I was away watching one of my boys playing in a rugby tour over the weekend in Southport and was having a great time until the phone went at 7.45am yesterday. My mate was in tears and was just able to tell me that his fishing lodge at his trout fishery had been burnt to the ground. the lodge is a Scandinavian log cabin and is actually a house for use by the members at the fishery. It sits in a remote location a mile or so away from the nearest back road.
All the fishing tackle stored in it has gone as well. Including 3 rods and reels of mine. That however is not the worst of it. His huge trout fishing bag was there and it contained every single piece of kit he owns and has been built up over 40 years of fishing. There would have been over 5000 flies in it, 10 reels or so including some left to him by his grandfather.
In total there was probably 30 rods and reels, 4 outboard electric engines, a brand new Yamaha petrol engine, literally tens of thousands of flies and pike lures, spools of braided line, nylon, binoculars, clothing, waders, original pieces of fishing artwork, a cast of his biggest barracuda from Florida, Sika stag heads and the thing he mentioned first was his sons catch and release sailfish certificate he earned when only 13. There was also over 100 bottles of malt Whisky upstairs in a wee lounge area, mainly gifts from the members on each opening day.
The insurance will obviously cover it but the lodge and it's contents were his life.
The fire service and police are still trying to establish if it was started deliberately. The power is off a generator so it is difficult to grasp how it could have started any other way but originally thought it may have been started at the front door. The onlybheatsource inside is a log burning stove which had been on the previous day but the fire started at 0630 the following morning.
The lodge is remote but there are 2 gamekeepers and a farmer on the estate so always someone on the go. The problem he has is the loch is a popular place for walkers to go by and he often has to chase them off his veranda having their sandwiches! He is also plagued with them askingbtonuse the toilet, and setting up camp on his lawn and car park. he has chased poachers, who more often than not are Polish, who claim they did not know it was private. Sometimes his patience gets the better of him and the politeness in asking them to leave is not there, after 30 years of grief from them. He is now wondering if someone he has upset has returned to do this.
You can see the lodge and where it sits on his site, Portmore Private Fishing Syndicate
I have not been up to see it yet but it is now apparantly just a pile of black ash.
Anyway, I hope he does not walk away from it all now which is what he is threatening to do. His dad had it before him and he broke down in tears when he heard the news after 30 years in the family.
Edited to add:
I just clicked on that link just now to look at the lodge and incredible to think how many hours and days we have spent on its steps drinking coffee and putting the world to rights, and now gone...
He says even if it is rebuilt every night thereafter he will lie in his bed worrying it will happen again. You can see how it was and how passionate he is about the place in the video clip.