Switched off and waiting for the fish to nibble...

They’re cutting grass in there. That’s a bad sign, it must be a dry forecast.” My heart lifted.

On our way back to the top of Scotland for another week’s attempt at salmon fishing, I suddenly had visions once more of sun soaked western beaches, white sands, blue sea.

You might think I am wrong but visit the beach at Oldshoremoor or Sandwood Bay in Sutherland and that is exactly what you will find.

So as I sit shivering and soaked in a fishing hut on the bank of the Dionard, I am afraid that not only those hay making famers, but also swimsuit hopeful me, are all very disappointed.

The forecast is rain and yet more rain. So where then are the fish?

There are of course reasons which I can comfort myself with.

Despite the rain there is not enough water in the river.

And if they were here, the fact that I am the world’s best at creating a tangle of line, dropper, muddler and shrimp fly, is also a massive drawback.

But this is only Monday. And actually only lunchtime, and to catch fish as my husband says “you’ve got to switch off that iPad and get back on the river” so I will finish this sorry tale later.

Two hours later however I had caught two tiny fish. Probably qualify more as sardines than salmon, and rather than commit them to John West, I put both back in the river.

After taking their pictures though on my phone.

Will look into how to blow photos up so that both look at least 7lb in weight.

My back was killing me. And they call this relaxing? I had’nt seen John for two hours either, perhaps he had been eaten by the baby fish’s dad.

Then, despite the remoteness of the place a text message came through to my phone.

Fizz has killed seven guinea fowl chicks.

Only had twelve and now two of the five are orphans as she has also killed their bantie foster Mum.

The joys of having a sheepdog puppy who does not yet appreciate that a nip on a sheep’s back leg is a nip too far for a chick.

Luckily, I was informed by our house sitters, the traumatised remaining bantie has accepted the orphans.

As a friend to whom I had given a nest of guinea fowl eggs, had just hatched off twenty eight chicks and I told him to keep them all as prior to today we had plenty, this twist of fate seems ironic.

Not much I can do though up here in the wilds of Sutherland. Where are those salmon anyway?

Found them, at least John has, one at four and one at twelve pounds.

Both put back in the river and because I had the phone, just a blurry photo of the four pounder to prove the catch.

Honour satisfied as far as I am concerned.

According to men, size does not matter, so my two tiddlers are just as good as his two big ones.

Mrs Downs