For the angler, that is what fishing is: an elaborate wait, a long silence filled only by his restless thoughts. His mind must be especially keen when fishing for salmon, a species that, when it enters fresh water, stops feeding and starts spawning; a fish with no desire for an ornate jumble of feathers obscuring a sharp hook.
Great piece of writing from Matthew Bremner in Roads & Kingdoms.
Bremner follows Eddie McCarthy, the 68 year old superintendent on the river Thurso in Scotland.
As a salmon fishing guide and assistant to business executives, celebrities and royalty his whole adult life, Eddie McCarthy’s story is intertwined with with the shifting economic fortunes of Scotland’s country estates and changes in British society and attitudes.
Eddie McCarthy has a lifetime of experience and learning which has been passed down the generations. Driven by a passion for the river and his work, McCarthy is able to read the smallest changes in the river and his clients and, paying careful attention to the behaviour of both, McCarthy has learned the secrets of both.
A beautifully written portrait of a man who has devoted his life to a river and to salmon fishing, this is a highly recommended read.