- 18 May
50 and the one that got away!
The big day arrived early May. I am still amazed at how quickly time goes!
I had an amazing day. A wonderful party through the day organized by my great friends Ann and John. The effort they put in to making it a special day for me has truly been humbling.
It was such an amazing time to spend with friends and family and I was overwhelmed with all the lovely messages I got, how people travelled so far for the day to be with me – especially on a bank holiday weekend with dreadful traffic! For people to make such an effort just blew me away.
On reflection of my 50 years and where I find myself now, the one thing I have to say is how blessed I am to have such fantastic people in my life. All those I spent the day with and all of you other wonderful people out there who couldn’t make it but you know how dear you are to me.
The day after my birthday I travelled to Scotland for a week of Salmon fishing on the River Spey. Such a beautiful, peaceful place. And a week spent with dear friends Ann and John and many others. Great conversation, laughter and friendship.
Two salmon were caught early in the week by two experienced fishermen in our group. I practiced my casting and with no expectation of catching anything I waded in. A fantastic experience. You have to concentrate to ensure firm footing and not to slip and fall in whilst continuously casting. A great form of relaxation and getting rid of the ‘to do list’ as there is absolutely no room for any other thoughts what so ever.
On the last day of fishing I was in one of the most beautiful spots on the river, wading and recasting. My technique had improved quite well with the practice I thought. I turned to talk to Sam who had decided to make his way back to the fishing hut when I felt a pull on the line and the whirling of the reel. I have never understood the excitement of others when they have hooked and caught a fish but here I was trying to put in to practice what Simon the Gillie had taught me.
Not only do you have to let the salmon pull away and then reel in the line to keep it tight but you also have to get yourself back out of the water and on to the bank in order to finish reeling and get the fish into the net! I am quite good at multi-tasking but considering you use a wading stick when moving down the river so you don’t slip and fall in, how I was meant to achieve that whilst keeping both hands on my fishing rod I wasn’t quite sure! There is much more to all of this than meets the eye I soon discovered!
Simon appeared out of no where with a sixth sense for a fish on a line and was there to led a hand and advice. He made sure I didn’t slip and I got out on to the bank and as the clever Salmon came in close to be netted – as excitement built and I reeled it in closer to the bank, tension built ……. And then the line snapped and it swam away.
The line snapped and Simon and I both fell backwards with him taking the brunt of the fall – sorry Simon! Both simultaneously letting slip words of dismay and frustration and then I burst out laughing.
The one that got away! I had always intended to put it back in as wouldn’t want to keep it. I know some will say why go to all that trouble then and it is difficult to explain. But I would quite happily go fly fishing without a fly or wanting to catch anything. The sheer beauty of the place and the relaxation and peacefulness it brings in is enough.
And let’s face it – anything that puts in so much effort to the task in hand and has such determination on getting home deserves to carry on its way up the river and living in my book.
So I am glad it got away and swims another day.
A lesson in life perhaps as sometimes we all have to swim against the tide and need to keep going.
Learning in everything.
My 50 at 50 continues.