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Opening Day 1999

The official opening ceremony for the salmon fishing season on the River Tay is held in Kenmore on January 15th each year. There has been an opening party in Kenmore since the turn of the century. The event always has a good following. In 1999 there were over 300 people present as well as radio and TV crews. The event is now sponsored by "Hello!" Magazine with assistance from "Mitchells of Pitlochry", "Normark" "Westcars" and "Dewars".


Opening Ceremony

Festivities began at 9.00 am with a gathering of rods in the square and the Boars Head. A good few drams were passed out courtesy of Dewars so as to ensure that the day went with a swing.

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Anglers then assembled in the village square and a few words of wisdom given by Mr Mike Smith from the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board


Dewars kindly provided a few drams to wet our appetites.


At 9.30 the piper then lead the procession to the river bank. The traditional blessing was then given by casting a quaich of whisky over the boat. Some anglers consider this a waste, but this year the salmon seemed to appreciate it! The ceremony was conducted by Rob Wainwright of Scotland Rugby Union fame.



Rods were then invited to fish the Kenmore, Point and Bolfracks Beats. To accommodate the large number of rods on opening day, and to give everyone a cast, fishing is according to gentleman's rules. Rods are asked to leave a good space between themselves and to take two steps between casts, joining a pool at the head.

More fishing pictures.


Kenmore Trophy

The Kenmore Trophy is awarded to the angler who takes the largest bag (greatest weight) of salmon on the Opening Day anywhere on the Tay System.

In 1999 the trophy was won by Mr Jim Mundell who took a fine fish of 17lb 4oz. Jim caught the fish on a zebra toby with his second cast. Jim had already decided to return any fish he caught, but was persuaded by the crowd to keep it as it was the first fish of the day - and it was on telly! Some anglers questioned the freshness of the fish, but subsequent scale analysis showed that it was indeed a good clean spring fish, having been in the water for some 6 weeks. The lucky angler received £500 of tackle from Mitchells of Pitlochry whilst the ghillie received a gallon of whisky from Dewars. Congratulations to Jim who is pictured left with Barbara McTaggart.


Water conditions on the rest of the river were high and coloured. Most beats gave up fishing by midday. But, at Kenmore fishing continued until dark The Hello! party must be congratulated for their persistence and commiserations to Nick Baird who lost another good fish on the Ford and to Forest Dixon who also lost a smaller fish on the Hotel Pool. For the record only one other fish was reported on opening day, a 16.5 lber from Stobhall caught by Mr Jim Millar.


Activities during the Day

During the day there was a tackle exhibition in the Reading Rooms in the Square. Ally Gowans demonstrated the new range of Normark rods on the Chinese pool.


Evening Events

In the evening there was a firework display and a choir outside the Kenmore Hotel, followed by a gala dinner at the Kenmore Hotel attended by dignitaries, celebrities and local folks celebrating in the normal Scottish fashion!


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