Spey Opening 2005
Opening Day on the Spey 2005
On Friday 11th February, the opening ceremony for the River Spey Salmon fishing season was performed at the Spey Foot Bridge, Alice Littler Park, Aberlour.
This year Mr Bill Goodlad, winner of the Spey Quaich in 2004, performed the traditional opening ceremony, by pouring a generous dram (in fact a whole bottle!) of Glenfarclas Single Malt Scotch whisky into the fast flowing waters of the River Spey – a toast to bring luck to all those fishers in pursuit of that great fish!
To accompany this toast, Piper Sandy Gerrard played a lively tune or two, or knowing pipers as I do more likely a lament, and the Rev. Elizabeth Curran blessed the River.
A sight to make many a whisky connoisseur weep, but this Glenfarclas single malt is being put to good use, it's a special toast to tight lines as the salmon season begins on the River Spey.
Raising spirits was Bill Goodlad, winner of the prestigious Spey Quiach last year, which is awarded to the angler who catches the first fish of the day.
The Opening Competition: The Spey Quaich, sponsored by Glenfarclas Distillery, Ballindalloch, together with a bottle of Glenfarclas 30 year’s old single malt Scotch whisky and a Walkers of Aberlour hamper, was awarded to the angler who catches the first Salmon on the opening day. The ghillie in attendance receives a bottle of Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength single malt Scotch whisky, together with a Walkers hamper. To date I am unsure of the name of the winning angler but the fish was taken from the Brae water which is the fishing closest to the sea. One of two fish taken from there on opening day In recent times the fish have generally run straight through the Brae water, perhaps the old days are returning.
Fish were also caught from Orton, Aberlour Association Water and Knockando.
Around one hundred anglers braved cold temperatures and an early start to turn out for the opening ceremony, an indication of how popular the sport is in the area.
Fishing in Speyside generates around twelve million pounds a year for the local economy and sustains three hundred and sixty-seven jobs.
But a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to ensure stocks of this king of fish are plentiful in this part of the world.
For booking and availability please see www.fishspey.co.uk
(who are considering becoming sponsors)
Excellent report, and thank you! Your reports provide a priceless sense of appreciation and a connection to the origins of Spey fishing and salmon angling for who can't attend such celebrations in person, as much as we'd love to. Perhaps someday soon!
Mr. Willie Gunn,
Thanks indeed for your reports.
I am a bit of a map nut. Would there happen to be a good map of the Spey that shows all of the zones and or pools? I would love to be able to follow along one of your reports while looking at a map of the river and day dreaming of the day that I get to wet a line in the Spey.
The 2005 winner of the Glenfarclas Spey Quaich was Mr Ian Smith from Cromdale he was assisted by his ghille was Mr Colin Reid It weighed 9lbs and was caught using a 2 ¼’’ Willie Gunn Tube Fly. Along with the Quaich he also received a 30 Year Old Glenfarclas Single Malt Whisky and also a Walkers Hamper. Mr Colin Reid also received a bottle of Glenfarclas ‘105’ Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky and a Walkers Hamper for assisting Mr Smith land his catch.
Names as follows from left – right: Marjory Walker (Walkers of Aberlour), Ian Smith (Spey Quaich Winner), Ian McWilliam (Glenfarclas Distillery), Sandy Smith (Heaviest Salmon Winner).
The Heaviest Salmon was caught at 11.55 on the Phones Beat at Knockando. It weighed 14 lbs and was caught by Mr Sandy Smith who is a ghille at Knockando. Mr Smith has worked as a ghille at Knockando for over 36 years and he was delighted to have caught his fish using what he called an ‘Ian Nicoll Special’ tube fly,named after his close friend and gillie Ian Nicoll who died in June 2003. Mr Smith received a 10 Year Old Glenfarclas Single Malt Whisky and a Walkers Hamper. Mr Douglas Ross also received an 8 Year Old Bottle of Glenfarclas Single Malt Whisky and a Walkers Hamper for assisting Mr Smith with his catch.
It looks like those maps will do just fine.
[QUOTE=Willie Gunn]Opening Day on the Spey 2005
All quiet on the Spey??
Great report and pics of opening day but few reports since.
Too many kelts or the Amber nectar??
Spey beats do not give up their catch returns easily. If I was to tell you, I would probably have to shoot you afterwards.
About 14 that I have heard of, when some of the Fishspey beats get something there will be news.
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