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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.