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Royal wading blues

Allan Liddle enjoys a right royal day


The happy couple close to the isle.
The happy couple close to the isle.

With all the Royal Wedding features dominating the news recently the hype was getting towards fever pitch as the big day approached with some even organising ‘Royal Wedding Parties’ to settle in and watch the event on TV.

Sadly one was planned for my house (by my better half and friends) meaning I simply had to excuse myself and look to do something entirely different instead, perfect excuse really to get out with the dogs and rods in search of a trout or two.

It was a roasting hot day (for these northern parts at least) with a crappy blustery often-changing direction wind that greeted me as I decided on a venue change from my usual favourite river to try out the stunning upper stretches of the River Don.

So as the big couple would have been dashing around their big house getting ready, I was sitting on the bank of a crystal clear and low river debating a far more serious question; do I go with nymphs or dries?

Dries won the debate and I headed out to walk ‘up the isle’ of some nearby overhanging trees using the shade and cover to creep up on some rising fish picking away at a sparse but welcome hatch of Olive Uprights.  Result and some beautiful wild Don trout taking a liking to my wee size 16 Pale Olive DHE.

But with the heat blistering down in a cloudless skies it was time for a change and whilst the happy couple were exchanging gold bands, I was switching to a gold head nymph (well three actually) and fished the white water bits where the fish had gathered to take advantage of the better oxygen.  Then as the happy couple were getting their photos, I was happily snapping a few pics of my own with some cracking fish posing before being carefully returned to fight another day.

Off the wedding party would have then gone for a celebration banquet, I shared my warm, soggy sandwiches, grainy biscuits and Pink Lady apples with two greedy Labradors under the beautiful Strathdon sky.  A feast fit for a king in my opinion in the perfect setting.

Finally, as the day drew to a close and the party would undoubtedly have got underway with our Royals enjoying a night on the dancefloor doing the “Gay Gordons”, “Strip the Willow” et all, with perhaps a bit of “Slush” and “Timewalk” thrown in for good measure; we were doing some breakdancing of our own on the slippy and loose river bed stones trying to pick our way upstream (yup the dogs were in the cool water with me as well).

So a happy day all round with no paparazzi Donside and by the time we got back everything was over and normal TV service had resumed, two very tired labs snoring away, movie selected on Netflix and a cold beer to help ease the aches and pains in the old limbs from a hard day wading; that’s how I enjoyed the Royal Wedding.

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