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Dedicated angler to open salmon season in Inverness

By Louise Glen

A DEDICATED angler, who is about to celebrate his 89th birthday, will formally open the salmon fishing season on the River Ness tomorrow.

The honour of taking the first cast of 2020 on Inverness Angling Club’s Ness fishings will fall to Melvin Smith, who will reach his birthday in March.

Mr Smith first joined the club 40 years ago, having moved to Inverness from Yorkshire.

His move to the city was inspired by a decision to seek a better quality of life.

Mr Smith said: “I was running a busy plumbing business and, with my brother, two fishing tackle shops serving the burgeoning sport of coarse fishing.

“The pressures became a bit much and I came out of the businesses. In 1979 I moved to Inverness with my wife Dorothy. I continued to work as a plumber and enjoying some amazing salmon angling on the Ness.

“I caught my first salmon on the fly in the early 1980s, from the east bank of the club’s MacIntyre Pool.”

Inverness Angling Club president Alex Elliott said: “Melvin is an example to us all.

“Despite ill health over the years he has continued to make regular visits to the river, beating many others to the water and landing a good share of the annual catch of salmon and grilse.

“He thoroughly deserves this recognition of his support for the club and commitment to its aims.”

All club members and friends are invited to the opening ceremony, gathering by the Mill Stream Pool at Holm Mills from 10am.

The event is sponsored by the Holm Mills Shopping Village whose manager Neil Souter, will make the traditional blessing of the water with a splash of whisky prior to the first cast.

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