TAY RECORD SALMON & Propensity for large fish capture by ladies

Auldghillie

Well-known member
Messages
362
Reaction score
265
Often wondered if this and other such stories are propaganda given the Tay story ? Sorry ladies.
 

Nigel Passmore

Well-known member
Messages
541
Reaction score
865
Often wondered if this and other such stories are propaganda given the Tay story ? Sorry ladies.
Are you suggesting Georgina Ballantine didn't catch the British record salmon? Also the largest fly caught salmon in the UK was 61lbs by Mrs Morrison from the Deveron. The largest salmon caught on the Tillmouth beat of the Tweed was I think 42lbs by Lady Burnett etc

Regards

NHP
 

charlieH

Well-known member
Messages
3,256
Reaction score
611
The British record salmon, from the Tay, was caught be a woman. The British record fly-caught salmon, from the Deveron, was caught by a woman. The British record Spring salmon, from the Wye, was caught by a woman.

Make of that what you will, but to quote the words that Ian Fleming put into the mouth of his great villain Auric Goldfinger (and which may have their origins in the Intelligence Service in which Fleming served) "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action". 😁

You might also like to have a look at this book:

 

Handel

Well-known member
Messages
2,234
Reaction score
641
Location
London
I had understood that Miss Ballantine was harling and that her father was rowing the boat. Is that story not correct?
 

Auldghillie

Well-known member
Messages
362
Reaction score
265
Are you suggesting Georgina Ballantine didn't catch the British record salmon? Also the largest fly caught salmon in the UK was 61lbs by Mrs Morrison from the Deveron. The largest salmon caught on the Tillmouth beat of the Tweed was I think 42lbs by Lady Burnett etc

Regards

NHP
I can tell you the truth about the last one now she’s passed.
 

Handel

Well-known member
Messages
2,234
Reaction score
641
Location
London
So the boat caught the record fish then ?
Exactly! The only Tay gillies I have ever fished with maintain that when harling it is them that are fishing. But maybe she and her father weren't harling at all, I was hoping someone knew more.
 

Auldghillie

Well-known member
Messages
362
Reaction score
265
Exactly! The only Tay gillies I have ever fished with maintain that when harling it is them that are fishing. But maybe she and her father weren't harling at all, I was hoping someone knew more.
I may have the book somewhere - I’ll let you know. I think it was caught almost at the end of their stint behind a famous rock or other. I find it incredible that the fish was put down to Miss Ballantine for merely sitting on her hapenny.
 

Nigel Passmore

Well-known member
Messages
541
Reaction score
865
I can tell you the truth about the last one now she’s passed.
I didn't know her well, but Lady Burnett used to stay at the Scourie Hotel in the summer when I used to go there in the 80s. She regularly out fished the men on Loch Stack and was an expert at catching loch sea trout on dry flies. Did you know her?

Regards

NHP
 

Auldghillie

Well-known member
Messages
362
Reaction score
265
I didn't know her well, but Lady Burnett used to stay at the Scourie Hotel in the summer when I used to go there in the 80s. She regularly out fished the men on Loch Stack and was an expert at catching loch sea trout on dry flies. Did you know her?

Regards

NHP
I did yes, from the other bank. You’ll get the gist If I restrict my comments to:

Tobies, since they wobble and don’t spin, can be used off a fly line without a swivel.

I called her old head ghillie the other week as he’s still there in his old cottage but the beat is long sold. AG
 

chriswjx

Well-known member
Messages
388
Reaction score
323
Location
Edinburgh
Exactly! The only Tay gillies I have ever fished with maintain that when harling it is them that are fishing. But maybe she and her father weren't harling at all, I was hoping someone knew more.

On that note then, so if I hook onto the fish whilst harling, and I overplay it too hard, then its the ghillie who lost the fish as well? 😅

Surely as the person who ultimately plays the fish, you should be credited at least jointly with the boat pilot?
 

Auldghillie

Well-known member
Messages
362
Reaction score
265
On that note then, so if I hook onto the fish whilst harling, and I overplay it too hard, then its the ghillie who lost the fish as well? 😅

Surely as the person who ultimately plays the fish, you should be credited at least jointly with the boat pilot?
Certainly not but it does seem equitable to credit them jointly I agree.
 

charlieH

Well-known member
Messages
3,256
Reaction score
611

Just to add that, among other stories of successful lady salmon fishers, this book contains the story of the capture of these fish, along with another photo of the captor and her very talented and good looking gillie. ;)

IMG_0074.JPG
 

Chester

Active member
Messages
682
Reaction score
182
Location
Northeast England
An experienced Ghillie once told me that he put the success of female anglers down to the fact that women more often cast within their comfortable range and as a result have generally better presentation. Where blokes try to cast to the horizon and half their casts land in a heap...,,
 

chriswjx

Well-known member
Messages
388
Reaction score
323
Location
Edinburgh
I will say though, I was watching the series "Icelandic Tails" on Amazon, and they had a 94 year old woman called Lilla Rowcliffe on one episode. They regale the viewer with her picture book of stunning catches, and there's some proper massive catches in it and from all over the world.

Thing is, her dad was the fella who started up Royal Dutch Shell, so she's able to basically live fishing for as long as she's liked.

From just a cursory search on the interweb about those 3 ladies who hold the current records, Georgina Ballantine's dad was a Ghillie, Lady Burnett was a Lady (duhhhh me), and whilst I can't find much about Mrs Morrison the one article I read interviews the family Chauffeur so presumably the family weren't hurting for dosh...

So, would it be plausible that these historical records were more likely to be taken by women, as during the time women were considered more for the home and especially with the wealthier levels more "idle" and thus had more time on hand to chuck a line out?

At the same time, my missus had a better catch record every time we fished together...
 
Last edited:

carbisdale caster

Well-known member
Messages
2,853
Reaction score
378
Location
Culrain. Sutherland
I will say though, I was watching the series "Icelandic Tails" on Amazon, and they had a 94 year old woman called Lilla Black on one episode. They regale the viewer with her picture book of stunning catches, and there's some proper massive catches in it and from all over the world.

Thing is, her dad was the fella who started up Royal Dutch Shell, so she's able to basically live fishing for as long as she's liked.

From just a cursory search on the interweb about those 3 ladies who hold the current records, Georgina Ballantine's dad was a Ghillie, Lady Burnett was a Lady (duhhhh me), and whilst I can't find much about Mrs Morrison the one article I read interviews the family Chauffeur so presumably the family weren't hurting for dosh...

So, would it be plausible that these historical records were more likely to be taken by women, as during the time women were considered more for the home and especially with the wealthier levels more "idle" and thus had more time on hand to chuck a line out?

At the same time, my missus had a better catch record every time we fished together...
I think they actually meant (Lady) Lilla Rowcliffe not Lilla Black :)
 

Auldghillie

Well-known member
Messages
362
Reaction score
265
I will say though, I was watching the series "Icelandic Tails" on Amazon, and they had a 94 year old woman called Lilla Black on one episode. They regale the viewer with her picture book of stunning catches, and there's some proper massive catches in it and from all over the world.

Thing is, her dad was the fella who started up Royal Dutch Shell, so she's able to basically live fishing for as long as she's liked.

From just a cursory search on the interweb about those 3 ladies who hold the current records, Georgina Ballantine's dad was a Ghillie, Lady Burnett was a Lady (duhhhh me), and whilst I can't find much about Mrs Morrison the one article I read interviews the family Chauffeur so presumably the family weren't hurting for dosh...

So, would it be plausible that these historical records were more likely to be taken by women, as during the time women were considered more for the home and especially with the wealthier levels more "idle" and thus had more time on hand to chuck a line out?

At the same time, my missus had a better catch record every time we fished together...
You‘ll find with most ladies that we have to put them on top of the fish when fly-fishing from a boat. Using a short line like this causes the fly to lift over the lies rather than swinging across the fish as with accomplished men.

I hate having my boat on top of the lies. Harling on Tay does this of course but well after the fish see the fly. Lady Burnett was in her favourite pool in a boat With her big fish. She was the sort who hated our rods being anywhere near her despite their side netting the pools prior to their paying guests. So I used to tell her guests to ask their boatmen how many they netted before breakfast. So we had a wonderful relationship in the old days !!
 

charlieH

Well-known member
Messages
3,256
Reaction score
611
I’m starting to worry about you.

No need to worry.

If you had been around on this forum at this time last year you might have been following a thread I started as a diversion during the first lockdown: https://www.salmonfishingforum.com/forums/threads/guess-the-weight.211419/.

That was based on pictures of some fish from a river in Norway where I worked as a gillie for several seasons back in the 1980s. So the very talented and good looking gillie in the picture is in fact me! I didn't actually include this fish in the 'Guess the Weight' thread, because the story of its capture (the lady was 8 1/4 months pregnant when she caught it) had previously been published, and I thought that one or two people might have recognised her from the book.
 

chriswjx

Well-known member
Messages
388
Reaction score
323
Location
Edinburgh
No need to worry.

If you had been around on this forum at this time last year you might have been following a thread I started as a diversion during the first lockdown: https://www.salmonfishingforum.com/forums/threads/guess-the-weight.211419/.

That was based on pictures of some fish from a river in Norway where I worked as a gillie for several seasons back in the 1980s. So the very talented and good looking gillie in the picture is in fact me! I didn't actually include this fish in the 'Guess the Weight' thread, because the story of its capture (the lady was 8 1/4 months pregnant when she caught it) had previously been published, and I thought that one or two people might have recognised her from the book.

Have to say, see looks very able for someone that far along... I was under the impression that most women were slightly more encumbered at that point...
 

Auldghillie

Well-known member
Messages
362
Reaction score
265
No need to worry.

If you had been around on this forum at this time last year you might have been following a thread I started as a diversion during the first lockdown: https://www.salmonfishingforum.com/forums/threads/guess-the-weight.211419/.

That was based on pictures of some fish from a river in Norway where I worked as a gillie for several seasons back in the 1980s. So the very talented and good looking gillie in the picture is in fact me! I didn't actually include this fish in the 'Guess the Weight' thread, because the story of its capture (the lady was 8 1/4 months pregnant when she caught it) had previously been published, and I thought that one or two people might have recognised her from the book.
No need to worry.

If you had been around on this forum at this time last year you might have been following a thread I started as a diversion during the first lockdown: https://www.salmonfishingforum.com/forums/threads/guess-the-weight.211419/.

That was based on pictures of some fish from a river in Norway where I worked as a gillie for several seasons back in the 1980s. So the very talented and good looking gillie in the picture is in fact me! I didn't actually include this fish in the 'Guess the Weight' thread, because the story of its capture (the lady was 8 1/4 months pregnant when she caught it) had previously been published, and I thought that one or two people might have recognised her from the book.
Ok, nice one.
 

charlieH

Well-known member
Messages
3,256
Reaction score
611
Have to say, see looks very able for someone that far along... I was under the impression that most women were slightly more encumbered at that point...

Here are a couple of pictures of her playing the smaller of the two fish we got that evening (only 20lbs), which show her 'delicate' condition a bit more clearly. But it certainly wasn't easy for her to find anywhere comfortable to put the butt of the rod...

IMG_0967.jpg


IMG_0968.jpg
 
Top