Willie Liston was a fisherman from Newhaven on the shores of the River Forth, to the north of Edinburgh. The Newhaven fishermen were well known for their skill and courage. They fished for herring, haddock and cod from small open boats, both close to the land and some miles out and up the north-east coast. They also dredged for oysters in the Forth. Liston is here shown 'redding', or preparing the line. In the 1840s, when this photograph was taken, hardship was part of life, but it was possible to make a good living fishing all year round.