Hundreds of onlookers lined the riverbank by Banchory Lodge Hotel with glasses charged, ready to toast the River and launch the 2019 season.

Mr Wainwright, a keen angler, said that since moving to the Hebrides, he didn’t “get much” salmon fishing, but instead enjoyed trout and sea-fishing.

The former Scotland captain said: “It’s great to be here on such a beautiful day – it’s fantastic to see such huge support for the sport.

“I have fished up at the top end of the Dee before, but have made poor record unfortunately – I once accidentally poached one from Balmoral, because I slipped over the wrong side of the boundary I didn’t know existed.”