We are back from fishing the mighty Tay.
It is a magnificent water. Scotland’s longest and deepest river. It is also one of my favourites, but I have never seen it so diminished in size.
Water levels are some of the lowest seen. The flow is minimal. Rocks are visible where water once reigned.
Anglers cast in gentle streams where formerly it would have been impossible to even stand.
Bennie goes to the river
Nevertheless, the scenery if glorious, and it is good to get away, if only for a day or so.
We have with us on our travels the naughty Norfolk puppy.
It is Bennie’s first time by the river, and he has the best fun rolling about on the bank and making merry with our host’s equally energetic naughty Norfolk.
When the fishing proper starts, she is allowed to come in the boat. Then she is older and wiser.
Happy days in the sunshine
But our bouncing baby must stay in the car. Low as the water is, we cannot risk him jumping or falling into the water.
They are happy days. The sun shines and they must be enjoyed whilst they are there.
Because we get home to find an army of sheep has escaped from the adjoining field and is making itself at home in the garden.
An invasion of sheep
Our resident flock has already had a good go at the vegetable plot.
The lettuce and spinach are much depleted. But thankfully, the flower beds are mainly intact.
Which is surprising. Because I am told that these super grazers will feast on anything that grows.
Grass, hay, weeds – especially dandelions, they love dandelions. Why, even tree trunks can be fair game if the mood takes these woolly quadrupeds.
Anyhow, the intruders are rounded up and herded back to where they belong.
But how on earth did they get in?
An operation that gives the MacNaughties, locked inside the house and watching from the window, something to get worked up about.
Our uninvited visitors are safe in their paddock – and now the hunt is on to see how they managed to get out.
I am told that sheep are the great escape artists, but it is a mystery.
The mystery remains…
Because not a single solitary hole is found in the fence. The gates are firmly locked. So, did they all jump over?!
It is baffling. But I am sure you know… Answers please on a postcard.
Thankfully, the rest of the week passes without incident. Fishing rods are wiped and stowed. Waders are hung up to dry in the boiler room.
Meanwhile, you may be wondering whether we caught anything on our Tay trip.
A triumph of hope
There on the river, salmon are leaping all around. Most unusually, I am casting like a dream. But despite all best efforts nothing is tempted to line and lure.
It is always the same in fishing. It is a case of incessant expectation and perpetual disappointment.
When you think of it, rather like getting married the third or fourth time round, angling is just a case of a triumph of hope over experience…