Items filtered by date: March 2019

Praise from FishPal visitors

Visitors to Inverness Angling Club’s fishings continue to praise the river and its anglers. Tom Berry and a friend enjoyed a day on the town fishings on March 20 although they returned home to Clackmananshire without making contact with a fish on fly or Flying C.

They were the latest in the growing number of visitors using the FishPal booking system. Describing their day they rated the club water as very good value for money and described the upkeep of the fishery and huts as exceptional. Tom reported: “We met some local anglers at the fishing huts (and) they were very friendly and helpful.” 

Helmsdale pulls exchange permits

Local and visitjng anglers are advised that the exchange permits for the River Helmsdale association or town water are no longer available. The permits were the most popular exchange tickets held by Inverness Angling Club. Anglers who made the trip to the river, and enjoyed the fishing and craic with locals, will be disappointed that it has been withdrawn. Nevertheless, the club sends its best wishes to friends on the river for a productive season.

Club president resigns

Graham MacKenzie has resigned as president of Inverness Angling Club, a position he has held since 2016. He explained that he could no longer accept the time commitment required to manage the club, or cope with a small but vociferous negative and unsupportive element within the club.

Graham said: “I wish the club well in tackling continuing issues of membership development and conserving the salmon stocks that make the River Ness such a key angling destination, recently voted among the top ten in the UK. I really hope the club find someone who can dedicate the many, many hours that are required to run this club these days - someone who has the love, the commitment and crucially the support to promote the club profile which, in turn, will give financial security and low cost fishing for all.”

Vice president Alex Elliott will take on the role of acting president until the club’s annual general meeting in November. Thanking Graham for his long term commitment to the club, he said: “Graham has done so much for the club over so many years, often with little credit for the hours he has invested in club business. We understand the reasons for his resignation but we are very sad to see him go. This club owes him a very substantial debt.”

Graham has volunteered to continue dealing with catch returns this season as his contact details are included in 2019 permits.

Renew soon - or pay the price!

Fishing on the productive salmon, sea trout and brown trout Ness waters of Inverness Angling Club offers great value at £150 for a full season. But anglers who have not yet renewed their membership should do so soon. An extra £20 is payable after March 31. Renewals can be made at Grahams of Inverness on Castle Street. Please take your 2018 permit with you. New members can download application forms by clicking Permits on the Home page of this web site. Associate members can renew their permits by contacting membership secretary John Ralph. Mob: 07702 889841. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Anglers mourn loss of club stalwart

The funeral service for Jackie Fraser, passionate angler and IAC stalwart, will be held in Inverness Crematorium on Friday, March 22, at 2pm. Jackie died in the early hours of Wednesday morning after a period of ill health.

 A time served joiner, Jackie became a clerk of works with British Rail following national service. He then served with the Department of Agriculture before joining the Forestry Commission where he spent the rest of his working life.

The skills he developed in these positions enabled him to become a much respected committee member of IAC. He was appointed secretary and treasurer in the mid-1960s, rescuing the club from severe financial problems and managing it effectively when adult, pensioner and junior membership was at an all time high of over 700. He was a determined but diplomatic manager and negotiator, always with the club’s interests at heart. He and president the late Charlie MacKenzie made a formidable team.

Paying tribute to Jackie, club president Graham MacKenzie said: “Jackie was secretary when I first joined the committee at the age of 18. His guidance on administrative and management matters have been an enormous help to me during my spells as president.

“Members recognised the huge contribution Jackie made to the club by appointing him honorary president on his retirement as secretary. It was a role he enjoyed immensely. Even when in failing health, he made regular visits to the Little Isle hut for a chat with club members and attended opening day ceremonies and close of season barbecues. He will be greatly missed. On behalf of all our members, I extend our sincere sympathies to his family.”

Jackie is survived by his wife Chris, together with his sister Pearl, son Eric, daughter Lynette, and their families, including five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

‘Gathering Place’ discussions see fears recede

Following productive and amicable talks with Highland Council representatives on Tuesday (March 12), Inverness Angling Club officials are satisfied with an agreement in principle for the replacement of the anglers’ hut at the Little Isle Pool.

Council officers, along with club president Graham MacKenzie and secretary Steve Black, discussed several options with a view to integrating the ‘My Ness’ artwork with the anglers’ hut which, in various forms, has been in its present location for almost 100 years. 

The River Ness Public Art Project, which has received planning permission, is to be built on the banks of the River Ness adjacent to the Little Isle Pool and the Fisherman’s car park. Construction would have required the hut to be demolished.

Graham explained: “Many local and visiting anglers were dismayed with the prospect that their popular ‘gathering place’ may have had to be demolished. While nothing is, as yet, set in stone, constructive discussions have seen these fears recede. A further meeting is scheduled for March 28 to finalise plans and identify costs and associated funding.”

The Little Isle: Looking towards the main site of the proposed 'My Ness Gathering Place"

IAC loses honorary president

It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of Jack Fraser, honorary president of Inverness Angling Club and former long serving secretary. Jack, who would have celebrated his 86th birthday in May, was a stalwart of the club and an ardent angler. Despite failing health, he continued to take a great interest in club events, attending season opening ceremonies and the close of season BBQ. He died in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday, March 13) in Culduthel Care Home where he had spent the last two months with his wife, Chris. While honorary membership of the club is free, Jackie made an annual donation to club funds in lieu of the pensioners membership fee. 

Prize winner: Jack at the club's 2018 BBQ with daughter Lynette, presenting a donation

to club president Graham MacKenzie and receiving a raffle prize

Fine fisher: Jack having a cast on the Little Isle Pool

A ‘gathering place’ surprise

As part of the controversial ‘My Ness’ art project, The Highland Council proposed demolishing and rebuilding the anglers’ hut at the Little Isle, a popular pool for salmon anglers. The hut is close to the planned wall of the ‘My Ness Gathering Place’ and could impede construction of the project. 

Original discussions between Inverness Angling Club and council officials had indicated that the council would bear the cost of demolishing the hut and rebuilding it on a site just metres from the existing building. The club was surprised and horrified when officials brought forward plans for a hut costing £53,000. Outline plans drawn up by the club confirmed that the hut could be rebuilt for around £7,000 using club volunteers with the necessary skills.

The hut has been in its present position, in various forms, for some 100 years. It is heavily used by anglers, including visitors from far and wide who make a significant contribution to the city’s tourism earnings. Club officials are continuing talks with the council in the hope that more realistic plans can be concluded for the hut’s replacement.

Concerned: Angling club members wonder where they go from here


Inverness Angling Club

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