Rain causes sewage overflow

Anglers at the Little Isle had to call out Scottish Water to a serious pollution incident today (July 20). It was a repeat of many previous incidents in which rain causes a drain adjacent to the Little Isle car park to overflow. Liquid and solid material spread over the car park and through a drain on to the riverside gravel. 

A Scottish Water clean up team responded to the report fairly quickly but were unlikely to be able to clean up all the material. Some liquid sewage entered the River Ness, so the incident was also reported to Sepa and the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board. For similar future incidents the numbers to call are: Scottish Water - 0800 0778 778. Sepa - 03000 99 66 99. The appropriate post code is IV3 5SQ.

Help wanted for Moy fair

Inverness Angling Club is once again seeking volunteers to help run Angler’s Corner at the annual Highland Field Sports Fair being held at Moy on Friday and Saturday, August 3 and 4. If you are available for one day or both, please add your name to either of the lists posted in the club huts at the Little Isle and Mill Stream. Alternatively, give your name to a committee member; their telephone numbers are listed in the membership cards.

Consider others

As more anglers venture out on Inverness Angling Club’s Ness fishings, it’s a good time to remind locals and visitors of some key rules. They have been designed to make pools accessible for all and successfully tested over many years. 

Check paragraphs 4.1 to 4.4 of the rules which govern the order of fishing. Key elements of these are to start at a beat post and move down two yards at every cast, and come out at the next beat post if someone is waiting to fish. Please note that anglers should not start at a beat post if another angler is within 30 yards of the post. And at a time of low water conditions, anglers should also consider those fishing the opposite bank.

All anglers must observe the government conservation regulations which apply to the Ness system. From July 1 to October 15 only one cock salmon weighing eight pounds or less may be retained per angler per week, with a maximum of two being retained per angler per season. Crucially, this applies to the entire Ness system; for example, anglers cannot take two fish from separate beats of the system.

Please fish with consideration for others, enjoy your angling…..and tight lines!


Good example: Plenty of room means comfortable fishing

Practise makes perfect

Good cast: IAC junior member Gordon Stronach on the Friar's Shott, puting into practise

the casting tips he received from club coaches at the recent casting clinics. Pic: Tracy Stronach.

Grilse for Jordon

Spey ghillie Jordon Grant returned to his home waters on the Ness on Saturday evening and landed a lively grilse from the Black Stream. The five pound fish took a size 8 double Cassley Shrimp.

“Lucky for some”

It’s been a day laced with silver on the River Ness today (July 13) as members of Inverness Angling Club finally landed some fresh-run summer salmon. Arthur Ferguson had an astounding, hour long contest with what proved to be a massive 25lb sea-liced salmon attracted by a size 10 Silver Stoat. The fish was released and, despite the length of the struggle, swam away strongly. Said Arthur: “Friday the 13th is certainly lucky for some.”

Also on the Little Isle, Davey Dyce had the good fortune to hook and land a six pound grilse on a three inch black and orange Devon minnow. Hopefully, more catches will come as the intensity of the summer sun wanes and anglers welcome cloud and rain.


Delighted: Davey with his fish

Weir tidy

Substantial debris has been removed from the top of the Ness Weir ‘spout’, thanks to the efforts of club members David Dyce and Donnie Allan. Tree trunks deposited at the weir in high water posed a potential blockage of the ‘spout’, which offers the main route for migrating salmon through the weir to the waters beyond. Further work is scheduled to remove tree branches from the top section of the weir.

Ness success for Donnie

A nice wee grilse of four pounds fell to the fly rod of club member Donnie Allan today (July 11). The location was the Black Stream where fish will find a little more dissolved oxygen than some other pools, and be more inclined to take given current weather conditions. Hopefully, more grilse will show up and some rain appears to be on the way.


Well done: Grilse for Donnie

Help Sandy get all his gear

New member Sandy Christie is seeking help to secure the return of angling equipment mistakenly left outside the Little Isle Hut this week. His gear is in a light grey backpack with blue trim and contains a reel with line, a spare spool with line, two black boxes with salmon and trout flies and a collapsible Scierra wading stick. 

Sandy left the river at about 10 pm on Tuesday night, leaving the gear under the seat at the hut. On realising that he had not taken the tackle home, he returned about half an hour later, but it was gone. If anyone can help return Sandy’s gear, they can pass a message through the club’s web site - www.invernessanglingclub.co.uk Go to club details, select contact and fill in and send the message.

Be safe on the water

Be aware….!

Rivers and lochs are potentially dangerous places - something that anglers all too often forget or ignore. It’s important for all of us to be aware of the risks and the needs of other water users, and to use waterways sensibly. The following document provides some useful advice for all water users: 



Be safe….!

Ever had a bit of a slip when wading the river? Most of us have but few of us wear buoyancy aids to avoid potential disaster. Inverness Angling Club reminds anglers to wear buoyancy aids at all times when fishing. Failure to do so is at their own risk. 

Many of us feel that lifejackets interfere with casting, but modern versions are much less restrictive and are available from around £30. And if you do have and use a lifejacket, make sure you get it checked regularly so that it does the job it’s designed to do when you most need it.

Last chance for casting coaching

The last of Inverness Angling Club’s annual series of Casting Clinics will be held at the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness from 7 to 9 pm on Wednesday (June 27). Over the last three weeks the clinics have attracted a strong attendance of young people and adults who have benefited from instruction by three times world Speycasting champion Scott Mackenzie and the club’s qualified coaches. 

Two handed and single handed casting will be covered, either on the river or, for novices, on the adjacent Bught Park. All are welcome. The clinics are free and open to non members from “a’ the airts.” Please bring your own tackle if you can. A limited amount of club tackle will be available.


Casting: Seven-year-old Connor Cadden from Farr has made great progress

Memorable day

A six pound grilse, caught and released in the Weir Pool of the River Ness club water, made a memorable outing for IAC member Lewis Thomson today (June 16). The salmon, attracted by a size 10 Cascade, was a first for Lewis. He said: “It was a good wee fighter and I’m absolutely delighted!”


Delighted: First for Lewis

Strong attendance at IAC clinics

Anglers came from as far away as Dornoch to get some tips at the first of Inverness Angling Club’s casting clinics at the Little Isle Pool on Wednesday evening. And the club’s aim to encourage more young people to take up the sport were rewarded with a strong attendance of youngsters from the age of six up to the mid teens. The clinics continue on Wednesday evenings throughout this month - June 13, 20 and 27. All are welcome and coaching is free of charge. Please bring your own tackle but a limited amount of club tackle is available.


Expert: World Speycasting champion Scott Mackenzie offers advice

Casting Clinics provide expert tuition

Wednesday evening (June 6) sees the start of Inverness Angling Club’s annual Casting Clinics which will continue weekly to the end of the month - June 13, 20 and 27. All are welcome - young and not-so-young, novices and experienced anglers who would like a little help to improve their casting. Salmon and trout casting will be covered, free of charge. Bring your own tackle if you can; if not, a limited amount of trout and salmon tackle will be available.

The location will be the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness, by the Bught Park. Most evenings will see the presence of world casting champions who will demonstrate their skills and participate in the coaching. They will be supported by club coaches who hold a minimum of Sportscotland/UKCC Level 1 coaching certification, with PVG and Disclosure Scotland clearance.

First for James

James Thomson is one delighted member of Inverness Angling Club today (June 1), having caught and released his first salmon on the fly. Fishing the Weir Pool in bright sunshine and low water, his Cascade fly intercepted a strong fish which weighed in at 16.5 lbs after a 20 minute fight. Well done James - a cracking fish!

Salmon for James: 16.5 lbs of fighting fish

Welcome ladies!

Inverness Angling Club is looking forward to hosting FishPal’s Ladies Event on the Ness fishings on Saturday, September 1, with proceeds going to the Highland Hospice. Three-time world Speycasting champion Scott Mackenzie will be on hand to give advice along with SGAIC instructor David Mateer and qualified club coaches.

The day will start at the Highland Hospice at 9am for bacon rolls, tea and coffee, introductions and safety briefing. Fishing will be in three groups - beginners, new to fishing with a little experience and ladies who go fishing. After lunch at the hospice, the afternoon session will run from 2 to 4.30pm when its back to the hospice for tea, coffee and cake and a debrief. Ladies who have their own equipment can carry on fishing into the evening.

The cost for the day, including fishing permit, tuition and food, is £55 per lady. Places should be booked with Sue Munro by e-mail - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Please let Sue know which group will be suitable for you on the day - beginner, new to fishing with a little experience our ladies who go fishing, Ladies who are staying in Inverness on the Friday evening (August 31) will be meeting up for dinner.

Balancing act

Amid all the discussion about what ‘art’ may or may not be desirable for ‘The Gathering Place’, people have been expressing their artistic talents on the riverside. And it’s amazing what folk can do with a few stones and a sense of balance.

Creative: Stone me!

Spot the live one: But not his work!

IAC - Updated Privacy Policy

Inverness Angling Club is committed to safeguarding the personal data of every member of our fishing community. When it comes to your personal data, transparency is important to us. With that in mind, we’re updating our privacy policy to make it easier for you to understand:

• what information we collect from you
• why we collect it
• how we store and use it
• when and with whom we share it


Our new policy outlines your data privacy rights, and explains how to exercise them — giving you more control over your personal data held by the Inverness Angling Club. We encourage you to visit the 'Club Details' section of the website and view the updated privacy policy, which goes into effect on 25 May, 2018.

If you currently receive our marketing communications – which include club updates and newsletters – you will continue to receive these communications from us. If you’re no longer interested in receiving future email communications from IAC, you may modify your marketing preferences at any time by clicking the 'unsubscribe' or 'update preferences' link contained within theses communications.  You can also contact the club directly using the Contact Form on the website.

A downloadable copy of the IAC Privacy Policy can be found HERE.

Thank you for being part of the IAC community!

Little Isle base for refreshed ‘Gathering Place’

The Highland Council have unveiled plans for an alternative ‘Gathering Place’ to replace the abandoned proposals for a ‘Tilting Pier’ below the Infirmary bridge. Not surprisingly, the new proposals centre upon an existing ‘Gathering Place’ - the popular Little Isle Pool where anglers, non-anglers, walkers and visitors regularly meet and talk.

The design is based on a circular wall of varying height embracing both sides of the river - the Bught and Island Bank Road banks. Designers Sans Façon & OSA recognise that “people’s love and pride for their river is deeply felt and quite rightly jealously guarded.” 

They go on: “The structure creates a monument to the river, a monument in a new sense, no longer only about the things that are important to remember but as the things that are important to keep and protect, as a space to celebrate the sense of place, to interact and to perhaps see the familiar anew. A limelight for the theatre of the river.”

Inverness Angling Club president Graham MacKenzie said: “We are delighted to be part of the ongoing consultation in relation to the proposed new ‘My Ness’ plan for artwork along the River Ness. The club are engaged in dialogue with both Highland Council, who will lead the project, along with the artists Sans façon & OSA. This ongoing dialogue will ensure the interests of all parties are met and we look forward to a positive and eye-catching outcome.”


Gathering Place: The Little Isle, Bught bank

Gathering Place: The complete picture

Club loses two members

It is with great sadness that Inverness Angling Club records the passing of two long-standing members - Alistair ‘Tich’ Matheson and Alva Parkes. The funeral service for Alva will be held in St Andrew’s Church, Fortrose, at 1.30 pm on Wednesday, May 30. All are welcome to attend. Funeral details for Alistair are awaited. The committee and members of the club express their deepest sympathies to the families and friends of Alistair and Alva.

Cast a line with us

Day or weekly permits are readily available for Inverness Angling Club’s Ness fishings. Visitors can buy their tickets from the Castle Street tackle shop of Grahams of Inverness or the refreshments kiosk recently opened on the riverside pedestrian walkway adjacent to Inverness Cathedral and Eden Court Theatre. Current prices are £15 per day or £75 per week. These rise to £25 per day or £125 per week from June 1 to October 15. Junior (under 18) permits are available for £10 per day throughout the season.

Sponsors support league success 

Members of Inverness Angling Club completed an enjoyable 2017/2018 Winter Trout League at Achagour Trout Fishery on Saturday (May 12). While more trout were taking surface flies and buzzers, fishing proved to be hard.


The best bag overall went to Mike Campbell. Billy MacKenzie was second and Alex Elliott third. Jim McDowall landed the best fish overall. The junior champion was Fraser Munro. Almost £1,000 worth of prizes were donated by main sponsors Snowbee, supported by Grahams of Inverness, Bellfield Enterprises, Highland Industrial Supplies, Ness Side Fishings, Achagour Trout Fishery and Jim Jarvie. They included rods, lines, fishing and tackle vouchers.


The trout league will continue in 2018/2019, marking the tenth anniversary of the competition which runs in monthly sessions from October to May.

Calculation: Jim Jarvie (right) works out the overall results - closely

monitored by Billy Orrock (left) and Graham Adam

Winners all: A happy bunch of sporting anglers

All welcome for June casting clinics

Inverness Angling Club will be staging its annual series of casting clinics at the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness (by Bught Park) from 7 pm each Wednesday evening in June - the 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th. Members, non-members and youngsters, including novices and parents, are welcome to attend the classes which are free of charge.

For peace for mind, all coaches hold a minimum Sportscotland/UKCC Level 1 coaching certification, with PVG and Disclosure Scotland clearance. An added incentive will be the presence, on most evenings, of world casting champions who will demonstrate their skills and participate in the coaching. 

The classes will cover Speycasting with fly rods of around 15ft and trout rod casting. If possible, please bring your own rods, but a limited supply of loan rods will be available.

Casting skills: One-to-one coaching

Another for isle

The Little Isle Pool of the club water is beginning to produce results for those who fish it for its streamy runs and the ‘craic’ with fellow members. The second fish of the week came on Saturday - a good double-figure springer for James Thomson.

Superb!: A good springer for James

Success for visitor

It’s good to see visitors to Inverness Angling Club’s River Ness fishings being successful. Neil Fraser from Newport-on-Tay made it a magnificent May day with a salmon of around five pounds from the Little Isle Pool. It was attracted by a size 10 Cascade fished on a floating line with a 10ft sink tip. Says Neil: "My second salmon, my first silver one and my first springer!  Very pleased." Well done Neil!

First springer: A good catch for Neil

Prizes boost fly tying for youngsters

Fly tying instruction for young people will benefit from £105 raised in a raffle drawn today (Friday, April 27) at the Little Isle Hut. The prizes were two sets of specially tied IAC Centenary flies mounted on stag horn, plus boxes of salmon flies tied and donated by club president Graham MacKenzie. The winners were Neil Fraser and Kenny Mackenzie, neither of whom were able to be present for the draw which was graciously carried out by club member Geraldine Connah. 

The funds raised will assist instruction and the provision of materials for young novice fly tyers at the club’s classes, which will run in the conference suite of Dow’s Diner on Balloan Road each Wednesday evening from October 31 to February 27. Junior and senior tyers, experienced or inexperienced, or anyone new to angling, will be welcome at the classes. Salmon and trout fly tying will be tutored by experienced tyers. All interested are invited to register with class organiser Alan Scott at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tying trio (left to right): Eric MacLeay, winner of the Centenary fly

tying competition, with Geraldine Connah, who made the draw and

organiser Alex Elliott

Key events - Reminders

Little Isle Prize Draw - Members are invited to the anglers’ hut at the Little Isle pool at 11 am tomorrow (Friday, April 27) when the draw is made for the Centenary flies and two stag horn stands. Additonal prizes are two fly boxes, complete with flies, donated by club president Graham MacKenzie.

Trout League Final - The final of the club’s 2017-18 Winter Trout League will take place at Achagour Trout Fishery on Saturday, May 12. Registration for the four-fish final will be at 9 am, fishing will start at 9.30, lunch break will be at 12.30 and fishing will re-start at 1.30. During fishing, anglers will move position every 45 minutes.

Help wanted

The Ness District Salmon Fishery Board is looking for volunteers to help conduct one of its annual bird counts on Friday (April 27), covering the area of the River Ness from the top of the Red Braes to the harbour. Anyone who is able to assist should contact the board’s head bailiff, John McColl, on 07789 006087.

Gas works will maintain access

Contractors SGN (Gas), who are laying a new gas main along Ness Walk and Bught Road, have assured IAC that access to the anglers’s car park at the Little Isle will be maintained at all times.

In a conversation with president Graham MacKenzie, the SGN project manager advised that the road from the General’s Well area will always be open, but the road downstream from the car park will, at some point, be closed to all traffic with diversions in place.

The gas pipe that crosses the Little Isle Pool will be left in place and will continue to be used for many years. No work will be taking place in the river.

Winning prizes

Centenary flies tied by pupils of Inverness Angling Club’s fly tying class will be up for award next week in a raffle which will help fund instruction for young people. The flies were submitted for a competition to design a fly for IAC’s 100th birthday. There will be two prizes of five flies, stag horn presentation stand and fly box. The draw will take place at the Little Isle Hut at 11 am on Friday, May 27.

Two of the pupils, Donnie Allan and Jamie Urquhart, have already caught salmon on flies they developed during the tying classes.

Top prizes: Student’s flies

18 pounder tops them all

Paul King, a visitor to Inverness Angling Club’s fishings on the River Ness, achieved a personal best at the Weir Pool on Monday. Fishing a Cascade tube fly, Paul landed and released a fresh 18lb springer.

Personal best: Paul’s 18lb springer

Toby does it for Fraser

Inverness Angling Club junior member Fraser Munro landed and released a seven pound salmon from the Cross Hedges on Thursday. The salmon was attracted by that traditional top catcher of fish, the zebra Toby. With three landed on Saturday, it's been a fairly good week for club anglers.

A fine fish for Fraser

Ness on a spring roll

The town water of the River Ness is on a roll with another three fish reported today (Saturday). Martin Nelson got his second of the season with a 10lb fly-caught fresh salmon from the Weir Pool, where Lawrence Deans got his second of the season on Friday. Also on the Weir, Graham Ross enjoyed a brisk tussle with a seven pound salmon which too a tube fly. Both were safely returned. There are reports of a third fish caught by a visitor on the Braes, but confirmation of the detail is awaited.

Spring success: Second for Martin

Lucky for some!

IAC member Lawrence Deans turned the tables on tradition on Friday the 13th with a cracking sea-liced springer from the Weir Pool of the River Ness - his second of the season. The 15.5 lb fish, attracted by a size 8 Cascade style fly, gave Lawrence several heart-stopping moments in a 30-minute battle. It was successfully landed in the deep pool which has been carved out below the new bridge.

Delighted: Lawrence nails his second of the season

Fine fishing on Ruthven

If you fancy a day’s fishing for quality brown trout, Loch Ruthven is one of the best in the Inverness area. Visitors can fish this 368 acre loch by booking Inverness Angling Club’s boat through tackle dealers Grahams of Inverness. And when not being used by visitors - usually most of the time - club members can use it for free Check that it’s available by calling Grahams on 01463 233178.

Try your luck

Flies designed for Inverness Angling Club’s ‘Ness Centenary Salmon Fly’ contest will be raffled in aid of the club and the tying classes. All 10 flies have been tied to a high standard and will be presented to the winner complete with two stag horn stands. Contact vice-president Alex Elliott for further information using the details shown on club membership cards.

Try your luck: Win top flies and stag horn cradles

Tyers rewarded for developing skills

There were no losers at the close of Inverness Angling Club’s 2017/18 fly tying classes last night (March 29) as all showed a significant development of their skills. But achievements were recognised in a little contest to design and tie a ‘Ness Centenary Salmon Fly’ incorporating all the colours of the club’s logos. Experienced tyer Graham Forbes was judged to have submitted the best fly overall. Among the novices, Eric Macleay tied the best fly with Jamie Urquhart the runner-up. All three received £20 vouchers sponsored by David Dyce, Bill Byers and the club. Details about the 2018/19 classes, starting in November, will be posted during the summer.

Novice winner Eric Macleay (left) receives his award from vice-president Alex Elliott

Novice runner-up Jamie Urquhart

Overall winner Graham Forbes

Season end for fly tying class

Inverness Angling Club’s weekly fly tying class reaches the end of its season this Thursday evening when pupils will invest the experience they have gained into tying the fly of their choice. A key event of the evening will be the judging of 10 entries received for the ‘Centenary’ fly competition with £20 vouchers going to each of the two best flies chosen.

Two from the Weir

Warmer weather brought a result for two club members at the Weir Pool of the Ness fishings today (March 27). Allan Crawford landed a fresh 10lb salmon on a 3” Devon minnow while Martin Nelson caught a nine pounder on the fly. Both fish were safely released.

One of two: Martin's Weir fish

Topping 10 pounder: Good fish for Allan

Donations complement new skills

As Inverness Angling Club’s 2017/18 series of fly tying classes ends next week, participants will benefit not only from the development of new skills but the donation of materials which will help them produce attractive flies for this season and beyond. The latest donations came from keen angler Brian Wilson, former chief executive of Inverness District Council, and Sean Stanton, developer of the Franc N Snaelda salmon fly. Sean gave the class a bundle of top quality hair after meeting class member Graham Forbes at the recent Scottish Fly Fair.

A full-time ghillie on the River Dee, Sean and wife Tracey run their salmon fly, fly-tying and material store from their home on Royal Deeside. Sean is a prolific tier who designs and manufactures his own range of affordable, quality materials. This gave birth to the Sean Stanton Signature Tubes, the first in the range of many Signature materials to be developed. See http://www.francnsnaelda.com

Deadline for creative flies

Tonight (Thursday, March 22) is the deadline for entries into the IAC fly tying competition for the creation of a ‘Centenary’ fly. The rules are simple to encourage creativity. Flies should be tied on a double iron of your choice and incorporate the club’s standard and centenary colours - blue, yellow, silver, gold and black. Entries should be submitted in a sealed container carrying the entrant’s name and passed to vice president Alex Elliott by this evening. 

Alex will be at the fly tying class in Hilton Community Centre tonight from 7 to 8.30 pm and entries can be delivered  to him there. Entries will remain anonymous until Mike Campbell and Alan Scott complete their judging at the final fly tying class next Thursday (March 29). Two vouchers of £20, donated by Bill Byers and David Dyce, will be awarded to the successful entrants. 

New hut a step closer?

IAC officials are in discussions with representatives of The Highland Council concerning the improvement and expansion of the Little Isle hut. The opportunity for the development has arisen through a council group which is looking to improve facilities at the Bught. The club believes that improvement of the hut would not only meet the needs of anglers but enrich engagement with the hundreds of tourists who stop and talk with Little Isle anglers every year.


Deadline for renewal approaches

Membership of Inverness Angling Club for 2018 currently stands at a total of 112 - 47 senior, 20 associates, 30 concessionary, four ladies and 11 juniors. One sea permit has been sold so far. Renewals are expected to increase soon and anglers are reminded that they should purchase their permits before April 1. This is to help the club to secure the income to meet substantial early season bills. Renewals from April 1 will incur an extra charge of £20. 


Dodgy trees and missing papers

Members have raised concerns about the potentially dangerous condition of tree branches in the area of the Little Isle hut. One of the branches attracts youngsters to climb over its length, posing a threat to health and safety. Highland Council officials have been made aware of the club’s concerns, have visited the site and action is awaited.

Investigation continues into the regular removal of copies of club committee minutes from the Little Isle hut. The posting of the minutes was in response to requests by members for information on committee discussions and decisions. Perhaps the culprit doesn’t believe in democratic dialogue! 

Fishing only by permit

The new West Link road and Holm Mills Bridge have certainly improved connections between the east and west sides of Inverness. But the route has brought vehicle and pedestrian traffic closer to the club fishings on the Braes and Weir Pools. The club is taking the precaution of seeking permission from The Highland Council to place a fishing permit sign at the lay-by close to the right bank of the pools.

Roll on tenth anniversary!

Snowbee, the international tackle company, has once again agreed to become the major sponsor of IAC’s Winter Trout League. The 2017/18 league is currently under way at Achagour Fishery where the four fish final will be staged on Saturday, May 12. Snowbee has sponsored the league since its launch nine years ago, in 2009/2010, a significant tribute to the standing of Inverness Angling Club and its members. Junior members are taking part in the league for the first time this season. Club member Jim Jarvie has kindly donated a rod as a junior prize. 

 Winners all: Participants in the final of the 2016/17 winter league

First of the year from club water

Lawrence Deans got a result from some hard fishing lately to get the first salmon of the year from the club water of the River Ness on Saturday (March 17). The Weir Pool delivered a fish of over 10 lbs to Lawrence’s fly, earning him the award for the first fish of the year which will be presented at the AGM in November. Hopefully, the catch will be the first of many.

Nice one: First of the season from the IAC water

Service for Flookie

The funeral ceremony for iAC member Ian ‘Flookie’ Maclennan will be held at Inverness Crematorium on Monday, March 26, at 12 noon. All are welcome to attend. Donations in memory of Flookie can be made at the service to Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland.

Popular member passes away

Ian MacLennan, angler and long term member of Inverness Angling Club, passed away in Raigmore Hospital today (Tuesday, March 13) after an extended illness. He was one of the club’s most popular characters, best known by his nickname Flookie. This was acquired during his youth when salmon netting was carried out in the Friar’s Shott, where Ian collected all the flounders (flookies) from the nets and sold them in the town for pocket money.

Ian had a varied career, working at Invergordon and Inverness harbours, at McDermott’s Ardersier platform fabrication yard and as a ghillie on the Ness Castle beat of the River Ness. Until his illness, he was a regular visitor to the club’s Little Isle fishing hut where he entertained visitors and boosted club income by selling day tickets. Ian is survived by a sister and brother.

Characters: Flookie (right) with fellow member Lewis Lyle

Mastering The Monkey

Following last week’s interesting demonstration by Ali Hutchens, the subject for Inverness Angling Club’s fly tying class this week (Thursday, March 15) will be the Monkey - a fly that most salmon anglers will always have in their box. Mike Campbell will lead the dressing of this fly which can be tied on a variety of tubes - from plastic and aluminium through to bottle and copper if weight is needed. Materials include Arctic fox fur, black shadow fox fur, black goat, peacock herl, soft hackles in colours such as yellow and orange, and jungle cock.

David Mateer will return next week (March 22) to demonstrate the tying of two top trout flies - the pheasant tail nymph and the half hog. See the earlier post for detailed dressings. The final class, on March 29, will include the tying of the pot belly pig. 

The final class will also see the judging of the centenary fly competition. Entries should be placed in an envelope with the tyer’s name and passed to vice president Alex Elliott by Thursday, March 22. Each entry will be given a number and names will only be revealed when Mike Campbell and Alan Scott complete the judging. Two vouchers of £20, donated by Bill Byers and David Dyce, will be awarded to the successful entrants.

Magic: The Monkey

Funding to address pressures on salmon stocks

The Scottish Government has announced funding of around £700,000 for work to help address pressures related to the decline of Scottish wild salmon stocks. Some £500,000 will support research and activities, including a new national programme of local sampling which will help to count the numbers of juvenile salmon in rivers, and monitor their abundance. District Salmon Fishery Boards (DSFBs) can also bid for a share of £200,000 for mergers, or to set up new boards which will help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of fisheries management.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “The survival rate of salmon during their marine phase has fallen from around 25 per cent to five per cent over the last 40 years and, while the exact causes of this dramatic loss are unclear, we must do what we can to protect salmon numbers.” 

See the full Scottish Government News Release and the Fisheries Management Scotland response

Tying techniques impress

Students at Inverness Angling Club’s fly tying class were treated to a fascinating display of tying skills and techniques on Thursday evening. Ali Hutchens, a member of the Partridge and LTS Pro teams, very kindly gave his time to demonstrate his style of tying. Donnie Allan’s proposal of Mascot Monkey as a name won him two flies that Ali tied during the demonstration.

Skill: Ali demonstrates his techniques

Fly box: Ali (left) shows his coillection of flies to club president Graham MacKenzie

It's all in a name: Donnie Allan gets his prize

Lecture series examines Atlantic salmon

The history of salmon will be examined in a series of lectures at Inverness College UHI during March. In the first, on Tuesday, March 13 at 6.30 pm, Professor Hugh Cheape will discuss the unique insight Gaelic sources and material culture give to Scotland’s freshwater ecology. 

A lunch time seminar will be presented by Dr Julie Brown of Clatsop Community College, Oregon, on Tuesday, March 20. This will be followed, on Tuesday, March 27, by an evening lecture on The History of Salmon Management in Scotland by Dr Ronald Campbell, senior biologist at The Tweed Foundation.

All events are free to the public Full details are available at History of Salmon lecture series.


Tying options for class

While the tying of salmon flies will continue by some, trout flies will be introduced to the fly tying class being run by Inverness Angling Club on Thursday, March 15, in Hilton Community Centre. Tutor David Mateer will demonstrate the tying of two flies - the Pheasant Tail Nymph and the Half Hog. Dressings for each are:

Pheasant Tail Nymph

Hook - Kamasan B120 Size 10-14. Thread - Brown Uni Thread 8/0. Tail - Pheasant tail fibres. Body - Pheasant tail fibres. Rib - Fine gold wire. Thorax - Hare’s ear dubbing. Thorax Cover - Pheasant tail fibres.

Half Hog

Hook - Kamasan B175 Size 10-14. Thread - Olive. Body - Olive dubbing. Rib - Fine gold wire. Wing - Deer hair. Thorax.

The salmon fly pattern will be one of three chosen by tyers for the remaining classes - the Muddler Minnow, a fly often used as a surface attractor to pull fish on to a tail fly. The dressing is:

Tail - Pair of mottled turkey wing sections. Body - Flat gold tinsel. Underwing - Grey squirrel hair. Overwing - Strips of mottled turkey. Collar and head - Fine deer hair spun and clipped to form collar and head.

Dressings for the final two flies - the Pot Belly Pig and the Monkey - will be given later.

The Pheasant Tail Nymph

The Half Hog

The Muddler Minnow

Pro team tyer to visit class

A great opportunity has arisen for Inverness Angling Club’s fly tying class. Fly tyer Ali Hutchens, a member of the Partridge of Redditch and LTS UK Pro Teams who also works at Scandinavian United Flytyers, will attend the class on Thursday, March 8, to demonstrate the tying of his very special tube flies.

Ali is no stranger to these parts. A native of Tain, he is a regular visitor to the top angling spots of the Highlands and north-east of Scotland. All interested anglers are invited to attend, including non-members of the club.


Let there be light!

Here’s a great deal for fly tyers! A former club member who no longer ties flies is offering this lamp for sale at £20. As well as the very useful lamp, it incorporates a magnifying lens for tyers whose sight is not quite as good as it used to be. If interested, contact vice president Alex Elliott on 07810 007691.

Fly tyer?: Catch a bargain

Jordon makes championship teams

Inverness Angling Club junior member Jordon Grant has been confirmed as a member of the UK team to compete in the World Fly Casting Championships at Port Haverigg, Cumbria, in August. Jordon has qualified as one of the eight team members for the men’s 15 foot 1 inch Spey competetion and the men’s 18 foot Spey. The full details are available at http://www.ukflycastingsport.com/record-breakers

Design a fly

If you haven’t already done so, it’s about time for IAC members to test their skills by designing a salmon fly that reflects the colours of the club badge and the special logo produced for our centenary year. To encourage imagination and inventiveness, there is no set pattern for the fly. The only stipulations are that they should be tied on a double iron of the tyer’s preference and incorporate all the logo colours - yellow, blue, silver, gold and black. 

The flies will be judged by tutor Michael Campbell and class organiser Alan Scott at the last of the club’s 2017/18 fly tying classes in Hilton Community Centre on Thursday, March 29, when we would encourage all entrants to attend. Entries - one fly per person - should be passed to club vice president Alex Elliott, in a sealed package carrying the name and telephone number of the tyer, by the evening of Thursday, March 22. The names of entrants will be withheld from the judges until the winners are chosen.

Two prizes of £20 vouchers, kindly sponsored by David Dyce and Bill Byers, will be awarded to the best flies.

Mike’s mystery fly

Red and yellow hair and hackles, along with oval and silver tinsel, are all that’s needed for this week’s fly tying class. The materials will make up one of tutor Mike Campbell’s unnamed flies with which he has accounted for many salmon over the years.

The class, organised by Inverness Angling Club and staged in Hilton Community Centre on Thursdays from 7 to 8.30 pm, has proved to be both an educational and enjoyable weekly event over the close season. Club membership is not a requirement. Non-members are welcome and tools and materials are available for those who would like to begin developing this fascinating skill.

There’s plenty of time to learn the basics. The classes will run each Thursday in March with two excellent tutors - Mike Campbell and David Mateer. If you fish for salmon, it’s time to add fly tying to your angling techniques.

Cumbria casts look good for Jordon

Inverness angler Jordon Grant turned in superb performances in qualifying events for the World Fly Casting Championships at Port Haverigg, Cumbria, on Saturday. And it looks as though the performances will be sufficient to confirm his place in the UK team for the championships which will be held at Port Haverigg in August. 

Jordon (16) took part in two events - the 15.1ft and 18ft Spey. He came fifth in the 15.1ft Spey with casts of 50.5 metres right hand and 43.5 metres left hand, a total of 94 metres. First was Andrew Toft who set a cast total of 104.5 metres. Jordon did even better in the 18ft Spey, taking third place with consistent casts of 57 and 57 metres, behind Lee Cummings (62/62 metres) and Peter Thain (57.5/57 metres).

Eight places are available for the UK team in each of a series of Spey and overhead casting events. Full details are available at http://www.ukflycastingsport.com/record-breakers The full UK team will be confirmed at the end of February.


Ness features on BBC Alba

The final episode of Turas A’ Bhradain (The Salmon’s Journey) will be broadcast on BBC Alba on Wednesday, February 14, at 8.30 pm. It will be available on the BBC iPlayer shortly thereafter and will be repeated on BBC Alba at 8.30 pm on Saturday, February 17. The programme will include features on the the River Ness, Scotland’s Salmon Festival and Inverness Angling Club. 

Presenter Neen MacKay meets with passionate competitors in the IAC Centenary Speycasting Tournament and talks with female anglers, who are fast becoming a major part of the world of fly fishing. With salmon now under serious threat, the programme also considers some of the scientific debates currently going on within the industry.

Tyers tackle Ally’s pattern

Shrimps will be on the menu again at this week’s fly tying class, staged by Inverness Angling Club in Hilton Community Centre on Thursdays from 7 to 8.30 pm. But this week tyers will concentrate their efforts on Ally’s Shrimp, the highly successful salmon fly designed and developed by well known angling instructor Ally Gowans of Pitlochry. The pattern is: Tail: hot orange bucktail (with Krystal hair if desired). Body: half red and half black floss silk with medium oval tinsel rib. Underwing: grey squirrel top and bottom. Overwing: bunch of GP tippets. Collar hackle: hot orange. Head: red thread or varnish.

Famed fly: Ally's Shrimp

Jordon casts for world championships

IAC club member Jordon Grant is bidding to qualify for the fifth World Fly Casting Championships to be held at Port Haverigg Marina Village in Millom, Cumbria, from August 17 to 19 this year. Jordon (16) demonstrated his potential last September when he came fifth equal overall in Inverness Angling Club’s Centenary Speycasting Tournament, among some of the top speycasters in Europe.

Accompanied by his grandfather, Douglas Mackie, Jordon will travel to Port Haverigg to take part in qualifying events this weekend (February 17). The top eight qualifiers will form the UK team, which will be confirmed at the end of February. Jordon is looking forward to the event, but is under no illusions. “I’ll have to be at my best to qualify. It would be a fantastic experience to take part in the world championships.”

Contender: Jordon fishes the Mill Stream

Conservation gradings confirmed

The Scottish Government has confirmed conservation gradings for the Ness district for 2018, with no change from those set for 2017. Grade 3 status will remain across the district until June 30 to protect spring salmon and early running grilse destined for the River Moriston. From July 1, mandatory catch and release will remain in the Moriston conservation area – but the River Ness, Loch Ness and the rest of the Ness district will be uplifted to Grade 2, allowing a limited number of fish to be caught and retained. 

All salmon and grilse must be released unharmed during the Grade 3 period. During the Grade 2 period, from July 1 to October 15, all hen fish, cock fish over eight pounds and coloured or unseasonable fish must be released. Only one cock fish weighing eight pounds or under may be retained per angler per week, with a maximum of two per season.

There are a series of restrictions on baits and lures. The use of prawns and shrimp is prohibited throughout the Ness district, as are worms for salmon and sea trout above Dochfour Weir. Any spinning lure or plug should have only one hook no bigger than size 6. Preferably, all hooks should be single, barbless or crimped. 

The use of worms below Dochfour Weir is restricted to the period between July 1 and August 31. Anglers should not fish with worms anywhere in the district while mandatory catch and release is in force.

Grading’s for all 171 rivers and assessment groups for 2018 can be found at the Marine Scotland website http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Salmon-Trout-Coarse/fishreform/licence/status The regulations themselves can be found at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2018/37/contents/made


Shrimps for salmon

Shrimp flies will be the subject of Inverness Angling Club’s weekly fly tying class in the Hilton Community Centre on Thursday from 7 to 8.30 pm. Tutors Mike Campbell and David Mateer will demonstrate the best ways to tie these very successful salmon flies. All are welcome, whether novices seeking to develop fascinating skills from the basics or experienced tyers looking for tips to improve their techniques. Equipment and materials can be provided. 


Tummel success for Jordon

Young Jordon Grant has once again demonstrated his angling skills by taking the first fish of the season from the River Tummel. The 16-year-old Inverness Angling Club member landed and released a sparkling 14 lb springer on a visit to the Pitlochry Angling Club water today (February 3). With other river visits in his diary over the next couple of months, it’s fairly safe to say that Jordon will be among the salmon again.

Happy laddie: Jordon shows off his fine fish

Fly design competition

IAC members are invited to test their skills in designing a salmon fly reflecting the colours of the club badge and the special logo produced for our centenary year. Two prizes of £20 vouchers, kindly sponsored by members David Dyce and Bill Byers, will be awarded to the best flies. There is no set pattern for the fly; the design is entirely in the hands of the tyer. The only stipulations are that they should be tied on a double iron of the tyer’s preference and incorporate all of the following colours:

From the standard logo: Yellow, Blue, Silver (as used in the enamel pin badge) and Black. From the centenary logo: Gold.

The flies will be judged by Michael Campbell and Alan Scott at the last of the club’s fly tying classes on Thursday, March 29. Entries - one fly per person - should be passed to club vice president Alex Elliott, in a sealed package marked Fly Competition and enclosing the name and telephone number of the tyer, by the evening of Thursday, March 22. The names of entrants will be withheld from the judges until the winners are chosen.

Ness season opens

Members of Inverness Angling Club got the salmon season off to a start today (February 1) as Councillor Graham Ross, Deputy Provost of Inverness, made the first cast of the year. The traditional ‘blessing of the water’ was carried out by Neil Souter, manager of Holm Mills Shopping Village which sponsors the annual event. Associate members from as far apart as Elgin and Hull were warmly welcomed by locals.

Lines tightened fairly quickly as Lawrence Deans and Jordon Grant fly-hooked and released lively kelts. The Weir Pool, which delivers most of the fresh spring fish, should come into its own as water levels fall, so members and visitors should give it a cast.

Quick march: Pipe Major Steve Spence of the Northern Constabulary

Pipe Band, leads anglers to the river

Warming dram: Alex Elliott helps lubricate the celebrations

Welcome: President Graham MacKenzie introduces Councillor

Graham Ross

For good fortune: Neil Souter 'blesses' the water

Off we go: Councillor Ross makes the first cast

Good pals: IAC honorary president Jack Fraser and Councillor Ross

enjoy the 'craic'

Knots and loops replace flies

There will be a change of pace as Inverness Angling Club’s Thursday night class switches from fly tying to the intricacies of knots, line looping and replacing rod rings. Bring with you any lines that would benefit from end loops and any rod sections which require the replacement of suspect rings. All are welcome to Hilton Community Centre at 7 pm tonight (Thursday, January 25). We’ll give Flamethrowers a miss so there will be no Burns….!

Anglers look forward to season opening

River Ness anglers are looking forward to wetting a line for the first time in 2018. Inverness Angling Club will be staging its annual opening day ceremony at the Mill Stream Pool, by Holm Mills, at 9.30 for 10 am on Thursday, February 1. 

Members and visitors will be piped to the river where Councillor Graham Ross, deputy provost of the City of Inverness and Area of The Highland Council, will make the first cast of the season. The traditional ‘Blessing of the Water’ will be carried out by Neil Souter, manager of sponsors Holm Mills Shopping Village. Bacon butties, tea and coffee will be served in the mill’s Ghillie’s Restaurant following the opening ceremony.

Ahead of the opening, IAC is seeking volunteers to help tidy up the bank area around the Mill Stream Pool. Members should meet at the Mill Hut at 10 am on Sunday, January 28. Tools will not be required but gardening or other form of protective gloves are recommended.

Mind the Redds!

As the 2018 season draws closer, anglers are urged to restrict wading during the first couple of months while salmon are continuing to spawn. Visitors to the Facebook page of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board will see that our fish are still very busy in producing the next generation of salmon. 

Deep wading is generally unnecessary in early season. And with eggs and alevins still in gravel it has the potential to kill more salmon than any individual angler might catch in a season…! Areas of spawning gravels - for example around the Charlie’s Seat area of the MacIntyre Pool, and most of the Little Isle and Silver Wells Pools - are particularly susceptible to careless wading in early season.

Club considers hut improvement

Inverness Angling Club is currently developing proposals for a much-needed extension of the Little Isle Hut, in advance of discussions with The Highland Council. The hut is a recognised gathering place for local and visiting anglers, for passers by heading to or from the Great Glen Way and for hundreds of other visitors to the city. 

The club is conscious that the hut needs major improvement in style and size to provide a more acceptable facility on the scenic riverside. It is also aware of the important role the hut and its anglers play in engagement with both local people and visitors. This has become particularly important as the increase in cruise ships berthing in the Cromarty Firth has generated many more visitors to the city and riverside.

Gathering place: The Little Isle Hut

Fiery fly tyers

This week’s IAC fly tying class could get fiery as students tackle the Flamethrower salmon fly. Materials required are oval gold tinsel, silver holographic tinsel, black floss, yellow bucktail, pearl crystal flash, orange and yellow hackles, and jungle cock. The class kicks off at 7pm on Thursday, in Hilton Community Centre. All are welcome. Club membership is not required. Tools and materials can be provided.

Fiery attraction: The Flamethrower

Club sees record junior growth

Record growth in young anglers in the Inverness area has seen numbers shoot up from 103 youngsters in 2016 to 141 last year – and the push is on for a further surge this year. As a result of their encouragement of young anglers, Inverness Angling Club has received a £2,500 cheque from the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board.

Graham MacKenzie, president of Inverness Angling Cub, said:”We’re delighted at this token of appreciation from the board, reflecting the work we do to produce the anglers of the future. “The 141 recorded last year represented youngsters aged from 17 year old right down to four year olds, the latter being sons or daughters of existing members. We have 160 adult members. We have invested in producing six fully trained coaches, accredited to Sportscotland and Disclosure Scotland, allowing skills to be passed on to younger anglers.”

Mr MacKenzie added:”We plan to maintain this growth in children being interested in angling. Any young boy or girl who wants to try their hand at the sport can simply go to Graham’s Tackle Shop, Inverness, and pick up one of our free tickets for the new Ness season, which begins on February 1. They don’t have to register or face any red tape --  just collect a ticket and start fishing. Over 18s interested can register online for season tickets. In addition, any youngster of any age, member or not, can receive free casting tuition from award-winning anglers every Wednesday in June.”

Chris Conroy, river director of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board, said: ”This cheque presentation shows that we value the significant contribution the angling club makes to the promotion of ‘angling for all’. They’ve done an excellent job, as the numbers increase shows, and we hope that our contribution can help ensure continued provision of affordable and accessible salmon angling in the Inverness area.”


Congratulations: Chris Conroy (centre) hands the cheque to club president Graham MacKenzie. 

Looking on are committee members (from left) Tony Quinn and Harry Fraser, and (right) Bill Byers

Sessions continue with Cascade

The second session of the IAC fly tying classes begins in Hilton Community Centre at 7 pm on Thursday (January 11). All are welcome to come along. Subject of the night will be variations of the Cascade,  probably one of the most successful of recent times. The materials required are yellow and hot orange bucktail, silver crystal, silver Mylar, black floss, oval silver, natural grey squirrel (optional), black wing (bear, stoat or squirrel), pearl Crystal hair, and hot orange and yellow cock hackles. Tools and materials can be supplied.

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