Norman Macleod was born in the village of Coll and as a teenager moved to Stornoway where he attended The Nicholson Institute. After an apprenticeship served in the famous shipyard of John Brown and war service in the Merchant Navy he returned to his native island where he set up business as a partner in a firm of electrical contractors. With the establishment of a shop specialising in electrical and sports goods in the early fifties, the Sports Shop as it has been known to generations of Stornowegians was born.
It was here I bought my first rod and reel, both cheap Daiwas, and a copy of his guide to fishing brown trout in Lewis. Norman’s first-hand knowledge of the lochs he describes in his excellent book Trout Fishing In Lewis was based on his lifelong passion for angling. Not content with leaning back on his knowledge, he fished every loch in his book during the two years he spent compiling it. Such a meticulous approach to a job to be done was characteristic of the man.
My first copy is rag-eared and decrepit after being brought on fishing trips, washed out of tents and dropped in pools but my current and updated copy is faring well. Probably as I haven’t been out fishing in over a year. I’m looking forward to getting out again next week to the Lochs area (with a few pointers from Mike Reed of Island Flies’ pamphlet) for some Brownies and then on to Uig for more of the same (with a little inside knowledge from Simon Hunt at Uig & Hamanavay Estate).
I’ll be fishing a Grey’s Missionary 9’3 5/6 AFTM rod with floating line and 6ft taper and the new Grey’s Spinning rod with a simple bubble float, size 12 hook and a wriggly earthworm as bait.
Hopefully there will be some photos of the one’s that didn’t get away to follow.