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Free fishing on river Teith as it opens for salmon on Friday

Anglers are being welcomed to fish for free on Stirling Council’s sections of the river Teith when it opens on Friday, February 1. After a successful trial last year, anglers attending will not be required to attend any permit outlets to pick up a day permits for the free period, which extends until and Saturday, February 9.

The opening day's events will begin at 9.15am in Ancaster Square, Callander, with a piper-led parade of anglers, led down to the river, which will be officially opened by celebrity angler, James Stokoe, the winner of the BBC’s ‘Earth’s Wildest Waters – The Big Fish’ competition.

The event will also host 'come and try' sections, which will focus on both fishing and fly-tying, alongside exhibitors such as Trossachs Search & Rescue, Mhor, Lantra Scotland, The Scottish Fly Fair, Forth Rivers Trust, Police Scotland and Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park.

Stirling Council Fisheries Officer Scott Mason said: “Each year this event gets bigger than the last, with more anglers and organisations turning out to support us.

“I am delighted that James Stokoe has agreed to open the river. He has a real passion for our sport that he loves to pass on to seasoned and new anglers alike. He will be among the many experts on hand at the launch who will be able to offer guidance and expertise on a range of fishing subjects.”

James Stokoe said: “I am really looking forward to help launch the fishing season on the river Teith. One of the special aspects of my job that I really enjoy is seeing someone catch their first salmon. I have seen people get emotional on the river bank after catching their first fish and that is a testament to the impact that fishing can have.

“It’s good for the mind, good for the soul, and can be a great release for people who may have stress in other parts of their lives. They can come down to the river bank and relax, try something totally different and be at one with nature.”

Stirling Councillors recently decided to continue with its popular permit pricing policy for both residents and visitors alike, which includes a season permit for £200. Youths of up to the age of 12 can fish for free (with a paying adult on a catch-and-release basis), and youths up to the age of 21 can now fish the whole season for only £15. 

Vice-Convenor of the Environment and Housing Committee, Councillor Danny Gibson, said: “The rivers Forth and Teith offer not only some of the best value salmon fishing in the UK, but also a warm and hospitable welcome from the communities that surround them".

Last year, the Teith produced the Malloch Trophy winner, Philip Black, who landed Scotland’s prestigious award for salmon fishing, when he caught his 28lb specimen on the fly and safely returned it to the water. The river it is also close to the venue for the Scottish Fly Fair, which takes place in Stirling on March 9 & 10.

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