Hat Trick
Trout & Salmon|December 2017

He’s caught one salmon, but can Giles Catchpole catch another?

Giles Catchpole

FLUSHED WITH SUCCESS then, here I am standing on the banks of the Spey beneath the Bridge o’ Doom, which has not been either grim or foreboding this morning whatever, but has just, on the contrary, yielded a vigorous enough salmon that was probably double figures.

That would be its weight, I should point out, not its position on the scoreboard for the week.

Indeed its position on the scoreboard for the week was No.1. El Supremo. Primus inter pares.

And not just in my week but in all our weeks. Along with a sea-trout, it must be said, which are fish too, of course, but then so are the trout fingerlings that attached themselves to my lure in the earlier part of the week and while I was not going to enter them in the hut book, I was prepared to take them seriously until only a few minutes ago when the salmon entered my life.

Time was when this would have been the moment for a celebratory ciggy and no mistake; but we don’t do that any more even though it is sorely missed at moments like these.

So, instead, I took a deep breath of good Highland air and always heedful of the Great Red Bearded Gillie’s mantra that “Where there’s one, there’s often another,” I stiffened my sinews once more and strode back into the pool.

The first few casts after a fish are positively pregnant with anticipation, are they not? Even as you replay in your mind the previous take, the lift, the surging runs and jags, your body is tensed like a greyhound in the slips in the fond expectation of a repeat performance.

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