There will be a change of pace as Inverness Angling Club’s Thursday night class switches from fly tying to the intricacies of knots, line looping and replacing rod rings. Bring with you any lines that would benefit from end loops and any rod sections which require the replacement of suspect rings. All are welcome to Hilton Community Centre at 7 pm tonight (Thursday, January 25). We’ll give Flamethrowers a miss so there will be no Burns….!
River Ness anglers are looking forward to wetting a line for the first time in 2018. Inverness Angling Club will be staging its annual opening day ceremony at the Mill Stream Pool, by Holm Mills, at 9.30 for 10 am on Thursday, February 1.
Members and visitors will be piped to the river where Councillor Graham Ross, deputy provost of the City of Inverness and Area of The Highland Council, will make the first cast of the season. The traditional ‘Blessing of the Water’ will be carried out by Neil Souter, manager of sponsors Holm Mills Shopping Village. Bacon butties, tea and coffee will be served in the mill’s Ghillie’s Restaurant following the opening ceremony.
Ahead of the opening, IAC is seeking volunteers to help tidy up the bank area around the Mill Stream Pool. Members should meet at the Mill Hut at 10 am on Sunday, January 28. Tools will not be required but gardening or other form of protective gloves are recommended.
As the 2018 season draws closer, anglers are urged to restrict wading during the first couple of months while salmon are continuing to spawn. Visitors to the Facebook page of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board will see that our fish are still very busy in producing the next generation of salmon.
Deep wading is generally unnecessary in early season. And with eggs and alevins still in gravel it has the potential to kill more salmon than any individual angler might catch in a season…! Areas of spawning gravels - for example around the Charlie’s Seat area of the MacIntyre Pool, and most of the Little Isle and Silver Wells Pools - are particularly susceptible to careless wading in early season.
Inverness Angling Club is currently developing proposals for a much-needed extension of the Little Isle Hut, in advance of discussions with The Highland Council. The hut is a recognised gathering place for local and visiting anglers, for passers by heading to or from the Great Glen Way and for hundreds of other visitors to the city.
The club is conscious that the hut needs major improvement in style and size to provide a more acceptable facility on the scenic riverside. It is also aware of the important role the hut and its anglers play in engagement with both local people and visitors. This has become particularly important as the increase in cruise ships berthing in the Cromarty Firth has generated many more visitors to the city and riverside.
Gathering place: The Little Isle Hut
This week’s IAC fly tying class could get fiery as students tackle the Flamethrower salmon fly. Materials required are oval gold tinsel, silver holographic tinsel, black floss, yellow bucktail, pearl crystal flash, orange and yellow hackles, and jungle cock. The class kicks off at 7pm on Thursday, in Hilton Community Centre. All are welcome. Club membership is not required. Tools and materials can be provided.
Fiery attraction: The Flamethrower
Record growth in young anglers in the Inverness area has seen numbers shoot up from 103 youngsters in 2016 to 141 last year – and the push is on for a further surge this year. As a result of their encouragement of young anglers, Inverness Angling Club has received a £2,500 cheque from the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board.
Graham MacKenzie, president of Inverness Angling Cub, said:”We’re delighted at this token of appreciation from the board, reflecting the work we do to produce the anglers of the future. “The 141 recorded last year represented youngsters aged from 17 year old right down to four year olds, the latter being sons or daughters of existing members. We have 160 adult members. We have invested in producing six fully trained coaches, accredited to Sportscotland and Disclosure Scotland, allowing skills to be passed on to younger anglers.”
Mr MacKenzie added:”We plan to maintain this growth in children being interested in angling. Any young boy or girl who wants to try their hand at the sport can simply go to Graham’s Tackle Shop, Inverness, and pick up one of our free tickets for the new Ness season, which begins on February 1. They don’t have to register or face any red tape -- just collect a ticket and start fishing. Over 18s interested can register online for season tickets. In addition, any youngster of any age, member or not, can receive free casting tuition from award-winning anglers every Wednesday in June.”
Chris Conroy, river director of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board, said: ”This cheque presentation shows that we value the significant contribution the angling club makes to the promotion of ‘angling for all’. They’ve done an excellent job, as the numbers increase shows, and we hope that our contribution can help ensure continued provision of affordable and accessible salmon angling in the Inverness area.”
Congratulations: Chris Conroy (centre) hands the cheque to club president Graham MacKenzie.
Looking on are committee members (from left) Tony Quinn and Harry Fraser, and (right) Bill Byers
The second session of the IAC fly tying classes begins in Hilton Community Centre at 7 pm on Thursday (January 11). All are welcome to come along. Subject of the night will be variations of the Cascade, probably one of the most successful of recent times. The materials required are yellow and hot orange bucktail, silver crystal, silver Mylar, black floss, oval silver, natural grey squirrel (optional), black wing (bear, stoat or squirrel), pearl Crystal hair, and hot orange and yellow cock hackles. Tools and materials can be supplied.