Mountain Memories – The lost Fishing Rod in Loch Harport


I’d bought a new spinning rod for my younger son Mark for our visit to the Bottomers’ at Talisker Distillery on Skye. We duly went down to the pier below the distillery and, on his first cast, Mark let go of the rod and “splash”, it went to the bottom about 3m down and 5m out from the pier. The water was so clear; we could see it lurking on the bottom just out of reach.   Being a miserable east-coaster, there was no way I was going to abandon a new fishing rod, so I stripped down to my shreddies (underpants) and dived in. Unfortunately, a combination of tide and directional errors meant that I was being swept past the rod before I got down to the bottom, even though I tried to aim off a bit. Eventually, after a few attempts, I climbed out to regroup, being a bit hypothermic and also needing to breathe. By this time the boys were laughing hysterically at the sight of their dad’s scrooge-like efforts to save a few bob.

Meanwhile, my elder son Donald (obviously much brighter than me) had hooked the submerged rod after a couple of casts with his rod, to affect an effortless recovery of his brother Mark’s errant rod.  I’m often reminded of this escapade to this day, much to the delight of the family and my humiliation.  Hey, what are dads for, eh?