From MV to Clachan

IMG_0077There are lots of Clachans in Scotland. There is one in Dumfriesshire, for example, one or two in Moray and one in the Western Isles.

It is to this latter I take you today, on the trail of my June Middle Varzuga fishing lodge partner, ‘Dry Fly’ Paul, a climate-change scientist at Southampton university during term-time and, during the long academic summer break (he writes without a trace of bitter envy or jealousy) a sportsman who seeks to emulate the great days when folk would head up into the Highlands of Scotland and spend not one or even two weeks up there like normal people on holiday – but three or more weeks.

IMG_0078Now Paul, perhaps in the style of a Buchan-ian hero, may have imagined he’d successfully gone to ground up there until I pressed him via a couple of emails on how the fishing was – and for a couple of fish photos for Henry’s Salmon Adventure – even if they weren’t salmon.

Like other parts of these islands over the last few days, the Western Isles of Scotland have been more or less deluged with rain and the rivers up on South Uist are in flood, Big ‘weather event’ Bertha having done her worst (a wonder of nature that a Caribbean hurricane can splurge out thousands of miles away and a few days later nearly the other side of the Northern hemisphere).


Paul out in Russia in June, displaying a problematic rod.

But Paul was today heading out on Loch Clachan (the boathouse, I presume, is pictured above) and Paul ‘I caught 15 salmon on my last Varzuga day’ (he did, but didn’t boast about it like that) R’s golden promise being: ‘Hopefully pics of fish to follow’.

Actually that’s not fair, his words, yesterday first, were:
‘Sitting out the storm; the sea is a huge turmoil as are the lochs. But I can hear the faint calls of running salmon. The rain started at 2am and around mid afternoon who knows what might happen, aside from being hit repeatedly by a pair of flies in 50mph winds?’

And today:

‘No fish yesterday. The rivers are in huge flood but maybe tomorrow, if the rain ever stops…
meantime its the lochs that hold the main chance. Clachan attached is today’s target’

That’s it. Tight lines Paul, and no pressure.


Study of a Western Isles beach, which Paul took yesterday.


About henrygiles

Born to fish forced to work and fish
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