Scrub your tackle

Giles Catch­pole makes fi­nal prepa­ra­tions for his trip to Ice­land

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Last Cast -

SO, ICE­LAND. ICE­LAND, eh? I should say so. Land of the gey­sers and the mid­night sun and home to sim­ply enor­mous trout. There may be a bit of fer­mented shark go­ing on, too, I grant you; and a slice or two of dried seal blub­ber to be man­aged, but let us put those small tri­als aside and fo­cus on the sim­ply enor­mous trout. Ac­tu­ally, be­fore we ad­dress the is­sue of the sim­ply enor­mous trout let us look briefly at the whole seal blub­ber thing. I freely ad­mit that I have never eaten seal blub­ber. I am not even cer­tain that it is the blub­ber of the seal that we are ex­pected to eat. I’m not sure that any­one eats seal blub­ber as a mat­ter of fact. Or any part of the seal these days. It may just be one of those not es­pe­cially elab­o­rate jokes that lo­cals en­joy play­ing on the more gullible sort of tourist. “Ah, for sure, sir, the tes­ti­cle is re­garded as the sweet­est of all the sweet­breads. With a small glass of akavit, cer­tainly. And down in one. It’s best taken raw, of course. That is the tra­di­tional way. Try one do, sir, they are de­li­cious at this time of year.” And then they meet up in some dive bar round the back much later in the week and com­pare notes. “Did he re­ally eat one, Janni?” “For sure! Down in one!” “And raw? No kid­ding?” “I thought he was go­ing to choke at one point but he got it down in the end. Said it was de­li­cious!” “OOUUUGGHH! That is aw­ful, man. What are you go­ing to try next week?” “Well, we have some Brits com­ing to the lodge so I have got a jar of pick­led eye­balls from Olli. A hun­dred kroner says they will scoff the lot be­fore Wed­nes­day?” “Done, by Odin’s beard! You’re a very bad man, Janni, but a lot of laughs. See if you can get pic­tures this time. We can post them on the Seal Club page.” And so it goes, I dare say. Hav­ing said which I wouldn’t mind in the slight­est if seal, roasted, dried, poached, pick­led or dipped in chilli cho­co­late for all I care, be­came fan­tas­ti­cally pop­u­lar. There are far too many seals about, in my view, and if they sud­denly be­came the cran­ber­ries de nos jours, I for one would be de­lighted; and if chew­ing on an in­de­ter­mi­nate lump of seal is the way to get that par­tic­u­lar ball rolling in the right di­rec­tion then I am up for it. It can’t be worse than some of the stuff they served up to us at school. Ac­tu­ally, it might well have been some of the stuff they served up to us at school, now I come to think about it. How­ever, back to the sim­ply enor­mous trout. Or rather not back to the sim­ply enor­mous trout be­cause be­fore you can pur­sue them in Ice­land you have to have your tackle dis­in­fected. Yes, I know. Ha! Ha! Hav­ing your tackle scrubbed. Very funny. The vet made ex­actly the same joke. Yes, the vet. Ice­landic Cus­toms re­quire vet­eri­nary cer­ti­fi­ca­tion that your tackle – OK, that’s enough – fish­ing tackle has been dis­in­fected be­fore de­par­ture from the UK. This is all per­fectly sen­si­ble ac­tu­ally and thor­oughly sound pre­ven­ta­tive dis­ease con­trol. On the other hand it does re­quire a vet with the nec­es­sary equip­ment or a de­gree of creative thinking. “Happy to help,” says the vet, “ab­so­lutely no idea how we are go­ing to do it though. Tod­dle round mid­week and we’ll see what’s to do.” So I ap­plied my mind to the is­sue and the re­sult was – TADAHHHHH! The Giles Catch­pole Patent Tackle Dis­in­fecti­na­tor! Five feet of four-inch pipe, sealed at one end with poly­thene and gaffer tape, stood in a bucket, takes 10 litres of one per cent so­lu­tion of pro­pri­etary dis­in­fec­tant. Stick all the rods in the top end and hold them in the so­lu­tion by shov­ing a sponge down on top of them. Leave for the req­ui­site pe­riod. Then empty the so­lu­tion into the bucket and add reels, waders, boots and any other sun­dries that you might fancy pack­ing. Even the vet was im­pressed. And she re­ally does scrub tackle. It goes with the ter­ri­tory in any large an­i­mal prac­tice. And she said that this was a lot eas­ier. So there. So now I have the where­withal to set out for Ice­land and the hunt­ing of the sim­ply enor­mous trout. Watch this space. It may not be big enough, of course.

“The tes­ti­cle is re­garded as the sweet­est of all the sweet­breads”

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