Catch and Release
The cold waters of Loch Ness served as a memorable, yet tough playground. Even in the hottest of summers it felt like the icy waters stripped the top layer of skin from you. We were lucky, the small man-made harbour we played in was a sheltered haven and served as a safe pool to us, and the numerous small clinker fishing boats that moored there.
Each had its' own character, painted in dark colours and each with an orange metal disc hanging from its' bow with a unique number stating that it was licensed to fish.
Over the years the number of anglers on the Loch diminished, much like the stocks of salmon, and much like the characters who trolled the Loch's shores searching for their own monster to hold.
Skittery Rock, Ghost Tree, Craggan Dubh and Salmon Stone are places you'll not find on any map. These are names given to a particular place on the Loch that the fishing community would relate too when sharing their tales amongst one another. Places that have a unique point of view from the Loch's surface looking out to the world surrounding it.
Nowadays anglers have to be content with, 'catch and release' and the thought of, "one for the pot" a forgotten treat. Long gone are the days when you would come home to find you had been robbed as we did once back in 1986. A friend who'd been out on the Loch fishing had let himself into the house and took a yogurt from the fridge leaving a note and a fish to say it was in exchange for the salmon he'd caught that day. A fair swap by anyone's standards.
We Want to Hear From You!
Share your memories of fishing in the Highlands and Islands
Stories are at the heart of what we do as a project and we are always looking to learn more about what the Highlands and Islands means to people who live, work, and visit here.
Fishing, as a sustainable leisure activity, has long been associated as a way to escape to nature across the world. We would love to know, how do you feel fishing represents the 'Spirit of the Highlands and Islands'? Tell us below, we can't wait to hear from you!
Click here to share your story through our online story portal