For my last day I'm on beat 5, something of a favourite because I've often caught fish here in the past. Catches have always been on the Island Stream section shown above, so approaching that gives a lift of anticipation. Saturday was no exception and a few minutes after starting the section, I hooked a fish which remained on the hook for only about a minute;then that sickening feeling as the line goes slack and you realise that the fish is off. I reasoned that I had a lot of line out on a long cast and there was a big belly in the line in the fast water, so I wasn't quick enough to get good tension and a firm hold on the fish. Ten minutes later after a change of fly the same thing happened again except that this time I had the fish on for several minutes. Short taking comes to mind then, a situation where the salmon is a bit tentative in it's take for whatever reason. You know what's going to happen next; yes a third time unlucky, although this time the fish was only on for a few seconds. This was certainly a new experience for me losing three fish on the trot in such a short space of time, but that's fishing.Overall however I was very pleased with a total of six fish for the week, a good catch reletive to the angler average for the period. If was however for most anglers a disappointing week where the water level promised so much more.
Suspicion falls on the very heavy flood of two weeks earlier which may have persuaded a lot of fish to take the opportunity of going way upstream into Loch More and out of reach. But that's only a theory. I'll be back next year when everything will be different again. That's the only thing you can be sure about on the Thurso. Next week I'll probably do some fishing on the Wick River, always nostalgic as the place where I began my fishing life and caught my first salmon.
The Stuart Agenda by Alan Calder at willowmonnpublishing.com and amazon.co.uk and amazon.com