The Salmon River Highs
By Jock Monteith 16th January 2021
There's way much more to the magical salmon rivers of Scotland than we'll ever fully understand with their ability to continually lure you in for their private show of magnificence. Having spent too much time in God's finest playgrounds my thoughts go deeper than most on this fascinating topic.
A Salmon Fishing Slide Show
If I sit and think back to all the magical moments the Tay and other Scottish rivers have given me during my lifetime it's like an endless flashing slide show of absolute brilliance. These memory flashes are the end product of the positivity and adrenalin highs of various encounters with perfect silver flanked Atlantic salmon and the amazing folk who work or appear on the Scottish rivers in pursuit of these special creatures. The technology that's around these days assists with capturing these magical moments even though I wonder if that's the 'trade off' as technological advances over the last few decades have no doubt obliterated millions of perfect salmon in targeted and un-targeted (bycatch) commercial oceanic raids.
Special Memories From The River Tay
As a young boy I recall vividly many such experiences and none more so than being carried by my late mentor Willie Laird on his shoulders from the boat while wading 50 yards on to the Island Pool at the bottom of his beat while 'balancing' a 10ft 'telegraph pole' with a big purple prawn the size of a lobster mounted on a prawn spinning mount! Not long after that in the early 70's I also recall the magical buzz of landing an early February 11lbs Springer on a 'Green Highlander' tube fly on my brand new 13ft Bruce & Walker 'Cordon Bleu' fibre glass fly rod at 'The Boil' on Newtyle immediately downstream of my father & Willie Laird who were out in the boat harling the Cottar and observing proceedings through the swirling snow!
A Special Species From Our Distant Past
If our perfect Atlantic salmon are not some kind of distant strain of super creature from the Atlantis era then how on earth can a salmon put you on such an amazing high when they're caught. Their beauty, elegance and ability to move completely unseen migrating thousands of miles back to the gravel of their birth isn't a creature that's not highly astute as a survival and navigational specialist. What you've also got in the pursuit of salmon are clear components of a by gone time where water energies and outdoor survival intuition was way more relevant than they are in modern society today and all of its 'thought' contaminants.
The Natural Buzz Of Catching A Salmon
It takes hours and sometimes even days to come back down to earth after you treat yourself to some 'Salmo Salar' adrenalin and often it will put even the most accustomed recipient into a floating state of euphoria such is its potency power. For those of you who have experienced this unique high then you'll understand exactly what I'm referring to and for those who haven't then get with a professional salmon guide who's talented enough to help you put the ball in the back of the net! Salmon fishing 'escapism' is a powerful part of the attraction of salmon fishing in its own right but you need to score a few quality goals now and again to 'seriously' get the other half of the bigger picture!