I’ve gone fishing for many years. Actually, scrub that, I’ve gone ‘sitting by a lake or river’ for many years.
I started bait fishing when a teenager – ‘coarse fishing‘, although it wasn’t particularly coarse, save for some of the unsavoury brothers of the angle whom I met along the way.
My earliest memories were spent shivering on the banks of canals in gthe Midlands in the Christmas holiday, eager to try a new Bruce and Walker float road which constituted my Christmas box.
My long suffering father accompanied me and we searched out the fishing beats of his youth. We caught very little through holes in the ice, but those tiny roach and perch fascinated me. I was hooked for life.
I spent the summer holidays practically encamped on the banks the ‘Little Pit’ near my home, a small body of water but seemingly bottomless. I have a particular angle on this characteristic, too, as I sampled its waters first hand one summer afternoon tumbling in head first just near ‘The Point’… or was it ‘The Winter Bank’? All the fishing stations had unofficial, though apposite, names, carefully concocted by my fishing buddies and I during the long biteless hours at the waterside.
I’ve delayed writing about our stay in a cottage on Kylesmorar, Loch Nevis, since our return at the weekend. I’ve needed time to reflect.
Many will identify with that feeling of isolation when they make tracks to the hills, but our week on this Kyeslmorar offered more. Yes, the ‘Kyles’ are remote, but they’re not devoid of people.
Staying on a on a working estate, our lodgings were free from the paraphernalia of modern living (mobiles, radio, television).
Here, the passage of time is marked by other events: the evening grazing of a stag, the early morning call of a buzzard, the solitary hoot of hello from the Western Isles ferry as she steams the eastern end of the loch, the comings and goings of the estate staff, their conversations over vhf radio.
As I think I’ve said before on here, September is my favourite month. As folk go back to work and kids are back in the classroom, outdoor destinations breathe a collective sigh of relief as tranquillity descends again.
For the other half and I, it heralds our ‘main’ holiday of the year, usually two weeks north of the border and this year is no exception.