Opening of the Year 2000 Salmon Season
The official opening of the
River Tay salmon season took place on January
15th In Kenmore. To mark the millennium season
over 500 anglers and visitors congregated in the
Kenmore village square. This years celebrations
were oiled by Dewars Whisky who kindly provided
many a dram to ensure that the day went with a
than the traditional single piper we went the
whole hog this year and were royally entertained
by the Tayside Police Pipe Band. After a few words
the procession made its way to the river bank
where the traditional toast was given by casting
a quaich of whisky over the boats. The Blessing
was given by Mr Paul Young, who was somewhat disturbed
by the potential loss of so much good drink, but
having tested the bottle for quality was eventually
persuaded to launch some over the boat! Rob Wainright
and his kids joined us in the boat. Then the fun
tradition Taymouth Castle Estate allows public
fishing on the Kernmore and Castle Beats.
Instead of charging for permits each angler is
asked to make a donation to The Tay Foundation.
This year anglers donated over £400 in "permits".
turned out to be quite amusing since the parade
was greeted by a small demonstration from the
Tay Access Group and SCAPA who were protesting
about the lack of public angling. Still their
forlorn protest was good natured and the anglers
invited the four protestors to join in with some
of the Dewars drams and the Kenmore Hotel sent
them over bacon rolls! It was quite a funny sight
to see a banner on the bridge asking for public
angling while 50-60 salmon anglers lined the Hotel
pool every yard or so. You just can't please some
was not long before fish were taken - but all
those from Kenmore turned out to be kelts - which
of course have to be retuned. Jim Mundell who
won last years trophy thought he had done it again
when he hooked into another big fish - but this
too turned out to be a kelt of 26lb. We would
all like to have seen that one in its prime. Very
few fish indeed were reported during the day.
Mr Davidison fishing with Colin Wilkie from Dunkeld
House Hotel took clean fish of 17lb and was in
the running for the prizes for most of the day.
Only a late report from the Loch beat it.
Mr Harry Camp of Shotts a loch regular fishing
with a huge orange rapala took a fish of a
lifetime a 27.5lb silver cock fish. The fish
took on the north shore of Loch Tay which
is quite unusual for a central beat - most
boats tend to concentrate on the south shore.
Harry reported that his boat partners (John
Weir and John McGowan) had trouble getting
it into their oversized landing net. The fish
was a real slab - incredibly deep of body.
Bob McIntyre the local Ghille refused to believe
it weighed so much until Peter Backhouse the
chef at the Kenmore Hotel weighed it on good
scales. The fish had another interesting feature
- a mark on its body thought to have been
caused by a lamprey. Dr David Summers estimated
it to be a 3SW fish by reading its scales.
Many anglers agreed that it was one of the
best looking fish for a decade.
back at Kenmore guests were still having a good
time. Our sponsors from Hello Magazine tried their
best to get a fish, but by lunchtime we were glad
for a break and headed to the Clubhouse where
a hot buffet awaited us. Then it was back into
the Landrover Discoveries on loan from Tay Landrovers
for a last chance. Ally Gowan's spent much of
the day on the Chinese demonstrating the latest
range of fly rods from Normark (check them out
there are peaches). Thanks are also due to Charlie
Pirrie and his crew of Ghillies from Atholl Estate
as well as Colin Pringle from Upper Floors who
ghillied for guests on the day.
new owners of the Kenmore Hotel John Hiroz and
Malcolm Flynn entertained the invited guests in
grand fashion at the gala
ball that evening. Over the winter the Kenmore
Hotel has been undergoing major refurbishment.
All the rooms have been redecorated and a new
dining room is under construction. It gave us
all great pleasure to see the Hotel beeing returned
to its glory days. Guests were particularly complementary
of the evenings fare. The traditional rendition
was given to the haggis.
After dinner an auction was
held on behalf of the Tay Foundation. Over
£16,000 was raised! As well as the
kelt reconditioning and broodstock programme at
Almondbank the Foundation also hopes to assist
work on the Lochay.
Advice has also been given on how
beats can collect fish for use as future broodstock.
agreed that, by far the best speech was made by
Harry Camp the captor. Harry reminded us that
the next time one goes fishing on opening day
- remember to pack a dinner jacket and black tie
and to carry at least £100 in your pocket
just in case you catch the biggest fish!