She said: “The day was mild and the midges were not too active. My fiancé had intended to start me off with a spinning rod. But when we arrived the water was too low so it was fly-fishing only. He tried to give me a few tips, but we fell out – as in learning to drive, never let your other half teach you to fish.
“He went off down stream and I cast out, very badly. Then on the sixth cast there was a bang on the end of the rod and I didn’t really know what to do. A man from across the river shouted, ‘Reel in!’.
“It was about three pounds, a nice sea trout. The man then shouted over again to ask what fly I was using. I told him it was black and hairy, not knowing its name. I was hooked and started to catch more fish than my husband. The marriage didn’t last, but I don’t think that was the reason.”
Now Lady MacGregor of MacGregor after her marriage to clan chief Sir Malcolm in 2005, she says Scotland’s rivers have the world’s best fishing.
She said: “I once caught a memorable salmon on the Border Esk in Dumfriesshire, a 14-and-a-half-pounder. Then I love spate rivers like the Findhorn. The water level goes up and down and when it is falling after a flood, you can have some really exciting days.
“I caught my first salmon on the River Cassley in Sutherland. It’s a mix of low and streamy and high and rocky. Plus it feels like God’s own country there. Mind, I also love fishing for trout on a Scottish loch. You can have some magical days out on a hill loch. No one can get to you. It’s really back to the wild.”