Lighter Side

What is life if there is not laughter? Welcome to the lighter side of flyfishing! We welcome your stories here!
October 6th, 2003

The Chef of Beauly Castle
Sent in by Alan Shepherd

"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 jests.

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 to weaken.

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 the fish.

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. ~ Alan

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