We are gathered here today…

North Country Angler wrote a great post about death and dying – well, not really great – more sombre and well written – you know what I mean!

Anyway, it got me thinking – he rose some very good points about where he wanted his ashes to be scattered and where probably they should not be. I was surprised that he did not want his ashes scattered in a river somewhere however he pointed out that the periods of isolation while fishing are made even better by the thought he has his family to go home to (rather than just bobbing around for eternity) – and also an unseen river where you spend a lot of time might not be the best place for a relative to tip your ashes. Anyway, he seems to have decided on scattering his ashes to the wind at the top of one of the Lake District Fells.

Got me thinking that did about possible places:

  1. The Kelvin – are you kidding me on? It’s full of rats piss and old tampons. I mean I love my urban fishing however spending eternity drifting about in some pool with a dozen guys set lining is not my idea of fun.
  2. The Clyde – Oh yes the beautiful Clyde – maybe get the old ashes put in up at the source – however if some consciousness remains engrained in the grainy powder I may only have a brief look at some of my favourite fishing spots before whooshing downstream and eventually ending up at the nuclear submarine base.
  3. I don’t want to be buried although I do like looking at gravestones and would like to have some mark for someone to look at in a hundred years time. Maybe a statue…50 feet tall holding a huge trout up for all to see…
  4. Up a mountain like North Country Angler – tricky that – the right day would have to be chosen – you don’t want to end up as grit in someone’s cheese and ham sandwiches.

Obviously I still have some thinking on that one to do!

Sadly, I am reminded of someone I spoke to last week who told me his brother had just passed away after a long illness. Towards the end he was on a high amount of painkiller which was making him hallucinate. He sat in his chair fiddling with his fingers in front of him and visitors would ask what he was doing – “Tying Flies” his wife would say. A few days before he died he then started fishing in his living room, imagining he was casting to fish in some river somewhere in his minds eye. One day when his brother was sitting with him it looked like he had cast to a particularly difficult lying trout as the look of concentration on his face was very intent and serious – suddenly a cat walked past which must have spoiled the whole illusion – he rolled his eyes and looked at his brother “Bloody cat” he said to him “scared all the fish”. It was not long after this that he passed away.

I am doubly reminded of a chap who would take me fishing when I was just a young boy. His name was Bill Murdoch and he was responsible for my passion for angling – out on his brother’s boat after salmon on Loch Lomond, he would often call on his father to ensure he got a fish – he and his brothers had spread his ashes over a particularly good trolling lane which just goes to show you some people’s priorities.

Not that I am averse to calling on the deceased to provide me with some sport when things are slow I just do not plan it as an actual sporting method.

Where do you want to happen to your remains?

Have you already planned it out?

Have you told anyone?

7 comments to We are gathered here today…

  • troutbum

    Hi Alistair. I have thought about it, planned it, and have my wife’s agreement on it. I want to buried wearing my waders, vest and favorite hat. Beside me in the casket is to be my favorite flyrod and reel along with a simple flybox ( I don’t expect to need more than a few old faithful patterns… Adams, EHC, Royal Wulff, BWO’s, PT and GRHE nymphs) For the viewing… she is to put a sign in the casket saying ” Gone Fish’n to the Great Trout Stream in the Sky” No need for a net, creel or tippet stronger than 5X… I figure it’s most likely catch and release in heaven anyhow.

    Sounds silly but you only live… and die once… and I always remeber my bof scout motto.. “Be Prepared”.

  • Stuart B

    Alistair ..Would you like to have a memorial to you like the one at Abington to The Abington Postmaster …can’t find a link or remember his name .

  • Troutbum – and where exactly will your resting place be?

    StuartB – I heard of that actually – very moving – If I find a link I will post it!

    ps. I have recently acquired the need for a shovel – anyone got one?

  • Andy C

    iv said it be4 if i kick the bait bucket i will still b goin in2 the kelvin. am not thinkin aboot rat piss coz i will b deed said 2 the missis just fling me in the river 2 me is the best and propper thing 2 doo with me iv nearly met the big guy in the sky twice b4 and im no scared ano i will b in the hart of glasgow and in the piss and shit of the kelly. well it will just b like being in the toon on a friday night

  • Alistair

    The northern monkey and i scattered his brothers ashes at harpers ferry (where virginia and maryland meet).
    It was a stunning afternoon, a freind who conducts native american ceremonys sang and shook a rattle.
    It was very moving we cried like little kids.
    a few hundred yards away guys were casting into riffles, i kept wishing i’d brought a rod with me.
    As we cast Stuee’s ashes to the waters a wind picked up and i was washing his remains out of my ears for days.
    Spooky, healing, hilarious
    SBW

  • theavonangler

    Alistair,
    I hope I dont put anybody off fishing here but we scattered my brothers ashes on the upstream side of the Wolf Clyde bridge on the Clyde just outside Biggar. My brother wasn’t an angler but we had swam in the river here when we were boys and it has always been a special place to us.
    I think when I go I will join him there.

  • Quite a morbid post Alistair-however,undecided as i am as to what river i would like to take lifes last swim in,it would be a choice of three for different reasons.The tummel,the lyon or the kelvin at the tree pool!