Trout Fisherman Scottish Tour 2012 – Day 5

Those two blank days are thankfully becoming a distant memory, as my local expert does me proud for a second consecutive day, this time in a hill loch near Glasgow.

* It’s not all shortbread and tartan hospitality up here. My man bemoans a town gone rotten as he drives through his childhood stamping ground – pointing out some rather smart local authority housing designated for those in need of a second chance in life, most of which he claims has been trashed inside by the recipients. This social unrest has spilt over into the surrounding countryside, where an uneasy stand-off apparently exists between fishermen and those who would plunder their waters. One person brave enough to point out the error of their ways had a machete waved at him for his trouble, I’m told and there’s a geographical teaser that must be addressed by anyone who reports poachers while at the lochside – “As soon as the bailiffs turn up, you have to be certain you can reach your car before the poachers do…”

* While all this is hearsay, I’m reminded with my own eyes – sadly on numerous occasions around just this one loch – how oblivious some people are to beauty. There has to be a certain nihilistic streak in anyone who can remain so unmoved by Scotland’s rural landscape that he can just walk away leaving the likes of this behind…

* If only humans would take their cue from the ruthless efficiency of the animal kingdom. Either the local Satanists’ association had to abandon a meeting in a hurry or the scavengers up here don’t hang about…

* My companion today is a match fisherman, which is good on two fronts. Firstly because he is bursting with tips and secondly because nothing renews your resolve to stay a pleasure angler than several hours of hearing about every stunt, ruse, dodge and fast one that certain people will pull to take a pot home with them. Ah, the rancour. Count me out.

* Finally, this being Scotland, you tend to get a better class of roadkill in these parts. With a large lorry in front of me, alas, the thing was concealed to the point where I had no time to avoid it but the sound of a dead deer’s limbs clattering the underside of my car will take some time to leave me.

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