In the 1996 Hooked on Scottish series, Paul Young recalls how the “magic fascination of water” begins in childhood, “when we might look out a jam jar and net on a warm summer’s day, and try our luck catching a few small fish in a local stream or pond”.
Those early days spent fishing can be the beginning of a passion that can last a lifetime.
Paul visits Loch Ness, one of Scotland’s deepest lochs. It is home to salmon – and possibly to other things. He meets local fisherman Ala McGruar, “a man who has had his fair share of salmon off the loch over the years”. They go trawling the loch on a bright and breezy morning.
Ala’s father and grandfather also fished the loch, and he uses traditional Loch Ness tackle: centrepin reels and cut-down fly-rods. At the “business end”, for bait, he prefers “proven movers” such as tobys, and Devons.
Ala uses four rods, laid diagonally across the boat, a short and a long rod on each side. He also has a lucky goat mascot – “every time we gets a fish, he gets a dram”.
Loch Ness is “a big lump of water”, and each year produces classic salmon. Ala shows photographs of two fish weighing over 30lb, one caught by himself, one by his father.