Fishing in Scotland is somehow magical and, in a way, feels historical. The tough fishing can test the patience to the limits but a salmon there is worth hundreds of fish elsewhere.
It was the last evening shift on the Dee
, this time the Park beat. I fished this beautiful pool called the Silverspoon where my father had lost 4 salmon the day before. I walked down this pretty little bank towards the river and the first I see before me is this beautiful tree stretching over the river. I could feel the spring in the air and hope for a salmon to bite as I look over the pool. This is probably one of the most fascinating pools I have fished, one of those pools you just know the fish likes. That feeling of drooling, literally feeling like you are drooling..while thankfully realising you are not.
I stepped in the river and watched out for my step not slipping as I got into the slippery pool. There were two big stones in the river with rapids between them. I started casting and moved closer to the stones very slowly down the pool. Waiting for the salmon to strike any time between the two stones. It is funny how the feeling of excitement of waiting for the salmon to strike in a place like this where you are so sure it will any time, and the feeling of surprise and disappointment when it doesn’t.
In any case, I kept going thinking in the worst case this will improve the casting. I watched my dad and good friend Peter on the bank as I kept going. Nobody said a word, we just enjoyed being out in nature and time together. That is fishing, it brings people together without having to say a word, yet everyone is hoping for the angler to catch. No competition, we are in this together as a team – a pack of wolves I jokingly called us. Well this wolf pack didn’t have the luck on our side that afternoon.
On the way back to the house, my dad said; Greenbank. We are going to Greenbank pool where you will catch it. I just know. I was getting tired but hopeful. After all, what´s 20 more minutes casting?
My father and Mark, a good friend, chatted in the car while I covered the pool.
DAD, DAD….. DAD!!!!
I screamed as the salmon attacked my fly and I was sure it was set. I screamed and shouted like a little kid to alert of the new friend I made there. Surely the two came out and all three of us without a net, we watched the salmon dance on the pool as if participating in a marathon.
My nerves were taking over every jump he took on the river. I couldn’t speak and the feelings of happiness, excitement, and stress were all cuddled up in one. A moment where you feel like you have no idea what you are doing even though you have been doing it your whole life.
Careless, that’s a feeling I needed and a state of mind I managed to get into as it was the only one that would help. The stones on the riverbank where huge and no landing place in sight for the next 200 meters. We walked down the river looking for a landing spot, taming the silver much like a Labrador in a spot.
Eventually he showed his belly and was ready to stop the fight.
My fathers´ gorilla hands grabbed his tail with no escape as we screamed of happiness together and I jumped in for a high 5 and hugs. We took a few photos before we released the healthy salmon back in and it swam away as fast as it took my fly.
A moment of euphoria. The three of us headed back to the fishing hut where we found a bottle of wine my mother had left us as if she knew we wanted to celebrate. We popped it open and just smiled for an hour while finishing the bottle and another. The river fell quiet as the day came to an end and we bid farewell to Scotland for this time. A proper goodbye for a girl who still has goose bumps and will never forget that afternoon.
More blogs will follow shortly throughout the summer so if you have any questions or ideas for a blog you want to read, I would love to hear from you! You can hit me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org
All my best,