Sorting out the office

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EVER since our first-born flew the nest for exotic places such as Armagh, Port Stanley, Basra and Helmand, his bedroom had become my private office with its neat library of books on fishing (naturellement!), Scottish history and general wildlife including birds, beasts, trees and the great whales.

All alongside are stacks of papers and reports by the Freshwater Fisheries Research Laboratory, Atlantic Salmon Trust, Marine Scotland and many other sources, plus correspondence files on past and present local interests such as the Kirk, Friends of the Pool, Carron flooding, Fatherland Burns Club, Probus Club, community minibus and more.

Readers could be forgiven for thinking that all this was stored away in an immaculate manner and I can confirm that some of it indeed was. But like many other men, my filing skills were often - well - found wanting; just let me say that much of the carpet in that small room had not seen the light of day for many years! Yet being a man, I could instantly put my hands on anything, so what was the problem with such organised chaos?

My dear wife had, however, often complained that were I to kick the bucket, she would have great difficulty in finding essential items such as life assurances, investments (for what they are worth) and other personal documents. Her eminently sensible suggestion that such a dire fishing season should give me ample time to shred and bin 90% of this overflowing paperwork fell on deaf ears at first, but just last week I took the plunge after seeing her boiling up some mushrooms in a pan! Three long days later, an overheated shredder and multiple large refuse bags full of paper bear witness to my efforts and I must admit that the difference is rather pleasing in fact, everything is now almost all set for those autumn rains and late-running silver salmon flashing upstream.

Despite the lengthy absence of meaningful rainfall, migratory fish have somehow sneaked up the River Cowie and Quintin Clark reports seatrout present in various pools from the Inkbottle Bridge downstream, with a bonny three pounder his best to date. Fred Welsh and Lee spent some hours together on the river and Lee duly wiped his dad’s eye with a seatrout and a tiny but perfect 2.5lb grilse. I simply cannot think of a better way for a father-and-son duo to pass the time! Estuary Pool heron Davie Gove has picked away there at night amongst seatrout and finnock; he and I agree that it is gratifying for we oldies to be approached by various club members who have yet to try it, seeking advice on how to fish the fly-and-maggot during the hours of darkness.

Four long years of insufficient “holding” water in that seapool have had a noticeable impact on numbers willing to try that ancient deadly tactic there, and now that this pool is right back on form, it will be good to see a younger generation giving it a go.

Staying with that river for a moment, the angling club is shortly to embark on removing a massive timber debris dam at the “Island Stream” opposite Rickarton House to give fish unimpeded upstream access. This is a tractor and winch job, but any club member willing to lend a hand, should contact upper river convener Stuart Smith or indeed any committee member.

AT a busy SDAA committee meeting this week, outings convener Mike Fraser issued a reminder about a club outing to Loch Leven on Saturday, September 28, for which he has quite miraculously managed to book five boats accommodating anywhere between 10 and 15 anglers in total, at what can prove a fantastically productive time of year among big brown trout on a venue renowned worldwide as simply “The Loch”. Mike needs to know numbers as quickly as possible, so that he can firm-up this allocation.