Leaping Salmon 3

With the new season approaching, the Spey Fishery Board is optimist for another successful year following much improved catches in 2015.  Last year’s grilse catch was the best since 2010, so the prospects are good for the 2016 spring/summer salmon run.

To celebrate the opening of the salmon fishing season the Spey Fishery Board are pleased to announce that Jimmy Gray MBE, has kindly agreed to open the river. Jimmy was Superintendent of the Spey Fishery Board from 1978 until he retired in 2001.

The Annual Opening Day Ceremony will take place on Thursday 11th February 2016 at 9:00 am at Penny Bridge, Alice Littler Park in Aberlour with the traditional pouring of a bottle of Aberlour 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky into the fast flowing waters of the River Spey.

To complete the ceremony Reverend Shuna Dicks, Minister for Aberlour, will bless the river and Alan Sinclair will perform on the bagpipes.

Anglers are invited to attend the opening ceremony, before starting on their quest to catch their first spring salmon of the season.  To help celebrate the start of the 2016 season, drams of Aberlour 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, samples of Walkers shortbread and hot drinks supplied by Le Petit Gourmand will be offered during the opening ceremony.  The Spey Fishery Board is grateful to the Aberlour distillery and Walkers for their continued sponsorship of this event and also to Le Petit Gourmand for their generous support.

The ‘Spey Anniversary Quaich’ will be awarded to the angler who catches the first salmon on the opening day, together with an opportunity to hand-fill and register their personalised bottle of cask strength Aberlour Single Malt Scotch Whisky. The angler who lands the heaviest Salmon on opening day will receive a bottle of Aberlour A’Bunadh and a Walkers hamper. For the ghillies in attendance, each will receive a bottle of Aberlour 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky and a Walkers Shortbread hamper.

Caroline Mitchell, Visitor Centres Manager for Chivas Brothers, said: “We’re delighted to sponsor once again the opening of the River Spey salmon fishing season. Both Aberlour Distillery and the River Spey have a long history of bringing investment and visitors to the town. Aberlour distillery was established in 1879 by local philanthropist James Fleming, and we are proud of our strong heritage in Aberlour, where we continue to craft our world-renowned range of single malts to this day. As with last year’s event, the opening ceremony will take place on the Penny Bridge – which is fitting since this was also commissioned by Fleming as a gift to the town.”

Official Competition Rules

Fish must be caught by use of fly only, must be fresh-run, released back to the river, and any catch must be verified by the ghillie in attendance.

Anniversary Quaich:

Awarded to the angler who catches the first salmon on the opening day.


Heaviest Salmon:

Awarded to the angler who catches the heaviest salmon.

Please note the Heaviest Salmon prize cannot be won by the Anniversary Quaich winner.

If the Anniversary Quaich winner (first fish) is also the heaviest, then the heaviest prize would go to the second heaviest fish caught.

If there is only one fish caught on the opening day the heaviest fish prize would go to the captor of the second fish caught later in the week.

Registering Catch for prize:

All catches must be reported to Spey Fishery Board, I Nether Borlum, Knockando, AB38 7SD, by 5.00 pm on the opening day. Tel:  01340 810841.

The prizes will be awarded at Aberlour Distillery, Aberlour at 5.30pm on opening day.

For further information please contact;

Spey Fishery Board Tel. 01340 810841

Notes to Editors:

About Aberlour Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Aberlour was founded in 1879 by James Fleming. Aberlour is a leading single malt Scotch whisky brand in France, the world’s biggest Scotch whisky market. Since 1995 Aberlour has grown strongly and is now the seventh most popular single malt Scotch whisky in the world.

Aberlour distillery is owned by Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard – the world’s co-leader in wine and spirits. Chivas Brothers is the global leader in luxury Scotch whisky and premium gin. Its portfolio includes Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Beefeater gin, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Aberlour, Plymouth gin, Longmorn, Scapa, 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport.

The Spey Fishery Board

The Spey Fishery Board is a Statutory Body. Formed from legislation dating back to the 1860’s, more recently streamlined into the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003, it is empowered to take such acts as it considers expedient for the conservation, protection and enhancement of Atlantic Salmon and Sea Trout stocks and their fisheries.

Angling on the River Spey generates in excess of £12 million per annum for the local economy and sustains 367 full-time-equivalent jobs (Scottish Executive-sponsored Economic Survey 2003).

For further information, contact Roger Knight, Director, Spey Fishery Board, 1 Nether Borlum, Knockando, Aberlour, Banffshire, AB38 7SD, Tel: 01340-810841, Mob: 07919-284482, e-mail: director@speyfisheryboard.com

Le Petit Gourmand

Le Petit Gourmand is a patisserie/coffee shop which opened in Aberlour in 2015.  The staff are passionate about good food offering a wide range of delicious patisserie (French cakes) and a French style menu e.g. Crepes, Croque Monsieur, soups, filled croissants, hand-made burgers etc. Le Petit Gourmand is open 7 days from 7.30am to 6pm and has seating for 38 and take-away food.  For further information contact: Eric Obry at Le Petit Gourmand on 01340 871617.

Walkers Shortbread

Walkers Shortbread Walkers Shortbread Limited is a family company founded in 1898 in the picturesque village of Aberlour, in the heart of the Scottish Highlands.  Today, Walkers Shortbread is still made by traditional methods, using the original Walker family recipe, and is guaranteed to contain no artificial flavourings, colourings or additives.  A unique combination of quality, superb packaging and innovation has established Walkers as the leading brand of Shortbread world-wide. For further information contact: Jim Walker, Walkers shortbread Ltd on 01340 871 555.