The Chef of Beauly Castle
"This is the story of the Chef of Beauly Castle, a
man who had greatness thrust upon him, who was singled
out by the Goddess of Fortune for one of her richest
Sent in by Alan Shepherd
The Chef knew right well how to cook a salmon but not
how to catch one, nor yet how to throw a fly, and
probably more for the chance of a little relaxation
on the waters of the Beauly River he accompanied one,
Frazer, a Pipe Major in a boat. Now it is recorded
that whilst Frazer was raising the anchor the Chef
took up the rod unbidden, and rashly hurled the lure
upon the bottom of the river.
And here the Goddess of Fortune laughed aloud and bade
a mighty salmon to take hold of the lure. And forthwith
it came to pass. There was a turmoil amidst the waters
and the Chef found himself attached to the mightiest
salmon ever caught on rod and line in those parts. The
unhappy man knew not how to play a fish, Frazer could
not lift the anchor. But somehow it was done, the anchor
lifted by the Pipe Major, the boat was free, but the Chef
and the salmon were, by the Goddess's command, still
held fast, and connected one to the other.
At last the boat drifts against the bank and the battle
wages fast and furious. All this autumn morning the fight
goes on, three hours pass by until fish and Chef begin
At last the monster salmon is at the bank-side and the
Goddess laughed again and bade the rod to break. And it
did so. But yet the fish was on. Now it came to pass that
the net was put under the salmon and the Goddess laughed
again and bade the net to break. And it was as She commanded.
But yet the fish was on and the Chef could not get free of
At last the salmon was landed and the Chef obtained a
big thick stick and carried the salmon to Beauly Castle.
And thereafter it is on record that he ran about the
castle like one demented saying "I am the champion
fisher of the Beauly. I can catch a salmon as well
as cook one," and what he said was true.
That salmon weighed fifty pounds. So does the Goddess
make sport of us poor mortals. This is a true story
told by one, MacKintosh, who was there, and sent by
him to Mrs. Cameron of Clunes, who kindly passed it
on to me, on the twenty-second of February, in the
Year of Our Lord, MCMXLIV."
Credit: I found this story by Mrs. Muriel Cameron
in the 1945 book, The Fisherman's Bedside Book.
Lighter Side Archive