New Seasons are Up and Running

Mark Cockburn CEO FishPalAs I write this post all the main rivers in Scotland are now open with only a few smaller rivers still to go. In the space of literally a few weeks, rivers and beats have had their Opening Day celebrations and are now up and running for the season ahead.

The Helmsdale traditionally the first river in Scotland to open on the 11th of January was followed by the Tay on the 15th. Both rivers saw anglers coping with cold and extremely blustery conditions. Even though last season was tough, optimism was still high from those heading to the river, a trait I feel anglers possess above all others! No matter how bad things seem, there is always a buzz on Opening Day!

FishPal's CEO Mark Cockburn netting a customers fishThe Tyne at Bywell opened up for business on Sunday 1st of February, with an experienced party of guests from across the country, under the expert supervision of Gary Hillary and his team. The Tweed and Dee opened for business the next day on the 2nd of February. Conditions on Tweed were good for early February and there were many an angler out hoping to catch that first springer of the Tweed season.

The very cold conditions and grue in the river did not deter anglers from turning out in force to opening day on the River Dee. Great to hear such enthusiasm during the day – to get back “out on to the river” was a relief for many, even though temperatures were literally “baltic”. Anglers are; Optimistic – yes! Determined – yes! Enthusiastic – absolutely! We’re a hardy breed!!

Good to see fish being caught, not in great numbers. It does take a brave angler to spend a whole day on the river in early spring.

I too have been fortunate to get out of the office for a few days. Nothing fresh to report so far, other than well mended kelts which still give me a heart stopping moment when the fish connects with my fly and line screams off the reel.

Mark Cockburn, FishPal's CEO joins in opening day celebrations River Spey 2015The team in the office have been particularly busy helping anglers FIND FISHING on rivers across the country with some excellent availability so early on and prices from as little as £20 a day which surely must be tempting. I always think that to spend a day or two on a beat or river you haven’t yet managed to fish before at this time of year with prices so reasonable is an excellent way of you trying out somewhere new. Many a February angler will immediately look at what else might be available later in the year if they have enjoyed their day – a great strategy and even if you don’t last the day it makes for a good excuse to get some fresh air away from the normal routines!!

An early date for your March calendar. We are joining forces with the Tweed Foundation Seminar being held on the 25th of March at the Ednam House Hotel to present the winner of the FishPal Malloch Trophy their prestigious FishPal Malloch Trophyprize. Why not come and join in the fun, the seminar itself will be interesting concentrating this time on “ The Ups and Downs of Tweed Salmon” having previously held events looking at trout and sea trout. The winner of the 2014 FishPal Trophy caught the winning fish, a cracking springer, from Hendersyde on Tweed in April and a worthy winner and a fitting event to present the trophy!

Let’s hope we have a good season this year, we certainly could do with one. Remember that old famous saying “you need to have your fly in the water if you stand a chance of catching a fish” so get yourself out on the river soon and you just might strike it lucky!

Tight lines everybody and keep the photos coming please!
Mark Cockburn

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