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KENMORE, Scotland (Reuters)

On the banks of the River Tay in the Scottish highlands, a parade of pipers and a whisky-based blessing helped mark the start of the country’s salmon fishing season on Monday

The ceremony in the village of Kenmore, which marks the start of the season on the Tay, has been held to celebrate the new salmon fishing season in Scotland for over 70 years, though on some rivers fishing begins a few days earlier.

 

Anglers cast their lines on the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland
Anglers cast their lines on the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland, Britain January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

 

Monday’s event saw dozens of anglers, many sipping glasses of whisky, cast lines in a bid to bag a big fish but, as of late in the afternoon, one participant said that he had seen only one salmon actually caught by anyone – a fact that neither surprised nor bothered him.

 

An angler has a glass of whisky on the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland,
An angler has a glass of whisky on the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland, Britain January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

 

“It’s kinda the highlight of the season. You know you’re coming here not really to catch any fish. At the end of the day you’re coming to savor the atmosphere,” fisherman Leigh Kelly, 36, told Reuters.

 

A Springer Spaniel jumps over a fishing rod on the riverbank on the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland
A Springer Spaniel jumps over a fishing rod on the riverbank on the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland, Britain January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

 

“If you’re gonna catch a few fish, you need to be nearer the sea to get at any, you know? The estuary here is right at the top of the river, so that’s difficult. But it’s good to be on the bank.”

 

An angler casts his line on the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland
An angler casts his line on the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland, Britain January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

 

The event kicked off with a parade by the Vale of Atholl pipe band, who marched the anglers to the river, which was then blessed with the contents of a quaich – a traditional drinking vessel – of whisky being thrown into the river.

The salmon season on the Tay runs from Jan. 15 to Oct. 15. On other Scottish rivers it runs as late as Nov. 30.

 

(Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

 

 

An angler casts his line on the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland
An angler casts his line on the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland, Britain January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

 

An angler casts his line on the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland
An angler casts his line on the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland, Britain January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

 

A Quaich of whisky is thrown in the river to bless the river on the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland,
A Quaich of whisky is thrown in the river to bless the river on the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland, Britain January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

 

A Lure is attached to a rod the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland
A Lure is attached to a rod the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland, Britain January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

 

An angler has a glass of whisky on the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland,
An angler has a glass of whisky on the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland, Britain January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

 

An angler fishes on the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland
An angler fishes on the opening day of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay at Kenmore in Scotland, Britain January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne