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HomeArticlesOtherMiss Ballantine and the 64-pound Tay Salmon

Miss Ballantine and the 64-pound Tay Salmon

Category: Other Fly Fishing Articles | Author: Sandy Forgan

A story about a record which has not been exceeded as a rod-caught salmon in Scotland.

It was late afternoon on Saturday October 7th 1922, Miss Georgina Ballantine was fishing the Tay, near Caputh, with her ferryman father James. Earlier in the day she had caught three salmon - one of 25lbs, one of 21lbs and one of 17lbs. They were harling from the boat at the top end of the Boat Pool on the Glendelvine Beat, just as the sun dipped below the lovely Perthshire hills. As they came downstream just above the Bargie Stone, still a prominent marker in the Boat Pool today, a fish took on Georgina's rod. It immediately took a huge run of about 500 yards downstream, followed by the boat with James rowing with all his might.

The fish swam downstream under the piers of Caputh Brig, and they went ashore to fight the fish with more side-strain from the bank. The great fight continued into the deepening dusk. They were not able to bring the fish to shore so James and Georgina re-embarked in the dark and dropped back all the way down Sparrowmuir Pool. James insisted that greater and greater strain be put on the rod until at last the fish came closer. Eventually it came close enough to use the gaff, and drag it over the gunwale and into the boat. Mr Moir's 'Nabbie' - a priest - was used and the great fish went to meet its maker. It was 64 Ibs in weight, a record which has not been exceeded as a rod-caught salmon in Scotland.

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