River Tay Brilliance
By Jock Monteith 12th January 2018
Why would anyone not want to be out on the glorious River Tay bathed in this special kind of 'God given' sunlight & immense natural scenic beauty. Imagine the effectiveness with many human ailments if the NHS doctors had the authorisation to 'prescribe' a good natural dose of 'river therapy' instead of Big Pharma's 'toxic' poisons!
Amazing Stories From The River Tay
I'm still amused from yesterday's newsletter re-thinking my late pal's labrador swimming lesson that went seriously wrong but I can imagine many other highly amusing incidents that have occurred on the Tay over the last few centuries. Here's another thing I was told about by my late friend which wouldn't necessarily be a safe thing to be a spectator at!
A Lateral Thinking Duke Of Atholl
Willie Laird told me that the late 3rd & 4th Dukes of Atholl were big into tree planting and planted some 25 million larch tress on the still vast Atholl Estate which in those days would have encompassed most of the entire Tay Valley. I was told that the Duke used to seed his estate landscapes with clay cannon balls that were packed with seeds which shows fantastic initiative if you really think about it.
Effective Large Scale Tay Valley Tree Planting
The impact of these clay cannon balls would drive these larch seeds effectively into the ground and give great range of planting coverage depending on the charge & angle of barrel launch trajectory. The amusing part of this is that the Duke would often mount his cannon onto a traditional River Tay coble with 2 of his boatmen and travel down the Tay for miles 'letting rip' at random into the surrounding riverbank terrains!
Shattering The River Tay's Natural Ambiance
Can you imagine being a trout fisher or an unsuspecting riverbank walker and all of a sudden BOOM! as a clay cannonball whistles over your head and smacks into the ground! Absolutely brilliant and to this day in much of the Tay Valley you can see the results of the late Duke's entrepreneurial tree planting techniques! Sometimes in life we all need to think outside of the box and take the 'initiative' which is exactly how our species evolved. The same depth of thought works exceptionally well too when your objective is to make a salmon open its mouth!
The 'Craic' In Scottish Salmon Fishing
Incidents like this and my late pal's un-calculated January 'near death' swim across the Tay in an attempt to impress his 'not so loyal' labrador dogs are a big part of Scottish salmon fishing. To sit in a fishing hut anywhere in Scotland in good company with a dram in your hand and hear all this stuff and the laughter and thoughts these stories provoke is the 'craic' and a big part of our game.