A cold and frosty start to the day didn’t dampen enthusiasm and there was a very good turnout for the official opening of the River Spey in Aberlour this morning.
The opening ceremony began with the piper crossing the river on the suspension bridge – he made a fine sight in the early morning sunshine.
What better way to herald the start of the new season than with a piper crossing the river. Alan Sinclair fulfilled the honour in his usual excellent way.
Roger Knight,Spey Fishery Board Director, welcomed all to the river before asking Rev Bob Anderson from Rothes to say a few words.
Roger Knight introducing the Rev Bob Anderson. The minister quoted a very apt passage about the Lord appearing on the riverbank and advising his disciples where to cast their nets, with great success of course. The further comparison between the Lord himself and Spey ghillies was also very apt!
The Guest speaker was Duncan Bryden, Chairperson of the Cairngorms National Park Authority. Amongst many other roles Duncan teaches tourism management at post graduate level and he left us all in no doubt about the importance of the river to the local economy. His awareness of the importance of the environment within the National Park to the River Spey and the challenges faced were clear to all.
Duncan Bryden, Chair of the Cairngorm National Park Authority delivering the opening address
The river officially opens with the winner of the prize for the first fish of the season in 2014 pouring a bottle of whisky into the river. This year that honour fell to Anne Cameron.
Anne Cameron, the winner of the prize for the first fish of the 2014 season with a glint in her eye as she awaits her opportunity to officially open the river by pouring the sacrificial bottle of Aberlour whisky into the river. We are extremely grateful to Aberlour Distillery and Walkers shortbread for their generous sponsorship of the opening ceremony
Anne didn’t hold back with the whisky blessing to the accompaniment of the pipes
Some of the crowd gathered for the opening
Four chilly anglers awaiting the chance to get fishing. Local butcher and angling guide Jock Maclennan on the right.
The Delfur ghillies enjoyed being able to attend the opening ceremony and watch one of their 2014 opening day rods officially open the river. Ian Gordon and Malcolm Newbould complete the gathering
James Chalmers, Gaelforce Flyfishing (left), and Mike Murdoch, Laggan ghillie
River Spey Anglers Association Chairperson Craig Mackay on the left, and other members enjoying the traditional opening day diet of whisky and shortbread
Opening day fishers. Aberlour Angling Club on this bank and Lower Wester Elchies on the left bank. It was a chilly start but by 10am the temperature was rising quickly in the winter sunshine. The river was in excellent ply so hopefully there will be a few fish caught on the opening day.