July 2007

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It’s July. It’s one of the best times of the year. You can fish the rivers until the soft red sky turns midnight blue. The trout rise slowly at 7 and build to a gloopy frenzy by 9 or 10. The big hope is a BWO spinner fall followed by the grand summer sedges.


The evening starts with a prospective F-fly, perhaps a size 16. It’s got a little dusting of hare’s mask over a red thread body. Carefully flicking the 3 weight, all the good foam lines are covered. The sporadic rises of early evening slowly give way to the steady sipping of trout quietly feasting on spinners trapped in the surface. Time for the polypropylene sherry spinner, tied on a size 16 or 18 hook. It’s amazing how close the trout will let an angler wade: they only ask for quiet steps and gentle butterfly casts.

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There’s something strangely voyeuristic about losing your hair. It’s like watching a car crash in extremely slow motion. You know what’s coming, and it’s not pleasant, but it is somewhat fascinating. For a time you quietly pretend it’s not happening, as if looking away will solve the problem. But gradually, as the cars get closer and the sink gets increasingly clogged, it’s harder and harder to ignore.

Going au naturel when young is perhaps the cruelest way. The teenage years are only just gone, and finally you’re getting a little more comfortable with the carcass God gave you. Every now and then you notice what it’s like to be an ‘adult’. Feelings of responsibility, guilt and an increasing desire to go fishing 24/7. You realise time does move on, some things do change and you do grow slowly older.


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“We are the dollars and cents and the pounds and pence”. (TY)

Probably a thousand quid of rods and narry a fish. April on Tay.