A Dumbarton man has poured his love for fishing and Loch Lomond into a new book which gives an insight into the loch’s remarkable angling history over the last century.

“Angling Loch Lomond and its Rivers” by Richard “Dick” Dickson chronicles stories of its most famous anglers, and mentions some of its best characters, including no less than Billy Connolly, who fished there for a number of years.

The islands, which set it apart from other great lochs in Scotland are also individually described in detail, and in separate chapters Dick demonstrates his intimate knowledge of the three main fishing rivers – Leven, Endrick and Fruin.

The septuagenarian, who is originally from Clydebank, “migrated down river” to Dumbarton 40 years ago to “get a bit closer to the fishing” and has spent the past four years working on the book – something he never thought he would do.

He told the Reporter: “My mother was the librarian in Clydebank library for 40 years and she gave me my love of books.

“I had never really thought about writing a book myself, but when I started to write columns on angling for the Trout and Salmon magazine, I was encouraged by others to do so.

“I’ve kept it quiet because quite a lot of people start to write a book and don’t finish. I think it’s pretty good in terms of the narrative and it has a lot of stuff even non-anglers will find quite interesting.

“I talk about the characters you meet on the river and the loch, even the great Billy Connolly. I used to see him standing in a wee pub in Drymen, holding court surrounded by other anglers.”

Dick started fishing at just seven years old with his father, who worked in John Browns shipyard for 40 years, and by the time he left school at 15 to start a five year apprenticeship in construction, he was fortunate enough to have fished with his dad and younger brother Davie in many beautiful locations throughout Scotland.

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After working as a foreman, he left to teach his trade to apprentices in colleges of further education, such as Clydebank College, where he was a senior lecturer for over 20 years.

For two decades, he was also a bench serving Justice of the Peace in Dumbarton District Court, eventually being elected chairman and training officer for the justices of the district.

But despite his busy working life, his love for fishing and for Loch Lomond endured, and to this day he never tires of going out for a day on its waters or the rivers which feed it.

Indeed, the Loch made such an impression on Dick from an early that even recalls the first time he laid eyes on it at six years old after taking the steam train to the old Balloch Railway Station.

Later in life, after a fascinating angling apprenticeship, fishing all over Scotland, he became besotted with the Loch itself and then the rivers which flow in and out of it, and started to fish it seriously.

He added: “Loch Lomond is such a stunning place and you don’t really get to know it until you go out on it on a boat.

“Every outing is a bit of an adventure, particularly on the waters of the loch, more so than anywhere else I have fished.

“To me it is quite simply the best place in the world to be in or around.

“Angling is also extremely relaxing, hours pass like minutes and you just think about nothing else. The fresh air and the countryside are very therapeutic in every way."

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