Dipper: 48 - Angling Club Minutes (Unofficial) Item 1.
Author(s): John Reid
Copyright holder(s): John Reid
We are fortunate in having several who, singly or in series, can supply a flow of angling anecdotes to interest and amuse us for a longer period than is usually available. On this occasion, there was the usual round of reports on angling successes and disasters experienced since our last meeting. Hughie had had some good baskets of seatrout, taken mainly at night, and this led Tam on to the subject of nicht-fishin in general.
'Aye,' he began, 'it's a great gemm the nicht-fishin, an I've seen mony an odd set at it. But ye've got tae watch whit ye're daein. I mind aince bein oot at nicht my lane wi the Mey-flee, fishin up the Thrapple Glen. It wis a gran nicht for the job, a lown, warm nicht, no ower deid-daurk, an I'd killed a wheen braw troot afore I cam tae the Black Rocks. Ye aa ken the bit, an it's no every-yin that likes tae gae by it at nicht, intae the nerra bit o the glen. But in thae days I wis young an daft, an thocht naething o it, although that nicht I wisnae by the first rocks afore I got something tae think aboot! I wis juist feelin my wey ower a muckle stane whan I heard a voice in front o me!
'Man, I can tell ye, I stoppit gey smert! My een were gettin mair accustomed tae the daurk, an I could juist mak oot the big rocks in front o me. The voice wis comin frae the faur side o them, juist a laich kin o mutterin, an I can tell ye I learned then that it's nae lee tae speak o folk's hair staunin on end. I felt the back o my neck fairly birstle, an it wadna hae taen much tae sen me skelpin back doon the watter, I can tell ye! But, man, I wis curious, tae, an I crept furrit as quate as I could in my rubber buits, an keekit ower the rocks.
'Dae ye ken, I could hae burst oot lauchin! It wis auld Bauldy Broon, sittin there tryin tae tak oot a fankle in his cast in the daurk, an sweirin awa tae himsel aa the time. He wis nae mair than a yaird frae me, an withoot thinkin much aboot it, I juist raxed ower an liftit the bunnet aff his heid.'
Tam looked round his audience, his face suddenly serious. 'I'll never dae a daft thing like yon again, he declared. Whit wi the noise o the watter an his ain voice, Bauldy hadna heard me comin near him, an for aa he kenned, there wisna a leevin sowl within a mile o him. Then somethin graips the bunnet aff his heid! Man, it tuik me a guid while tae bring him roun, an whan he did get his voice back, I can tell ye, I got as solid a sweirin as ever I've heard. But I wis gey gled tae hear it, for I ken noo that if Bauldy's hert hadna been as strong as it wis, I micht weel hae had a lot mair tae worry aboot.'
'Ye're richt there,' agreed Hughie, 'an it's easy eneuch tae get intae trouble at nicht withoot giein folk hert-failure.'
'Aye,' remarked Tam, 'it is that. I mind o anither nicht whan I wis doon the watter wi the big flees. Willie Wilson an his brither Rab were at the Bylie's Puil whan I got tae it. They werena lang stertit fishin at that time, an they had a lot tae learn, but they were keen eneuch. They were fishin the docken grub, an I went on doon the watter tae try a cast or twa on the Lang Flat. I killed twa guid troot aboot the pun, an lost whit I think wis a seatroot nearer the twa-pun mark. He breenged up an doon the watter like a daft thing afore the flee cam awa, sae I went back up tae see hou the boys were gettin on, meanin tae try the Flat later on, whan I'd rested it a wee.
'As I cam up tae the Bylie's I could hear the whush, whush o the boys castin awa. A grub didna last them lang, I can tell ye, an they were catchin the branches ahint them faur oftener than ony thing in front o them. I wis juist aboot up tae them when Wullie lets oot a roar like a bull, and gaes tearin up the bank and intae the open field, wi Rab rinnin ahint him, wi his rod still in his haun. Whan I got tae them he'd managed tae get Wullie stoppit, and I sune saw whit the trouble wis. Rab had him heukit richt in the nose, and I can tell ye Wullie didna like it!
'There wis only a bit glimmer o munelicht that nicht, but I had a wee flash-licht in my pocket, sae I got Rab tae haud Wullie's heid steady, an I set tae wi my knife tae ease oot the heuk. It wis a fykie job, but Wullie stood it weel, an I had it juist aboot dune whan Rab says, "For Goad's sake, Tam, caa canny wi that knife." "Dinna worry," says I, "I'm bein as canny as I can, an I'll no hurt him ony mair than I can help."
"'Och, I'm no worryin aboot that," says the young whalp, "it's juist that that's the last grub taickle that I hae left!"
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Dipper: 48 - Angling Club Minutes (Unofficial) Item 1. 2023. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 10 December 2023, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=660.
"Dipper: 48 - Angling Club Minutes (Unofficial) Item 1." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2023. Web. 10 December 2023. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=660.
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