The 2012 winner of Scotland’s most prestigious angling award has been announced.
The Savills Malloch Trophy 2012 NEWS RELEASE 13 December 2012
The 2012 winner of the Savills Malloch Trophy – for the largest salmon caught by an angler on the fly and safely returned during the year in Scottish waters – has been announced. The successful angler is Jim Reid of Edinburgh for a fish, estimated at “comfortably in excess of 40 lb”, landed in the River Tweed.
Mr Reid commented on being told of the decision of the Savills Malloch Trophy Committee on December 12th: “I am greatly honoured to have won the Trophy and I am delighted that after several years it has returned to the Tweed, particularly after all the conservation work on the river over the last decade. I am also very grateful to Ian Farr, head boatman at Bemersyde, and pleased for the beat’s owner, The Earl Haig”.
Mr Reid’s magnificent cock salmon was caught on the Bemersyde beat of the Tweed on October 24 and measured, before being carefully released back into the river. To be eligible for the trophy a fish must be caught on a fly in a sportsmanlike manner and be returned unharmed in accordance with best catch and release practice.
The fish was 50 inches long with a girth of 25.5 inches. Using four of the formulae for calculating weight from length and girth and then taking the average, the weight came to 44 lb, but the committee agreed to err on the conservative side and record its weight as “comfortably in excess of 40 lb”. It is likely that when the fish entered the river (probably in late spring) it would have weighed 51 lb.
Mr Reid’s salmon was hooked on a self-tied gold-bodied Willie Gunn fly on a G Loomis 15 ft rod from the boat in the Top Corbies pool. It took off downstream for 150 yards before finally being landed after 40 minutes despite it being almost too large for the net.
At the Savills Malloch Trophy Committee meeting on December 12th seven possible contenders, all in excess of 30 lb, landed by both male and female anglers in a wide range of rivers between the north Highlands and the Borders, were considered. Mr Reid’s entry, which fulfilled the relevant criteria including best evidence and careful handling, was after lengthy consideration unanimously endorsed as the winner for 2012. His name will be engraved on the Tay Foundation’s trophy, joining an illustrious list of previous winners which stretches back four decades.
The 2012 runner-up was Kate Pelham Burn with a salmon caught in the Home pool on the lower section of the River Shin; using the same four formulae and taking the average, the weight of her fish came to 40 lb.
Roddy d’Anyers Willis of Savills, a member of the Savills Malloch Committee, said: “The Bemersyde cock salmon of over 40 lb was outstanding amongst this year’s Malloch contenders. Not the prettiest of fish but a monster that gave Tweed angler Jim Reid and boatman Ian Farr a catch of a lifetime and brought glory to the splendid Bemersyde beat on one of the finest salmon rivers in the world. A real accolade for the owner of Bemersyde, The Earl Haig”.
The encouraging number of heavy salmon over 30 lb entered for this year’s Savills Malloch Trophy is consistent with the continuing increase seen in the last three years in the numbers of larger salmon – fish that have remained at sea for three or even four years before returning to their rivers of origin.