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First fish of season caught on River Brora

By Caroline McMorran

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An East Sutherland estate manager has caught the first fresh fish of the season on the River Brora.

John McMorran, Balnacoil Estate, landed the salmon on Tuesday, February 1, the river's opening day.

He used a sink tip line and a Cascade fly to lure the 8lb salmon out of pool Pheadair - the first big pool above Balnacoil bridge on the Blackwater tributary.

John McMorran with the first fish of the season off the River Brora.
John McMorran with the first fish of the season off the River Brora.

He said it had no sea lice on it which meant it had been in the river system for more than a week.

It is the second year running Mr McMorran has caught the first fish of the season.

The river was running high at around 2ft 9" and he did not expect his fishing outing to be successful.

“It was a really wild day and I did not expect to find anything but I wanted to put a line in the water on the first day,” he said.

“I was surprised when I got a pull about 20 minutes after starting to fish. Initially I thought it was probably a kelt, but on getting it to the net, I realised it was a fresh fish.”

The first fish of the season has yet to be caught on the River Helmsdale, which opened three weeks ago.

All spring salmon caught before April 1 in Scotland are returned to the river.

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