One of the greatest joys of being a guide is being responsible for, some really quite special moments in life.
I had just such a moment a while ago, and I would now like to share it with you…
My client for a half-day session was Don, a thoroughly pleasant chap who had already celebrated the big eight-oh some time ago but still resolute in his pursuit of adventure! Hats off to you D, I aim to be the same way myself some fine day! He had fished all his life, taught by and fished alongside his father but had actually never caught a Highland Wild Brown Trout. Now here he finds himself… on a family holiday, surrounded by some of the finest Wild Trout fishing in the world, with the weather looking decidedly ropy, some niggling injuries (comes with the territory when you are the other side of eighty!) and no equipment… He needed a guide!
It was tough. Really tough! Fish not playing ball at all with air temp hovering around 8’C but with the wind-chill making it feel like 2’C! Luckily Don had decent outdoor kit, and frequent hot brews kept the worst of the chill away. Freezing cold rain squalls added to the misery and this nice old guy was obviously beginning to feel very despondent. I needed to consider his limited mobility – tempered with his astounding determination! – and as we persevered, I was drawn to a particular spot.
I had loaned Don some wellies and knew that one side of the loch was shallow. The gravel/small cobble bottom would provide easy, safe passage along the shoreline towards the down-wind side of the loch. I fished along a short way behind him, and after making another coffee (with a decent ‘correction’ to soften the edges of such a miserable day!) I was swapping dropper then point fly every three casts to try and find something, ANYTHING, that would switch them on!
I finally had my answer in the good-old Blue Zulu, I had been fishing a Black Zulu quite a bit previously to a couple of half-hearted takes but almost as soon as the Blue hit the water I had two vicious takes in as many casts. Got it! Straight over to Don and swapped his P.T.N. for a Blue Zulu then back to try and at least hook one up for him to land. After losing one I managed to set the hook well and running through the water and thrusting the rod into Don’s hands, he landed his first Wild Brown Trout!
Obviously this was a hollow victory and right there and then I decided we would NOT be going home until HE got HIS fish, no matter what! Luckily we did not have to wait long until Don was in. A short tussle later a beautiful wee Trout was in Don’s grateful hand! After much hand shaking, back slapping and of course a wee snifter from the flask we made our way back to the car.
Both very happy… Very happy indeed!