He is alone, he is in a boat and he he is deep in thought. A forlorn looking figure drifting towards the entrance of Morton's Bay on the Antermony Loch. He is blanking magnificently and contemplating the long row back to the dock and and the even longer walk of shame when he gets there. The sun is dropping quickly now, behind the Campsies, bathing them in the last light of the day and signalling the last cast. He draws his line in and inspects his fly in the palm of his hand. It is a Diawl Bach, almost devoid of any material; It is a sorry looking fly that has seen many, many better days and reflects his make do and mend attitude to life.
|A forlorn figure|
Feck It! he says and tosses the fly over the side. He quickly makes a false cast, and another before shooting his fly into the gathering gloom. It plops gently on the now becalmed water. Sinking below the surface film he counts to five. Knowing this is his last chance, he slowly figure of eights his grubby fly back towards his boat, willing it to work its magic. But its not. He is almost half way through his retrieve and all hope of catching a fish is fading.
He is spent, looking across the water now. The lights of the HOWF are bright in the distance, laughter and chat punctuate the quiet of the loch. They are gathering like the cormorants that stalk our trout.. The walk of shame beckons.
Wallop! his line locks and straightens and he is instantly roused from his flagging interest. His wrist, on autopilot, snaps into action, raising his rod tip causing the hook to set in the scissors of its mouth. Feck! this fish wanted that fly. His heart is pounding hard, his senses fully alert now, he settles in to fight the good fight. His fish runs deep and turns his boat.. It is strong. it is powerful, but most importantly it is tiring. He's in control, playing his fish with confidence, he knows he's winning this one. It's just a matter of time. All played out, he brings the fish to the surface. On its side and with mouth gaping he slips the fish over his submerged net and lifts it into the boat. It is a majestic brown spottie. He estimates 3lb plus and in top order. He quickly dispatches it before admiring it more closely. It's his biggest fish out of the Antermony. He gently places his prize in a plaky bag before organising his boat for the long row home.
As he draws closer to the jetty he is smiling for he knows the cormorants that are the Caurnie Campers will not be feeding on him tonight. Others yes but not him. There will be no walk of shame. He moors his boat, scrambles out and marches purposefully toward the HOWF. There is much banter but he keeps his own counsel in favour of removing his fish from his plaky bag as he does so, he achieves the impossible; he silences the Caurnie Campers who are looking at his fish in awe. He places his fish in the pan and puts it on the scales. You could hear a pin drop in that moment. He waits for the scales to settle and after a pregnant pause proudly announces to those who have gathered around him 3lb on the nose!!!
|Peter Leadbetter Proudly displaying his 3lb brownie|
He is warmly and sincerely congratulated because that's what we are about at Caurnie Angling Club. We share in each others successes and our failures are softened by our friendships- after we've taken the piss of course lol.
Peter Leadbetter take a bow. In fishing terms you are the cock of Antermony Loch. Well done you!