We drove northwards in thudding rain. As we approached Scotland, signs appeared above the motorway warning of flooding. This, if you are a salmon fisherman, is marvellous. The stuff of dreams. Bobby and I began fishing the lowest beat of the Glenferness estate on the River Findhorn, but not before we had stuck sticks at the water’s edge-fishermen watch for changes in the height of the river level as a kestrel scans the meadow grass.
After two hours, there was a rumble upstream as the stones near the bank began to move. The spate had begun. The river rose 2ft in 10 minutes before we abandoned our sport. A few hours later, it was a raging torrent, chocolate brown in colour, and a staggering 6ft higher.
Forced off the river, Bobby decided, after three years of leaking waders, that he would buy some new ones. Without the waders, the trip to Grahams in Inverness, a wonderful old-fashioned fishing shop, would not have resulted in some secret weapons: orange cone-head flies. Armed with the local amuse bouche, we began fishing as the river fell 24 hours later. It was a bonanza. Bobby caught eight and fell in twice, and I landed the fish of my lifetime, a 19lb hen. Every fisherman deserves to get lucky sometimes.
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