Here’s to Robert Burns (1759-96), on his birthday, January 25.
If anyone has visited Ellisland Farm, where Burns lived and farmed for three years or so, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, then combine it with a day or two’s fishing on the Nith and don’t miss two items: a replica mount of Roddy Dickson’s breathtaking 18 lb sea-trout caught five years ago from Ellisland pool (about 100 yds from the farm) and Robbie’s fishing rod.
One of my biggest ambitions in salmon fishing is to catch a salmon from Ellisland pool. I had a few casts there one late August about 3 years ago while on a T&S job and on a day when 4 or so fresh salmon had been taken on worm in high and coloured water, I had a snatching take to a big Cascade treble in the pool. Perhaps a take from a running fish that in the end was more interested in running than in, well, taking. (Or to borrow from a sequence in one of Paul Young’s Hooked on Fishing programmes, “the hook hold (pause) … well … didn’t hold …” [nicely delivered by Paul with one of his trademark half-shrugs].)
Last time I heard, Roddy himself has the fishing rights as part of a small syndicate on the right bank of the river at the pool, but you can fish the left bank via Dougie Smith and Dalswinton estate (they’re on Fishpal).
…The rank is but the guinea stamp; The man’s the gowd for a’ that.
What tho’ on hamely fare we dine, Wear hodden grey an’ a’ that,
Gie fools their silks and knaves their wine, A man’s a man for a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that, Their tinsel, show, an’ a’ that,
The honest man tho’ e’er sae puir, Is king o’ men for a’ that…