The official opening ceremony of the River Tay salmon fishing season took place at Meikleour in Perthshire on Saturday.
The opening was hosted by Meikleour Fishings and the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board.
In contrast to previous years, the opening was not be a public affair, given Covid guidance. The event will be scaled-down and limited to some 36 pre-booked anglers together with a handful of Meikleour Estate and Board representatives in attendance.
The opening day honours were performed by actor and presenter Robson Green and actor Jim Murray. They will make the first casts of the season after popping a magnum of Pol Roger Champagne.
Speaking before the event, Toby Metcalfe, Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board convener, said: ‘Covid restrictions have prevented us from enjoying the usual completely relaxed and jovial opening day on the 15th but we are determined to make the most of the day. Gatherings for the time being may not be encouraged but fishing continues – indeed it is definitely encouraged as a safe socially -distanced outdoor activity.
‘We are delighted to welcome Robson Green and Jim Murray to fulfil the time-honoured opening day ceremonial tasks. To them and all anglers taking to the river, please enjoy the freedom and challenge of the day, tight lines and come back as often as you can.’
Robson Green added: ‘Jim Murray and I are greatly flattered and honoured to be asked to open the mighty River Tay this year. Whilst the Omicron variant prevents us from fully getting on with normal life, fishing remains a healthy, safe and socially-distanced sport in the great outdoors. The opening on the 15th will be a real celebration of this famous and mighty salmon river that is loved all over the world.’
A procession of anglers were led to the river by single piper, Ian Duncan, Pipe Major of the Atholl Highlanders. The traditional blessing (with a silver quaich of Glenturret Single Malt whisky) of the boat was followed by the first casts of the year by the guests of honour.
The Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board is the statutory body responsible for the protection, preservation and development of salmon and sea trout fisheries in the Tay system.
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