Friday, January 23, 2009

Salmon Fishing Scotland 2009 Tay Opening Day.

Salmon Fishing Scotland 2009 Tay Opening Day.

This is the report for SILVER WILKIE to appear in todays (23/01/2009) press on the Opening day celebrations and the presentation of the Redford Trophy.

AN EPIC battle with a powerful springer won Perthshire farmer William Manning the coveted Redford Trophy for the heaviest salmon from the Tay on opening day.

William, from Enochdhu, was blessed with a bit of beginner’s luck when he stepped into the boat at the Islamouth beat for what was just his second ever day’s salmon fishing.

The beat was full of kelts jumping around all over the place, and on ghillie Ally Scott’s advice William, 36, put on a yellow and green Rapala.

He was soon into a kelt or two giving him the feel for playing a salmon.

The real challenge came when a much more powerful fish grabbed the lure in the middle of the river.

As ghillie Ally manoeuvred the boat back to the bank the salmon unexpectedly dashed towards the bank upstream of them.

William had to frantically wind in to keep in touch with the fish, and no sooner had he done that than it made a high speed rush downstream and then sped towards the boat.

Again William had to wind in like mad to keep in touch with the fish, but unfortunately as it came under the boat the line wrapped round the outboard engine prop and two rods which were sticking out of the stern.

Amazingly it came to rest right under the boat. A shake of the head or another run would have resulted in a break or even smashed rods.

The salmon fortunately just sat in the current allowing Ally to patiently unwind the line from the prop and the two rods.

Soon after the fish was brought to the net.

Fortunately William’s luck was to hold out. Unknown to anyone, the hook-hold had been considerably weakened by the salmon’s epic fight and just as it slipped into the net the hook slipped out.

It turned out to be a spanking, fresh run springer, the sea lice just off it’s back.

After the fish was weighed in at 14 ½ lb and photographed, William, abiding by rules which dictate that every first fish should go back, released the salmon carefully back into the Tay.

His boat partner Robert Jamieson, of Crockart’s fishing tackle shop in Blairgowrie, was delighted, because he administers the coveted Redford Trophy for the heaviest fish caught from the river on opening day and was proud to witness the capture.

Robert also landed an eight pounder on the same day.

Congratulations William. You will shortly be receiving your fantastic rod and reel tackle prize from top tackle maker, Daiwa, our Fish of the Week sponsor.

In addition William will receive a £250 tackle voucher from Crockart’s, and a day’s fishing for himself and a friend courtesy of Stanley Fishings.

The Redford Trophy will be presented to him at the annual Tay Conservation dinner at Ballathie House Hotel on June 11.

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