Thursday, December 30

16 y/o catches 64lb salmon

It was late afternoon on Saturday October 7th 1922, Miss Georgina Ballantine was fishing the Tay, near Caputh, with her ferryman father James. Earlier in the day she had caught three salmon - one of 25lbs, one of 21lbs and one of 17lbs. They were harling [harling involves row trolling with a long length of fly line in the water, with the oarsman manipulating the boat in order to maneuver the fly for presentation -ed.] from the boat at the top end of the Boat Pool on the Glendelvine Beat, just as the sun dipped below the lovely Perthshire hills.

As they came downstream just above the Bargie Stone, still a prominent marker in the Boat Pool today, a fish took on Georgina's rod. It immediately took a huge run of about 500 yards downstream, followed by the boat with James rowing with all his might.

The fish swam downstream under the piers of Caputh Brig, and they went ashore to fight the fish with more side-strain from the bank. The great fight continued into the deepening dusk. They were not able to bring the fish to shore so James and Georgina re-embarked in the dark and dropped back all the way down Sparrowmuir Pool. James insisted that greater and greater strain be put on the rod until at last the fish came closer.

Eventually it came close enough to use the gaff, and drag it over the gunwale and into the boat. Mr Moir's 'Nabbie' - a priest - was used and the great fish went to meet its maker. It was 64 Ibs in weight, a record which has not been exceeded as a rod-caught salmon in Scotland.
-via FlyFishingPoint

Miss Georgina Ballantine ©The Illustrated London News, 1922.

3 comments:

tinder said...

superb, actually double-checked this fact when over there last fall visiting a pal big into fishing, as we couldn't believe this record still stands! you might like a few lovely bits & pieces [Books/CBTR blog/TV] that are all about Loch of the Green Corrie, re: the poet MacCaig, and all things angling & fishy ;)

Anonymous said...

I have been fortunate to fish the same beat on the Tay and have also seen the original cast of Miss Balantyne's fish - it is a true leviathan. Hard to imagine the tussle she must have had with it.
These days the big salmon of the Tay are in serious decline - there are so many factors working against these beautiful fish and unfortunately one has to travel to Russia these days to get a feel for how the great Scottish salmon rivers would have been in our Father's & Grandfather's days. Nice post and great pictures. JB

Anna said...

What a wonderful story!