Swing the Fly Issue 2.4 Spring 2015 - Page 62

"Have you been to Scotland before?”


"No, I haven't. This is the first time." He did not want to let on that it was his first time out of the country.


"Well, welcome to Scotland. Let me know if you'd like anything else." He slid the sandwich across the bar and Mike looked down at the chip butty which, as it turned out, was nothing more than a pile of french fries, salt, vinegar on a hamburger bun. The kind of food he thought, that you eat either to prepare yourself for a long night of drinking or repair yourself after a long night of drinking…


A glass came down

on the bar hard. The

sound of the ice

announced that

another drink was

needed. Mike looked

up from his sandwich.


"It’s Mike, the

American, yeh?"


"Shit." It was the man he had borrowed a rod from and then managed to insult.

"I'm Mr. Cheesy lure. You enjoying yourself?” Then turning to the barman. "Eh, Alastair? Gee-us another please. Ta…"


"Hi. Look, about that comment today. I shot my mouth off without thinking."


"Ne worries, it’s a typical affliction of young men….You manage to land anything today?

"No nothing" said Mike swirling the pint in his hand.


"You got any bigger rods with you?

That little nancy Orvis rod of yours isn't up to the task here….Ever fished a Spey rod, lad?”


The four ghillies at the next table had begun to listen in and laugh at the Scot who was beginning to get himself wound up. "Hey Cam, don't be hard on the Yank," the youngest yelled over.


The old Scot turned to Mike, "Aye, ma name's Tom Cameron. How do you do. Some call me, Cam. Don't listen to these jokers." He waved his hand dismissively at the ghillies, "Away ya bother, I'm trying ta teach this lad somethin’. “ Cam continued, “I don't really know what 'cheesy' means in American. But fishing here with anything less than a 12ft rod is a false economy."

“I watched a guy once outside of Maupin in the canyon of the Deschutes, in Oregon where I am from but I have never swung a Spey rod. I'd like to learn. It can't be that hard to catch a salmon on a Spey rod."


More snickering from the ghillies.

"Are you any good with a single hand rod?” said Cam provoking Mike a little more. “Swinging a Spey rod is a different proposition. It takes a certain fortitude. It’s close to an art form."

"Yeah, I'm good.” He said defensively. “I’m a steel header. I have fished all over the west. It just can't be that hard. You’ll have to convince me."


Cam nodded. “Maybe so” he said doubtfully. "In the meantime, do you know anything about

whiskey?" Mike didn't know shit about whiskey and from watching the other sports and their ghillies, whiskey seemed to be the drink of choice in these parts.