Fly fishing is the most successful method for catching Ness salmon, fished on double-handed rods of 14 to 16 feet using full Spey or shooting head lines rated AFTM 9 to 11. The ability to Spey cast, for which Ness anglers are renowned, is useful as many pools do not offer sufficient room for overhead casting. The snake roll helps to improve safety in downstream winds.
Small flies - 8s, 10s or 12s - tend to be more productive than large flies, depending on water height. Popular patterns include shrimp flies in red, yellow, orange or black (Ally’s Shrimp, Cascades and NessC) along with Munro’s Killer, Stoat’s Tail and Silver Stoat. Traditional or modern flies with any or all of these colours will attract fish. Long-tailed flies like the Monkey or Collie Dog, with a lot of movement, and silver, gold, green or other metallic-style bodies, work well, particularly for grilse.
Popular spinning lures include Devons and Tobies of various colours and sizes, depending on water height. As part of conservation regulations, worm fishing is only permitted from July 1 to September 30.