Cathy’s Salmon Red Letter Day
Do you remember when you caught your first salmon? Can you recall the moment when you realised a fish had taken the fly? A tug, a pull and then a strain on the line followed by the voice in your head saying “Oh! Here we go! This is it! HELP!”. The chance of having that perfect day, conditions just right, overcast skies, falling water, the right fly, and as luck would have it for me, a ghillie at my side giving encouragement to let the fish take the line and keep a bend in the rod tip. The opportunity to play a fish. To put pressure on it to come closer. For it to turn its head into the stream and feel that pull increasing until the reel screams as the line pays out. The line jerking as the fish fights to break free and then the gentle glide up the stream as it yields to your efforts to smoothly reel the line in, closer and closer to your position. And then it is off again. The ghillie grabbing your wader straps and gradually inching you backwards towards the bank. Keeping that bend in the rod. Keeping the pressure on the fish as it tries with waning effort to break free. Keeping calm. The first glimpse of the tail and the swirl of the back and then at last the head. How big is it? Is it a salmon or a sea trout? A fresh run fish? Keeping the
pressure on and the bend in the rod and finally, with the head up, a glide into the net. And I have landed my first salmon. A healthy, sea-liced cock salmon weighing in a 12.5 lbs! What a relief! I had done it.
On my “journey” I have met people so different from those I have known during my “working life”. I have benefited from their advice and shared their company and had many laughs along the way. To all those fishing guides (Paul Little, Jim Fearn, Lee Cummings, Glyn Freemen, Paul Proctor) whose patience and encouragement has been much appreciated by all at “Ladies Fishing”, I want to say thank you! To Anne Woodcock who has given ladies in the North (and further away) a focal point and arranged events where we can practise our skills and have the opportunity to meet like minded souls – a big thank you!