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)