The prize for the first salmon of the season to be caught on the Tweed went overseas this year.
A fishery manager from Sweden landed the first springer on February 1, winning the Tweedside Tackle Trophy,
Angler Kent Håkansson was fishing at Upper Floors on the Weetles pool, aided by boatman Richie Donnovan, who netted and safely released the 9lb cock fish.
The springer was caught on a Cascade Tube fly, using a 15’ Loomis Stinger and a Sage reel.
Tweedside Tackle’s Caroline Pilcher said: “As is now the tradition, there was a good turnout at the shop (Tweedside Tackle in Bridge Street, Kelso) on the evening of the opening day, which was well attended by fishers and boatmen.”
Her husband Tim presented Mr Håkansson with the trophy, a life-size stainless steel sculpture of a spring salmon, created by local artist Jason Sweeney.
Mr Håkansson , fisher manager on the Em, a famous sea trout river in Sweden, becomes the second Swede to win the accolade.
He said: “This is my 10th year fishing the opening day on Tweed. Besides all the nice people we have met on Tweedside, and the chance of an early fish, there are two main reasons for us coming to the Tweed every year: the rich salmon fishing history – fly fishing for salmon has probably longer traditions on Tweed than any other river in the world – and the other main attraction for us is Tweed being a pure wild fish river, free from hatcheries.
“As a fishery manager, I am really impressed by the work of the Tweed Commission and the Tweed Foundation. I often use the Tweed as an example of what can be achieved with good management.”
The trophy, first commissioned in 2007, remains in Tweedside Tackle. In addition to the trophy, Mr Håkansson received a certificate and a ‘goodie bag’.
Meanwhile, the Tweedside Tackle decanter for the first salmon of the season to be caught from the River Teviot is still up for grabs.