Sunday 31st May 1992

A successful day fishing for our first brown trout from the White Loch using the ‘three fly’ trace recommended for us after enjoying a fine Scottish breakfast and ending up with five fish before finding Dunlin and Hen Harrier nests and spotting Short-eared Owls. Then back for a meeting with Alan Brooks to draw a line under our planned sporting warden

We were first to breakfast again and anxious to get out and over to the White Loch to try catching some trout. Our original idea was to get up and out really early but we had been persuaded that the trout rose with the fly that hatched a little later. It was a fine 'Scottish' breakfast that we had before we went on another sunny day. Ian McGreggor tied us a couple of casts for good luck and we set off and were soon tackled up and in position. Nigel took the bank again and I the boat. After one attempt at drifting across the loch, I could see that the trout were actually rising off the lee bank where there was a constant flow of insects onto the water and so I moored up my boat and joined him there.

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Saturday 30th May 1992

After an early start from Edinburgh, we drove on to the Forss Bridge Hotel near Thurso and settled in to the hotel before going on to the Broubster Estate and my Thormaid plantation.

We found the boat on my loch newly painted and fine for some fly fishing but could not catch any ‘Loch Brownies’ today but picked up some tips from other fishers for the next day

We had breakfast before anybody else in the dining room at 7.00am, following a 6.45am call, and then were soon in the car and away by 7.45am with Nigel again at the wheel. He seems to like driving long distances and thinks nothing of having a stint of ten hours! We toyed with the idea of going straight to Broubster but opted instead to go to the hotel to drop off our stuff. The Hotel had mixed feelings about us as they had gained the impression from Nigel that we intended to be staying there last night.

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Friday 29th May 1992

Spreading the last of the former dredgings and meeting up with the operator before leaving Heronshaw and then driving back via St Neots for a hair cut and to buy waterproofs before getting to Nigel in early evening for our drive to Scotland, with me working on the way as Nigel drove..

I had the curtains drawn wide so that I was awoken by the light of dawn at 5.00am. The day started cool and so I was able to work at a good rate, pausing to rest at regular intervals. I had imagined that the dredger driver would come at 8.00am, so I was determined to get as much done as possible by then. As it happened, he did not show and so, by the time I had to leave at lunchtime, I had cleared all of the mound left the last time. He then arrived which was the best of both worlds as I was able to discuss with him how I wanted the dredging to be done and, as I was leaving, I was pleased to see him active in the new boat dock, making it deeper.

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Thursday 28th May 1992

After waking with many gnat bites and noting some welcome rain overnight, I heard that Nigel was not yet ready for Scotland and so, after organising things at home and suffering Chrisula’s visit with her children swimming, I then returned to Norfolk and ended the day labouring at Heronshaw

A fair night, waking up with rather more gnat bites than I am used to. There had been some welcome rain overnight and, after getting up and seeing the girls off to school, I went out to chat to Bill about the gardening priorities. He seems to be a lot more deferent since I have been away and I think that he has realised that he was being a bit stroppy and regrets it. Nigel wanted another day of preparation for Scotland and so this gave me a little time in between. There had been very little mail or telephone messages and so I had decided to go back to Heronshaw to work for evening and following morning.

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