recently to mark their club's 85th season.

Despite the coldest winter for years and the loch being frozen well into March, the winter work parties of Caurnie Angling Club recently launched the boats in preparation for trout fly fishing.

Antermony Loch, in Milton of Campsie, is leased by the club from the council and is frequently used by members throughout the March to October season.

Nestling under the Campsie Fells, the 25 acre loch is stocked annually with brown trout as well as some rainbows in the high summer.

With a thriving membership of 220 adults, including a few lady anglers, as well as members who are in their 90s, Caurnie Angling Club is one of the largest in Scotland.

Between 15 and 20 members make up the junior section.

Secretary Roger Hughes has been a member for over 30 years.

He said: "It's great to see more young people enjoying fishing. Many people who join have only been rainbow fishing, so we're having a day on Sunday, May 2, from 2-6pm, where people can get some advice from the more experienced anglers.

"Our motto is quality, traditional fishing, for the community."

Caurnie Angling Club has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1925. It was formed from the amalgamation of other local clubs including the Kelvin Valley and Kirkintilloch angling clubs.

However, it was almost two decades later that the Burgh of Kirkintilloch granted them the lease of Antermony Loch, which was the local water supply.

Over the years, the Caurnie anglers saw several water boards transferring ownership of their lease, until the late 1990s when it was sold to East Dunbartonshire Council. The group was given a ten year lease, due to expire in 2008.

However, members mounted a strong defence in 2005, and were supported by councillors, MPs and MSPs, when it was recommended that the council sell the loch on the open market.

As a result, the club was given a 25 year lease which has enabled it to invest funds to demolish the derelict pump-house, extend the car park and build a new fishing hut for members.

The club runs several competitions for members at Antermony, with prizes presented during its annual social night in Lenzie Rugby Club in March.