Originally Posted by JDJones
Yes,,,that is exactly
It's more fun that way.
Still trying to figure out whether a "Willie Gunn" was originated by Malcolm,,,or is it tied to imitate (look like) him?
The Willie Gunn Story
Willie Gunn gave his name to one of the most successful patterns of Scottish salmon fly ever devised, the fame of which has spread throughout the world.
The pattern was designed to imitate a hair-wing version of a fully dressed Thunder & Lightning and the originator of the pattern was an RAF officer, Flight Lieutenant “Dusty” Miller, who was based at Kinloss in Morayshire.
Miller dressed salmon flies for Rob Wilson, of Brora. The two men were anxious to rationalise the large number of hair-wing patterns then (the late 1940s) beginning to appear in an ever-increasing range of shapes and sizes.
Miller produced 25 patterns that he sent to Rob for approval. Rob was examining the flies in his shop one morning when Willie Gunn called to buy a few flies for a day’s sport on the River Brora.
“By gum,” Willie said to Wilson, pointing to one of the flies, “that looks bonny. If I had a choice, that’s the one I would use.” “Well,” said Rob, “you must have it and we will name the fly the Willie Gunn.”
During the course of his day’s fishing Willie caught six salmon on the fly and on the following day a further four. News of the “miracle” fly spread throughout the north and within a short space of time the fly had established itself as a principal weapon in the salmon angler’s armoury.
Willie Gunn was born in the township of Skerray on the wild north coast of Sutherland where his father was a crofter and fisherman. He started work with the Forestry Commission in the Borgie Forest in 1929.
After trying his hand at farming, which he did not like, Willie found employment as a keeper, gillie and stalker with the Sutherland Estates where he spent the rest of his working life.
It was whilst Willie was based at Loch Choire, on the south side of Ben Klibreck, that he caught his first salmon. The fish was taken from the River Mallart, a tributary of the River Naver, and it weighed 161b. The largest fish he landed was a magnificent specimen of 281b that he caught in the Bengie Pool of the Brora.
Willie’s salmon fishing technique was based upon precision. He never fished out a bad cast. If the first cast was wrong, he immediately corrected it and began again. He was always more concerned about covering known salmon lies effectively rather than following the ethos of the “chuck-it-and-chance it” brigade.
Willie was a good friend and companion: reserved, gentle, courteous and kindly. Generations of salmon anglers began their career under his careful guidance and he was one of the most respected members of the small Highland community in which he lived.
This is illustrated by a story told by Rob Wilson. Wilson had been given a day on the Brora and when he arrived he noticed Gunn sitting by the stream, apparently without a rod. Wilson fished the pool and then wandered over to speak to his friend. “Aye, Willie, grand day.”
Willie replied politely and then mentioned that Wilson had been fishing the wrong bank; he should have been fishing the south bank, the north bank being reserved that day for Gunn’s own use. On many Highland rivers, to fish someone else’s water, inadvertently or not, is nothing short of a hanging offence.
Mortified, Rob asked Willie why he had not stopped him, before he had started to fish down Gunn’s pool: “That would never do,” replied Willie, “I did not want to spoil your enjoyment.” The matter was never mentioned again.