In 1922, Miss Georgina Ballantine was fishing at Caputh on the Tay with her father, a ghillie, when she hooked a 64lb Salmon. She landed the largest Salmon ever caught with a rod and her record still stands to this day. Fishing was once viewed as a male dominated pastime however, over the years women have embraced the sport and put their stamp on it.
One of them is lady angler Claire Mercer Nairne who is a mother of 3 young children, a farmer’s wife and runs Meikleour Fishings in Perthshire. Claire and her husband, Sam, own the Meikleour estate. It was first established as a family business in 1362. Nowadays, the estate is around 4000 acres, 2000 of which are farmed directly and the remaining being forestry and tenancies. Carrots, potatoes and cereals are their main crops. In 2014, they took ownership of the Upper Islamouth and Meikleour stretch of the Tay.
Claire said: “I have a particular love for the river Tay, this is the first thing I see in the morning when I open my window, and a fascination for its iconic salmon.”