Fin and Game
Fin and Game
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Newsletter February 2019 - No. 45

A cold start for many out fishing last week for the start of their salmon season. Mark Cockburn was on the Dee and joined 200 anglers and guests at the opening of the river.

You may have noticed that we have a new look site which was soft launched last month. We would like to thank those who have taken the time to contact the FishPal office with their feedback. We also understand and fully appreciate that so many of you rely on the information we deliver.

I joined the company back in 2010 when the name FishPal was introduced and as with all things new, it created mixed feedback. Back in 2010 the use of forums was at its peak and eight years later, it's now social media, a battlefield with no borders and instant attack happening without notice.

FishPal is a small team and in order to answer your feedback can you please in the first instance email either, or give the office a call on 01573 470612. As a business we pride ourselves on customer care and like you, we are all passionate about our sport.

If you would like to join the exclusive club of catching a Spring salmon please give Tom a call in the office for beats to try. A days salmon fishing during the next few months can start from as little as £20 a day - find fishing.

Tight lines,

5th February 2019

River Tweed

First fish of the year on Tweed caught by Mike Graham.

The River Tweed season opened last Friday, and what a start, boats stuck in ice, grue sliding down the river, and for some hardy anglers, some cracking sport.

A massive congratulations to Mike Graham who secured the Tweed Trophy by catching the first fish on the river on Upper North Wark beat. Well done to his ghillie Richard Farr. On opening day fish were caught on Carham, Sprouston, Upper North Wark and Hendersyde. Paul Holland caught 3 spring fish last Friday and Saturday on Hendersyde, the biggest at 14lb.

Prices for a days fishing start from £20 per rod per day - find fishing.

Supporting Young Anglers


Up and coming angler Sam Thomson was absolutely thrilled to have been presented with an LTS rod, reel and lines by Mark Paterson and Gary Scott on opening day at Ballogie beat, River Dee.

Mark Paterson said "LTS are here to support any young anglers who are keen to get into this magnificent sport. Anyone wanting to get their kids involved can email me at to see what we can do to help".

River Spey Opening

The River Spey is one of Scotland's finest Salmon rivers and to celebrate the opening of the salmon fishing season, the Spey Fishery Board is pleased to announce that Mr James (Jim) Walker, Joint Managing Director of Walkers Shortbread will be our guest of honour. The Annual Opening Day Ceremony will take place on Monday 11th February at 9:00am at Penny Bridge, Alice Littler Park in Aberlour. It will begin 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, a gesture to wish the salmon good health and to herald the official opening of the salmon fishing season for 2019. This will be performed by last year's winner of the Spey Anniversary Quaich, Kevin James - read more.

Countryside Show


This evening sees the launch of a new radio show called Countryside, presented by FishPal's Anne Woodcock. The music and chat show starts at 6pm until 8pm.

Guests include Duncan Thomas from BACS, Gamekeeper Jonathan Davis, Bob White from the Scottish Gamekeepers, Richard Wade from Lycetts speaking about the HSE crackdown on farms. Les Weller will be discussing the North East Drift Nets and the byelaw that came into force in January. Ron McCombe, award winning photographer is also joining in the fun.

Joining Anne in the studio will be David and Christine Laing from Clucking Pig Company, winners at the Eat Game Awards 2018 - read more.

FishPal Donations


Mark Cockburn at the opening of the Dee handing over a cheque for £1,857 to Ross Macdonald for the Dee Trust and £188 for the Don Trust.

This would not be possible without anglers who make a donation when booking their fishing on FishPal. If you would like to find out more about the benefits of being part of FishPal, please contact

Simms Layering Range


Staying warm is the trick to staying out all day, no matter the weather. The Simms layering range has been designed to keep you warm and offer insulation, but not restrict your movement whilst fishing.

Fin and Game have a wide range of Simms gear including Fleece Bibs, Thermal Pants and Mid Layer Tops & Bottoms to ensure you get the best of your time on the water - read more.

River Dee

First fish of the Dee season caught by Graeme Arthur. 10lbr from Crathes Castle.

After what felt like approximately fourteen weeks, we finally got back to the river on 1 February to celebrate the opening of the 2019 season. The opening ceremony was held at Banchory Lodge and Banchory Fishings and we were delighted to welcome Scotland rugby legend, Rob Wainwright as our guest of honour. Rob made the traditional blessing of the river, giving the Dee a drop of Glen Garioch to enjoy before making the first cast. That was no mean feat given the ice and grue that choked the river. The bailiffs did a good job of clearing a path to the water so that Rob and ghillie Brian Brogan could get close enough to make the cast - read more.

The weather will become milder this week and overnight temperatures will be more favourable than they have been of late. We should be in business by midweek as any snowmelt will reduce the ice built up along the river bank. A days fishing on the Dee for February starts from as little as £25 - find fishing.


Spring Flies

With water due to rise this week and the grue hopefully melted, the fishing will start even though the rivers have been open. The water is going to be extremely cold and fish will not want to move too far to take your fly, so I suggest getting down to the bottom layer of water with your fly. This can be done in a couple of ways use a sinking line/tips or use a copper, brass or tungsten tube or both depending on the depth you are trying to reach - read more.

News In Brief

Over 60 anglers attended the River Ness opening ceremony organised by Inverness Angling Club on the 1st February, the best opening day gathering for many years. Although extremely reluctant to do so, David Traill of Grahams of Inverness was finally persuaded to carry out the traditional ‘blessing of the water' by throwing some very fine whisky into the river! If you would like to fish the river visit the new Ness site.

Celebrity angler, James Stokoe officially opened the 2019 salmon season on Stirling Council Fisheries on the River Teith. Over 400 people joined the procession to the river Teith with the sound of bagpipes and drums from the Doune Pipe Band playing through the streets of Callander.

Upper Islamouth and Meikleour beat on the River Tay is excited to offer a series of fly casting and salmon fishing tuition throughout the 2019 season. The June dates are currently sold out but they still have availability in March - read more.

During April, TweedGuide are hosting a series of trout and salmon courses for all abilities on the river Tweed - read more.

FishPal are looking to widen our river reports in 2019. Are you an angler or do you know someone who has the latest news with what is happening on the ground? If you would like to know more, please call Mark Cockburn on 01573 470612.