The River Spey Salmon Fishing season was officially opened today at the Penny Bridge in Aberlour.
The presenter for the BBC’s ‘Landward’ series, Euan McIlwraith, was on hand to perform the much anticipated opening ceremony.
Mr McIlwraith, who is also the presenter of BBC Radio Scotland’s ‘Out of Doors’, opened the season in the traditional fashion by pouring an entire bottle of Aberlour 12-year-old Single Malt into the fast-flowing river – a toast to bring luck to those in pursuit of the elusive Spring Salmon.
Also attending the opening ceremony was Reverend Shuna Dicks, the Minister for Aberlour and Craigellachie, who blessed the river while Alan Sinclair played the pipes.
To help celebrate the start of the 2014 season, drams of Aberlour Single Malt and samples of Walkers Shortbread biscuits were offered during the opening ceremony, by the Aberlour distillery and Walkers of Aberlour who sponsored the event.
It is hoped that the 2014 season will be an improvement on last year, when the final fishing report for the Spey was summarised as “could have been better”.
Reported catches of Salmon and Grilse to the end of the February to September 2013 season was 5780 – a fall from the 7490 caught for the same period in 2012.
An upside of the 2013 season was that anglers returned more fish to the river than ever before, with 88% of the fish caught being released – an increase of 85% on the previous year.