A Deep-Water Experiment
Trout & Salmon|April 2017

Stan Headley hatches a plan to catch three species of fish in one day at Loch Calder in Caithness.

Stan Headley
A Deep-Water Experiment

IT ONLY BECOMES apparent that phases to a fly-fisherman’s life exist when you get to a certain age. The first phase, at an early age, is going fishing to catch a fish. More than one is a bonus. A memorable event in my very early teens saw me catch a wild brownie out of the River Eden in the centre of Cupar in Fife. It weighed about 12 oz, was caught on a tiny iron blue dun dry-fly, and I was so excited that I ran all the way to grannie’s house with it in my hand, only to realise a short time later that I had left my rod on the footpath beside the river.

The second phase is to catch lots of trout, and that saw me haunt the Harray Loch like an evil spirit. My great friend, Norman Irvine, and I spent every spare minute we could drifting the skerries, catching dozens of fish with an upper limit of about 1¾ lb, and more were never enough.

In this slaughter of the innocents we would occasionally come across a “monster”, which led me seamlessly into phase three – go out and get the biggest fish ever. Funnily enough, Norman was not dragged down that path to the same degree, but for me it was an irresistible urge.

This story is from the April 2017 edition of Trout & Salmon.

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This story is from the April 2017 edition of Trout & Salmon.

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