'' JUST A COUNTRY BOY ''

River keeping and deer stalking in the Scottish Highlands was my way of life for many a year.
My love of the countryside,wildlife and fishing took me into the world of piking at an early age on a local tarn in Cumbria.
Perch to 2 lbs and pike to 14 lbs ..spoiled as a novice ! but From those moments on I was well and truly hooked.
From there it was a natural progression to the local rivers,by now I was almost addicted to fishing and the variety of coarse species intrigued me..nothing could stop me.
With time knowledge of where,when and ' how to ' finally gelled after many fruitless days too I may add.It all started coming together.
With the odd trout or two for the table I was well pleased.
On leaving school I worked as a leather dresser but the call of the wild was too strong.
Things were looking up ! A job as a salmon ghillie on the most prestigious beats of the Eden where I stayed for ten seasons before taking a post as ghillie boatman and eventually assistant head keeper on the Grimersta estate up on the Isle of Lewis in the Inner Hebrides an education indeed - learning the ways of loch fishing and honing my boating skills.
It was here I learned too of the ways of the devious and at times violent poacher..exiting times !
Offered a single handed keepers job as Head keeper on Benmore Estate I was on the move again,fell in love with the island,the people and here I settled for over twenty years amongst the beauty of the mountains and secluded glens.
Stalking the red deer over 40,000 acres and keepering two rivers and an extensive loch.
There was a lot of work to do managing the river systems and improving stocks a challenge and a risk that paid dividends and produced the goods.

Over the years I have seen countless salmon and trout caught but the truth be known there is no finer feeling than being in the company of a guest or novice with a fish on...
Who have relied upon my enthusiasm and years of knowledge to help them get what may be to them a fish of a lifetime..their first salmon,trout,or pike it matters not.
I like to share my knowledge and do not profess to be an expert by any means ..fishing is a learning curve,we all have different views and experiences.
That's Fishing !

To your success
JOHN

A GHILLIE'S TALE