The Muckle Saumon

Needle Tubes and Tube Flies


The Muckle Saumon and the Grilse

by John Gray


A muckle saumon, must hae been twinty pun', had ta'en up the best lie in the Sandy Hole, in ahint the big stane, restin' awhile efter a strenuous swim up past the auld iron brig. The bank o' the pool wis lined wi' a' sorts o' fishers, some hurlin' bits o' metal across tae the far side o' the pool, ithers flingin' a braw flee line on the long rod.

Along swims a bold young grilse, wi' the audacity tae stop fur a rest beside the big saumon. Noo normally, the big saumon wid hae nae patience wi' such temerity and wid waste nae time in chasin' the intruder bit, havin' watched the bankside spectacle fae brek o' day wi' some amusement, he wis in the mood fur a wee blether.

"Young fellae", he said, "whit dae ye think o' yon daft buggers? They've been there a' day flingin' bits o' metal, fur an' feather ower ma heid. They must think a'm daft. Look, there's yin o' they new fangled rapalas. They're fair popular this year. Last year it wis the fleein' condom - enough tae mak' ye laugh. Whae wid tak a spinner wi' a name like that seriously? If ye ask me, nane o' them are ony better thin an aul' copper toby."

Jist then a Blue Charm came swimmin' past. The young grilse, fins tremblin', could hardly contain his excitement. "Aye, it's a braw flee, that", said the auld saumon, "yin o' ma favourites, an' a weel dressed example tae, nearly in the class o' a Jock Scott or a Siller Doctor. A've seen them a' before, tho', an it'll tak' mair thin that tae fool me." The young grilse relaxed.

The light wis nearly gone an' the fishers began tae disperse. The auld saumon an' the young grilse prepared tae settle fur the night when, oot o' naewhere, fae ahint the big stane, appeared the nicest flee ye ever did see, a Willie Gunn, tied on a wee Waddington shank, swimmin' roon' on the end o' a double tapered intermediate line. It wis jist irresistible. The big saumon made a move fur it bit, as luck wid hae it, the young grilse wis ower quick fur him an' beat him tae it. A classic rise it wis. The young grilse turned doon on a slack line before the hook wis pulled richt intae the corner o' his mooth an' awa' he went.

"That wis a close shave, thocht the auld saumon, shaken by the experience. He could resist a' sorts o' flees an' spinners, bit a weel tied Willie Gunn wis jist too much fur ony saumon. Jist then, the young grilse came back an' took up his position beside the auld saumon. "Whit on earth's goin' oan?", said the auld salmon, "A thocht ye were a gonner that time".  "Och", said the young grilse, "nae need tae worry, it turns oot we're on Wester Elchies. See a' they daft buggers ye were tellin' me aboot. They a' practise catch 'n release."


Book - Sea Trout Nights




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