River kings

Prospect Magazine

River kings

/ / Leave a comment

In a secret gorge, I discover what I feared no longer existed—a pool full of leaping salmon

“Just a wee bit further now,” said Dougy, stepping backwards into space and vanishing from view. I clung to a slimy branch and peered after him. He was already 50 feet below me, abseiling down the crumbling cliffside on an old nylon rope. We had descended 200 feet and there was still no water visible through the forest below us, although there was no mistaking the thunderous noise echoing off the sandstone walls of the gorge.

I had met Dougy, an ex-gillie and professional fly-fishing instructor, while fishing on the river Tay in Perthshire the week before. By the end of that afternoon, he had offered to lead me—on the strict understanding that I would not reveal its precise location—to his “secret hidey-hole,” a stretch of highland river containing so many salmon that it was almost possible to scoop the fish from the water with a landing-net. He added that

You need to be logged in to see this part of the content. Please either subscribe or Login to access.

Leave a comment


James Fergusson

James Fergusson is author of A Million Bullets—The Real Story of the British Army in Afghanistan (Bantam Press) 

Share this

Most Read

Prospect Buzz

  • Prospect's masterful crossword setter Didymus gets a shout-out in the Guardian
  • The Telegraph reports on Nigel Farage's article on Lords reform
  • Prospect writer Mark Kitto is profiled in the New York Times

Prospect Reads

  • Do China’s youth care about politics? asks Alec Ash
  • Joanna Biggs on Facebook and feminism
  • Boris Berezosky was a brilliant man, says Keith Gessen—but he nearly destroyed Russia