Monday, 8 August 2011
The days have sped by since my last blog.
Parachuting types talk of 'ground rush' when their hopefully slow and steady downward progress finishes with Planet Earth leaping up at them when they get within 20 feet. We've had the same thing from our shooting season.
In a final flurry of activity, we've sawn, clogged and split enough firewood to restock the bothies and lodge. It should see both through to the end of the stag season (20th Oct). If it doesn't, they can get their own!!
We've also sorted some roads that, although only sorted a fortnight previously, were washed out by recent torrential rain. The way this weather is going, we could be visiting them again before long.
A couple of our ponies have been shod in preparation for some early stalking. I also gave our resident (and panicky) gardener a hand in the lodge garden.
But all this is history as we are now busy with a lodge full of guests. There are a couple of stag stalking parties out each day and perhaps a roe buck stalker too. Others are going out rabbiting, walking and fishing.
As there are no stags on my ground yet, I've been happy to take folk onto the river to try for a salmon.
Yesterday, conditions were perfect. There were also a lot of salmon showing. They were jumping and splashing all over the place- including at ends of my guests rods.
Frustratingly none would grab hold. Then at 6pm one particularly determined young lady hooked into one. And it was a BIG fish.
She played it for half an hour while I assaulted her with a constant deluge of encouragement and advice. Once or twice we thought the fish was starting to tire only to have it turn and strip line off the reel again.
We'd had occassional glimpses of it through the peaty water but when it did decide to show itself, it did it in style. Out of nowhere it made a leap. It was close to us and therefore on a short line. The line parted like cotton.
We stood on that rock, speechless. When we recovered our senses we made a few philisophical noises and packed up.
Truth be told, we were both gutted and didn't have the heart to fish any more that day.