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WATCH: River Deveron salmon season opened by former Scotland rugby player John Beattie


By Kyle Ritchie

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The 2024 River Deveron salmon season was officially opened by former Scotland rugby player John Beattie on Monday.

It is a landmark year for everyone associated with the river as it is the 100th anniversary of Mrs Clementina “Tiny” Morison landing the UK record fly caught salmon ,which weighed 61lbs, from the Deveron at Mountblairy.

The opening event was organised by the River Deveron District Salmon Fishery Board and The Deveron, Bogie and Isla Rivers Charitable Trust in association with The Deveron Single Malt Whisky (Bacardi).

The Morison Trophy and The McConnell Major Contribution Award were presented during the ceremony, which was held at the Turriff Angling Association lodge.

John Beattie handed over the Morison Trophy to Andrew MacGarvie, who secured the award by landing a 28lb salmon from Upper Netherdale.

Henderson’s Country Sports (Turriff) sponsored the salmon rod that was also presented to Mr MacGarvie for carefully releasing the winning salmon.

The McConnell Major Contribution Award was handed over to Marcus Walters.

Mr Beattie said: "I feel entirely blessed to be here in such a gorgeous part of the world.

"As a boy I fished, my middle brother Duncan is a very keen fisherman and fishes all over the country.

"This is a stunning part of Scotland. We have this incredible resource, beautiful scenery and it is a great pastime.

"When it comes to the salmon at sea it is outwith our control. We can all hope and pray that one day we find out what is happening and we can make the rivers teem again."

A piper then led the guests down to the river bank where Mr Beattie officially opened the salmon season with a dram of Deveron whisky from Macduff Distillery. Mr MacGarvie made the first cast of the year.

Mr Beattie is a former Scotland rugby international and toured twice with the British Lions to South Africa and New Zealand.

More recently he has hosted the very popular BBC Drivetime radio show and is a presenter on BBC Scotland's news programme The Nine.

Richie Miller, river director, said: “This is a very special year for everyone associated with our beautiful river.

"This season will mark the 100th anniversary of Mrs Clementina 'Tiny' Morison landing the UK record fly caught salmon from the Deveron at Mountblairy.

"The opening ceremony is the first of several events and projects to honour and celebrate Mrs Morison and her extraordinary record.

"We are very much looking forward to the season ahead."


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