The AST’s 2011 Fishing Auction is now in the final three weeks, and bidding is really heating up. This year’s auction has a wider than ever selection of lots, ranging in price from under £50 to over £10,000, with fishing in rivers ranging from the Varzuga in Russia to the Mourne in Ireland. Full details are on the auction website: The Atlantic Salmon Trust Fishing Auction 2011 - Auction Homepage

This year, the auction is being run online – though those who want to make a postal bid are most welcome to do so; AST staff will then lodge the bid online.

One lot which is already causing a buzz of interest is the offer of two days for five rods at Dalmarnock on the wonderful River Tay, hosted by rugby legend Gareth Edwards, CBE. Over two miles of double bank fishing, just above Dunkeld – a most productive beat, until recently only fished privately. The offer, with a starting price of £3,000, includes two nights DB&B at the award-winning East Haugh House Hotel. The dates are: arrive Sunday 19th June, stay at East Haugh House Sunday 19th & Monday 20th, fishing with Gareth Edwards Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st.

The bidding on all lots closes from 14th February. The close of bidding for each batch of lots is slightly staggered, to enable anyone who isn’t lucky enough to get the first lot they’re bidding for to try for another.

“Since the auction is AST’s principal fund-raising event of the year, we’re hoping for lively bidding on all lots,” said AST Chief Executive Tony Andrews. “Some of the money raised will be shared with Rivers & Fisheries Trusts Scotland and the Association of Rivers Trusts, and a substantial sum will be ring-fenced for a project shared by the three organisations. The more we raise, the more we can spend on the important work of ensuring a brighter future for Atlantic salmon and sea trout.”

“The auction is always a huge hit with AST supporters,” added Tony Andrews. “It offers a vast range of choice fishing opportunities from all the ‘great’ salmon rivers of the British Isles, such as the Spey in Scotland, the Blackwater in Ireland and the Wye in England, to trout and sea trout fishing in more remote places. We’ve found that it’s a marvellous way for fishery owners to build relationships with new clients, and for anglers to visit fisheries they wouldn’t otherwise have considered. It really helps promote angling tourism. This year, in addition to some fantastic international destinations we also have a good selection of other sporting lots –including stalking in Scotland and driven woodcock shooting in Wales. We always get excellent feedback from successful bidders who have discovered new places and new experiences. It’s very rewarding to be able to make such happy ‘introductions’, as well as raising money.”