Just about the only thing you didn’t want to be doing in last week’s heat-wave was fishing. Fortunately, everyone in our party caught a salmon on the River Findhorn at Glenferness before the high pressure brought in record temperatures and impossible fishing conditions.

In the second half of the week, we visited the beautiful South Esk at Finavon, but the salmon were feeling droll and not interested in our efforts, despite using the daintiest of flies. Salmon fishing is hope over experience, but, for some reason, we keep going back to try our luck. One day the conditions will be perfect I just hope I live long enough.

In Scotland, the grain harvest is still in full flow, but the green shoots of the winter cereals are already turning the plough green in southern Britain. Gone are the great stubble fires that once dominated the countryside at this time of year. Everything is harvested, ploughed and sown in a blink of an eye. The golden fields that once shone in the early autumn sun are a memory of childhood. The autumn is less beautiful without them. It is a period of the countryside’s calendar that has been lost forever.

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