Saturday, 26 December 2009

The Blether

As the current weather situation here in Scotland has put to bed any notion of a grayling outing to a river. I thought I would share a wee story about my fishing friend Colin, who sadly , is no longer with us.

He’s not a boaster, my fishing friend, Colin. He might take a freshly caught trout down the pub and lay it out for display, but he’s not one to go on about it. Later in the evening, he’s happy to let the conversation change to subjects other than the circumstances of his catch, things such as the height of the water, it’s colour the fly he used, how many he lost and how many wee pulls he got. Alex the maggot drowner, calls Colin a fishing bore but I’ve always defended him. Its generosity in it’s self to share a precious angling moment with others. They don’t have to be anglers themselves, but of course as in all things, you do have to exercise some discretion. I’m not too sure about the hour and a half Colin spent telling the Owl and Trout arm wrestling team about the time he caught a half pounder from the Calder behind Caldervale School. It’s not that he makes these stories up; he has caught a half pounder from behind the school. He’s what you might call an enthusiast, if you’re being kind. And telling fishy stories has led to some job opportunities. While in Johnny’s angling shop one day, blethering about the latest trip he had to the Clyde, The rep who was present at the time said that anyone who could go on like that about a dead grayling could have a great future in double glazing sales. It’s inaccurate and unfair to say that Colin is dull, he can be truly dramatic, while acting out one of his captures, like the time he gave us a demonstration of the time he hooked and lost a huge brown trout at Hillend and in the process broke the leg of a bar room table It was so vivid you could almost imagine a huge big trout thrashing around there amid the beer and broken glass. I think that having a natural angling storyteller in a loch side pub is a real asset. Big Val the barmaid knows this, you can tell, if you look at her she sometimes seems embarrassed – I suppose it’s because Colin is being used as an unpaid entertainer for the brewery. A lot of people wonder what it takes to be a good storyteller like Colin, having listened more than most, I’ve come to realise that the best fishing tale is the one that really places you in the water Rod in hand, you see it’s not just about telling how big the fish was. There is nothing better than an evening in the pub after a good day fishing and swapping fishy tales but as the night goes on and quite a lot of pints are consumed the stories get more and more unbelievable. Sometimes I wonder if people who miss the end of a yarn, phone Colin later on, to see if he eventually did land the salmon with the two-pound leader. Of course they’d be wasting the price of a call. They could always go back to the Owl and Trout the next night and hear Colin tell the whole tale again from start to finish

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