Friday, 1 February 2013

River Dee Opening Ceremony 2013

The 1st of February is always one of my favourite days of the year. It's always a day you look forward to during the cold winter months whilst you're tying up next seasons flies or tidying the tackle cupboard for the third time! It's also a day that many salmon anglers up and down the country dust off the cobwebs and put their new tackle to the test hoping to land the most prized fish of all, an opening day springer.

Today, I attended the annual River Dee opening ceremony which was held on the Ballogie Estate at Potarch Bridge. It was pouring with rain for a period of the morning but it didn't (pardon the pun) put a dampener on the proceedings. A good audience assembled in the marquee were on hand to sample the refreshments laid on once again by the staff of the lovely Potarch Hotel and Scotch whiskey supplied by Dalmore.

2013 is the 150th anniversary of the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board and the honour of the "First Cast" was given to elder statesman of the Dee and founding member of the Aberdeen & District Angling Association, Alistair Hume. Over the past 60 odd years, Alistair has put in 1000s of hours into conservation and well being of our rivers and all that swim them. Not just locally but nationally. He has probably been a board member of every major organisation associated with salmon conservation or angling there is. A very humble man, but hugely respected all over the angling community for his tireless voluntary work. It was good to see the River Dee give Alistair the recognition and acknowledgement he deserves for all the work he has done for the river over the years. Passionate and dedicated men like Alistair don't come around too often these days.

Here are a few pictures from the 2013 River Dee opening ceremony.

 River Dee Director Mark Bilsby (left) and Chairman Ian Scott (centre) listen in as Alistair Hume (right) addresses the audience shortly before toasting the river.

Alistair Hume gets ready to bless the river with a quaich of Dalmore Dee Dram to officially open the salmon fishing season.
Ballogie head Ghillie Sean Stanton shares a joke with the crowd as Alistair Hume delivers the ceremonial first cast of the 2013 salmon fishing season.

Legendary River Dee ghillie Ian Murray of the beautiful Monaltrie & Lower Invercauld beat discussing the forthcoming season.

Angling celebrity Matt Hayes chats with Dave Gordon of DiverDave's Wader Repairs.

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