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Autumn 2008

Autumn 2008

"We cool?” Stewart Lochrie is most definitely hooked

A Braw Day On The Braan Brian Tulloch enjoys a fine day on a lovely highland stream

A Female Angle Yvonne Cowie proves that salmon fishing is not just for the boys

A perfectly good boat of my own Bruce Sandison on the Isle of Barra

Highland Hill Lochs Big-Country Style Ian Cramman seeks ‘loch’ trout in wild Wyoming

Nymph Mania Encounters with river nymphs by Alex Laurie

Wendy’s Big Trout Joe Whoriskey visits Glen Affric

Get Lost!
Weather to go? John Cargill gets blown away in Skye

Short Lines
Failing Miserably John Cargill does what he does best

Getting Articulated A play on words with Bob Graham

Back Casts
A Learning Curve How Vince Smith became hooked for life

The Tweed at Melrose – 1952. Bob Graham recalls a red-letter day

Fly Tying
Step by Step with Dennis Shaw The Snatcher

Virtual Fly Box
The Butcher Family Alan Goodwin takes a look at some famous flies

Tackle Reviews
Pitsford Pirate Floating Fly Lines Reviewed by Fred Carrie

Book Reviews
Skues On Trout Reviewed by Peter McCallum

Northern Climes
Fish Farming Shetland-Style First Published September, 2007

Fishing Fiction
Adventures of Vushwelt and Kachsum’or A Tale By Sandy Birrell

Failing Miserably
John Cargill does what he does best
(click any thumbnail image for a larger version)

I blanked in the chipper the other day. “Nah – there’s nae fish” the white coated girl had said to me – adequately summarising my season so far, it seemed, in just four short words. That’s a bit unfair, perhaps, as I’ve caught a few wee fellas this season, but none individually would’ve required more than half a thimble full of batter and collectively, whilst a fish terrine might’ve been possible - one slice of toast would’ve been more than adequate accompaniment. I try to be philosophical about it though and take that well used stance “It’s not just about catching fish you know.” which of course is the first line of defence for us anglers when it’s not going so well. It seems I’m sulking about it though. “Cheer up” the big lad said to me the other day in the pub. I hadn’t realised my fishing woes were so evident and forced a smile, a brief smile.

I’ve moved to a Perthshire town, you know, a wee, quiet town steeped in customs and traditions. There’s the ancient tradition of making gingerbread horses and the local pub has some ancient and quaint customs such as throwing the drink at the barman or the, more lively, throwing the bar stool at the gantry. Even in my new local though, fishing failure seems to follow me around. During another sulking session in the pub, in a quiet spell when historic traditions were not being observed, I was blethering to some of the guys gathered there. I’d been trying to find out whether a permit is required to fish for trout in the local river when this guy, sitting quietly in the corner, piped up. “I was down there fishing the other night - I had two trout.” “Any size?” I’d asked. “Two pounds an’ two an’ a half” he’d replied in a dismissive sort of way, the implication being that this was a fairly normal occurrence. He’d asked me too if I’d like to go fishing down on the river with him – I’d sort of mumbled a non committal response. I can picture it in my head – me standing there in the river with four inches of river trout (two fish) dangling from my rod, whilst two pounders lie resplendently multiplying at his feet. I don’t think I could take that. I turned round, shut up, and got back to some sulking.

I’ve discovered too that too much sulking is bad for my health. The longer I sulk in the pub, the sorer my head is in the morning. The other day, after a particularly long sulk in the pub, I headed up to my local loch with my head pounding. A lovely looking fishing day too, my head cleared and I set about the business of catching big uns. I should’ve known better though, catching eight of the smallest trout in the history of modern day (and latter day) angling. I packed up my gear, went home, went to the pub and sulked.

My sulking’s beginning to worry me a wee bit now though, so much so that sometimes I find myself sulking about my sulking. In a brief moment of clarity, somewhere between desperation and abject misery and the fourth and fifth pint, I decided to consult my psychologist. I saw her just the other day too. I went on a bit, I suppose, ranted on about my fishing failures and my concern for the ensuing sulking. She waited patiently for me to stop ranting, fastened the cap on her nail varnish bottle and looked at me as if I was mad – not an unreasonable assumption in a mental hospital, I suppose. “Have you tried an Invicta?” she’d said as she eyed her toe nails through her open toed shoes. What else could I do? I went home, went to the pub and I sulked.

The big lad came into the pub the other day. He glanced briefly at me and hastily made his way to the other end of the bar, shaking his head, to regale with all the other locals who were all gathered there. For a brief moment, I considered joining them as they laughed and joked in the afternoon sun and one day hopefully I will. Until then, I’ll just do what I do best - failing miserably.
John Cargill grew up in Arbroath where he developed a passion for fishing the local burns. John fishes mainly lochs these days and, money providing, travels all over Scotland in pursuit of 'troots'. John is a self-employed I.T. consultant and lives in Perthshire, Scotland.

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