One day I was fishing in
Kinneuchar Loch alongside of the Kinneuchar Kirk. On calm
days with puffy white clouds floating overhead in a bright
blue sky it's as peaceful and serene a place as you can
My quarry, as usual, was the big pike. I
had graduated from a throw-out hand line that I baited with
small perch to my very first fishing rod that I made. My
dad, being a golf club maker, always had lots of long
hickory and steel golf shafts. I saw that if I just filed
the end of a wooden shaft to mate up with the end of a steel
shaft I could make a fair fishing pole. For line
guides I used cut-off safety pins. I thickened up the wooden
handle and by the time I got my creation finished it was a
pretty respectable rod. The next rod I made was from a
whip antenna that came off an army Sherman tank. I recently
had traded a boy friend,
Alastair Duncan, who lived at Roseberry in Earlsferry, a model railway
engine for an old spinning reel. By commercial fishing
rod standards my rods had the flexibility of barge poles but
they did enable me to get my lures out to waters that I
couldn't reach with my old hand line.
As I fished, who shows up with all
his fishing gear but Wilson the Bobby. With a smile he explained that he hadn't come to arrest me but this was his day off from his beat. In no
time he was casting out about twice as far as I could heft
my lure with my stiff pole. It wasn't long before he
landed several pike to my one. After awhile, when he'd done
his thing, he packed up and left.
A week later I was fishing
at the same spot and Wilson showed up again on his day off.
I noticed that he had more fishing gear with him than he
previous week but I didn't think much about it. Like
the previous week, he completely out-fished me.
When he finished fishing he
unpacked the extra stuff that he'd brought along.
With a twinkle in his eye he went on to explain, "The other day I went with my wife
for a day's outing and ended up at Peter Malloch's
gun and fishing tackle shop in Scott Street at Perth.
I saw this fishing rod in their window and thought you'd like it." With that
he handed me a brand new beautiful Malloch fishing rod
complete with a Mitchell reel and line. He also handed me some of
his sure-fire pike catching lures that he made himself from
old teaspoons. His eyes were visibly misting over. I
thanked him profusely which caused him to make a hurried
much for our stern, tough guy, village cop!
Yes, Wilson was a very
special person. He was one of the very best.
To this day I still make Wilson's
teaspoon lures. They catch most anything that swims.
I ultimately retired Wilson's
gift. As I type this I'm looking at his gift
fishing rod hanging on the
wall, a fond memory of one man that seventy/eighty years ago I
was fortunate to know and have as a guardian and a friend,
Police Constable James Wilson.
He did have my best interests at