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The Opening of the salmon fishing season took place on January 15th at Kenmore. Inspite of the fact that it was a bitterly cold morning (-9) a great crowd assembled in the square. One major attraction was that this years event was kindly sponsored by Dewars Whisky. The water of life flowed freely!


Andrew Cairns (Chairman of the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board) made a short speech. This was largely a plea to anglers to show restraint and to adopt a strict policy of catch and release, especially for Spring fish. The Tay's record has not been brilliant in the past (10% of fish being returned). The Board now recommends that anglers put back their first fish.


The procession was lead by Ian Botham. Ian was under a certain amount of pressure due to newspaper reports regarding his private life. We were grateful to Ian for fulfilling his public duties under difficult circumstances, and even more grateful for the storm of press coverage it generated for the event!

The blessing of the boats took place around 10am and ten it was off for cast. Anglers were invited to fish the Kenmore and Castle beats in return for a £15 donation to the Tay Ghillies Association hatchery project. Over £400 was raised in permits.

Ian then joined us in the boat for a quick harl round the Hotel Pool. Ian is a keen angler and throughout the morning showed a sound knowledge of both fishing and the conservation issues. Hopefully he will be able to come back in better circumstances.

It was not long before the Board's new catch and release recommendations were put to the test. Bob Brownless of Country Pursuits took a fine fresh fish of around 18lb, which was immediately returned, much to the delight of the Grampian TV crew who caught it all on film and to the great relief of the many officials in the crowd! Well done Bob!

The day saw good numbers of kelts and a few fresh fish. We received reports of some 8 fish taken from the system and there were many more we did not hear about. All agreed that there seemed to be a better stamp of fish about this year.

In the evening the gala diner was hosted in excellent fashion by the Kenmore Hotel, who provided a great repast. Prizes (gallons of whisky from Dewars) were awarded for the best fish of the day and Normark Rapala also donated fishing tackle to the lucky winners.

All in all it was a great day, inspite of the cold, which gave a fairy tale feel to this years event.


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