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Inverness Angling Club's traditional whisky ceremony among those cancelled in the Highlands due to Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic lockdown


By Philip Murray

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An angler in the River Ness during warmer times. Picture: Gary Anthony.
An angler in the River Ness during warmer times. Picture: Gary Anthony.

ANGLERS are gearing up for the start of a new season with a difference this year – after Covid-19 lockdown restrictions sparked the cancellation of the traditional whisky ceremonies.

Fishermen and women normally gather alongside rivers to see a whisky poured into the waters of their favourite beats to bring good fortune for the season ahead, and bless the waterway.

But to keep people safe this year, ceremonies are not going ahead on several of the rivers around Inverness, with the Spey Fishery Board, Beauly Angling Club and Inverness Angling Club all among those cancelling their traditional events in order to keep people safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Anglers on the River Ness can rest assured that they’ll still be fishing in blessed waters this February, however, after Inverness Angling Club president Alex Elliott decided he will pour a dram into the river on his own on the opening day.

It may not have the fanfare of the usual ceremony, but Mr Elliott’s one-man gesture will keep the tradition going for another year.

Meanwhile, Mr Elliott has advised members of the Inverness Angling Club that its huts will remain locked for the foreseeable future owing to the pandemic. He said that it was a safety precaution, as the club could not guarantee that the huts would remain clean enough to protect members from potential Covid-19 infection.


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