Fishing

This was written in August, 1986, 26 years ago, but I hope it might still amuse a few keen shots!

When I made my annual pilgrimage to Scotland in search of the famous grouse I was lucky enough to stay in a lovely Victorian shooting lodge called Kindrochet, near Calvine, in the beautiful Perthshire hills, just north of Blair Atholl. However, we actually shot on another estate called Dalnaspidal which belonged to Roger Adams, and was once the northernmost of the Atholl Estates.

I was first introduced to the pleasures of Scotland by a very special friend called Digby Sinclair whose family had rented Kindrochet from the Duke of Atholl, and our annual gatherings there were always very happy family occasions with good natured conversation and friendly ribbing about each other’s sporting skills, or lack of them.

The Lodge accommodated twelve guns and their wives, girlfriends, children, dogs and and we also took two girls up with us, to cook for the week, who were nearly always enthusiastic ‘Sloane Rangers’, of varying degrees of beauty and culinary expertise, but generally good sports.

All in all, Kindrochet was a most convivial atmosphere, and its ageing decor can best be described as ‘shabby chic’, but it provided us with a wonderful place to relax after a day walking the hills, with deep cast-iron baths, and rooms for every purpose, from the gun room, to the various reception rooms for playing bridge, reading quietly, or behaving raucously playing post-dinner ‘charades’

As well as our shooting on Dalnaspidal we were lucky enough to have several fishing beats on the nearby rivers, Garry and Tilt.

However, although I always thoroughly enjoyed my shooting I had never been a particularly keen fisherman, which frequently left me at a disadvantage when the conversation turned to the complexities of the rod and the fly, the river conditions and the most promising ‘beats’.

Even my most kind and generous friends would have to admit that I was not, by nature or temperament, ideally suited to this gentle art, and so I always listened in blissful ignorance, and some awe, to the exploits of the Lodge’s more serious fisherman.

However, one year, for reasons which will become apparent, I determined to try and learn more of this mysterious art, and so I enlisted the support of our two most accomplished fisherman, Mike Parker, and Hugh Sinclair.

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Monday, August 6th, 2012