New Year and New Salmon Season

Mark Cockburn looking at the Redford Trophy River TayAs I sit writing the first blog of the new year the weather is absolutely freezing and feels like a ‘proper winter’! That said, we have had hurricane winds, pouring rain and even some sunshine in amongst it all. What I hope is that this ‘proper’ winter will leads us into a year where we will have the weather gods blessing us and see some decent catches across the country!

I was lucky enough to join owners, anglers and the Tay Board at Dunkeld on the 15th of January for the Tay opening day celebrations. A bit of a wild day, with high water, but the energy and optimism I felt from all was really encouraging and great to get the season up and running. I was also lucky to be in the hut Dunkeld Fishing at close of play to see the Redford Trophy awarded to Willie Cummings, a regular Dunkeld angler who fishes the beat a fair bit during the year. This is the second year running that Dunkeld Fishing have won the coveted trophy. Well done to Simon and Gordon who successfully ghillied all day in pretty demanding conditions and landed not just Willie’s fish but another Springer at 10lb too!

Good luck to Colin Mcfadyen who has returned to Dalmarnock for the new season and what a start! The first fish not just caught on the Tay but my reckoning the whole of Scotland pipping all the other rivers who had opened earlier to the honour! Well done to Mrs Sam Datta who caught the fish – a great start to the new season and hopefully many more to follow.

My thoughts are already turning to other rivers who are soon to open their season too. The Tweed and Dee will kick off their season on Monday 2nd of February this year. The Tweed will see many a beat up and down the river have their individual opening day celebrations as anglers fight it out for the Tweedside Tackle Trophy awarded for the largest fish caught on opening day. Always a good idea if you are in the area to join in the fun at the Tweedside tackle shop in Kelso at close of play on opening day as the magnificent trophy is awarded. Lots of really reasonably priced fishing to be had which you can have a look at by following this link FIND FISHING.

River Dee opening dayThe Dee opening will again be held at Potarch Bridge which is a fantastic backdrop to all the proceedings. The opening event on the Dee is always well attended and great to be a part of this fun if you are able to come along for a coffee and a bacon roll. The river, I hear, is in good condition and with a significant amount of snow on the Cairngorms, this bears well for a decent start their spring fishing. The Dee too have some really reasonably priced fishing if you fancy an early cast – follow this link to find out more FIND FISHING.

I think one of the most amazing observations I will share with you all as we head into 2015 is that we have just had a record month of bookings in December helping anglers arrange their fishing trips in 2015. With 2014 being such a tough year everywhere, I had wondered if anglers would be as keen to book up their fishing in 2015 as in previous years. I was reminded again that fishing trips are more than just about catching fish. It’s the craic on the river bank, the banter with the ghillie and memories that you will talk about with your friends for years to come, no matter what the weather and fishing conditions are like. We are certainly an optimistic bunch us anglers but I really do hope that we do have a great year of catches to add to those stories – we are certainly due one!!

I am sure you, like me, have been keeping an eye on the river levels over the las few months and no doubt as the start of the season gets closer you’ll be back into old habits of making sure you check river levels on a daily basis, and soon adding a quick look at reported catches! I can tell by our site statistics that we have a huge surge of people looking at the site first thing in the morning starting as early as 5am, no doubt doing what we all do and thats having a look to see what has happened the day before. As more and more rivers open these views will start to go through the roof as we individually head closer to that first trip of the new year. You can also keep in touch on the river bank or just on the move with what’s going on by having our FishPal APP on your phone – if you haven’t already done so, follow this link to find out how easy it is to download FISHPAL APP

fishpal-donation-2014-13-01-15-dA recent visit to meet up with Nick Yonge from the Tweed Foundation was particularly pleasing as I handed over a cheque to Nick for some £3,416. This money is donations from Tweed anglers who choose to make a donation at the time of making a booking. A fantastic way of helping support the work of the Foundation which is all about investing in the future of the river – well done to you all!

But it is not just the Tweed who receive cheques from us on anglers behalf. I have also sent cheques out to the River Boards on the Dee, Spey, Tay, Annan, Nith, Esk and many other smaller rivers too. Again, this is all thanks to you anglers making donations at the time you book your fishing and really is much appreciated from the rivers involved – it can only help!!

River reports and prospects will commence from the end of the first week of the rivers season opening and continue throughout the season. If you have a story to tell, a photo to share or just something that you think a fellow angler might be interested in then please do give Tom a ring at the office – always great to get news from the river and let everyone else know about it.

It only remains for me to with you a happy and prosperous 2015 season on which ever river you fish – we are due a good year as I said earlier and I am sure you like me, are hoping that 2015 is a season to remember.

Tight lines everybody

Mark

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