Sunday, November 29, 2009

Flora and Fauna of Regency Britain

by Michele Ann Young

The streams and rivers of Scotland team with Atlantic Salmon. The reason I have chosen to talk about this in November is that it is in late November when the female lays her eggs.

Up until then, salmon fishing is a prevalent in Scotland. As is it is in many countries with coast lines on the Atlantic.

Various forms of salmon preservation was used in the 18th century and salmon was transported to London in boats called smacks. If the weather was cold and the ship fast, then they might even be shipped fresh.

In 1786, and enterprising supplier sent salmon to London packed in ice from the Spey. This proved to be an instant success.

Ice houses were built to store ice all over the place.

Now those of you have followed some of my nonsense know I collect ice houses. So here is another one to add to my collection.

This one is situated at Tentsmuir Point near Tayport.


In the 1800's and before, highlanders in the Glens speared Salmon. At that time it was a legal form of fishing.

Here is a picture of spearing at night. They called it burning. When they speared in the day, they called it sunning.

Commercial fishing took place in the estuaries with various forms of nets and small boats called cobles or stake nets set in the ground.

Fly fishing or angling was a fairly new way of catching fish at the beginning of the 1800's, but soon caught on amongst the gentlemen around our period.

Much of the salmon these days is farmed, but if you are like me and love salmon in its many forms from sushi to smoked, then I think you know why it has always been popular.

That's it from me. Until next time. Happy rambles.