Occasionally a fish would take a gulp from our juicy worm, before darting
away. This was our resourceful attempt to catch one of many small innocent
fish in our neighbouring Tay river. If the fish were innocent, well so were we,
as we had not a chance of catching a fish no matter how small, even with the
tastiest of worm’s. The fish were simply too smart for us.
We cast into the river using a small bamboo stick with a bit of fishing gut tied
tight around the top, always confident of the result. We could have been fishing
up the Amazon for crocodiles and piranha, except for the sounds and smells of
fresh manure, cows, bulls, bees, flies, honey-suckles, tractors and kingfisher’s,
kept us all grounded on the bank of the river Tay.
In our world of fantasy we had to fight hard to land our giant fish. Fierce
strength of tugging, pulling and letting go of the gut on our bamboo stick was
always involved, until we captured and finally landed our monster fish. Of
course we would be worn out from this fishing feat, returning home as cool
clear hero’s with our gigantic fish for the dining plate, surprising all.
Fishing by the river bank entertained us endlessly on long sunny summer days.
I remember my mother calling down to us from the Tay bridge announcing
dinner time, which was completely in vain, as we were oblivious to any sounds
other than a splashing noise from landing our fish. Dinner was far from our
Unwavering attention on our fishing task was necessary. We had to be ever
ready for when a fish decided to bite our worm. We sat on the Tay river bank
perfectly absorbed, staring into the water watching nibbles from the baby fish. I
am sure the fish could see us too, but that never stopped them feasting on our
succulent worms and probably calling their friends to feast on plump worms on
a stick.
I wonder what would have happened if we actually caught a fish? I am sure we
would panic and feel sorry for the fish, especially if he jumped around with his
mouth open trying to breathe, as they do. We would have been heart broken
for him and swiftly returned him to the river and his family.
Our dog “Patch” followed us down to the river. We were like the ‘Famous Five’
on our own adult free expedition, as the river beckoned us to its banks.
Occasionally we just threw in stones to splash or skim the water, to see who
could get the most bounces, or “Patch” just jumped into the river, perhaps
with a bit of encouragement to show off his doggy paddle. We basked on rocks
watching water beetles race or dragonflies flit across the water, or swayed on
mossy boughs from ancient trees overhanging the river, daydreaming on our
raft as we sailed off into turbulent, monster infested seas.
These glorious hours spent by the tame Tay river attempting to catch fish
turned into blissful memory moments for us all. The Tay river bank provided
endless adventure opportunities for our children’s dreamy imagination to run
We had amazing fun in those lazy, hazy days of summer fishing. We wish those
summer days could always be here.