Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
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.