Several Estates in the Wester Ross Fisheries Trust (WRFT) banded together to celebrate the opening of the 2016 Salmon fishing season at the Bridge pool on the River Broom near Ullapool. Inverlael, Inverbroom and Dundonnell Estates invited local community members and pupils from Ullapool High School's Rural Skills course to join them in blessing the river and making the first cast of the new season.
Robbie McFedries, Headmaster of the High School, thanked the Estates and the WRFT for inviting them to participate in the gathering, which was bagpiped in by one of the students. He said it was important that young people are engaged in rural skills and activities.
Alasdair MacDonald, head keeper and ghillie at Dundonnell Estates who organised the event, the third annual ceremony celebrating the start of the fishing season, said he was very pleased to see boys and girls from the area taking such an interest in developing rural skills, and he hoped some of them would provide the next generation of estate staff. He also expressed his admiration for their casting skills as they each tried their luck for an early fish.
The blessing was carried out be Miss Erin Meek from the High School with a dram from Johnny Whitteridge of Inverlael's flask and Johnny also made the first cast. This was followed by a masterclass from Inverbroom's Craig Mackintosh and excellent casting from the school pupils.
Jane Whitteridge of Inverlael, together with staff from Inverbroom and Dundonnell Estates baked and served an excellent tea for all afterwards.