Bill collects wisdom of Tweed boatmen

A new book launched this week anthologises the stories and wisdom of people who worked the Tweed over more than half a century.

Tuesday, 20th October 2015, 10:01 am
SBBN Salmon fishing on Tweed book Bill Quarry

For author Bill Quarry, the stimulus was one of those nights with a friend spent spinning yarns about spinning flies.

“And I wish he’d never suggested it,” he laughs, “because it’s taken me eight years to get it done!”

Bill was first taken out onto the River Tweed by his father, taking in his first salmon at the age of “seven or eight”, which he concedes now was “not exactly bad going, I suppose”.

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Bill continued to fish all the tributaries and main beats of the Tweed for more than 50 years, bringing him into contact with the ghillies and river workers.

“It is really about their stories, their anecdotes, and those memories they have of the river,” said Bill this week.

He went on to joke: “And of course, their expertise and a vast amount of knowledge is gathered in there as well.

“If you are lucky, reading the book might help you double your catch!”

The book is an elegant reminder to anglers that many of the pleasures and much of the enjoyment found in the art of fishing are not all about catching fish and it urges them to appreciate and understand the nature of the riverbank and the conviviality and fraternity to be found in days by the water.

Bill’s story has been lavishly produced by The Medlar Press, in a 432 page full colour hardback with dust jacket.

A limited edition leatherbound copy is also available).

Salmon Fishing and the story of the River Tweed is available now, £55 plus p&p.