Malloch Trophy 2009 winner
Sandy Walker, 2009 Savills Malloch Trophy winner, sporting some unconventional fly-fishing attire, prepares to return his prize 32lb salmon

THE WINNER of this year’s prestigious Savills Malloch Trophy is Fort William angler Sandy Walker with a 32lb sea-liced cock salmon taken on the River Lochy in late June.

The veteran Inverlochy AC member caught the fish in the river’s tidal Tailrace pool on a home-tied Waddington. It took him 1.5 hrs to land and safely return to the water.

Walker said today: ““I am greatly honoured to have won the legendary trophy. The award is testimony to the continuing recovery of the Lochy as one of the great west coast salmon rivers.”

He praised fishery manager Jon Gibb for his work in helping restore the river to former glory. Gibb, who witnessed the catch was quoted at the time as saying: “It looked all of its 32lbs and was probably the most stunning fish I have seen landed from the river.”

Savills Malloch Trophy
The prestigious Malloch Trophy

The Savills Malloch Trophy committee considered possible contenders from rivers including the Spey and Tweed before endorsing Walker as the 2009 winner. His name will be engraved on the trophy, joining an illustrious list stretching back four decades. He will also receive a special silver sculpture of a salmon, commissioned by Savills from the artist Patrick Mavros, and a £250 voucher from the House of Bruar.

Walker will be a guest at the River Tay Dinner next June where he will receive the trophy, named after the Perth-based fishing tackle manufacturer.

The silver trophy was first awarded in 1972 for a 43lb fish caught on the Tweed by Lady Burnett. During a run of 28 consecutive years it became one of the most keenly contested angling prizes in Scotland.

After a gap of ten years during which no awards were made, the Tay Foundation was able to acquire it and this year entered a three year partnership with property specialists Savills to relaunch the award with the aim of promoting voluntary catch and release programmes, and the conservation of large salmon in particular, on all Scottish rivers.