River Dee Anglers’ Chance to Land Big Honour

February 01, 2021

Salmon anglers and complete beginners are being invited to compete for one of the biggest honours in the sport in a round-the-clock fishing challenge.

A prizewinner in the 24-hour event will be invited to take the first cast at the opening ceremony for next year’s salmon season on the River Dee, following in the footsteps of celebrities such as Robson Green and Alexander Armstrong. In the process, they’ll be raising funds for pioneering nature-restoration work on the river.

Today’s announcement marks the start of the Dee’s salmon fishing season. It also coincides with the launch of a new website, designed to encourage absolute beginners to take up the sport at a time of growing interest in our rivers during lockdown. Both the website and the 24-hour fishing challenge are completely new initiatives.

River Director Dr Lorraine Hawkins said, “We are disappointed not to be able to hold our annual opening ceremony this year because of Covid, so we thought we would try to give our anglers and novices something exciting to look forward to this summer while raising much-needed funds for our vital river work.”

“It promises to be a fun event, fishing up to seven stretches of river through night and day in June, with local hotels providing catering. We have a range of prizes on offer, including the considerable honour of making the first cast at the 2022 opening ceremony for the person who raises most sponsorship for the River Dee Trust.”

The twenty-four-hour angling event will be known as #fishdee24, with places for up to thirty people. Anglers will pay an entry fee of £100 and will be invited to raise sponsorship to preserve threatened salmon and their habitat. Details of how to enter can be found in the River Dee Trust shop.

Meanwhile, a new website www.flyfish50.com will encourage novice anglers and provide further support to help boost the uptake in fishing. It will promote upcoming angling events, provide tips and guides, as well as promoting the area’s salmon and trout fisheries. Tuition will be available specifically for novice competitors in the run-up to the 24-hour fishing challenge.

Attracting new people into fishing is a key goal for the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board, which has grown its angling development from one or two events a year into a full programme, known as Aberdeenshire Fly Fish 50.

Dr Hawkins said, “We want to develop a new generation of anglers at a time of growing recognition of the sport’s benefits for health and welfare. We have invested a lot of time and effort in encouraging new anglers over the years, and I am glad to say that with the support of our partners and volunteers we are attracting more and more new people to angling.

“LOOP Tackle has supported the initiative, and they have provided us with the equipment we need and have also funded this new website, which will be a great resource for people of all ages and backgrounds who want to take up the sport.”


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