Salmon fishing season is launched on the River Clyde

George Thompson, the oldest member of United Clyde Angling Protective Association, casts the first line at River Clyde salmon fishing season launch in Rosebank (Pic by Nigel Duncan)
George Thompson, the oldest member of United Clyde Angling Protective Association, casts the first line at River Clyde salmon fishing season launch in Rosebank (Pic by Nigel Duncan)

Miserable wet and cold weather failed to dampen spirits at the annual launch of salmon fishing on the River Clyde at Rosebank.

Saturday morning’s ceremony – attended by TV presenter and angling legend Paul Young, local MSP Aileen Campbell and Sky TV presenter Hywell Morgan – saw the first rod cast into the Clyde by George Thompson after a party of over 200 had enjoyed food and refreshments at the nearby Popinjay Hotel.

“It was a brilliant event,” said Tom McGregor, secretary of organisers United Clyde Angling Protective Association (UCAPA).

“The committee had been working on preparations for months.

“The one thing we couldn’t control was the weather, which was pretty bad.

“But at least 200 people turned up and they were all in good spirits. That helped make this year’s event one of the best we’ve ever had.

“The Popinjay supplied bacon rolls and drinks for them, which went down very well.”

As the day dawned, there was snow on high ground, rain everywhere else and a cold wind that could cut a person in half.

The weather did not prevent special guest Hywell, of Daiwa, holding a casting accuracy competition for the children.

One of the highlights of the day has to have been seeing the winner having his named announced.

Hywell said that his assistant had only recorded first names but there was only one Finn present.

The winner bounced like a rubber ball as he went forward to collect his prize.

All of the youngsters had received a cap from Daiwa and UCAPA has arranged for them to get a free annual permit.

Stalls at the Popinjay proved popular and MSP Campbell drew a charity raffle featuring an excellent first prize of a magnificent salmon rod from Daiwa.

The event – which also celebrated 130 years of the UCAPA – initially saw first caster George, the association’s oldest member, receive a bottle of whisky from fishing celebrity Young (72), a loyal supporter of this ceremony in recent years.

George was delighted to toast the new season, carrying out his duties of throwing the contents of a quaich into the river.

A small amount of whisky was retained for George to put to a more conventional use.

He then sent a few casts into the water, drawing the proceedings to an end.

Some anglers stayed behind to cast a fly too.

One of them landed a small salmon kelt.

The presence of the fish suggested that a lot of salmon had spawned in the river.

The fact that he caught a salmon, even a kelt, on his first attempt, suggested that he will be back!