61 lbs Deveron Salmon – The Heaviest UK Fly-Caught Salmon
The 21st of October, 1924 probably started off as any other, being the beginning of Autumn the leaves were turning deliciously golden on Deveronside. That day at Lower Shaws (Mountblairy) on the banks of the river Deveron, a record was smashed and a legend born. The fish in question was an Atlantic salmon weighing in at 61lb and the angler being a local lady by the name of Mrs Clementina “Tiny” Morison. The fish became the heaviest UK fly caught salmon.
To this date and with the combined efforts of many generations of anglers passing by all the UK’s game angling rivers, the achievements of Tiny Morrison has yet to be surpassed. The 61lbs salmon wasn’t officially weighed until 24 hours after it was caught and was almost certainly heavier than recorded. Mr Harper, who attended to the catch, reckoned on a weight loss of “a pound or two”. The salmon was caught on a 1.25” “Brown Wing Killer” fly.
On the day of her ‘big catch’, Mrs Morison had already caught other sizable fish – two of 16lb each and another of 12lb. She wrote to her friend Lt. Col. W. Keith reporting the drama “I rushed down put my hands in his gills and dragged him up onto the bank. He looked enormous lying there – a huge male fish, well hooked but a beautiful shape and colored. I had no idea what a prize he was. We sent him to Aberdeen to get a cast made”. Charles Middleton was the Morison’s chauffeur and although he was only 11-years-old when the big fish was caught he remembers the excitement; “The fish was enormous. They had to get a horse and cart to take it back from the river. It was smoked and we all got a piece”.