Salmon Fishing Season Opening Day 2016

With the new season approaching, the Spey Fishery Board is full of optimism for another successful year following the much improved catch in 2015.  Last year’s grilse catch was the best since 2010, so the prospects are good for the 2016 spring/summer salmon run!

This year we are pleased to announce that Jimmy Gray MBE, has kindly agreed to open the river.  Jimmy was Superintendent of the Spey Fishery Board ftom 1978 until he retired in 2001.

The Annual Opening Day Ceremony will take place on Thursday 11th February 2016 at 9:00 am at Penny Bridge, Alice Littler Park in Aberlour with the traditional pouring of a bottle of Aberlour 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky into the River Spey.

To complete the ceremony, Rev. Shuna Dicks, Minister for Aberlour, will bless the river and Alan Sinclair will perform on the bagpipes.

Anglers are invited to attend the Opening Ceremony, before starting on their quest to catch the first Spring Salmon of the season.  To help celebrate the start of the 2016 season, drams of Aberlour 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, samples of Walkers Shortbread and hot drinks supplied by Le Petit Gourmand will be offered during the opening ceremony.  Everyone fishing on the 11th should be grateful to the Aberlour Distillery and Walkers for their continued generous sponsorship of this event and also to Le Petit Gourmand for their generous support.

The ‘Spey Anniversary Quaich’ will be awarded to the angler who catches the first salmon on Opening Day, together with an opportunity to hand-fill and register their personalised bottle of cask strength Aberlour Single Malt Scotch Whisky and a Walkers Shortbread hamper.  The angler who lands the heaviest salmon on Opening Day will receive a bottle of Aberlour A’Bunadh and a Walkers Shortbread hamper.  For the ghillies in attendance, each will receive a bottle of Aberlour 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky and a hamper.

Caroline Mitchell, Visitor Centres Manager for Chivas Brothers said, “We’re delighted to once again sponsor the opening of the River Spey salmon fishing season.  Both Aberlour Distillery and the River Spey have a long history of bringing investment and visitors to the town. Aberlour Distillery was established in 1879 by local philanthropist James Fleming, and we are proud of our strong heritage in Aberlour, where we continue to craft our world-renowned range of single malts to this day.  As with last year’s event, the opening ceremony will take place at the Penny Bridge – which is very fitting since this was also commissioned by Fleming as a gift to the town.”

Official Competition Rules

Fish must be caught by use of fly only, must be fresh run, released back to the river, and any catch must be verified by the ghillie in attendance.

Anniversary Quaich

Awarded to the angler who catches the first salmon on the opening day.

Heaviest Salmon

Awarded to the angler who catches the heaviest salmon. Please note the Heaviest Salmon prize cannot by won by the Anniversary Quaich winner.

If the Anniversary Quaich winner (first fish) is also the heaviest, then the heaviest prize would go to the second heaviest fish caught.

If there is only 1 fish caught on the opening day the heaviest fish prize would to the captor of the 2nd fish caught later in the week.

Registering Catch for prize

All catches must be reported to the Spey Fishery Board, 1 Nether Borlum, Knockando, AB38 7SD by 5:00pm on the Opening Day.  Telephone: 01340 810841.

The prizes will be awarded at the Visitor Centre, Aberlour Distillery at 5:30pm on Opening Day.

Aberlour Distillery LogoWalkers Shorbread logo

Le Petit Gourmand