Saturday, 7 February 2015

Salmon prefer blondes


This morning, I felt a pang of pity for all your non-Brits who cannot access the BBC iPlayer where you are.

There was a truly wonderful little documentary about a lady fly-tying expert who lived in Brora, Eastern Scotland, where the salmon run thick and fast up the silvery Tay (almost turned into a poet there). It was called 'The Art of Fly Fishing'. Ironically, Megan Boyd never fished herself because - she claimed - she could not bear to actively kill a creature as beautiful as a salmon, but the flies that she tied were just as beautiful and quite lethal too, by all accounts.

People from all over the world would buy her flies because they were works of art, but she always insisted that they should not be framed as such, but used and destroyed in the process. Prince Charles was a customer, but she once responded to a request from him for a certain tied fly by saying that she didn't have the time to make one.

Women have always been much better at catching big salmon than men, and I think I am right in saying that the world record for weight is still held by a woman. Various theories exist as to why this should be, and it is generally thought that it has something to do with female hormones and salmon being particularly partial to them.

Certain unscrupulous, male fly-fishers have been rumoured to do unspeakable things to the flies with their wive's cooperation before taking them out on a trip, but I wouldn't let a sharp, barbed thing like that anywhere near me, especially if it was wielded by an easily distracted man.

Thinking about it, Miss Boyd did seem to be a little on the butch side, and that could explain why she never bothered to use her own gear. She dressed like a man in a land where the men wear skirts.

Anyway, that documentary was as near-perfect as a TV documentary could possibly get, with wonderful photography, fantastic editing, stunning painted, animated graphics, great music - everything. It is an art work in itself and deserves a high award.

It is possible that Sarah and the rest of you could see it on You Tube in the near future, or it may be leased to other networks, so watch it if you can.

24 comments:

  1. I think I'm one of those who will have to wait until it pops up on YouTube. My uncle who had a piece of water on the Tay was an expert fly tier. But the best I ever saw was a gamekeeper on the River Lune. The salmon used to queue up to commit suicide.

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    1. Yes, for after the fly comes the priest.

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  2. I like miss Boyd already
    I will give it a go this afternoon....I'm still feeling all unnecessary

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    1. Calm down dear. You will love it. It will definitely calm you down and you will immediately fall in love with the endearing old dike.

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  3. I don't think I care to know about this, especially patagraph five Tom. Where do you find them from?

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    1. Things like that stick in my memory. I can think of worse places they could stick.

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    1. They give you 30 days now - very generous - it used to be 7.

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  5. The mind boggles over paragraph 5 ….. do you think that some of the ladies ended up in A & E Tom ?!! XXXX

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    1. With barbed hooks, the only way out is to push the hook right through until it comes out the other side, then snip the barb off and withdraw it again the same way it went in. Saves hanging around in A and E.

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    2. Do you know this from experience ?!!! XXXX

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    3. Yes, but not because my vagina was too close to a fly-fisher when casting.

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  6. Tip about BBC-Iplayer: try zenmate.com - I can watch BBC, ITV and RtE from Holland - easy, free and safe

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  7. I can get a lot of foreign programming with something I downloaded for free called SecurityKiss. It lets your computer pretend for an hour that it is actually in a foreign country. It does cost money if you want more than one hour a day.

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    1. Hmm. Sounds dangerous to me. I want to stay legal, but thanks!

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    2. Ha ha. Marc hasn't found Tor yet

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  8. I missed this, but always loved Jack Hargreaves in 'Out of Town'. He used to sit in his shed tying flies; amongst other things.

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    1. I spoke to Jack Hargreaves's daughter a couple of years ago. She bought something from me on eBay. I asked her if the studio shed was real, and she said it was a mock-up of the one at the bottom of his garden.

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  9. Quite happy keeping my bits behind my fly, thanks.

    (sorry, that was just begging for it)

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    1. What has four legs and flies?

      Two pairs of trousers.

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