Bagpipes and Fish Basket

[Crest of Clansfolk of Clan Sinclair] Crest of Clansfolk of Clan Sinclair
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Special scientific uses are being discovered for many things nowadays. It is stated that the sound of the bagpipes drives away mosquitos. Whether the sound may also attract the fish does not as yet seem to have determined, but as the Prince of Wales is said to be learning to play the pipes, perhaps he may discover something further. If a man could only play the pipes and handle his rod and line at the same time, wouldn't it be heavenly! -- Annapolis Royal Spectator.

We are prepared to add a wealth of information to the foregoing as a result of the visit to our town on Tuesday last of Stipendiary Magistrate Sinclair of New Glasgow. Addressing a select coterie of anglers at the Pictou Club on Tuesday, Magistrate Sinclair stated that he had discovered a new use for the bagpipe.

On a salmon fishing trip to the St. Mary's River a week or so ago, he had taken along with him his son John, an enthusiastic skirler on the pipes. As the party was casting along the stream without a sign of a rise, Piper John suddenly appeared and, as he walked along the river to watch the efforts of the anglers, he commenced to play on the pipes that good old Jacobean tune, "The Mucking of Geordie's Byre."

Within three minutes there were three separate strikes and three fine salmon were hooked. They fought savagely and it looked as if they would get away, until the piper, keenly interested in the efforts of his friends to land the fish, laid aside the pipes to lend assistance. With the stopping of the pipes, the fish ceased to struggle and were landed safely and in good time.

Thinking that the whole affair might have been a coincidence, the magistrate had John try the pipes the next day. . For some time, there was no apparent result, until the magistrate asked his son to play the same tune as he had played the day before, when immediately the same result was obtained. There were four fishing this time and within a minute or two there were four strikes. . Again, it looked as if the fish would get away and this time the magistrate urged his son to cease playing, and the fish again calmed down and again were landed.

"That proved there was more than a coincidence," said the magistrate. "It was cause and effect. Play the proper tune on the pipes and you will hook the salmon every time, but don't keep the tune up or the salmon will become so enraged that they will head straight for the sea and nothing will stop them this side of the Atlantic."

In Halifax and elsewhere throughout Nova Scotia, they are offering valuable prizes for the largest trout and salmon caught by rod and line. These contests seem worthy of encouragement, but we think that a special medal should be struck for Magistrate Sinclair to mark the wonderful discovery he has made in the use of the bagpipes as an added lure in salmon fishing.

A clipping from the Pictou Advocate; no date given.
Found in the papers of The Revd. MacLean Sinclair.

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