The opening of the salmon season will be toasted in traditional fashion later this month as anglers gather along the banks of the River Tay ready to try their luck.
The major ceremonies this year are on Monday January 16 at Meikleour near Blairgowrie and Kenmore in Highland Perthshire.
The Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board, the body which protects salmon locally, and the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce are hosting the ceremony at Meikleour Fishings by Kinclaven Bridge.
A guest of honour – who has yet to be revealed – will bless the river before making the first symbolic cast at 9.30am and Pipe Major Ian Duncan and his junior students will lead the anglers to the water.
Anglers are invited to fish Upper Islamouth for a £10 donation to the local charity, Angling For Youth Development.
The blessing at Meikleour is unique, starting with the traditional whisky followed by the pouring of champagne, celebrating the Auld Alliance.
The firm Pol Roger from Epernay sends a magnum for the occasion, commemorating friendship sealed during the Second World War in enemy occupied France, where George Mercer Nairne of Meikleour (1912-1999) and members of the Pol Roger family worked for the Resistance movement in preparation for the Normandy battle.
“We are hoping to see a lot of people on this special day,” said Claire Mercer Nairne of Meikleour.
The Kenmore Hotel is the centre of the other major opening ceremony where the 70th anniversary of the event will be marked.
Whatever the weather, fishermen travel from all over the country to be present at the historic occasion where they line up behind the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band and march to the Tay a few hundred yards away.
The anglers then take up their positions along both banks of the river as a toast is offered to bless the water for the new season.
Once the first cast is made in the middle of the river, the cry goes out “tight lines” as all the fishermen make their own first casts for the new season.
Guests this year for the ceremony, which culminates with the first cast at 9.30am, include Provost Liz Grant and three times World Speycasting Champion Scott Mackenzie.
There will be fly casting & fly tying demonstrations from Tomas Kolesinskas throughout the morning and onsite assistance from fishing professional Mark Bowler.