Megan Boyd

by Derek Mills

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The Story of a Salmon Flydresser

Megan Boyd is considered to have been one of the world's finest salmon flytyers and she is the subject of the film 'Kiss the Water'.

She was born in 1915, and was brought up in the Highlands of Scotland where her father was a bailiff on the River Brora.

She began taking flytying lessons at the age of twelve and soon gained a reputation for tying beautiful feather-wing flies which were extra-ordinarily durable and lasted many seasons.

In 1935, at the age of twenty, Megan left home and moved into a small cottage near Brora where she lived without electricity or running water until the 1980s. Visiting anglers from all over the world who came to fish the Highland rivers for salmon would stop by her cottage to watch her tie flies and place orders.


14 Black & white photographs, 34 Colour photographs


Sep 01, 2016


About the Author:

Derek Mills was involved in fisheries research and teaching for over 60 years. Following eight years running a salmon research scheme on the river Conon basin, he was awarded a Ph.D. by London University and in 1965 was appointed to the staff of Edinburgh University.

He was the former Chairman of the scientific research committee of the Atlantic Salmon Trust, chairman of the Scottish Branch of the Institute of Fisheries Management, a trustee of the Tweed Foundation and a Tweed Commissioner. For his extensive salmon research, he was awarded a D.Sc. by the University of Edinburgh.

He died in January 2018 at his home in Melrose in the Scottish Borders.

Jimmy Younger started as an apprentice flydresser in Kelso in 1955, later working for other companies until he helped set up a flydressing company ‘Sutherland Fly’ in Helmsdale and became the manager/tutor.

In 1969 he won The Professional Class of the Fly Dressers Guild competition and set up a flydressing enterprise in Hong Kong where he and his wife stayed for six years before returning to Sutherland. Here he started up his own company, Anglercraft, and met Megan Boyd as they were both flydressers. Shortly before Megan died she passed over all her flytying material, papers and documents to Jimmy.

Jimmy died in April 2017.