Items filtered by date: January 2019

Tyers take to Willie Gunn

Salmon on the River Ness are likely to see a lot more of the Willie Gunn tube fly this season following a visit to Inverness Angling Club’s fly tying class by professional fly tyer Graham Nichols. The Willie Gunn is a favourite among Graham’s customers and he passed on his tips for tying the iconic fly to a fascinated audience last night (January 30). 

After his demonstration, class members produced some excellent examples of the Willie Gunn, which was named after a Sutherland ghillie. At the close of the class, Cheyenne Stronach showed the appreciation of members by presenting Graham with a tool stand, hand made by her father Stephen.

Attentive: Class members watch Graham’s tying demonstration

Appreciation: Cheyenne Stronach presents Graham with a tying tool stand

Class gets Courier credit

Inverness Angling Club activities get a favourable write up in the Inverness Courier today (Tuesday), leading with a piece on the success of the fly tying class and detailing arrangements for the season opening ceremony this Friday (February 1).

The fly tying class tomorrow (Wednesday) night will welcome well-known angler and top fly tyer Graham Nichols, who is kindly travelling from Golspie to demonstrate his tying skills. Graham’s Grainhead flies are a ‘must have’ for salmon anglers throughout the country. He will demonstrate his signature pattern, the Willie Gunn tube fly, then help class members to tie the pattern.

Club members who have not signed up for the class, but would like to watch Graham’s demonstration, are welcome to come along. It starts at 7pm in the upstairs conference room of Dow’s Bistro off Balloan Road.

Opening celebration for River Ness

City of Inverness Provost Helen Carmichael will formally open the salmon season on the River Ness this Friday (February 1). She will make the first cast at the Mill Stream Pool to herald what club members and visiting friends hope will see a continuing improvement in catches of salmon and grilse.

Members and guests should assemble in the top car park of Holm Mills for 10.00 hours. Pipe Major Steve Spencer of Northern Constabulary Community Pipe Band will lead the parade to the river where David Traill, director of tackle shop Grahams of Inverness, will perform the traditional ‘blessing’ with a splash of whisky. Club president Graham MacKenzie will invite Provost Carmichael to make the first cast of the season. Thereafter, bacon rolls and refreshments will be provided in the restaurant of opening day sponsors Holm Mills Shopping Village. The club also appreciates the assistance of Tesco.

Opening tidy

Volunteers are being sought from the IAC membership to tidy up the Mill Stream area in advance of the opening of the salmon season on Friday, February 1. The tidy-up will start at 1100 hours this Sunday (January 27). Please help to ensure a clean site for the opening by Provost Helen Carmichael and the attendant media.

Fly class success

Fly tyers will gather again at Dow’s Bistro this evening (January 23) for another session of the skill that adds a different dimension to angling. Landing a silver salmon or tenacious trout on a fly of your own tying is well worth the time spent at the tying vice.

Class attendance has averaged 15 tyers per night since starting following the close of the salmon season on October 15 last year - a really good attendance by both seniors and juniors, and experienced and novice tyers led by tutors Mike Campbell and David Mateer. 

Organisers Alan Scott and Alex Elliott have been delighted by the response. Said Alan: “We have a good cross section of members and the classes have attracted non-members whose growing fly tying skills could well lead to them joining the club. We’ve been particularly pleased by the progress of juniors whose enthusiasm is heartening.”

Fenced out?

Inverness Angling Club has approached officials of The Highland Council to raise concerns about the construction of a fence along the riverside path adjacent to Whin Park playground. On the face to it, the fence, running from just above Charlie’s Seat right up to the Holm Bridge, could pose a significant threat to angler access to two of the best beats of the Ness fishings, the MacIntyre Pool and Mill Stream. While the club has not been consulted on the project, it is believed that sections of the fence will be left open at each existing path access to the pools.

Nice fence!: But will there be full access to the river?


Membership queries

IAC membership secretary John Ralph will be taking a break between February 6 and 20. During that period all membership matters should be raised via the ‘Contact Us’ section of the web site. Just click on the ‘Contact Us’ circle on the home page for a reply from the president or secretary, usually by return.

Big billing for Ladies Day

The successful Ladies Day staged on Inverness Angling Club’s Ness fishings last year will be featured in the February issue of Trout and Salmon magazine. The club hosted and coached a cheery group of 20 ladies on their fishings on Saturday, September 1. The event was organised by angling marketing agency FishPal in aid of the Highland Hospice. Reports and pictures by a Trout and Salmon journalist will grace the pages of the February issue which will be on magazine shelves within the next few days.

Opening celebration

Members and guests are invited to attend the opening day ceremony of the 2019 salmon angling season at the Mill Stream Pool on Friday, February 1. Please assemble in the top car park of Holm Mills for 10.00 hours.

This popular event is kindly sponsored by Holm Mills Shopping Village and gives members and guests an opportunity to catch up with fellow members and discuss the prospects for the new season, over a wee dram, a bacon roll and a cup of tea or coffee. Anglers are asked to wear fishing gear and bring a rod to present a good image for the attending media.

Loop promote best practice

Gordon Sim, the chief executive officer of Loop Tackle Design, will be the guest speaker at the annual public meeting of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board on Thursday, January 17. The meeting, which has always attracted a good number of interested anglers from around the area, will be held in the Press and Journal Lounge of Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club, starting at 19.30 hours.

A native of Fort William, Gordon will talk about the world class fisheries management applied to Loop’s own river systems in Labrador, Canada; the company’s wish to act as a ‘global conduit for best practice’; and his own passion for salmon fishing.

Agenda items will include the activities of the board during 2018 and proposed activities for 2019. Copies of the board’s annual report will be available. The meeting is open to the pubic but places are limited to 50 seats. Those interested in attending should register their interest with the clerk, Chris Conroy, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01463 861245.

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