Neil Bryson once provided sterling multiple grilse-catching backup on a memorable Trout and Salmon trip to Islay and has also for years been a fellow rod in my Closeburn Castle group on the Nith. He kindly allowed my father to catch his first-ever salmon while fishing his rod there one July day and has often given me a rod to boost options when he couldn’t make it.
Now he has sent me these great shots of his trip to Iceland at the end of August and you tell me – I just had to use them, didn’t I?
Neil is possessed of considerable fishing skills. Not only has he caught huge sea-trout from the Tweed’s Junction pool, he is so often the one to winkle out a salmon from the Nith when no one else can, most recently this July when he caught a 15lb fish on a goldhead fly, and he is acknowledged as an expert and ‘godfather’ of the fishings by fellow Nith rods. He is from the Brysons who run the famous family bakery and tea rooms business in Keswick in the Lakes and it makes me laugh when over time I have asked him to contribute fishing reports to HSA he says: “Henry I am a baker not a poet!” But when he sent me these photos I just had to get some words to accompany them:
“Iceland was interesting! I was unable to fish beyond day two but to be honest I’d caught enough by then; I believe the team had in excess of 300 for the week with some over 30lbs; all on 9ft seven weights!”
He continued: “You may use the photos on the blog Henry but do not be surprised if ‘they’ close you down on account of ‘The Old Trout’ therein!
“You’ve oft times mentioned your affection for Artic char. This was my first and it lived up to all your enthusiastic reports; 3lb weight but I was expecting to beach a 10lb grilse as it fought so heroically. I was not at all disappointed as my first char was such an attractive little fish.
“There were several fish in excess of 30lbs and I can vouch for all being caught on 9ft rods; I had a rod explode in my hands, (unable to count the pieces of shrapnel) at one point – needless to say that incident resulted in an early release! (and an entire lifetime’s expletives!)”
Nice one Neil; I know I’ll miss you in Scotland next week (you being t’other end of Alba to D&G) but we’ll catch up in the ’17’ I trust. . .