Fishery board AGM

The annual public meeting of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board will be held in the Press and Journal lounge at Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club on Thursday, January 18, at 7.30 pm. Core matters for the meeting will be the activities of the board for 2017, presentation of the 2017 annual report and accounts and the board’s proposed activities for 2018. Guest speaker will be angling personality Marina Gibson who will talk about her role as an Atlantic Salmon Trust ambassador and the trust’s research. 

The meeting is open to the public. Places are limited so interest in attending should be registered with Chris Conroy, clerk to the board, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01463 861245. Proposals are invited for matters to be considered at the meeting. These should be submitted to the clerk in writing in advance. The final agenda for the meeting will be available from the week beginning January 8 and can be viewed at

Get your club card from Friday

Membership cards for Inverness Angling Club will be available for purchase from the Castle Street shop of Graham’s of Inverness from Friday of this week (December 15). Anglers are reminded, however, that they should take their 2017 permits with them as it makes things easier for Graham’s staff. Junior membership cards, which are provided free to under 18-year-olds, and Sea Trout permits for the area from the Black Bridge to the sea, will also be available. Fees for 2018 are: Senior (21 and over) £150, intermediate (18 to 20 inclusive) £50, lady and concessionary £75, sea trout £20.

Silver Stoat for tying class

Inverness Angling Club’s fly tying class continues on Thursday evening, starting at 7 pm in the Hilton Community Centre. Fly of the week will be the Silver Stoat, a highly successful salmon fly that evolved from the traditional Stoat’s Tail. The materials required are Golden Pheasant crest (or yellow hackle fibres), oval silver tinsel, flat plain silver or holographic silver tinsel, black hen or cock hackle and, for the wing, black stoat’s tail, squirrel, Arctic runner or similar. Optional finishes include jungle cock and a red head.

All tyers are welcome to the class. IAC membership is not required. This will be the final class of the current session. Following the seasonal break classes will resume on Thursday, January 11, and run until Thursday March 29.


Silver Stoat: A fly for every box

Welcome tips from top tyer

Fourteen fly tyers gathered in Hilton Community Centre on Thursday evening (December 7) to welcome well-known tyer Graham NIchols of Grainhead Flies and Services. Graham very kindly made the trip south from Golspie, in the face of pretty negative weather forecasts, to give our tyers some valuable tips on tying tube flies. Well done to Geraldine Connah who tied a creditable Willie Gunn, despite not being able to attend all of the previous classes.

The last of the current series of classes will be held in Hilton Community Centre next Thursday (December 14) from 7 to 8.30 pm. Following the seasonal break, the classes will re-start on Thursday, January 11, and run each Thursday to March 29. All anglers keen to learn fly tying, or develop existing skills, are welcome; membership of Inverness Angling Club is not required.


Super session: Graham Nichols (back, centre) enjoys the craic with Ian Wooley (back, left), 

Eric MacLeay (back, right), Jordon Grant (left) and Graham Forbes.

Feast for anglers

The anglers Christmas dinner will take place at Cafe V8 in Inverness on Friday, December 8, at 7.30 pm. It will feature a three-course meal of seasonal specialities, including a vegetarian option, all for £17.95. If you are interested in joining this group of piscatorial pleasure seekers call Davie on 07596 366397.

Top fly tyer to visit class

Noted fly tyer Graham Nichols will be a guest of Inverness Angling Club at its fly tying class on Thursday, December 7, starting at 7 pm in its usual venue at Hilton Community Centre. Graham is a ‘weel kent’ face around north rivers, including the club water of the Ness where he is an associate member.

Graham operates Grainhead Flies from his home in Golspie, serving anglers all over the country. Some of his work can be viewed on his web site  A particular speciality is his tube flies, the tying of which he will demonstrate at the December 7 class. 

Concentration: Tyers at this week’s class

Skilled hands: Jordon Grant nears completion of the Ghillie fly

Tay fly for tying class

Inverness Angling Club’s weekly fly tying classes will recommence on Thursday night (November 30) after a break for last week’s club AGM. Fly of the week will be the Ghillie salmon fly, a particularly successful fly designed by Tay ghillie Tony Black.

Class tyers have already developed a few of the techniques required for this fly which combines gold tinsel, hot orange bucktail, mirror flash, Arctic runner in hot orange, yellow and black, holographic tinsel, black floss, blue Guinea fowl and jungle cock. As always, tools and materials can be supplied for those who are not yet fully equipped, or for any newcomers on the night.

IAC plans to freeze fees for next five years

In a bold bid to retain and increase membership, the committee of Inverness Angling Club has confirmed its intention to hold fees at the present level for the next five years. The plan was announced by president Graham MacKenzie at the club’s AGM on Thursday (November 23).

In common with other sports clubs, IAC has faced real challenges in holding membership - its only regular source of income along with visitor fees - and posted losses to its balance sheet. Fee increases designed to stem losses resulted in further year-to-year declines in membership. Welcome assistance came from The Highland Council and Inverness Common Good Fund, in the shape of a substantial reduction in annual rent and grants which are reviewed annually. But losses continued - until 2017 when the club made a major breakthrough into profit.

Treasurer Gordon Smith reported to the AGM: “It’s been a good year.” Under his tight control of the purse strings, income rose from £39,020 in 2016 to £46,943 in 2017 while costs dropped from £40,415 in 2016 to £38,738 in 2017. This produced a surplus of £8,205 against a loss of £1,395 in 2016. Key features of income were £30,945 in members’ subscriptions, £7,316 in visitors’ fees and a £2,500 grant from the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board in recognition of the significant contribution the club makes to the promotion of angling for all and the provison of affordable and accesible salmon fishing.

Graham warned, however, that the club’s finances remained fragile. He explained: “Membership fees can only be set at our AGM so a sudden fall in membership during any one season can have a major impact on the balance sheet. Prudent financial management means that we must aim to hold reserves of at least two years of costs. At this point in time, we are still short of the target, so efforts to increase income by building membership and sales of visitor permits , and cutting costs, will continue.”

Membership holds….just

Senior and associate membership - IAC’s key source for income - has shown an alarming decline over the past five years. Locally based members have dropped from 187 in 2013 to 174, 141 and 126 in consecutive years to 2016, and a marginal increase to 128 in 2017. Associate members over the same period hovered around 30, but with a severe drop to 21 in 2016. Concessionary members have dropped from 49 to 33 in the period from 2014 to 2017. Junior membership, free to under 18s, has varied between 140 in 2014 to 131 in 2017. The sale of visitor permits has shown a significant increase, totalling 329 in 2017 - the highest level in five years.


Catches disappointing

As 2017 followed a season of mandatory catch and release, catches were disappointing as Ness anglers were allowed to take fish for the pot. Spring fish continued to be released to protect Moriston stocks, but a maximum of two cock fish under eight pounds could be taken between July 1 and October 15. Total salmon and grilse caught were 168 against 177 in 2016, with a 78 per cent release rate. 36 salmon and grilse were retained while 132 were released. Previous years catches were 174 in 2012, 209 in 2013, 125 in 2014, 239 in 2015 and 177 in 2016, giving an average of almost 185 fish.

Opening of 2018 season

The AGM accepted a committee recommendation to continue the voluntary agreement with the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board to delay the start of the salmon fishing season from January 15 to Thursday, February 1. The club will be organising the usual opening ceremony - so watch this space!


Sign up for membership

Fees for 2018 - and potentially for a further four years to 2022 - have been set as follows: Membership: Adult male (21 and over) - £150, Intermediate (18 to 20 years inclusive) - £50, Concession (65 and over with 12 years unbroken membership) - £75, Lady - £75, Associate male - £150, Associate lady - £75. Surcharges (for all above) - no catch return received for 2017 - +£20, Late renewal from April 1 - +£20. Junior (under 18) - Free. 

New members - £150 (no joining fee) on application to the membership secretary. Special entry - £100 (for adults who have NOT been members of IAC within the last five years, on application to the membership secretary). Application forms can be downloaded from:

Permits: Sea Trout (Black Bridge to the sea) - £20 per season. Visitor - February 1 to May 31 - £15 per day, £75 per week, Junior £10 per day. June 1 to October 15 - £25 per day, £125 per week, Junior - £10 per day. Half day (1300 to 2400 hours, July 1 to October 15) - £15.

Officials to be elected for two-year periods

A new regime is being introduced for the election of the club’ office-bearers with the aim of maintaining continuity in the management of the club. All office-bearers will be appointed for two-year periods. The president and secretary will be appointed on even numbered years while the vice-president and treasurer (currently a joint post with the membership secretary) in odd numbered years.

Committee appointments

A strong committee, combining old heads with some fresh faces, will lead the club through 2018. Office-bearers are president Graham MacKenzie, vice president Alex Elliott, secretary Steve Black and treasurer/membership secretary Gordon Smith. They will be supported by a committee formed by re-elected members Tony Quinn, Eric Craig, Neil Fraser, Bill Byers, Steve Watt, Paul Owen, John Sutherland, Lawrence Deans, Aiden Macdonald and new members Harry Fraser, Walter Mackay and John Ralph.

Members get due rewards

The first verified salmon catch of 2017 was landed by club member Derick Proctor. Spinning the Weir Pool with a 3-inch black and orange Devon, he caught and released a sea-liced salmon estimated at 17lbs. The catch was recognised at the AGM when Graham MacKenzie presented Derick with the Corie Horne Trophy.

The coveted ‘Angler of the Year Award’ was shared by committee member Lawrence Deans and associate member John Macdonald from Evanton. Both receive £50 vouchers towars their 2018 membership. The duo put in a power of work on the canal-side bank of the Red Braes in 2016, clearing bushes all the way down the beat to improve access to this important fishing beat.

First fish: Graham MacKenzie presents the Corie Horne Trophy to Derick Proctor

and (below) congratulates Lawrence Deans (centre) and John Macdonald (right)

on being 'Anglers of the Year'.


Ignore the weather, come to the AGM

Whatever the weather brings on Thursday (November 23) - possibly the first snowfall of the year if the forecast is to be believed - don’t let that stop Inverness Angling Club members from stepping out to the club’s 2017 AGM. The meeting starts at 7.30 pm in the Raigmore Hospital Recreation Hall, when president Graham Mackenzie will report on the year past and what’s to come in 2018, and treasurer Gordon Smith will reveal the state of the club’s finances. 

Voting rights at general meetings are restricted to senior and concessionary members, but junior and associate members are welcome to attend so that they can built their knowledge of the club’s affairs. See you there!

Ghillie will test tyers

Fly tyers are reminded that Thursday’s class has been cancelled so that members can attend the Inverness Angling Club’s annual general meeting in Raigmore Hospital Recreation Hall, starting at 7.30 pm. All members are encouraged to attend.

Classes will resume on Thursday, November 30, in Hilton Community Centre, starting at 7 pm. Tutor Mike Campbell will introduce the tying of the Ghillie salmon fly designed by Tay ghillie Tony Black. 

It is a fly that will test the developing skills of tyers, combining gold tinsel, hot orange bucktail, mirror flash, hot orange, yellow and black Artic runner, holographic tinsel, black floss, blue Guinea fowl and jungle cock into a proven salmon fly. In preparation, tyers can Google the fly and watch tyers like Davie McPhail put it together. As always, tools and materials can be supplied for those who are not yet fully equipped, or for any newcomers on the night.

The Ghillie: A Tay special


GP ‘fly of the week’

Edmund Drury is a name that will ring a bell with most salmon fly fishermen. His design of small salmon treble hooks remains popular but he is best remembered for his legacy of the General Practitioner, the first salmon fly to imitate the native northern shrimp. Designed in 1955 when the use of natural shrimp was banned on Scotland’s border rivers, Drury christened it the GP after the golden pheasant feathers used for a large part its construction. It was later changed to General Practitioner.

The GP will be the ‘fly of the week’ at Inverness Angling Club’s fly tying class on Thursday evening (November 16, 7 to 8.30 in Hilton Community Centre), increasing the skill level from previous flies tied at the classes. All the materials required can be provided.

Skill testing fly: The General Practitioner

Classes continue

Anglers will gather in Hilton Community Centre on Thursday evening for the fourth in a new series of fly tying classes organised by Inverness Angling Club. There is still time for anyone interested in developing or refreshing their tying skills to join the classes, whether or not they are members of the club. 

Lead tutors are skilled fly tyers Michael Campbell and David Mateer while the classes will be supervised by qualified club coaches. Over the series, the classes will also cover angling knots, line looping and rod repairs.

The organisers are grateful for the contribution being made by the tutors and club members who have contributed tools and materials to help novices participate in the classes. They include Alex Cargill, Michael Martin and Graham MacKenzie.

Tyers develop their skills

Fly tyers with a range of skills are enjoying Inverness Angling Club’s fly tying classes being held each Thursday evening in Hilton Community Centre. This week’s class attracted 14 members of the club including newcomer John McDonald. Tutor Mike Campbell introduced intermediate tyers to the development of the Red Frances, a fly which has brought Mike a fair amount of success on the River Ness. President Graham Mackenzie, vice president Alex Elliott and Alan Scott introduced novices to the basic techniques required for both salmon and trout flies. 

Senior and junior members, and non members, will be made very welcome at future classes which run from 7 to 8.30 pm with a £2 fee to cover room hire costs. Tools and materials can be supplied. Next week’s session will concentrate on the tying of the hugely successful Monkey salmon fly. Expert junior tyers Jordon Grant and Fraser Munro will be available to pass on valuable tips with Fraser demonstrating trout fly tying.

Concentration: Tutor Mike Campbell (centre) with father and daughter

Graham and Beth Ross (front), Jamie Urquhart (left) and Donnie Allan (back)

AGM notices of motion

The annual general meeting of Inverness Angling Club will be held in Raigmore Hospital Recreation Hall at 7.30 pm on Thursday, November 23. Members are reminded that any notices of motion should be made in writing, signed by the member giving the notice, and delivered to secretary Steve Black, 10 clear days before the meeting, ie by November 13). See the membership card for Steve’s address.

Frances for tying class

Inverness Angling Club’s fly tying classes will continue in Hilton Community Centre at seven pm next Wednesday (October 26) when tutor Mike Campbell will introduce pupils to the highly successful Red Frances fly. The Frances - as reported by Inverness native Ross Macdonald in his column in Trout and Salmon magazine - is a must have pattern for Atlantic Salmon throughout Northern Europe and Russia. 

Ross wrote: “The pattern was created by Peter Deane back in the 1960s. It takes its name from his assistant Frances Hydon who had the task of tying up Peter’s design. It will come as no surprise whatsoever that the pattern was designed to be a prawn imitation and in common with all good fly stories it caught a lot of fish and soon came to dominate catches in Iceland.”

The fly can be tied on tubes, trebles or doubles. Materials are red thread, feelers (four brown and two white stripped hackle stems, rusty brown calf tail or fox, red wool, natural red game hackle and gold rib. Bring these materials with you but if you don’t have them we should be able to supply.

The class on November 3 will demonstrate the tying of the ever popular Monkey fly, a must have fly for springers. Please note that there will be no class on the evening of Thursday, November 23, which is the date for the club’s AGM.

Successful: A tube version of the Red Frances

Date for your diary

The annual general meeting of Inverness Angling Club will be held in Raigmore Hospital Recreation Hall at 7.30 pm on Thursday, November 23. Watch this space for further information.

Catch returns required

Inverness Angling Club members are reminded that their catch returns - including nil returns - must be submitted by October 23. They can be posted as instructed on the reverse of the returns card or delivered to the boxes in the club’s Little Isle and Mill Stream huts, or Grahams tackle shop in Castle Street. Accurate returns are a crucial factor in maintaining the Category 2 grading that allows River Ness anglers to take a couple of fish for the pot each season.

Season ends but club activity continues

That’s it - another Ness season ends with the last day producing just one fish. Jordon Grant made it 14 for the season with a grilse from the tail of the Red Braes Pool - a superb performance from a very dedicated young man. The total catch on the club water was 159, down 18 on last season.

Fishing continues, however, for those members who have signed up for the annual winter trout league which started this month at Achagour Fishery. Hopefully, the eight-month event will produce some feisty fish, good bags and lots of competitive ‘craic’ among members. The final of the league will be held on Saturday, May 12, next year.

Club activity also continues in fly tying classes being held each Thursday in Hilton Community Centre from 7 to 8.30 pm, starting on October 19 and running to December 14 when there will be a break for the festival season. The classes will restart on January 11 and conclude on March 29. Instructors will also demonstrate line loops, knots and rod making. The classes are open to all, including non-members of the club. Those who would like to attend should register with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Number 14: Jordon's Braes grilse

Scour works complete

Work on the new bridge over the River Ness above Holm Mills continues to make crucial progress. Contractors Wills Bros confirmed today that they had completed all construction works related to scour protection of the bridge supports. Over the next two days all temporary structures will be removed from the Whin Lade and Electric Burn watercourses – dumpy bags, access ramp, etc. Pumps will be switched off and from Sunday, October 15, the flow of the River Ness will return to its normal way.

Protection: Scour works at the tail of the weir

BBQ marks season’s end

Members of Inverness Angling Club gathered by the MacIntyre Pool of the River Ness today for their annual barbecue, marking the approaching end of the salmon season on October 15. It was an opportunity to swap stories of fish caught and lost in a season which has not matched expectations or the catches of previous years. With just six fishing days to go, catches total 158 - 19 less than the previous season. But it was still a chance to celebrate angling companionship and look forward to next season, assisted by a special cake contributed by Mike and Mo Campbell and made by their friend, Joy MacLean.

Celebratory cake

Malcolm make a catch

Club member Malcolm Davies landed a seven pound fish from the Red Braes Pool on Tuesday, using a spinning lure. The strong winds discouraged many of the regular fly fishers from venturing out on Tuesday and on Wednesday, although associate member Boris Birdwig was determined to make the most of his visit from the south.

Positive response from FishPal customers

FishPal customers continue to rate Inverness Angling Club’s fishings very highly. The latest angler to have a cast on the Ness fishings was David Collingham from Leicester, who booked a day on the river on September 27.  David described value for money as “exceptional”, although he did not get a fish. He rated the description of the fishery, booking facility, general upkeep of the fishery and the conditions of the huts as very good and added: “Very friendly and helpful club members.” Many thanks for your comments, David. We look forward to welcoming you to our fishings next season.

Another for Chris

Chris Bruce got his fifteenth fish of the season today, landing and releasing a four pound grilse in the Silver Wells, probably the most successful pool on Inverness Angling Club’s fishings this season.

Total catch creeps up

The Silver Wells delivered another bright grilse for Jordon Grant on Friday, this one weighing in at over three pounds and marking his twelfth fish of the season. Once again, a size eight Willie Gunn was the successful fly. But it wasn't long before Jordon went one further, making it number 13 with a five pound fish on a size eight Ally's Shrimp from the Palace Pool on Saturday. With just six fish being caught this week, one each day, the total catch from Inverness Angling Club’s water so far this season has risen to 156, still 21 short of last year.

Number 12: Another from the Silver Wells


IAC’s annual end-of-season barbecue will be held at the MacIntyre hut next Saturday (October 7), from 12 noon. All members, family and friends are invited to what always proves to be an enjoyable event. And if you can bring some prizes for the raffle, they will be most welcome.

Ninth trout league

October arrives on Sunday to herald the start of Inverness Angling Club’s ninth annual winter trout league at Achagour Fishery, where anglers are guaranteed a warm welcome from the Mackintosh family. The entry of 25, which includes four of the club’s junior members, will fish one day of their choosing each month from October to April, then all entrants get together to fish the final on Saturday, May 12. The league produces good trout fishing and close season camaraderie among members.

Ally gets a result

Persevere and the results will come. That has certainly come true for long-serving IAC member Ally Scott, who has committed a fair amount of time to the river over the last several weeks. Today, fishing the fly, Ally caught a fresh five pound cock grilse on his favourite Little Isle Pool.

Eleven for Jordon

That young man with the big cast was at it again today, landing his eleventh salmon of the season. Down on his favoured Silver Wells Pool, where he has had so much success this season, Jordon Grant landed and released a five pound grilse on a size eight gold Willie Gunn. Quite a few anglers were out on the water but no other catches were reported.

Bright fish: A nice grilse for Jordon

Visitor’s success

Catches are pretty sparse on the Ness at the moment but visitor James Buchanan of Kirktilloch, an associate member of IAC, showed that fish are there to be caught. Fishing a Toby, James landed and released a 10 pound salmon in the Silver Wells Pool.

Success for James: Coloured but feisty

Derek does it again

Derek Proctor, who caught the first fish of the season on Inverness Angling Club’s water on March 1, was in action again today. Fishing a 2.5 inch minnow in the Weir Pool, he landed a four pound grilse - still silver but with no sea lice and a good bit smaller than his 16 pound springer!

Boxes out for catch returns

It’s that time of year again! IAC members are advised that, for their convenience, boxes for the annual return of catches have now been placed in Graham’s tackle shop and in the Little Isle and Mill Stream huts. Don’t forget to complete your card and pop it into one of the boxes. Failure to do so could prove costly when you renew your membership.

Activity increases

Not exactly an explosion of activity but club anglers on the Ness got a bit more action today. Ian Jennings turned to the spinner for a change and landed a four pound grilse from the MacIntyre Pool. Up on the Red Braes, Neil Fraser landed and released a hen fish of four pounds while Jordon Grant made double figures for the season with a five pounder. Back on the Silver Wells, Davie Dyce did well with a coloured fish of four pounds and a sea-liced specimen of 10 pounds.

Mike makes double figures

Another two from the Ness club water today - Mike Campbell getting into double figures for the season with a fly-caught coloured five pound hen grilse from the MacIntyre Pool and Davie Dyce, back on the popular Silver Wells Pool to land a six pound fish.

Bridge excavations

Anglers had to contend with increased colouration on the west side of the River Ness today as contractors Wills Bros completed excavations to expose the longest side of the west coffer dam of the new Ness bridge. This resulted in more fine particles being suspended in the water than in recent days. The operation should allow the contractors to cut sheet piles half to one metre below the river bed. The next phase, starting on Friday, will see the placement of a concrete scour protection layer in the cut part of the coffer dam.

Braes produces two

As autumn arrives the Red Braes Pool on Inverness Angling Club’s fishings begins to deliver. Two fly-caught salmon were landed and released at the pool today - a six pounder to the rod of Chris Bruce, his fourteenth salmon of the season, and a magnificent 12 pounder by Willie Clark.

One of the few

Members of IAC - and other anglers on all beats of the River Ness - are still waiting for the autumn run, with just 22 fishing days to the end of the season. Long-term member Malcolm Newbould did see several fish moving in the Mill Stream today, but that magic tug didn't happen. Member Martin Macleod did make contact, however, landing a five pound grilse from the General’s Well Pool on a red Toby. The club's total catch for the season so far now stands at 140.

Develop your skills

Successful angling engages a variety of skills, but none more so than the tying of flies. They are the essential element in attracting, hooking and landing the chosen quarry. Salmon flies embody the shape, movement and colour to attract a fish that stops feeding when it enters fresh water. Trout flies are designed to match the type of fly on which fish are feeding at any given time. 

Inverness Angling Club is running a programme of fly tying classes from the autumn of this year through to the spring of 2018. They are designed to pass on fly tying skills - to novices or to those who wish to further develop their tying abilities. The classes will also demonstrate how to tie angling knots, loop lines and repair rods. So join us - and build your skills with the help of expert instructors and qualified coaches. All are welcome - club members and non-members, juniors and seniors.

The classes will be held in Hilton Community Centre, Inverness, on Thursday evenings from 7 to 8.30 pm, beginning on October 19 and running to December 14. After a seasonal break they will re-start on January 11 and run to March 29. Tools and materials can be supplied. There will be an initial charge per class of £3 for seniors (18 and over) and £2 for juniors to meet room hire costs. Charges will be reviewed downwards given sufficient attendance. In order to gauge attendance, please register by Friday, October 6, by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone/text to 07785 287995.

Concentration: Beth Ross deveops her skills at the inaugural flyj tying class early in 2017

First outing

Neil Porter had a fly-caught two pound coloured grilse, duly released, from Provan's Pool today. It was Neil’s first outing of the season on the club water. While several anglers were out on the beat today, no other catch reports have been received so far.

Join us at the BBQ

Inverness Angling Club’s annual end-of-season barbecue will be held at the MacIntyre hut on Saturday, October 7, from 12 noon. All members, family and friends are invited to what always proves to be an enjoyable event. And if you can bring some prizes for the raffle, they will be most welcome.

Bridge progress

In the latest update on work on the new Ness bridge, Wills Bros report that the burning off of sheet piles on the south pier is 75 per cent complete and ongoing. On the north pier, the contractors have completed the removal of existing gabion mattresses, the construction of weir formation with granular material and the laying of concrete scour protection with stone pitching. Cutting of underwater sheet piles at the north pier will begin this coming week, along with the commencement of Dycel block installation at the weir surface.

Grilse for Ian and Jordon

IAC associate member Ian Jennings is a regular visitor to the Ness from his home in Wolverhampton. On his latest trip, fishing the MacIntyre Pool this morning, Ian landed a four and a half pound grilse. Down on the Silver Wells Pool, Jordon Grant showed that he is likely to reach double figures for the season with his ninth fish, a three pound grilse taken on a small conehead.

Silver: Another for Jordon from the Silver Wells

River categories face massive downgrading

The categorisation of the River Ness is to remain unchanged under proposals issued for consultation by the Scottish Government. But there will be massive downgrading of river categories throughout Scotland. 

The Ness will be classed as category three from opening day to the end of June to protect salmon running to the River Moriston, and category two from July 1 to October 15. The full proposals can be found at 

The proposals provide for the downgrading of a series of salmon rivers throughout Scotland - 53 one-level reductions in category and 12 two-level reductions. There would be just four one-level rises. In summary, the proposals would cut category one rivers from 47 in 2017 to 21 in 2018 and category two rivers from 48 to 27.  Category three rivers would increase from 73 to 123. Representations are invited for submission by Friday, October 13, 2017.


Two for Neil

A club member scored another double on the Ness fishings today. Neil Fraser visited the Red Braes Pool, a favourite autumn haunt for members, and landed a seven pound cock fish. Moving down to the General’s Well Pool, he repeated the catch - another seven pound cock fish. Meanwhile, the Mill Stream delivered another seven pound cock fish, this one well coloured, for Colin Fraser.

Deans does a double

Lawrence Deans had an enjoyable time on the Ness fishings on Tuesday. His conehead Ally’s Shrimp tube accounted for two grilse, one of five pounds from the MacIntyre Pool and one of  four pounds from Provan's Pool. Both were released. In the bigger water, Archie Campbell abandoned his favoured fly rod to spin a black and orange minnow. It brought success - a six pound cock fish duly released.

Good grilse: The second of Lawrence’s fish

Visitors praise fishery

The Town Fishings of Inverness Angling Club are becoming much better known through the club’s membership of international fishings bookings agency, FishPal. Income of several hundred pounds this year was further augmented by a booking from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Peter Martin booked two rods for six days. Although neither visitor caught a fish, Peter rated the fishery and the booking system very highly. There was praise too from Michael Parr of London who took a rod for three days. Many thanks to all three visitors. We look forward to welcoming you back to our fishery again.

Ness pools keep picking away

Three club members have been successful over the past two days. Denny Mackay had a nice cock grilse of five pounds form the Mill Stream on Friday. Jordon Grant was first off the mark early on Saturday with an eight pound fish - and his eighth of the season - from the Silver Wells, a pool that is building a strong reputation for catches this season. Up on the MacIntyre Pool, Chris Bruce nailed his thirteenth fish of the season, a six pounder duly released.

Top pool: Another from the Silver Wells

International coverage for Ness

The Atlantic Salmon Federation notes for September 8, 2017, include a very complimentary piece about fishing the town fishings of the River Ness - great PR for the club. Have a look by clicking on the following link:

This builds on the many positive remarks by international Speycasters who travelled to the Ness for the IAC Centenary Speycasting Tournament.


Tube takes two

Two fish came off Inverness Angling Club’s Ness fishings today - both caught by the same angler. Fishing the Whin Park side of the MacIntyre Pool, associate member Andrew Fraser from Lossiemuth caught and released fish of six and 12 pounds. Both were lured by a black and orange tube fly.

Fire officers supervise safety

Safety was a prime concern in setting up the casting course for Inverness Angling Club’s Centenary Speycasting Tournament on Friday and Saturday, September 1 and 2. It was all made so much easier with the help of Lee Cummings of UK Fly Casting Sport Ltd who provided and set up the specially-developed course equipment.

Standing by to strengthen safety precautions were Marcus Valente and Tommy Campbell of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. While the course installers all had extensive water experience, Marcus and Tommy provided another level of safety and reassurance for club organisers.

On standby: Tommy Campbell (left) and Marcus Valente

Final date for league entries

IAC members are reminded that the final date for receipt of applications for participation in the club’s ninth annual winter trout league is Friday, September 15. This enables organiser Alex Elliott to complete the necessary papers in time for the league start on October 1. Those who have not yet sent in an application form can ring Alex on 07810 007691. He will complete a form for you. For the first time, the league is open to junior members (under 18), subject to parental permission. Juniors should also ensure that their parental forms are submitted by September 15.

Mel makes three

Thousands of folk were drawn to the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness last weekend as some of the world’s top Speycasters competed in the IAC Centenary Speycasting Tournament. But fishing continued in other pools, offering quiet reflection and a few fish.

Saturday saw Chris Bruce entice a 12 pound fish from the MacIntryre Pool while Martin Nelson and Melvin Smith each landed fish of seven pounds, both on the fly. Out on the same pool on Monday, Melvin landed and released a six pound specimen - his third fish on the Mateer Monkey.

Chris Bruce entices another from the MacIntyre

Marathon means access changes

There will be some interference with access to the Little Isle in the run up to the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon on Sunday, September 24. But arrangements have been made with the organisers to minimise the impact on club members and the enjoyment of their fishings.

Vehicle movements in and around the Little Isle car park on Wednesday, September 20, present a health and safety risk. To avoid this members are asked to park in the RNI car park where we are assured some spaces will be available. 

Disabled or limited mobility members can continue to gain vehicle access to the Little Isle area from the Ballifeary Lane/Ness Walk mini roundabout. Club membership cards and disabled passes must be shown to the duty stewards who will show you to an appropriate parking area, possibly on Bught Park itself but close to the anglers hut.

Thursday and Friday morning should be unaffected. From 1.30 pm on Friday, September 22, and all day on Saturday, September 23,stewards will be briefed to allow members to use the Little Isle car park with the access point again being at the Ballifeary Lane/Ness Walk mini roundabout. Membership cards should be shown, when asked for.

Junior writes tournament story

Intense competition combined with a high level of camaraderie marked the Centenary Speycasting Tournament staged by Inverness Angling Club on Friday and Saturday, September 1 and 2. While that defined the event, the top story of the tournament lay in the performance of 15-year-old junior club member Jordon Grant. Over the three heats and the final, winner Geir Hansen of Norway made a magnificent cast of 55.5 metres with his 15ft competition rod. But Jordon was not far behind, casting an impressive 49 metres with a standard fly rod.

Perfect weather graced the tournament, giving casters the best conditions and enhancing the magnificent surroundings of the Little Isle Pool. With 25 competitors from six countries, it was the largest tournament yet staged by IAC as part of Scotland’s Salmon Festival. It was followed by an enjoyable awards ceremony at a civic reception organised by The Highland Council to mark the club's centenary. The full results follow. Special awards to the best junior and senior club members went to Jordon Grant (junior) and Aiden MacDonald. Each received a luxury fishing bag and line sponsored by Chapman Bags and Gaelforce.

Final - Junior - IAC Centenary Quaich

Sponsored by The Scottish Ghillie and

John Norris





Jordon Grant, Scotland



Blaine Lyon, Scotland



Fraser Munro, Scotland



Fraser Shanks, Scotland


Final - Ladies - IAC Centenary Quaich

Sponsored by Ness Castle Lodges,

Drumossie Hotel, Graham and Co and

Tomatin Distillery





Anita Strand, Norway



Donna O’Sullivan, USA



Ally Bremner, Scotland



Angela Cummings, England


Final - Open - IAC Centenary Quaich 

(Best ten from heats)

Sponsored by Ness Castle Lodges,

Drumossie Hotel, Graham and Co and

Tomatin Distillery





Geir Hansen, Norway



Vidar Næss, Norway



James Chalmers, Scotland



Martin Kiely, Ireland


5 =

Jordon Grant, Scotland



Steven Pugh, Wales



Jarle Strandberg, Norway



Fraser Smith, Scotland



Lee Cummings, England



Hamish Young, Scotland


Longest casts overall from heats 1 to 3 and final





Geir Hansen, Norway



Vidar Næss, Norway



Steven Pugh, Wales



James Chalmers, Scotland



Jordon Grant, Scotland



Jarle Strandberg,Norway



Martin Kiely, Ireland



Lee Cummings, England



Fraser Smith, Scotland



 Derek Doyle, Ireland



Hamish Young, Scotland



Aiden MacDonald, Scotland



Donald MacPherson, Scotland



Blaine Lyon, Scotland



Anita M Strand, Norway



Donna O’Sullivan, USA



Ally Bremner, Scotland



Fraser Munro, Scotland



Steve Watt, Scotland



Frazer Paterson, Scotland



Brian Szukala, Scotland



Fraser Shanks, Scotland



Angela Cummings, England



Jane Muspratt, Scotland



Sandy MacKenzie, Scotland


Flying high

Centenary cap

 Flying the Atlantic Salmon Trust logo

All the winners: (Left to right) Vidar Næss, James Chalmers

Fraser Munro, Geir Hansen, Anita M Strand, Donna O'Sullivan

Jordon Grant, IAC president Graham MacKenzie,

Blaine Kirk and Fraser Shanks

Top award for Jordon

Smart set: In Atlantic Salmon Trust polos

Flags for all

Welcome and thanks

Inverness Angling Club extends a warm welcome to all the competitors taking part in the club’s Centenary Speycasting Tournament at the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness on Friday and Saturday (September 1 and 2). Speycasters are attending from Norway, Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland and the USA. Two heats will be run on Friday and one on Saturday morning. The junior, ladies and open finals will take place from 1330 on Saturday.

Among the first competitors to arrive were Martin Kiely and Derek Doyle from Ireland, both of whom took part in the Alexander Grant Memorial Speycasting competition staged by the club in 2015 - both as part of Scotland's Salmon Festival. And why have they travelled all this way for the tournament? “We just love casting and competition,” says Martin. And it’s good to see them back on the Ness.

The club would also like to express its gratitude to the local organisations who have made the tournament possible through their commitment to sponsorship - Ness Castle Lodges, Drumossie Hotel, Grahams of Inverness, The Scottish Ghillie and Tomatin Distillers. There is also a big ‘thank you’ to the Provost and Councillors of the City of Inverness and Area who will mark the club's centenary celebrations with a civic reception in Inverness Town House on Saturday evening.

Club celebrates good day

Tuesday proved to be one of the best days of the season so far on the club water of the River Ness with at least eight fish caught and released. Leading the way was Davy Dyce with three fly-caught fish - two at four pounds and one at five pounds from Charlie’s Seat at the MacIntyre Pool.

Chris Bruce landed his thirteenth of the season, a six pound specimen from the MacIntyre. The Mac also delivered a four pound fish for Ally Macdonald while Mike Campbell was on the mark again with a fish of over six pounds from the Mill Stream, his ninth of the season. Gary Goddard had a four pounder from the Mill Stream and Angus MacKinnon had a five pounder from the Silver Wells.

Beautiful: A four pounder for Gary Goddard

Davy in Mac action

Four fish came off the club water today - two of them to long-term club member Davy Dyce. Fishing the MacIntyre, Davy had salmon of 12 and seven pounds from the MacIntyre Pool, both released. Another fish of seven pounds fell to the rod of Michael Rennie. Up in the Braes Pool, Willie Clark got his first of the season, a four pound fly-caught grilse safely released.

Catches continue

Angler Benjamin Laschet had a successful visit to the IAC fishings this week landing fly-caught salmon of five pounds from the MacIntyre on Thursday and six pounds from the same pool on Friday. Chris Bruce continued his excellent run with his eleventh fish of the season, a five pounder safely released on Saturday.

Devon does it for Denny

Veteran club angler Denny Mackay struck silver on the Mill Stream today with a lovely cock salmon of eight pounds caught on a Devon minnow. Chris Bruce, fishing the opposite bank of the river on the MacIntyre Pool, caught his tenth salmon of the season - a fish of seven pounds plus.

Good one: Mill Stream delivers for Denny

Catches build

Kirkintilloch angler James Buchanan had a good day on the club water today, landing fish of eight and four pounds from the Silver Wells on a spinner. Both were released. James is a new associate member of Inverness Angling Club and his success is a welcome introduction to the qualities of the Ness fishings. Mike Campbell matched that catch with fly-caught salmon of nine pounds from the MacIntyre Pool and seven pounds from the Mill Stream. Neil Fraser was also successful on the Mill Stream, catching and releasing a five pound hen fish on a two-inch black and orange minnow.

Time for a day on the Ness

With several fish being caught each day, and the likelihood that daily catches will increase during September, it’s a good time to think about taking out a visitor permit to Inverness Angling Club’s River Ness fishings. Permits offer great value - £25 for a day or £15 for a half day starting at 1300 hours. Under rules imposed by the Scottish Government, anglers are restricted to one salmon or grilse in any given week and two for the season. All fish over eight pounds must be released, as well as all hen and coloured fish.


Celebrate the salmon

A week of celebrating the contribution that the iconic Atlantic Salmon makes to the economic and social life of Scotland begins on Tuesday (August 29) with a night of salmon-related films in Eden Court Theatre, a two day Atlantic Salmon Conference starting at Inverness College UHI on Wednesday plus a display of Alexander Grant’s famed rods and fiddles in Inverness Museum, and a fair at the Bught Park and an international Speycasting tournament on the River Ness on Friday and Saturday. The casting tournament celebrates the centenary of Inverness Angling Club.

Seventh for Jordon

Jordon Grant, who will celebrate his sixteenth birthday in November, is getting good results from his spare hours on the river and setting an example for Inverness Angling Club’s junior members. Having taken a 12 pound fish on Monday to notch up his sixth fish from the club water he was out again today to land an eight pound fish from the Silver Wells. Tony Quinn also increased his total with a fly-caught eight pound hen fish from the tail of the Little Isle, safely returned. Up at the Weir Pool, Paul Owen caught and released a hen fish of six pounds. Chris Bruce had his ninth fish of the season, a five pounder caught and released at the Leaven Trees, while Murray Richardson landed a four pound fish on the fly.

Bridge works

Wills Bros will start scour protection works at the new bridge next Monday (August 28). They will begin by blocking the weir on the north side, while maintaining flow in the Whin Lade. That day, and perhaps the first part of Tuesday, fish rescue will be required, carried out by the Ness and Beauly Fisheries Trust. Works sequence in the first week will be closing the dam at the Weir, fish rescue, construction of an access ramp and removal of the Bailey bridge and existing gabions.

Ninth for Chris

Chris Bruce was on the mark again early this morning, this time at the General’s Well - a pool that is always worth a cast during the peak of the season. His eighth fish of the season was a grilse of three pounds, safely released. His ninth came in the evening with a four pound fish from the McIntyre Pool. Derek Proctor had a sea-liced fish of around eight pounds, caught and released in the Weir Pool. Down on the Silver Wells, where so many fish have been caught this season, Jordon Grant recorded his sixth fish off the club water with a cracking fly-caught 12 pounder.

Ninth one: A fresh fish for Chris

And sixth for Jordon

River picks away

Catches are not spectacular on Inverness Angling Club’s fishings on the River Ness, but members and visitors manage to land fish each day. Saturday saw member Arthur Ferguson get his second of the season, a 6.5 pound cock fish from the Little Isle. Up on the MacIntyre Pool, Brian MacBean had a fish of eight pounds. The right bank of the Mill Stream, where Friday saw some activity, produced even more on Saturday. Christoper McWilliam made a rewarding visit from Dingwall, taking a seven pound sea-liced cock fish on a Temple Dog conehead, while long term club member Jimmy Craib lost a fish on the fly but caught and released a 4.5 pound grilse on a Toby.

First for two

The right bank of the Mill Stream of the River Ness was a successful spot for casting and fly tying instructor David Mateer today. Fishing one of his own Mateer Monkeys, David caught and released a four pound grilse and hooked and lost another. While David has taken many salmon on other rivers, it was his first from the club water. The same spot also produced the first fish for new club member Craig Pirrie. His five pound grillse was caught and released on a size 10 Willie Gunn. 

Nervous: David plays his fish

Triumph: First for Craig

Neil strikes twice

Grilse are still running the River Ness, providing some sporting tussles for club anglers. Wednesday saw Neil Fraser land a grilse from the Weir Pool then continue his successful run today with a six-pounder from the General’s Well. Yesterday, spinning a minnow through the Little Isle, Lawrence Deans landed a five pounder from the Little Isle. Aiden MacDonald struck again with a fly-caught grilse of six pounds from the Silver Wells. Philip Casey had a five pound grilse from the MacIntyre Pool.

 Good run: Another for Neil

Mike makes six

Mike Campbell had his sixth fish of the season today with a seven pound fish from the Mill  Stream. And the club’s new centenary hats and badges are also proving to be a great catch. They can be purchased from office-bearers.

Hit for six: Another for Mike

Hats off: Centenary caps and badges

One for John

John Ralph had a good tussle with a fresh fish today, taking a four pound cock grilse from the Little Isle Pool on a Kinermony Killer fly.

Landed: Grilse for John

Big fish for Donald

One of the biggest fly-caught salmon taken on the River Ness club water this season fell to the rod of Donald MacPherson Jnr today. Fishing the left hand bank of the Mill Stream, Donald had an enjoyable tussle with a fish estimated at 20 lbs before landing and releasing it to journey upstream to spawn. Meanwhile, Tony Quinn met further success with a seven pound fly-caught fish on the Little Isle.

Perfect: A good fish for Donald

A grilse for Tony

Four for fishing

Visitors are always welcome on the River Ness. Today club members had an opportunity to pass some time with four Norwegian lads who took to the river with the hope of catching some trout. Successful or not, they certainly seems to enjoy the experience. Another four Norwegians will be with us on September 1 and 2, competing in the club’s Centenary Speycasting Tournament.

Fishing friends

One man and his dog

Steve Watt’s cocker spaniel is a picture of patience at the Little Isle Pool today, presenting a scene that you don’t often see on the river and waiting for Steve to catch something. “When are we going home Dad?”

Faithful friend


Help us improve your fishings

Grass, branches and general foliage are growing fast on the banks and environs of the River Ness club water. Volunteers are always required to keep growth in check to ensure comfortable walking and fishing conditions. Sadly, the club struggles to get sufficient volunteers and the work always falls to the willing few. Have a look at the areas you fish, think about how they could be improved and offer your services. The club holds all the tools necessary.

Willing worker: Tony Quinn gets stuck in to branches restricting a path at the Little Isle

Luck at Little Isle

Weather conditions - bright on Thursday and very windy today - appeared to curtail catch reports on the club water of the Ness. But at least two members landed fish. Chris Murchison had a nice fish of seven pounds from the Little Isle, the pool which also delivered a fish of the same size for Andy Massari on Friday.

First for two

Member Kevin Elliott had his first Ness fish of the season today when he landed a five pound grilse from the Silver Wells, with junior member Jordon Grant making a first class job of tailing the fish. Mike Campbell continued to increase his score with a seven pound fish from the Bught side of the Mill Stream, taken on a Ghillie fly pattern.

James Buchanan’s journey from Kirkintilloch was rewarded with a five pound grilse from the Little Isle, although he had a bit of drying out to do after an accidental ‘swim’. Inverness Angling Club is always happy to welcome visitors to the Ness and delights in seeing them catch fish. Well done James. Haste ye back!

Braes success for Andy

Andy Massari was back at his favoured spot on the Braes Pool today, working a black and orange minnow across the middle beat. And it was a good move; he landed a cock fish of six pounds.

Are you attending?

Club members are advised that all those wishing to attend the buffet/drinks Civic Reception at Inverness Town House on Saturday night, September 2, and who have not yet confirmed their attendance, must lodge their names by the evening of Monday, August 14.

The Highland Council and Inverness Common Good Fund are giving this reception to mark the club’s centenary and honour its achievements since being formed on August 31, 1917, so a strong attendance of members is desired.

The reception will also stage the awards ceremony for the IAC Centenary Speycasting Tournament which has attracted 30 entries from six countries. There is a good chance that some of our own junior and senior members will be among the award winners - so it will be a good opportunity to celebrate their participation and success.

To ensure attendance please call or text Alex Elliott by 9 pm on August 14 - Tel: 01463 793480 or 07810 007691 (mob).

Caps raised for centenary

Inverness Angling Club has launched a new set of caps to mark its centenary. Produced in black and green, and supporting the centenary logo, they had their first outing at the Highland Field Sports Fair last Friday and Saturday, where the club organises Angler’s Corner. 

The club has also issued a centenary version of the popular enamel pin badges, assisted by a contribution from chartered surveyors D M Hall whose director, Graham Forbes, is a member of the club. Caps and badges are available for purchase from club office bearers.


Hats on: Sporting the new head gear are (left to right) Steve Black, Bill Byers,

Walter Mackay, Gordon Smith, Graham MacKenzie and Sandy Paterson

Silver from the wells

Chris Bruce notched up number seven of the season with six pound and five pound fish, fly-caught and released on the productive Silver Wells pool today. Aiden Macdonald also scored on the Silver Wells, landing a six pound cock fish. Up on the Little Isle Pool, Bill Byers - now retired and enjoying much more time on the river - landed a six pound cock salmon. It was attracted by a small Red Francis fly which is rapidly becoming the most successful fly on the club water this season. Another grilse of four pounds fell to the rod of Murray Richardson in the evening.

Delight: A fresh one for Bill

Sealed with a salmon

Marauding seals can often pose a bit of a problem on the Ness. When one enters a pool, anglers usually leave - believing that salmon will be too spooked to take. Melvin Smith, fishing the fly, met the problem on the Weir Pool this morning where a stubborn seal refused to move away despite angling activity. 

But this story has a different ending. Rather than leave the pool, Melvin picked up his spinning rod and cast his two-inch black and orange Devon minnow at the fish-hungry intruder. It didn't seem to bother the seal but as the minnow drifted round it hooked an eight pound salmon! Later, on the same pool, Paul Owen landed and released a cock fish of seven pounds, taken on the worm. 

On the MacIntyre, where William Bradley and Philip Casey each had five pound grilse on Friday, Ian Jennings landed and released an eight pound hen fish. Chris Bruce had fish of six pounds and just over four pounds on the Silver Wells. Upstream, on the Little Isle, Brian Findlay had a brief tussle with a fish as a few salmon showed in the pool.

Popular associates return

Making a welcome return to Inverness Angling Club’s fishings this week was ‘Fifer’ Bill. An associate member of the club, Bill Hunter, from Leslie in Fife, has been unable to make his annual visits to the Ness for the last eight years because of the illness and passing of his wife, and his own health problems. It was good to see him back and casting as well as ever on the Little Isle Pool. 

Also returning on his fortnightly visits from Hull during the season is Walter Ridley, whose first ‘duty’ will be ferrying some volunteers to help run Angler’s Corner at the Highland Field Sports Fair at Moy on August 4 and 5. Walter is a ‘kenspeckle’ figure on the Little Isle whose long trips this season have been rewarded with a fine salmon.

Welcome return: 'Fifer' Bill

Swedish praise for club water

Feedback from FishPal visitors to the club water continues to give our fishery very high ratings. Swedish angler Jimmy Abrahamsson took three days on the river towards the end of July, rating the description of the fishery, its general upkeep and value for money as ‘exceptional’. He described as ‘very good’ the booking facility and local knowledge he received. Unfortunately, Jimmy did not land a salmon but lost one on a 12 Cascade and had two brown trout on a 12 Stoat’s Tail. Many thanks Jimmy; we are pleased you enjoyed your time with us and look forward to welcoming you back.

And the grilse keep coming....!

With fish landed each day this week, Wednesday saw grilse being caught between the Little Isle and Weir pools of the club water. It was a red letter day for Angus MacKinnon who opened his season’s account with an eight pound fish on Tuesday. Back on the Little Isle Pool today, Angus landed two sea-liced fish - a grilse of three pounds and a salmon of 10 lbs - on a small Red Francis specially tied for him by Mike Campbell.

Further upstream, there was renewed action on the Weir Pool where 86-year-old Melvin Smith had  his first of the season, a fly-caught grilse of just over four pounds. On Donnie Urquhart’s supper menu tonight will be delicious cuts of a fresh run six pound cock fish taken on a Devon minnow.

Mill car park reopens

The anglers’ car park at Holm Mills has been reopened following repairs to the concrete platform covering the disused lade. The hole which appeared last week is now covered with a steel plate which will protect the small crumbling area from further deterioration.


Good reasons for rapid reporting

IAC members and visitors are reminded that all catches of salmon and grilse must be reported within 24 hours, using the directions detailed at Rule 5.3 in the rules and regulations section of members' permits and on the back of visitor permits. 

The move was approved by members at the club's AGM in November 2016 in response to a request by the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board for more accurate catch information on the River Ness. In return, the board made a payment of £2,500 to the club which helped to reduce the cost of adult membership fees by £10.

In presenting the cheque to the club, board chief executive Chris Conroy said it acknowledged the club’s introduction of qualified coaches to help train its 100-plus under-18 members, its continuing instruction to all-comers through its June casting clinics and its commitment to providing 24-hour catch reporting throughout the 2017 season.

The information could also help sustain, and possibly improve, the Scottish Government categorisation of the River Ness. It is accepted that the Ness meets all the requirements of Category One. In practise, however, the river is restricted to Category Three up to the end of June and Category Two from July 1 because of the constraints of the River Moriston Special Area of Conservation.

Catch returns, which are posted daily on the club website and Fishpal, have led to increased ticket sales, the income from which is crucial to the continued survival of the club. 


Entry forms out for Winter League

Application forms for Inverness Angling Club’s 2017-18 Winter Trout League are now available from the club huts. Members can also secure a a form by e-mailing Alex Elliott at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who will send one by return. All application forms must be completed and returned by September 15 at the latest. 

The rules for the league, staged at Achagour Fishery, are fairly straightforward, as before. All entrants must have valid permits for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Anglers fish one two-fish session on a day of their choice each month from October to April inclusive. All anglers will participate in the four-fish final on Saturday, May 12, 2018.

Catches continue on club water

Willie Broadley launched the week with a five pounder from the MacIntyre on Monday. On the Mill Stream, Colin Fraser had a fly-caught six pounder. Today (Tuesday) Neil Fraser met success on a different part of the Ness fishings. The Weir Pool has delivered a few fish for him this year but on this occasion he found success on the Mill Stream, bang on the time of high tide. These are probably the first fish to come off the Mill this summer - perhaps indicating that summer catches are well under way. Neil’s fish, attracted by a black and orange minnow, was estimated at eight pounds and safely returned.

Harry Fraser experienced a pulse-racing battle at the top of the Little Isle Pool. Fishing an orange tube fly, he hooked a lively eight pound fish which took his line down to the backing five or six times before being safely landed. It was Harry's first fish of the season. Also delighted with his first fish of the season was Angus MacKinnon who landed a cock fish of just under eight pounds from the Little Isle, using a copper Toby. Rising catches indicate that there are plenty of fish in the system so it’s well worth getting out for a cast.

Success results from braving winds

Strong winds drove most River Ness anglers off the club water on Saturday but anglers who ventured out scored with some good salmon. Mike Campbell increased his tally to four with a fly-caught nine pounder from the MacIntyre Pool while Neil Fraser, also fishing the fly, had a 12 lb fish from the Weir Pool. Ally Henderson, on his first outing since April, landed and released a nice wee hen grilse of five pounds from the Silver Wells. Chris Bruce had an exceptional day, landing three hen grilse - a four pounder from the Black Stream, a four and a half pounder from the tail of the Little Isle and a two and a half pounder frm the MacIntyre.

A good day: One of three for Chris

Another from the Weir

Archie Campbell had his first of the season from the Inverness Angling Club water today, a fly caught 5lb grilse from the Weir Pool, safely landed and released. And Stephen Macleod, fishing a day permit on the Mill Stream, enjoyed landing and releasing a one pound trout hooked on a Toby.

Frank bags one

Just back from holiday, Frank Durdle struck it lucky when he popped out for a cast on the Weir Pool of the Ness today. He hooked and landed a lively, sea-liced cock fish of 5 lbs from the ‘hot spot’ just below the weir spout.

Mill banks cleared

Anglers will find it easier to move around the east bank of the Mill Stream from today. Club vice president Alex Elliott, his nephew Kevin and club secretary Gordon Smith spent Sunday morning strimming long growth around the path and tidied up overgrown banks. This follows Tony Quinn’s sterling efforts in strimming the west bank.

Alex will be out again today strimming the bank down to the MacIntyre. Volunteers are always required to maintain the club’s fishings, especially more of the club’s young and fit members! If you can help, please contact any club official by calling one of the telephone numbers listed in the membership cards.

Cleared: East bank of the Mill Stream

Mac delivers for Mike

Mike Campbell had his third fish of the season today with a 6.5 lb specimen from the MacIntyre Pool, safely released. The Mac has been good to Mike this week, delivering earlier fish of 11 lbs and 8 lbs.

Mill car park closed

Inverness Angling Club members, and visitors to the club’s Ness fishings, are advised that the anglers’ car park at Holm Mills has been closed until further notice as a hole has appeared in the concrete approach. Arrangements have been made for urgent repairs which should be completed by the end of this week. Meanwhile, anglers should use the upper car park at Holm Mills, parking their vehicles at the far end of the area.

Dangerous gap: This part of the car park is a platform over a former lade 

Service for former president

The funeral service for former Inverness Angling Club president, Aeneas Mackay, will be held at 10.30 am on Monday, July 24, in St Stephen’s Church, Southside Road, Inverness, thereafter to Kilvean Cemetery. All are welcome to attend.

More for Jordon

The grilse keep coming and junior club member Jordon Grant keeps catching. Out on the Black Stream today, just above the Palace Pool, Jordon landed grilse of three and four pounds.

Catching: A 3 lb grilse - one of two for Jordon

David entertains at the Palace

Today was a right royal one for IAC member David Dyce, once again confirming that it is well worth getting out for a cast on the Ness. Moving down from his favoured Little Isle and Silver Wells Pools, David cast a long fly line into the Palace Pool, just above the main Ness bridge, and immediately hooked a salmon. 

Hundreds of visitors and locals soon gathered around the area to watch the spectacle - concluded in the landing of an 8 lb fish, given a big kiss by David before release! But the entertainment was far from over. As the spectators began to move away David hooked, landed and released two more salmon of 8 and 9 lbs - and, in between, fought and lost another four fish.

A wee bit upstream, another dedicated salmon angler, Aiden Macdonald, was also doing well with grilse of 3.5 lbs from the Silver Wells and 5 lbs from the Little Isle. Both were caught on a Gledswood Shrimp double.

One of two: A wee grilse from the Silver Wells


No black for Uisdean’s funeral

The funeral of former club member Uisdean Macdonald will take place on Thursday, July 27, at 1.30 pm in the funeral home of William Fraser on Culduthel Road, Inverness. His son Stuart has advised that Uisdean did not want everyone wearing black.


Mike shows the way

As hoped, activity on the club water of the River Ness is beginning to pick up. Mike Campbell is showing the way with a fly caught salmon of 11lbs today from his favourite spot on the MacIntyre Pool. This follows his fish of 8 lbs caught on the same pool on Monday.


Ness season gets a lift

If reported catches are anything to go by, it looks as though good numbers of Ness salmon and grilse are arriving in the river, around their traditional return date of mid-July. To add to the already reported club water catches by Jordon Grant and Martin Nelson, former club president Mike Campbell had a fly-caught fish of 8 lbs from the MacIntyre Pool this morning. And there are unverified reports of visitors catching two salmon, and losing a couple, on the Silver Wells on Saturday. Last week’s verified totals were four for the club water, five for Ness Castle and Laggan and eight for Dochfour.

Members and visitors are reminded that details of all catches of salmon or grilse should be submitted within 24 hours, under Rule 5.2 in the club rules printed in all membership cards and visitor permits. Returns can be made, quickly and simply, by mobile phone on or by text to 07831 745394, using the detail set out in permits.

A second for Martin

Club member Martin Nelson repeated earlier success by landing and releasing a 14 lb salmon taken on fly from the Weir Pool of the River Ness on Saturday (July 15). Martin had a 12 lb springer on fly from the same pool on April 13.


Fine fish: Martin's second from the Weir

Former club president passes away

Retired Police Superintendent Aeneas Mackay, a much-respected former president of Inverness Angling Club, has died. Aeneas, who was 96, passed away on Friday morning, July 18, in an Inverness care home where he and his wife have resided for the past year or so.


Service for Uisdean

A commemorative service is to be held for Uisdean Macdonald who passed away peacefully in Raigmore Hospital on Wednesday (see earlier report). The plan is to scatter Uisdean’s ashes on the River Ness where he spent most of his time over recent years. Any club member who would like to join the commemorative service (date to be arranged) should e-mail or message Uisdean's son Stuart at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 07528 300247.

A second for Jordon

It was number two for Inverness Angling Club junior member Jordon Grant today when he caught and released a 4lb grilse at the Little Isle Pool of the Ness. This followed his success on the Silver Wells Pool on Wednesday. Jordon is a busy lad at the moment, combining fishing with casting practise - along with fellow club member Aiden Macdonald - for the forthcoming Centenary Speycasting Tournament on September 1 and 2. More and more fish are running the river so, if you have not yet wet a line, put up your rod and get casting. They are there to be caught!

Lucky lad: Another for Jordon

Club ‘character’ fondly remembered

Members of Inverness Angling Club heard the sad news this morning that one of its former members, Uisdean Macdonald, had died. Uisdean, aged 80, had been in failing health for some time and passed away in Raigmore Hospital.

One of the club’s Little Isle ‘characters’, Uisdean was a dedicated Ness angler. In his working days he was a much-travelled man, having spent some years in New Zealand. He will be fondly remembered by his riverside friends.

Pinks push further west

Highland and North-East rivers are reporting several catches of fresh-run, non-native Pink salmon. Two catches have been reported on the Ness and one on the Helmsdale. There is one unverified report of a Pink being caught on the Inverness Angling Club’s water. 

Originally introduced to some Russian rivers in the 1960s, these fish have slowly spread westwards and colonised some northern Norwegian rivers. Those appearing in Scotland are likely to have strayed from Norway. Fisheries Management Scotland have issued an Advice Note available at:

When fresh from the sea, Pacific pink salmon are steel blue to blue-green on their backs, silver on the flanks and white on their bellies. There are large black spots on the backs, upper flanks, adipose fins and tail. Some of the spots on the tail can be as large as fish’s eyes. They are uniform in size, reaching only 40 to 60cms in length. If you are confident that you have caught a Pink salmon, it should be humanely killed and retained. Captures should be reported to the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board and, if possible, passed to them for further inspection and analysis.

Ness delivers - at last!

Young and old met success on Inverness Angling Club’s Ness fishings this afternoon. Fifteen-year-old Jordon Grant caught a fresh seven pounder from the Silver Wells Pool, below the Infirmary Bridge. Minutes later veteran associate member Walter Ridley, who travels from Hull to spend a fortnight on the water every month of the season, landed a slightly coloured 12lb fish from the Little Isle Pool, further upstream. 

It is just reward for the time that Jordon has put into the river in the last several weeks, and into practise for the forthcoming Centenary Speycasting Tournament. And for Walter too; it is his first fish in seven weeks of fishing. He said: “I think I was beginning to lose the will to live: before this I hadn't even had a pull from a fish!" 

Is this a sign of better catches to come? Let’s hope so!


Sparkling: Jordon's fish

That'll do!: Success for Walter

River access during major events

Special traffic arrangements are being introduced for major entertainment events in the Bught Park from 1800 on Friday, July 14, to 2350 on Sunday, July 16, and from 1000 to 2359 on Saturday, July 22.  Access arrangements are being made for members of Inverness Angling Club, with access for cars and parking on the Bught side of the river on both weekends.

For all pools upstream of the the Little Isle - Turn off Glenurquhart Road on to Bught Drive. Pass the Leisure Centre and the Ice Rink and turn right on to Bught Road (at General’s Well). Park on right hand side at Inverness Skate Park or at Whin Park. This will be part of a temporary one-way system and motorists are required to exit at the Leisure Centre via Bught Lane on to Bught Drive then on to Glenurquhart Road.

The Highland Council has suggested that anglers may also wish to park within the grounds of the currently disused Maple Court Hotel and access the river from there. Unfortunately, there will be no vehicular access to the Little Isle Pool from the Bught Road/Ballifeary Lane junction. If you wish, you may park up (as above) and walk upstream or downstream to fish the Little Isle.

Because of recent events in Manchester and London, there will be a significant (for the Highlands) security presence in the area. Anglers may be asked, by authorised event personnel, to produce their permits.

Volunteers wanted for Moy fair

Club members are required for a couple of hours from 6.30 pm on Wednesday, August 2, to help set up Anglers’ Corner for the Highland Field Sports Fair being staged at Moy on Friday and Saturday, August 4 and 5. Volunteers are also required to help run Anglers Corner from 0930 each day of the fair. Free entry tickets will be provided, along with food and refreshments for all those who help the club run this important annual presentation.

If you are able to assist in any way please e-mail club president Graham MacKenzie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or add your name to the lists posted in the club huts. Donations of competition and raffle prizes will be greatly appreciated and may be given to a committee member prior to the event, or handed in on the day.

Airport promotes salmon festival

Inverness Airport has lent space in its terminal building to promote the forthcoming Scotland’s Salmon Festival and the IAC Centenary Speycasting Tournament. Banners adorn the wall and hang above the baggage reclaim in airport’s arrivals section, along with salmon paintings and poems by local primary schools in a competition organised to raise awareness of salmon and the environment.


Celebrating: Pictured (back row, left to right) Steve Bracken, Marine Harvest; Alan Scott, IAC; John MacPherson, festival photographer; Chris Conroy, NDSFB;Frank Spencer-Nairn, festival steering group; and Sarah Bayley, Atlantic Salmon Trust. (Front, left to right) Melanie Manwaring-McKay, festival organiser; Dr Melanie Smith, chair of the festival steering group; Hugo Manwaring-McKay; poem winner Charlie Cartlidge; and William MacPherson.

Success for Graham

Saturday was a good day for popular IAC member Graham Ross. Fishing the Little Isle Pool, he landed and safely released a fresh 12lb salmon. Graham and his young daughter Beth both attended the club’s winter fly tying class and are looking forward to a planned restart of the class in the autumn. The big question is - was his cracking catch lured by a fly tied by Dad or daughter?

Delighted: But who tied the fly?

Riverside sampling tutorial

Casting Clinics build skills

Inverness Angling Club’s annual series of Casting Clinics swung into their second week on Wednesday with a good attendance of junior and senior anglers seeking to develop their casting skills. The club’s Level 1 coaches were led by three times world speycasting champion Scott Mackenzie and GAIC instructor Frank Durdle. 

Several young novices quickly picked up the basic techniques of trout rod casting on the grass of the Bught Park while speycasters received individual tuition on the adjacent Little Isle Pool of the River Ness.

The Castling Clinics are a key part of IAC’s efforts to promote angling, develop skills and recruit new members. Tuition is free and non-members are welcome. The clinics continue at the Little Isle from 7 to 9 pm each Wednesday to the end of June. Bring a rod if you can but club fly rods for both salmon and trout can be provided.


Champion: Scott Mackenzie demonsrates the principles of speycasting

Appeal for lost fly box

IAC associate member Derek Macaloney is seeking members’ help to find a box of flies he mislaid in the area of the Little Isle Pool. Derek, form Gartcosh, Glasgow, is currently on a week’s visit to the club’s fishings. If any member has found a box of flies, it can be left at the Little Isle hut, in an envelope marked with Derek’s name.

No fish to be taken until July 1

Anglers throughout the Ness system are reminded that mandatory catch and release continues to the end of June. Under a hard-won arrangement with the Scottish Government, the system does not move to Category 2 until July 1, when salmon or grilse can be taken.

From this date individual anglers are restricted to taking one cock fish under 8lbs in any given week, to a maximum of two for the season. All hen fish, all fish over 8lbs and all coloured fish must be safely returned to the water. The River Moriston remains at Category 3, subject to mandatory catch and release, throughout the season.

The restrictions apply to the entire Ness district. Anglers must note that they cannot take two fish from one fishery then go on to take two from another. Any infringement of the rules could have serious consequences. The angler could face prosecution and, importantly for the majority of anglers, the club and the system could lose any hope of continuing the Category 2 arrangement or progressing to Category 1.

Fresh guidance for towpath access

Revised arrangements for access to the Braes have been issued after anglers discovered it was impossible to follow the suggested route due to the ongoing construction works at the canal pitches. Following discussions with contractors Mackenzie Construction, club president Graham Mackenzie advises that anglers can have pedestrian access along the towpath from Tomnahurich Bridge to the Clachnahagaig Stone, provided works traffic is not obstructed.

“Safety is paramount,” says Graham, “as large construction vehicles will be using the towpath at times. Vigilance by both anglers and construction staff is vital to ensure the safety of all. At particularly busy times an escort vehicle will precede construction vehicles traversing the towpath, again to ensure safety for all.”

Graham added that The Highland Council have confirmed the availability of temporary parking for six to eight cars on Bught Road, just past the canal cottage beside Tomnahurch Bridge - turn left off Glenurquhart Road at the new large roundabout. But anglers parking there should take care not to block the widened towpath access by the canal cottage.

Monkey does it again

Club member Alan Scott got off the mark today with a cracking hen salmon from the tail of the Weir Pool of the River Ness. The fish - measuring 83cm which puts it at around 14lbs on the Sturdy Scale - took a small monkey fly expertly tied by junior member Jordon Grant.

“That’s the third fish I've hooked on this fly but the other two, on the River Oich, fell off," said Alan. "And I came close to losing this one as it seemed determined to head through the fast water and under the new bridge. A great fight! And many thanks to club member Walter Mackay for tailing and holding the fish until it could be unhooked, professionally measured by a gathering of bridge construction workers and safely released.”


Happiness: A cracking salmon from Inverness Angling Club's Ness fishings

Access restrictions to canal towpath

Scottish Canals is preparing to undertake major strengthening works to the Ness Weir at the head of the River Ness. The towpath from Tomnahurich Bridge Cottage to Dochgarroch Lock has been closed to the public to allow construction plant and vehicles to access the site and to transport a significant tonnage of steel sheet piles and other construction materials to the works.

In conjunction with Scottish Canals, the principal contractor for the works, MacKenzie Construction, has given permission for members of Inverness Angling Club to use a section of this towpath for access to the River Ness for fishing, during the period up to season closure on October 15.

Access is permitted from the temporary fenced opening at the toe of the canal embankment next to the Inverness West Link Road construction site, to the limit of the Inverness Angling Club fishing at the Clachnahagaig stone. 

For your own safety, and the safety of others, IAC members are required to comply with the following conditions to allow access along the towpath:

  1. No IAC members’ cars, motorbikes or bicycles are allowed on the towpath.
  2. Look and listen for construction vehicles coming along the towpath from either direction.
  3. Stop and stand well aside on the grass verge while construction vehicles are passing.
  4. Do not recommence walking until the construction vehicle has passed.
  5. Do not loiter on the towpath. Walk directly to the stepped access points above the river.
  6. Please comply with any directions from the site construction team.

 A pdf map of the permitted access can be viewed by clicking HERE

Roy reaps reward

Although spring catches are down on last year, there's still fish to be caught on Inverness Angling Club’s beats of the River Ness. Club member Roy Gibson proved the point with a cracking sea-liced eight pounder from the MacIntyre Pool on Monday afternoon. The fish was attracted by a copper toby and successfully landed and released.


Aiden opens 2017 account

Aiden Macdonald is one of Inverness Angling Club’s top young Speycasters who will be pitting his skills against some of the world’s best in the club’s Centenary Speycasting Tournament at the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness on Friday and Saturday, September 1 and 2.

A staff member at Grahams of Inverness, the city’s leading tackle dealer, Aiden is also pretty good at catching salmon. He was one of the top rods last year, just failing to break into double figures. He opened his 2017 account on his day off this morning (Monday, May 22) with a fly-caught fresh 10lb salmon from the popular Silver Wells Pool.


 Sparkling: Success for Aiden

Good fish for Martin

Martin Ross hooked, landed and released a 10lb salmon at the Weir Pool of the River Ness on Thursday night (May 18). Hopefully, this may indicate a re-start of the spring run through Inverness Angling Club’s fishings.


‘Friendliest fishery’ hosts league final

Veteran angler and honorary member of Inverness Angling Club George Skinner finished the club’s eighth annual winter trout league in style, taking the top awards for the best total bag over the eight month October to May competition. In Saturday’s final, George weighed in fish of 6lb 8oz to take his overall weight to 35lb 14oz, winning the IAC Trophy and a 10ft Spectre trout rod and Thistledown fly line donated by international tackle manufacturer Snowbee.

Second was IAC’s past president Michael Campbell whose total bag of 34lb 2oz won him a £100 cash prize donated by Achagour Fishery - “undoubtedly the friendliest trout fishery in the country” according to its many patrons. Third was Jim Jarvie with a bag of 30lb 13oz, winning an angling vest donated by Grahams of Inverness and a Snowbee Countdown fly line.

The best fish of the entire competition was a 7lb 14oz specimen taken by John Hamilton in his January session. This won him the IAC Trophy, a £50 award from Bellfield Enterprises and a Snowbee XS-tra distance floating line. Second was Jim Jarvie who landed a feisty fish of 6lb 14oz during his January session, winning a £30 award form Bellfield Enterprises. Third was George Skinner’s 6lb 4oz fish taken in his March session, winning a Bellfield Enterprises £20 award. Alex Elliott landed the best fish of the final, at 2lb 12oz, winning a £20 award from Bellfield Enterprises.

Grateful thanks were expressed to all the sponsors, who have given loyal support to the competition over the past eight years, and to the competition hosts, Achagour Fishery.


Top veteran: George Skinner makes prize-winning performance

Top team: A happy bunch of winter league competitors

FFFT features IAC

The history and achievements of Inverness Angling Club will be featured for a second time in Fly Fishing and Fly Tying (FFFT), the increasingly popular Scotland-based angling magazine. The last feature was written by the late Bruce Sandison, in which he described our piece of print for visitors and new members as the best club brochure he had seen.

The June issue of FFFT is expected to be in the shops this week (beginning May 8). Unless you already get the magazine on subscription, and it’s delivered to your door, don’t forget to get your copy and enjoy a fascinating read about things you know - and perhaps didn't know - about your club.

Members gather for eighth league final

The final of Inverness Angling Club’s Winter Trout League will be held at Achagour Fishery on Saturday, May 13. Registration will be at 0900 hours for an 0930 start.

This is the eighth successive league, an event that began as a trial to stimulate a bit of competitive fishing camaraderie among members during the close season. And the club has been very lucky to secure the support of international tackle manufacturer Snowbee as main sponsor, supported by Neil Fraser of Bellfield Enterprises and Achagour Fishery. Local tackle dealer Grahams of Inverness have also donated prizes.


Happy anglers at the 2015/16 league final

Arthur’s beauty

It seems that bright sunshine and lowish water makes little difference to the taking inclinations of salmon moving through the Ness system. In these conditions, IAC member Arthur Ferguson hooked, landed and released a fresh 12lb fish from the Little Isle at 11.40 am today. Apparently, it is Arthur’s first fish for a while…so many congratulations!


Success: A nice one for Arthur 

Soldier Safique makes welcome return

Ghurka soldier Safique Ahmed, just back from a posting in England, has made a welcome return to the River Ness, and Inverness Angling Club membership. A corporal in 3 Scots Black Watch, Safique has enjoyed fishing the club water while posted to Fort George barracks to the east of Inverness. The day after returning he was having a cast on the Little Isle and enjoying the craic with local members! His compatriot Mukund Gurung, also a keen angler and club member, is being posted to England for a while but we look forward to his return.


Safique: On duty at the Little Isle

Stephen gets first fish from the Isle

Persistence paid off for young Stephen Dick at the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness today (Tuesday, May 2). An enthusiastic junior member of Inverness Angling Club, and regular face on the river during school breaks, 16-year-old Stephen was spinning with a copper toby around mid-afternoon when he hooked, landed and released a salmon of 10lbs. It's good to see junior members of the club reaping rewards for their efforts. Hopefully, the picture of Stephen's catch will encourage more of our juniors - and our seniors - to get out for a cast. Over the last few days there have been reports of good numbers of fish showing in the river.

A nice fish for Stephen 

Another from the Weir

Neil Fraser's fly-caught 9lb salmon from the Weir Pool on Saturday (April 29)

Far traveller Ian goes for associate

On three occasions this season, Ian Mulholland has made the seven hour round trip from Lochwinnoch, south west of Glasgow, to fish the club’s water on FishPal tickets. His very positive comments on our fishings, and the anglers he has met, were reported in a February story. And he has just submitted similar comments on his most recent trips.

“I’ve visited the river three times now and love it,” says Ian. “There’s some great fly water and the travelling is worth it. I like to camp and get away. I’ve now applied for associate membership and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. I hope to fish the river more often, not only for salmon but I’ve also seen some nice trout and sea trout.”

Welcome to the club, Ian.


Where champions are born!

Inverness Angling Club will stage its highly valued Casting Clinics from 7pm to 9pm each Wednesday, starting on May 31 and continuing weekly on June 7, 14, 21 and 28. As always, the venue will be the Little Isle Pool.

Members, non-members and, in particular, youngsters are most welcome to attend. The coaching will be free of charge. For peace of mind, all coaches hold a minimum Sport Scotland/UKCC Level 1 certification with PVG/Disclosure Scotland clearance.

An added incentive will be the appearance, on most evenings, of world casting champions who will demonstrate their skills and participate in the coaching. Please bring along your own rods. However, there will be a limited supply of loan rods should you not have your own.

Steve strikes silver

IAC member Stephen Cowie made a successful visit to the Weir Pool of the River Ness on Thursday, landing and releasing a fresh run salmon estimated at 8lbs. Steve was using a silver Flying C with hand painted red stripes across the silver blade. He hooked the fish in the productive lie just above the spout.

Clearly, fish are running the river so it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. But that means getting on to the river in the first place. Despite recent catches, the number of members going out for a cast is disappointing. More anglers would produce more fish.

Weir delight for Cameron

Following Martin Nelson’s success last Thursday, the Weir Pool of Inverness Angling Club’s water delivered again on Monday - hopefully indicating that spring catches will rise through the rest of April and May. Cameron Milne of Elgin, fishing the Weir on Monday (April 17) with a friend on FishPal day tickets, hooked, landed and released a fresh-run salmon of around 8 lbs. The fish was enticed by a Franc ’n’ Snaelda, the fly invented by Ballogie head ghillie Sean Stanton which combines elements of the famous Icelandic patterns, the Frances and Snaelda.


Weir Pool delivers

The Weir Pool on Inverness Angling Club’s River Ness beat is still the place to be for the chance of a spring salmon. Martin Nelson was there on Thursday (April 13) and repeated his success of last season with a 12 lb fly caught salmon. There’s word around that another fish was caught on Wednesday afternoon but no return has been made at the time of writing.

Members and visitors are reminded that details of all catches of salmon or grilse should be submitted within 24 hours, under Rule 5.2 in the club rules printed in all membership cards and visitor permits. Returns can be made, quickly and simply, by mobile phone on or by text to 07831 745394, using the detail set out in permits.


Successful: Martin Nelson with his bright springer

Entry recognises speycasting traditions

International speycasters will flock to Inverness this summer for Inverness Angling Club’s Centenary Speycasting Tournament, being run as part of Scotland’s Salmon Festival on Friday and Saturday, September 1 and 2. Entries have now reached the limit of 30 and two entries have been placed on the waiting list to replace any withdrawals. It is a major achievement by the club, which attracted 20 speycasters to its Alexander Grant Memorial event in 2015. And it recognises the international standing of the club, the River Ness and its speycasting traditions. 

The 2015 event owed a huge debt to club members who volunteered as judges for the competition, and carried out their responsibilities so well. This year’s event will also need a team of some 20 judges to work in shifts over the two days of competition. Those who are willing to take part should contact the club link below or text their name and telephone number to vice president Alex Elliott on 07810 007691. Alex is also co-ordinating attendance at the Highland Council civic reception on the Saturday evening which will recognise the club’s centenary.


Major works set for Ness Islands

Remedial works will begin on the Ness Islands next week and continue for some eight months. The works will involve trees, paths, bridges and banks. From next week (beginning April 10), contractor Brandon Landscape Ltd will be starting on tree works which will take at least six months to complete. This is primarily light work and areas where works are taking place will be cordoned off without affecting the public too much. 

The public are asked to adhere to signs that are posted at the islands’ entrances as paths, bridges, banks and trees could be affected during the works. Access across the islands will not be possible when work is taking place on bridges. Signs will be displayed at the islands’ entrances on these days. Works will be weather and river-level dependent and forewarning of closures will not be possible.

For safety, the council asks that diverted routes should be followed, dog walkers should keep dogs on a lead while works are in progress, cyclists should travel at slow pace and children should be kept under visual contact at all times. The works are designed to protect and prolong the islands as a popular area for people to enjoy for years to come.

Neil lands a beauty

He might not show his face in the picture, but Neil Fraser should be proud of his Weir Pool catch this morning (April 3). After some good runs from a feisty kelt, Neil hit the real thing - an estimated 15lb salmon duly landed and released. It was the second verified springer from Inverness Angling Club’s beat this season. If last year is anything to go by, when 29 springers were landed during April and May, there should be more to come. So it’s worth kitting up and getting out.


Springer for Neil

Reception attendance

The Highland Council and Inverness Common Good Fund are recognising the centenary of Inverness Angling Club with a buffet civic reception in the Town Hall on the evening of Saturday, September 2. The evening  will also celebrate the second Scotland’s Salmon Festival and stage the awards ceremony for the Centenary Speycasting Tournament. A warm welcome is extended to all club members who would like to attend.
Please register your  interest by using the club web site contact facility (see link below) and leave a message for the secretary with your name, address, telephone number and 2017 membership number. Alternatively, members can telephone or text vice president Alex Elliott on 07810 007691. Please note that while there is a generous limit on places, attendance will be on a first come, first served basis.

Late renewal penalty approaches

Inverness Angling Club's annual general meeting last November agreed a welcome reduction in membership fees from £160 to £150 for the season. But anglers are reminded that this fee is conditional on payment by the end of March, just a few days away. Those who have not renewed their membership by that time will face an additional charge of £20, raising the renewal fee to £170. The reason for applying this renewal date is to raise the income the club requires to meet substantial early season expenses. So pop into Grahams up to close of business on Friday (March 31) to avoid the extra £20 that will apply from Saturday.

Tournament entries build

Entries for Inverness Angling Club’s Centenary Speycasting Tournament, being staged on the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness on Friday and Saturday, September 1 and 2 this year, has now attracted 27 entries. The latest Speycaster to register for the event, being held as part of Scotland’s Salmon Festival at the Bught Park, is game angling instructor Brian Szukala, a regular visitor to the Highlands who has just retired to Helmsdale. The club has capped entries at 30 so is confident of reaching that total in the weeks ahead.

No sign of membership recovery

There is considerable disappointment that the hoped for recovery in club membership has not materialised so far this year. Membership totals 178 compared to 204 at the same period of 2016 - 94 senior members, two ladies, 23 associates, 28 concessionary, one intermediate and 30 juniors. Sales of sea trout tickets total 16. Senior members include 12 who have joined under the special discount offered to locally resident anglers who have not been members of the club within the last five years. This has been successful in attracting new blood to the club.


Jack gets home

Inverness Angling Club’s honorary president Jack Fraser is now at home following his period in Raigmore Hospital recovering from major heart surgery. He left hospital on Friday and has since reported that he is feeling much better and managed to get rid of the chest infection that was hampering his recovery. We wish him continuing progress.

Hot news on burning issue

The club angler who left the Mill hut gas cooker alight over last weekend has, very sportingly, contacted club officials to apologise for his omission. He will not be named as officials recognise that it was not intentional and out of character. But the incident does underline the need for care in using hut equipment. Leaving gas on could lead to a serious incident, so always double check that the gas is turned off before leaving the hut. 

As mentioned before, please clean up after use. If the hut bin, and the plastic bag attached to the rod rack are full, they can be deposited in the general waste bin behind the fenced area at the top of the road running between the Mill buildings. Spare bags are kept in the drawers below the cooker.

Bridge continues progress

Construction of the new bridge over the River Ness above Holm Mills is making rapid progress with the second of the three sections of the central span being lifted into place today (Tuesday). Operations are attracting dozens of observers, along with amateur and professional photographers keen to record key moments in the construction of the West Link.

The second section being lifted into place

Slowly does it!

A clear path to the Weir Pool


Helmsdale visitors enjoy their day

IAC vice president Alex Elliott took to the river early this morning (Monday, March 6) to welcome the first visitors of the year from the River Helmsdale, with which the club enjoys a mutually beneficial exchange permit arrangement. Anglers Mick Buttery and Robert Stephenson joined Alex on the Weir Pool, scene of the first catch of the year last week, as the central span was being lifted into place on the new Ness bridge. 

Mick, a long distance driver with J D Cowper, and Robert, owner of Helmsdale’s Thyme and Plaice shop which distributes permits for the River Helmsdale, enjoyed their visit and hoped more of the village’s fishers would take advantage of the exchange agreement to fish IAC’s water.

Welcome visitors: Robert Stephenson (left) and Mick Buttery from Helmsdale

Bridge spans the Ness

The new Ness bridge took a big step towards completion today (Monday, March 6) with the installation of sections of the central span. The bridge is part of the West Link contract awarded to Wills Bros by The Highland Council. Completion is expected by the end of the year.

The contract involves the construction of roads and bridgeworks from Holm roundabout on the B862 Dores Road to the A82 at Glenurquhart. It comprises some 2.2km of 7.3m wide single carriageway road, four roundabouts, the new three span bridge over the River Ness and two underpasses, all with associated drainage, earthworks, fencing and walls, landscaping, new access tracks and paths, road lighting, car park and coach turning area, and the installation of new services and supplies.

The first section of the central span moves into place 

In place - and a big step forward

Burning issue at Mill hut

A careless member or members of Inverness Angling Club are responsible for a wasteful and potentially dangerous incident over the week-end. As club vice-president Alex Elliott arrived at the Mill Stream early on Monday morning, to meet two visiting anglers from Helmsdale, he found that the gas stove in the Mill hut had been left burning, presumably since last being used on Saturday. 

Keys to the hut are limited to adult members of the club and Alex asked all users to take extra care and double-check that the stove is turned off after use. This is the first incident of its kind since the hut was installed at the Mill several years ago. It would be heartening if the member or members who left the gas burning would admit responsibility and contribute to the cost of the wasted gas and apologise to Alex who was left to dry up the massive condensation within the hut.   

It is also noticeable that members are not tidying up after using the hut so please put all used cups in the bin, put the tops back on jars, clean spoons and wipe surfaces. Don't leave a mess for others to clean up.

Tournament continues to attract the best

The latest entries to Inverness Angling Club’s Centenary Speycasting Tournament, being staged on September 1 and 2 as part of Scotland’s Salmon Festival, are top Irish caster Martin Kiely and local caster Donald MacPherson. The total now stands at 21, with more expected. Martin, who hails from Limerick, came sixth in the Alexander Grant Memorial Speycasting competition organised by IAC in 2015, casting 44.5 metres. Donald was not far behind, in eighth place, with a cast of 43 metres.

Martin Kiely casting in 2015 (Picture by John Macpherson)

And two makes 19!

A further two Speycasters have entered IAC’s Centenary Speycasting Tournament in September. The second lady to register is Ally Bremner from Melrose, a casting champion and instructor who competed in the 2015 Grant Memorial Speycasting Competition. A newcomer to the Inverness event will be Tommy Boyle from Insch, Aberdeenshire, representing Fish-Tech UK Ltd.

Derek lands first club fish of the season

A fall in the level of the River Ness, from 1.8 to 1.6 on SEPA’s Ness-side gauge, seems to have done the trick for IAC club member Derek Proctor. Spinning the Weir Pool with a 3-inch black and orange Devon, he caught and released a sea liced salmon estimated at 16-17lbs - the first fish from the club water this season on the first day of March. And there was another first for Derek. Although he hooked the fish in the Weir Pool, he landed it in the Mill Stream - being the first to play a fish under the first section of the new bridge on the way down. Derek will qualify for the award for the first fish of the year which will be presented to him at the AGM in November.

Derek Proctor landed this beauty from the Weir Pool at 9.15 am this morning (March 1)


Jack moves to Raigmore

Inverness Angling Club’s honorary president, Jack Fraser, is doing well after undergoing a triple heart bypass in Edinburgh. Jack is now back in Inverness, where he is recovering in the Cardiac Care Unit, Ward 6C, of Raigmore Hospital. He is in good spirits and told your scribe that he is looking forward to getting back to the river as soon as he can.


Jack fishing the Little Isle Pool in 2015

IAC renews welcome to leading Norwegian Speycasters

The top three Speycasters in the Alexander Grant Memorial Speycasting competition held in 2015 have confirmed their entries for this year’s IAC Centenary Speycasting Tournament. Norwegian Speycasters Geir Hansen, Vidar Ness and Jarle Strandberg took first, second and third places respectively in the highly successful first Speycasting competition organised by IAC as part of the inaugural Scotland’s Salmon Festival.

The 2017 tournament is being staged at the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness on Friday and Saturday, September 1 and 2, where Geir, representing CNC rods and Nextcast lines, and LTS Proteam members Vidar and Jarle will be leading contenders for the top places. Entries have now reached 17, within reach of the 20 entrants in 2015 and well on the way to the 30 competitors the club can accommodate this year.

Geir Hansen casting in the 2015 Alexander Grant Memorial Speycasting Competition

Lost and found

Some items of fishing gear have been found on the banks of the River Ness. The owner can claim their return by posting a description of the lost items to the contacts page of Inverness Angling Club’s web site - Click on Club Details/Contact and enter the detail.


Heartening start for casting tournament

Entries for Inverness Angling Club’s Centenary Speycasting Tournament are rolling in. Fourteen Speycasters have registered since the Eventbrite online system opened last Wednesday (February 22). It’s a heartening start for the September tournament which will be open to 30 Speycasters - so don’t delay, enter right away! Go to, click on the tournament info and you’ll find the link to the entry system.

Among the entries so far are Lee Cummings from Cumbria, who came sixth in the 2015 Alexander Grant Memorial Speycasting Competition on the River Ness. This time he will have some female competition - his wife Angela, a formidable caster in her own right. Also returning to the Ness are Scotland’s Andrew Toft, a former world champion, and Ireland’s Derek Doyle, from Greystones in County Wicklow. Others casting again are Fraser Smith of Inverness, a former winner of the Scone Game Fair Speycasting championship; and Hamish Young, whose Coastguard colleagues did such a sterling job in course laying and safety cover in 2015.

Newcomers will be IAC member Aiden MacDonald, a successful local angler who works with tackle dealers Grahams of Inverness; Steven Pugh from Cheshire; Finlay Thomson, assistant ghillie on the Kercock beat of the River Tay; and Russell Mein of Dochfour fishings. Junior (under 17) entrants so far include IAC members Jordon Grant, Fraser Shanks and Fraser Munro, along with young Ayrshire Speycaster Blaine Lyon.


Former world champion Andrew Toft competing in the 2015 Alexander Grant Memorial

Speycasting Competition at the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness

Massive crane gets to work

Work on the new Ness bridge restarted as storm Doris drifted away, allowing a massive crane assembled on the Holm Mills side of the river to lift the first 50-metre, 180 tonne steel beam into place. A total of three pairs of beams are set for the south side then the 70-metre high crane will be disassembled and moved to the north side to lift the remaining beams into place.

Progress: Wills Bros begin installation of bridge base

Organisers thank tournament sponsors

Sponsors are crucial to events like Scotland’s Salmon Festival. Dr Melanie Smith - head of research development at Inverness College UHI and chair of the festival steering committee - thanks the sponsors of the Speycasting tournament to be held at the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness on September 1 and 2.

Melanie is pictured shaking hands with David Traill, of Grahams of Inverness. Looking on are (left to right) Marcus Valente, of Scottish Ghillie; Gordon Armstrong, representing Ness Castle Lodges; and IAC president Graham MacKenzie. Drummossie Hotel, one of the leading hotels in Inverness, is also assisting the event.



IAC celebrates a special year

Entries are now being taken for an international Speycasting tournament being staged to celebrate the centenary of Inverness Angling Club (IAC). At a media launch by the banks of the River Ness today (Wednesday, February 22) it was confirmed that the tournament would be staged on Friday and Saturday, September 1 and 2, as part of Scotland’s Salmon Festival.

All entrants will compete in two heats on September 1 and a third on the morning of September 2. The top six Speycasters will go forward to a final in the afternoon, preceded by a ladies final. Junior Speycasters, aged 17 and under, will compete in their own final - a feature being introduced by IAC to recognise and reward the developing casting skills of young anglers.

Prizes, to be presented at a civic reception in the historic Inverness Town House - hosted by the Provost and Councillors of Inverness - will include silver-plated IAC Centenary Quaichs for winners and runners up in open and ladies competitions, plus cash awards of £1,000, £500 and £300 for open first, second and third, and £500 and £300 for the winning lady and runner-up. A Centenary Quaich will also go to the winning junior.

The tournament is being sponsored by Ness Castle Lodges, Drumossie Hotel, Grahams of Inverness and Scottish Ghillie.

Entries must be made electronically at Eventbrite via the following link, by the Speycaster or someone on their behalf. Please register with your own details, then log in. In the event of difficulty, please contact Alan Scott, Inverness Angling Club. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Tel: 01463 235287 or 07785 287995


Launch party: (Left to right) Scott Mackenzie, junior anglers Fraser Shanks, Jordon Grant

and Fraser Munro, David Traill of Grahams of Inverness, Dr Melanie Smith of Inverness College UHI,

IAC president Graham MacKenzie, Marcus Valente of Scottish Ghillie and Gordon Armstrong of Ness 

Castle Lodges

Develop a fascinating hobby

Inverness Angling Club’s fly tying classes are going well, attracting up to 14 keen tyers each night. And anyone interested, member or non-member, skilled or non-skilled, is welcome to attend, particularly young anglers who would like to expand their angling experience. The classes are held in Hilton Community Centre every Thursday night from 7 to 8.30 pm, up to April 27. Tools and materials are available to introduce novices to this fascinating hobby.

Two fish limit

It would seem that there is still some misunderstanding about the conservation regulations governing the harvesting of salmon and grilse on the Ness system. A key regulation is that anglers are limited to one fish in any given week, to a maximum of two fish for the season, in the period from July 1 to October 15. All hen fish, and all fish over 8 lbs, must be released. Some anglers appear to believe that they can take two fish from each beat in the system. This is not the case. The two fish limit applies to the entire Ness system.

Please, don't wade deep!

Members and visitors will be aware, through Facebook postings from the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board, that salmon spawn much later in the lower reaches of the Ness system. This led to club officials asking anglers to refrain from deep wading in these early months of the season. 

It would appear, however, that there are one or two anglers who have not noted the advice, or are ignoring it. This is particularly so on the left bank of the MacIntyre Pool, an important spawning area, where an individual angler has been seen wading up to his waist. If the angler concerned is reading this, please stop wading so deep. It won’t help you catch any more fish and you could be killing future stock.


Bridge works enter new phase

Big lifts are about to begin as construction of the new Ness bridge enters its next phase. Wills Bros have confirmed that they will begin installing beams on Monday (February 20) and complete on Wednesday. A rescue boat will operate on the river in case of any accident. Watchmen will be posted on the south river bank to ensure members of the public stay in the safe zone during lifting.


"I'll be back....!"

A south of Scotland angler is singing the praises of Inverness Angling Club’s fishings. Ian Mulholland from Lochwinnoch used the FishPal service to book a day on the Ness on February 9. He gave the fishings top marks for value for money and general upkeep, describing both as exceptional. He added: “A great day. Saw fish in the Weir and Mill Pool but just unlucky. Will definitely return for another visit.” Thanks for the compliments, Ian. We look forward to your return.

Class caters for budding tyers

Interest is building in Inverness Angling Club’s weekly fly tying class, held each Thursday in Hilton Community Centre, Inverness, from 7 to 9 pm. Last Thursday saw a good mix of novices, intermediate and skilled tyers enjoy a good session, producing flies for both river and loch.

All club members are invited to the class on Thursday, February 9, along with any juniors or seniors who are interested but have yet to take out 2017 membership. Skilled tutors and qualified angling coaches will help you develop this fascinating hobby in a friendly atmosphere. Tools and materials are available for beginners, courtesy of donations by committee members Steve Watt and John Hamilton, and other generous tyers.

 Class of 2017 (left to right): Jordon Grant, Fraser Munro, Billy Murdoch,

Fraser Shanks, Jim Jarvie, Angus Mackinnon, Steve Watt, Graham and Beth

Ross, Alan Scott and Mike Campbell. Seated is Ken Mackenzie   

Alan Scott presents promising novice Beth Ross with a fly tying kit

Watch your wading

As Inverness Angling Club members and visitors make their first outings on the river for the 2017 season, president Graham MacKenzie launched an appeal for care in wading. Salmon are still spawning in the river and, with low water, even shallow wading could cause damage to redds and the valuable eggs they contain.  This would apply, particularly, to the left bank of the Mill Stream and MacIntyre Pools, and to the Little Isle Pool. Moderate or deep wading is unnecessary, particularly at this time of the year so, please, take care and help ensure that as many as possible of the eggs being laid survive to hatch, migrate and return as mature fish.

IAC set for ‘memorable centennial’

Three times world Speycasting champion and record holder Scott Mackenzie marked the opening of the River Ness salmon season today (Wednesday, February 1) by making the traditional first cast of the year. The cast also marked the first event in Inverness Angling Club’s centennial year, which will culminate in an international Speycasting tournament as part of Scotland’s Salmon Festival in September. Once again, the tournament is being staged as a tribute to Speycasting’s first world record holder Alexander Grant, the famed ‘Wizard of the Ness’.

Accompanied by Inverness Angling Club president Graham Mackenzie, the traditional ‘Blessing of the Water’ was made by sponsor Neil Souter, manager of the Holm Mills Shopping Village. A good measure of malt whisky, cast into the river from a Celtic Quaich, is the traditional way of seeking a favourable season. Anglers were led to the river by Pipe Major Steve Spencer of Northern Constabulary Pipe Band.

Mr Mackenzie said club members and visitors were looking forward to a successful season in which a relaxation in the law will allow anglers to retain a couple of salmon or grilse of 8lbs or under between July 1 and October 15. 

He explained: “Scottish Government conservation regulations imposed mandatory catch and release on the entire Ness system in 2016. This will continue until June 30 of this year to protect spring salmon running the Ness to the River Moriston. 

“The 2016 regulations led to a significant loss of members and visitors to other rivers in the area, where fish could be taken. Government acceptance of pleas for a limited harvest has literally saved the club from extinction in its centenary year. Income from membership and visiting anglers took a severe hit but we managed to survive thanks to support from the Inverness Common Good Fund, from which we lease the Town Fishings, and the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board.”

He added: “With good fishing and international participation in the salmon festival and Speycasting tournament as we celebrate our 100th birthday, we are set to have a memorable centennial year.”


Anglers are piped to the river where sponsor Neil Souter raises a toast to the season


Scott Mackenzie makes the first cast of the season as happy members and visitors look on

President Graham MacKenzie is interviewed by Nicola McAlley of STV

Ness anglers prepare for new season

Anglers will celebrate on Wednesday (February 1) as the 2017 salmon season opens on the River Ness. Inverness Angling Club invites all members and friends to gather at the Mill Stream Pool, behind the Holm Mills Shopping Village, to mark the opening.

Neil Souter, manager of Holm Mills Shopping Village who have kindly sponsored the event for several years, will ‘bless the water’ by adding some of the finest malt whisky to the river - the traditional way of seeking a favourable season. Scott Mackenzie, three times world champion Speycaster and record holder, will make the first cast, using one of his revolutionary salmon fly rods made from the Nobel award-winning material, graphene.

Club president Graham MacKenzie said: “Scott honed his Speycasting skills as a teenager on the angling club waters of the Ness, following tutoring at our annual Casting Clinics. Mackenzie Flyfishing takes him to many of the salmon angling countries of the world where he is a great ambassador for the club, the River Ness and the Highlands.” 

He added: “Game angling for salmon and sea trout makes a substantial contribution to the Highlands and Islands tourism industry. Studies show that anglers are consistently one of the highest spending categories of visitors to the area.”

Members and visitors should park their cars in the anglers’ car park behind Holm Mills and gather in the upper car park by 10 am to be piped to the river by Pipe Major Steve Spencer of the Northern Constabulary Pipe Band. Members are requested to wear their fishing gear and bring their rods.

Club members build skills

Ten members of Inverness Angling Club braved snow storms to enjoy instruction from the club’s most experienced fly tyer at the first in a series of fly tying classes on Thursday (January 12). The classes, being held in Hilton Community Centre every Thursday from 7 to 9pm, are designed to pass on tying skills to novices, particularly junior members, and help those who already tie to develop their techniques.

Mike Campbell, past president of the club who has tied professionally for many years, provided an introduction to basic skills. He will be joined by other instructors in successive classes to ensure all those attending get the opportunity to build a skill that will help them develop their angling experience.

All junior and adult members of the club are welcome to join the classes. Parents of junior members are also invited to come along, to see what is going on and, perhaps, join their sons and daughters in developing a new skill.


Concentration (left to right): Jim Jarvie, Ken Mackenzie, Eric MacLeay, Mike Campbell,

Fraser Shanks, Fraser Munro and father and daughter Graham and Beth Ross

Old permit shows surprising differences

A little bit of Inverness Angling Club’s history has been unearthed by committee member and club stalwart John Hamilton. It comes in the form of a membership card taken out in 1957 by Mr R Grant, grandfather of John’s wife, Lorraine. And it displays some surprising differences from the club structure of today.

It would seem that the club was in need of some ‘grace and favour’ from leading locals at this time. As opposed to one honorary president today, there were five in 1957 - Baroness Burton; two ex-provosts, Hugh Ross and James Grigor; vice admiral L D Mackintosh of Mackintosh; and the then provost, Robert Wotherspoon. There were no less than 12 honorary vice presidents, including leading officials of Inverness Town Council, town clerk James Cameron and town chamberlain Stanley H Wilson. Local tackle shops also held vice president positions, including John Reidpath, inventor of the famed Hairy Mary salmon fly. The president was Mr J Fraser, father of long serving club secretary Jack Fraser.

The permit lists subscriptions at £1 5s (£1.25 in today’s money) for the year, with ladies - and juniors ‘not over 20 years’ - paying the reduced fee of 12s 6d (about 62 pence). Anglers were ‘requested’ to report all catches to secretary S Graham, but no catch return form was included in the permit.



The cover and key pages from the 1957 permit

Banks tidied ready for season opening

Members of Inverness Angling Club delivered more excellent work at the Mill Stream Pool on Sunday (January 8) in preparation for the opening of the River Ness salmon season on Wednesday, February 1. Long grass, gorse and shrub trees were trimmed back by veteran Neil Fraser and the two youngest members of the club committee, Billy Murdoch and Aiden Macdonald. Labourers and tea boys were president Graham Mackenzie and vice president Alex Elliott.


Billy Murdoch tidies up the Mill path (left) while Aiden Macdonald clears the bank


Neil trims branches while Graham's dog waits for a stick from Alex

Spread the word....!

Fly tying classes presented by Inverness Angling Club will begin in Hilton Community Centre on Thursday, January 12, from 7 to 9 pm, continuing each Thursday until April 27. Experienced tyers will be available to tutor both beginners and anglers who want to improve their skills and technique. The club is particularly keen to welcome many of its 100-plus junior members to perpetuate its traditional skills and innovation in tying salmon and trout flies. Parents will be welcome. 

Qualified angling coaches who have completed the Disclosure Scotland process will supervise the classes. Bring you own fly tying equipment if you can but tools and materials will be available for use. A charge of £2 over person per night will be made to cover hall hire costs. Spread the word about the classes and let us know if you plan to attend by posting a message on this web site at Club Details/Contact/Secretary.

All set for an enjoyable season

Inverness Angling Club wishes all its members, regular visitors and all those who plan to cast a line on our Ness fishings every good wish for 2017. We look forward to seeing you during the fishing season ahead. 

The season will kick off on February 1 when three times world champion Scott Mackenzie will make the first cast of the year. So join us for the opening ceremony at the Mill Stream Pool, where sponsor Neil Souter, manager of the Holm Mills Shopping Village, will carry out the traditional blessing of the water with a drop of the best malt whisky. Thereafter, it’s into the Mill’s Ghillie's Restaurant for bacon rolls and refreshments.

Many anglers consider springers to be the ultimate challenge in salmon fishing. The IAC water offers a good chance of realising that challenge. Following one of the best spring periods for a long time inn 2016, we are hoping that more anglers will take to the water to make the 2017 spring fishery even more successful.

The Ness System will remain in conservation Category 3 up to the end of June, during which all fish must be released. But from July 1 to October 15 anglers can keep one fish in any given week, up to a maximum of two fish for the season - as long as they are are cock fish of eight pounds or under. All hen fish must be returned.

Further key dates in 2017 are Friday and Saturday, September 1 and 2, when the club will present an International Speycasting Tournament as part of the 2017 Scotland’s Salmon Festival. Entry details will be announced early in February. So everything is set for an interesting and enjoyable 2017 season. Watch this space….!

2017 permits on sale

Inverness Angling Club’s permits for the 2017 season are now on sale at Graham’s tackle shop in Castle Street, Inverness. Members should take their 2016 permit with them when renewing membership. 

Senior permits cover intermediate (aged 18, 19 and 20) at £50, adults 21 and over at £150, concessionary (65 and over who have 12 years unbroken membership) at £65 and lady at £80. Any member who failed to make a catch return for the 2016 season will have to pay a surcharge of £20. All senior membership must be renewed by April 1. Late renewal will also incur a surcharge of £20.

Junior membership of the club (17 and under) is available free for charge and permits may be collected now from Graham’s tackle shop. Anglers who have not been members within the last five years can apply for special entry at a fee of £100. Application forms can be downloaded from the web site. Anglers living outside the club’s boundaries may apply for associate membership for a fee of £150 for the season.

Visitor permits for 2017 are priced as follows: February 1 to May 31 - £15 per day, £75 per week. June 1 to October 15 - £25 per day, £125 per week. Juniors - £10 per day throughout them season. Half day permits, 1300 to 2400 hours from June 1 to October 15 - £15 per day.