An anonymous angler, lost in the moment.



YONDER WIMPLING BURN: In Search of Trout, Whisky and the Family Tree

Dave Downing picked me up at the Glasgow Airport at 8 a.m. Two hours later, I stood in the middle of the River Clyde in a setting that could be mistaken for an 18th-century oil painting alongside Downing, a former world championship angler on the National Scottish Fly Fishing team and a well-known fly tier who speaks with a thick, rapid-fire Glaswegian accent. He explained the essentials of Scottish flyfishing—patterns, techniques and a bit of history, more or less understood by my jetlagged brain. 

The Clyde flows through the history-filled Scottish Lowlands and meets the Irish Sea at Glasgow. Rolling hills of lush green gave way to a meandering river of clear, soothing water. Old, moss-clad ash and oak trees lined the bank and rose above a symphony of colorful wildflowers. The fragrance was addictive and the insect life prodigious—more fly types than one can carry in a fly box to be sure. Clyde-style flies have taken on their own legendary status and generally refer to a lightly dressed, delicate pattern, wings tied upright and of local natural colors with whimsical names like the Blae & Black, Cran Swallow and Hen Blackie. A swan floated past and a trout rose steadily in front of me. Although I’d landed in Glasgow 24 hours late and thoroughly exhausted, this was how I had pictured the start of the journey…

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