When the romcom movie Salmon Fishing In The Yemen hit the big screen this spring, we received a welcome flurry of interest from novice female fly-fishers. We called it the Yemen Effect. Possibly Ewan McGregor had something to do with it.
This was a good sign, as the more people of different ages, backgrounds, genders and walks of life, take up our sport, the more enriched we’ll all be.
Whilst there are many women who excel at fly-fishing, with thriving ladies’ clubs and teams, it is still largely the preserve of us menfolk.
This makes the achievement of Kate Pelham-Burn even more admirable. Last week, Kate was declared runner-up to Jim Reid, in the the coveted Savills Malloch Trophy – Scotland’s most prestigious angling award – for the largest salmon caught on the fly and safely returned during the year in Scottish waters. Her monster salmon, caught in the Home pool on the River Shin with a Frances Orange Conehead on a Mackenzie15 ft DTX G2 Rod, was calculated at a whopping 40 lb.
Taking a fish of this magnitude from a wee Sutherland river, speaks volumes.
It’s here that I must reveal my hand. Kate P-B is a dear friend, we’ve fished on the Carron, the Ewe, and the Shin countless times together. We’ve partied together, we’ve talked nonsense together and we’ve shot together (annoyingly, she’s no slouch in that department either).
So, i can vouch that this was no fluke. With a car boot that looks like she’s ram-raided Sportfish and a fly for absolutely every occasion, her commitment to the cause is unwavering. She consistently outfishes most mere mortals. Let alone chancers like myself.
If that isn’t enough, this Aberdeenshire born and bred jeweller, crafted the diamond oakleaf and acorn earrings worn by Kate Middleton when she married Prince William last year. (www.robinsonpelham.com if you’re looking for a last minute Christmas prezzie. Commoner’s options available.)
Whilst I digress slightly, my point is that we simply don’t see enough ladies on the riverbank. In my experience, those I have encountered, including my better half, punch above their weight. Some call it pheremones, I call it patience.
And of course, let’s not forget that the record for the biggest rod caught salmon in the UK goes to Georgina Ballantine for her 64 pounder landed on the River Tay back in 1922.
Kate, and other fishing ladies out there, you know what needs to be done….
From myself, Greig and the team, we would like to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year when it comes.
All the best,
P.S. Next blog, look out for some fishy words from our top trout man Stan Headley.