Traditional Tay Salmon Season Opening

The Traditional opening of the Tay Salmon Season.

The traditional opening of the River Tay salmon season takes place in the middle of January each year. It has been staged at Kenmore since 1947. Fishermen from all over Scotland travel and stay in local Aberfeldy Hotels before gathering at the front of the Kenmore Hotel from 9am on opening day. There is a sense of expectation as the atmosphere builds to the opening of Scotland's most celebrated salmon season opening day. Whatever the weather!

The opening ceremony is performed by a different invited dignitary each year, the ceremony taking place on a special platform erected at the front of the Kenmore Hotel, which is a short drive of some 4 miles from the town of Aberfeldy in the village of Kenmore.

YouTube logo On YOU TUBE - You Tube video of the Tay Salmon Opening Ceremony (4 mins 50 secs)

All the fishermen and their supporters then line up behind the Vale of Atholl Junior Pipe Band and march to the river Taya few hundred yards away. The fishermen then take up their positions along both banks of the mighty river Tay while the final ceremonies are performed on the river itself. A representative from Dewar's World of Whisky, which is based in Aberfeldy, offers the toast blessing the water for the new season. The dignitary performing the opening ceremony for the new season, rows out in to the middle of the river to make the first caste. Then the cry goes out "Tight lines" as all the fishermen make their first caste for the new season.

The MacTaggart Kenmore Trophy and a gallon of Aberfeldy Dewar's whisky will be awarded to the angler landing and returning the biggest fish of the opening day from anywhere on the river Tay system. To submit your entry, catch a fish on opening day, take a decent picture of your catch, measure its length and girth (immediately in front of the dorsal fin) make sure that you have a witness and call Kenmore Hotel, on 01887 830205 as soon as you can afterwards.

Salmon fishing permits for the opening day at Kenmore cost £25 and all proceeds will be donated to CHAS and AYFD.  The Kenmore Hotel beat extends to about 2 miles on both banks of the Tay towards Aberfeldy and includes several very good salmon pools including Chinese, Dairy, Battery and Hotel Pool.

The British record Atlantic salmon is 64lbs and was caught near Caputh in Perthshire on the River Tay by Miss Georgina Ballantine on October 7th 1922. The River Tay is one of Scotland's best Atlantic Salmon Rivers to fish, it is the longest river in Scotland, flowing about 120 miles (193 km) from its source on the north slopes of Ben Lui to the sea at the City of Dundee. The river drains 2,400 square miles (6,216 square km), the largest drainage area in Scotland. Before reaching the stretch of Loch Tay (15 miles [24 km] long) at Killin, on leaving Loch Tay at Kenmore, it flows past the towns of Aberfeldy, Dunkeld and Perth before reaching the sea at Dundee.