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Deveron salmon season declared open

By Grant Milne

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THE DEVERON salmon season was declared officially open on Tuesday morning, with guest of honour Marina Gibson giving the river its annual blessing.

Perhaps breaking the stereotype that angling is a sport predominantly taken up by middle-aged and retired males, Marina is a certified Fly Fishers International casting instructor, and holds an ambassadorial role within the Atlantic Salmon Trust, having recently launched the Northern Fishing School in Yorkshire.

However she only made it to the Turriff Lodge in the nick of time, with Storm Ciara threatening to blow her off track as she jetted in from Vienna.

Blessing the river with a dram of 18-year-old Deveron malt, Marina commented that fishing on the Aberdeenshire waters had been a long-term ambition.

“I’ve longed to visit the River Deveron, partly due to the legendary Tiny Morison who didn’t exactly live up to her name!

“I wish you all tight lines, wet nets and screaming reels.”

The Morison Trophy - named after the aforementioned Clementina (‘Tiny’) who reeled in an incredible 61lb salmon in 1924, the heaviest ever fly-caught salmon anywhere in the UK - is traditionally handed over to the angler with the largest catch during the previous calendar year.

The recipient on this occasion was Ronald Ewen who landed a 25lb spring salmon from Lower Netherdale, who was then invited to make the first cast of the new season with a rod supplied by local firm Henderson’s Country Sports.

Director of the Deveron, Bogie and Isla Rivers Charitable Trust, Richie Miller is optimistic that catch numbers would continue to rise.

“Hopefully this season follows the same pattern as last year”, he said.

“We had a good upturn in catches - over 1500 salmon - so we’re hopeful conditions stay positive and the fish come back in similar numbers.

“The Trust have a big habitat restoration programme on the River Isla in Keith.

“We want to try and help the juvenile stocks, and we’re working with Chivas Regal on building a fish ladder.

“We’re also keen on pushing through the Young Angler initiatives.”

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