Jim Slater was introduced to salmon fishing in 1972. Earlier that year Slater Walker had bought as an investment the Tulchan Estate of over 20,000 acres in Morayshire, Scotland, which had amongst its many sporting facilities four salmon fishing beats spread over eight miles on the River Spey. The lodge was being prepared for the coming shooting season and Jim decided to take a look at it and try his hand at salmon fishing.
The weather was poor and it was not a particularly good week for fishing but Jim managed to catch an 11lb salmon and three sea trout.
“Fishing is a pleasant, relaxing pastime. You are in the open and in wonderful surroundings; the ghillie is invariably a man of few words and great character; you see herons flying past, an abundance of oyster catchers and an occasional osprey. You wade in water which is sometimes thigh-high taking a tentative step forward after every cast. There is great pleasure and satisfaction in making a good cast and in the moments of expectation while you watch it drift down river. There always seems to be plenty to do, so there is not much time to think about anything else. Time flies, and you live in hope for most of it. Maybe two or three times a day you get a sudden pull on your line which tells you that there is something very alive on the other end. A salmon ‘take’ is quite unmistakable and the ensuing fight is usually very exciting. My idea of a perfect week is salmon fishing on the Spey, and whenever I am there I wonder why I spend my time doing anything else.”
Taken from Return to Go by Jim Slater
Jim returned to the Spey every year to fish with his family in the 1970s and early 1980s. In 1984 he purchased two beats on the River Tay with a view to timesharing them. His company, Salar Properties, was at the forefront of timeshare salmon fishing in Scotland and went on to set up and sell seven schemes on different rivers. In 1986, Salar purchased a fishing camp on the Miramichi River in Eastern Canada. Jim later syndicated this but for six years he and his family enjoyed many weeks superb fishing there. Jim now owns four timeshare weeks on the River Spey and fishes there in the Spring and Summer. He also owns a week on the River Tay in the Autumn.
Jim’s first love is salmon fishing but he has also taken two bonefishing trips to the Bahamas.
In August 2010 and 2011 Jim visited Iceland to fish the West Ranga. He had a great time and in 2011 four of his grandchildren were fishing and they landed 25 of the 47 fish caught during the week. The West Ranga is spring-fed and is almost always in superb condition for fishing. Jim and his family stayed at Hotel Ranga which looked after them very well indeed.
Click on the following link to read Jim’s fishing story – The Resident.