News 2019

News 2019

Friday, 05 July 2019 19:18

Result for Walter

A classic salmon fly, invented by a member of Inverness Angling Club, attracted a four pound grilse for Walter MacKay at the Weir Pool of the River Ness today (July 5). The Hairy Mary, one of the first hair wing salmon patterns, was created by the late John Reidpath. Over the years it has brought results for salmon anglers around the world.

Wednesday, 03 July 2019 23:01

Casting clinics close

Inverness Angling Club’s series of Casting Clinics closed on Wednesday evening (July 3) with another strong attendance of novice and intermediate casters, and club coaches and instructors. Junior and senior participants have made considerable progress in trout and salmon casting techniques over the series, thanks to the donation of outfits by Loop and a significant investment of time by instructors, including world Speycasting champion Scott Mackenzie and instructors David Mateer and Frank Durdle.

Building: IAC's Casting Clinics grow membership

Wednesday, 03 July 2019 22:35

Here we go….?

At last - the IAC water produced its first salmon of the season today (July 3). Davey Dyce migrated from his favoured residence at the MacInyre Pool to land a fresh-run eight pounder from the Little Isle Pool. Hopefully, his catch heralds the arrival of the Ness summer run and will be the first of many - for Davey and other club members and visitors.

Monday, 01 July 2019 17:25

Clinics close this week

The final Casting Clinic of the club series will be held at the Little Isle Pool this Wednesday evening (July 3) from 7 to 9 pm. This extension replaces the clinic cancelled earlier in June because of poor weather. All club coaches are asked to attend as indications from the last week’s class are that the final one will be well attended. Everyone is welcome - beginners who need an introduction to casting for trout and salmon and experienced anglers keen to iron out any problems with their casting.

Monday, 01 July 2019 16:30

Beautiful banks?

Club members were out over the weekend to trim the banks of the Ness, not just to give anglers easy access to the pools but to continue to meet conditions imposed by the club’s lease of the Ness fishings from Inverness Common Good Fund. 

While the club is responsible for the banks above the Ness Islands, the lease places similar obligations on The Highland Council to maintain the banks from the top of the islands downstream - often referred to by councillors and officials as the “Pearls in the City’s Crown”. 

Anglers and other local folk might have become used to the untidy state of the river banks, but one wonders what the many thousands of visitors think about the city with one of the most envied riverside locations in Britain!

Club care: Banks trimmed at the Mill Stream east (above) and west (below)


Untidy: Above and below - The Little Isle, 'gathering place' for anglers and visitors

Monday, 01 July 2019 16:01

Fence gate impedes access

A fence installed alongside the path between the MacIntyre Pool and the Whin Island play park is causing further problems for Ness anglers. The initial installation blocked access to the river, apparently to alleviate concerns about the health and safety of children using the play park. 

Following representations by Inverness Angling Club, a gate was installed to give anglers access to the area of the MacIntyre hut. But it appears that the gate, installed to open to the right, crosses over the path to the hut and continues to impede access by anglers who use bikes to get to the pool.

Restricting: The MacIntyre gate

Thursday, 27 June 2019 18:23

Mill park re-opens

Members and visitors will now be able to park in the anglers’ car park by the Mill Stream as the hole in the surface has been covered by a steel plate. As the tourist season gets into full swing, the Holm Mills Shopping Village car park gets very busy with cars and coaches. Consequently, anglers are asked to use the riverside car park, access to which is kindly permitted by Mill management.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019 21:57

Calling all coaches!

It was a busy night at the club Casting Clinic this evening (Wednesday, June 26) as adults and juniors, fellow anglers and parents developed their Speycasting and trout rod skills.  And it is expected to be just as busy at the final class next Wednesday (July 3). As a few of the regular coaches will not be available, the club is calling on all their trained coaches to attend to ensure adequate instruction for all.

Trout casting: Davy Dyce passes on his skills

Application: Anglers develop their Speycasting skills

Tuesday, 25 June 2019 19:23

Volunteers needed

The club is still looking for volunteers to assist with bank clearing works this coming Sunday (June 30). The work party will meet at the Mill hut at 10 am. If you can help, please advise membership secretary John Ralph on 07702 889841. Please remember that the anglers’ car park there is still closed off as surface repairs have yet to be completed.

Monday, 24 June 2019 14:11

Good weather for training

Fingers crossed, but it looks as though the weather will improve in time for the club’s Casting Clinic from 7 to 9 pm on Wednesday (June 26). The forecast is for sunshine, temperature around 18 degrees and a gentle breeze from the north-west.

World Speycasting champion Scott Mackenzie will be at the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness to help anglers develop casting skills with big salmon rods while trout casting will be taught on the grass of the adjacent Bught Park. He will be supported by instructors David Mateer and Frank Durdle, and qualified club coaches.

As ever, all are welcome to attend. Bring your own tackle if you can but club equipment, specially donated by Loop, will be available. The final clinic will be held on Wednesday, July 3.

Champion: Scott passes on casting tips

Wednesday, 19 June 2019 13:17

Scottish Government issues advice for anglers finding diseased salmon

Over the last few weeks there have been numerous reports of disease in wild adult salmon populations. These reports have been widespread ranging from Scotland to Scandinavia. The common factor is death through aquatic fungal infection (Saprolegnia), an infection which displays along the underside of the fish. There is evidence from northern Scottish rivers that the fungal infection is preceded by what looks like a rash on the underside of the fish with associated haemorrhaging. See photos.


At the moment the condition is not thought to be a transferable disease and the disinfection of gear, tackle, waders etc after fishing on other rivers is not yet required, unless direct contact is made with fish displaying signs of fungus.

However, you are probably aware that some river systems have erred on safety first and require anglers to disinfect prior to fishing.

Thankfully no affected fish have so far been reported on the Ness system.

For ease of reference the following has been copied from the Scottish Government website:

Reporting Skin Damage in Wild Atlantic Salmon (17 June 2019)

Scottish Government’s Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) has been responding to reports of wild adult salmon displaying skin damage such as reddening (petechial haemorrhaging) around the fins and belly (ventral surface), inflamed (swollen/red) vent and associated fungal infection

Further information will be provided when the laboratory results are available from fish sampled across a number of Scottish rivers.

In the meantime, observations of adult salmon demonstrating clinical signs of infection or damage should be notified to the local District Salmon Fishery Board (DSFB) and the FHI by the folowing means:

Ness District Salmon Fishery Board Telephone: 07944617202 or 07789006078

FHS  Telephone: 0131 244 3498. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Considerations are:

    • Moribund or lethargic fish should be targeted where sampling is considered appropriate;

    • There is no requirement at this stage to remove fish with damage for disease control purposes;

    • Wild adult Atlantic salmon returning to rivers to spawn can naturally present with some physical damage due to a number of environmental factors;

    • FHI sampling will be prioritised on moribund fish that can be maintained alive (in keep nets or suitably bio-secure tank facilities);

    • Moribund fish that cannot be maintained alive should have details recorded and photographs taken, where possible, before being returned to rivers. Details should be sent to local DSFBs and FHI;

    • If local wild fishery interests determine that moribund fish are not to be returned to the river, they should be percussion stunned or suitably dispatched and maintained in a refrigerator at 4°C, until a determination on sampling is undertaken;

    • Good biosecurity practice should be followed when handling affected fish with hands, clothing and equipment being suitably cleaned and disinfected, where appropriate.

Thursday, 13 June 2019 20:51

Bank works begin

As anglers anticipate the arrival of the main runs of River Ness salmon, volunteers are needed for clearing the banks of the club water to ensure comfortable access and casting. A start will be made on the right bank on Sunday, June 30, when a work party will convene at the Mill hut at 10 am. Many hands make light work - so let’s have a good turnout.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019 20:37

Casting clinic cancelled

Rain and a cold, upstream wind put paid to Inverness Angling Club’s Casting Clinic at the Little Isle Pool tonight (June 12). Club officials decided that, rather than press on with a class in miserable weather conditions, the series would be lengthened into July. The remaining clinics will now be held from 7 to 9 pm on June 19 and 26, and July 3.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019 10:29

IAC Casting Clinics continue

Tonight (Wednesday, June 12) sees the second in Inverness Angling Club’s annual series of Casting Clinics. All are welcome at the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness, and the adjacent Bught Park, where the skills of Speycasting and trout casting can be taught or improved by experienced instructors and coaches.

Leading instruction, from 7 to 9 pm, will be three times world Speycasting champion Scott Mackenzie, instructors Dave Mateer and Frank Durdle and club coaches. If you own a fishing rod please bring it along, If not, the club can provide salmon and trout outfits kindly donated by international tackle company, Loop. The series will continue each Wednesday in June.

Attentive: Taking tips from top Speycaster

Tuesday, 11 June 2019 15:02

Waders needed to access Ruthven boat

Recent heavy rain has pushed up water levels on lochs and rivers in areas around Inverness. One such loch is Loch Ruthven where access to the IAC boat requires more than a pair of wellies! Club members planing to fish the loch should take thigh waders with them until the water level drops.

Following the recent purchase of a new boat for Loch Ruthven, the club is offering for sale a boat trailer that is no longer required. The price is £150 or near offer. Interested parties should contact club treasurer Gordon Smith on 01463 238197.

Bargain: Trailer for sale

Sunday, 09 June 2019 14:04

Odd year suggests arrival of pinks

Fisheries Management Scotland (FMS) have issued fresh advice to anglers and fishery boards about dealing with Pacific pink salmon which could arrive in Scotland’s rivers this year. It follows the capture of unprecedented numbers of pinks across the UK in 2017.

Originally introduced to some Russian rivers in the 1960s, pinks have now colonised some northern Norwegian rivers. It is from these rivers that the 2017 arrivals are thought to have ‘strayed’. They spawn earlier than Atlantic salmon, have a two-year cycle and derive from distinct odd or even year stocks. Those that arrived in the UK in 2017 were from odd year stocks, so it is possible that they will occur again during 2019.

While the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 makes it an offence to fish for and retain pink salmon, FMS advise that anglers catching pink salmon should humanely dispatch and retain the fish, and immediately contact the local fishery board who will arrange collection. IAC membership cards list a contact for the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board. Information required is the date, place and method of capture, and the sex of the fish. Any sightings of unusual spawning activity in August and September should also be reported. 

Fresh from the sea, pinks are steel blue with blue-green on their backs, silver on the flanks and white on their bellies. There are large spots on the backs, upper flanks, adipose fin and tail. The fish are uniform in size, reaching only 40 to 60cms in length and have a white mouth with black gums. In the spawning phase, males develop a pronounced humped back.

Wednesday, 05 June 2019 22:23

Casting training begins

IAC’s annual series of Casting Clinics launched at the Little Isle Pool and the Bught Park on Wednesday (June 5). While wet weather may have discouraged a few folk from turning out, several adults and juniors took advantage of top tips from world Speycasting champion Scott Mackenzie, who leads the successful international tackle company Mackenzie Flyfishing, and instructor David Mateer.

The clinics, which will run from 7 to 9 pm each Wednesday in June, are open to all. They provide an excellent opportunity to develop skills in casting for trout and salmon, especially for those interested in taking up angling for the first time. All tackle can be supplied, thanks to a donation of equipment by tackle manufacturers Loop.

Top tips: Scott explains Speycasting technique

Developing: Casters apply new skills

One to one: Dave Mateer passes on his experience

Starting young: Junior members build their trout casting skills

Wednesday, 05 June 2019 14:06

Anglers asked to report diseased fish

Reports of diseased salmon are coming in from Norway, Ireland and Scotland. The symptoms, in small numbers of fish so far, are bleeding and/or ulceration on the underside of the fish, from head to tail. The cause of the trauma is unknown at  the moment.

Fisheries Management Scotland (FMS) are liaising closely with Marine Scotland and samples have now been taken by the Fish Health Inspectorate. FMS advise that if anglers land one of these fish, they should follow normal biosecurity protocols and disinfect their fishing tackle, landing net, waders and fishing jacket.

Anglers catching any fish showing the symptoms described should contact Chris Conroy, CEO of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board, at the earliest opportunity. Says Chris: “In the first instance, please take photos of the affected fish. If it seems that we have a developing problem on the Ness system, then we will issue keep nets allowing the fish to be retained alive. NDSFB will co-ordinate any communication with the fish health inspectorate.” Contacts for Chris are: Mobile 07944 617202. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mystery: A diseased fish caught in Norway

Tuesday, 04 June 2019 14:27

Casting Clinics shape skills

Inverness Angling Club is committed to helping anyone interested in salmon and trout fishing to build the skills that will help them enjoy a fascinating sport. And this month presents an ideal opportunity for all age groups, experienced or inexperienced, to benefit from the club’s annual Casting Clinics.

Never picked up a fishing rod in your life? No problem - our Casting Clinics can help you to become a proficient caster. Experienced angler but having problems with your casting? No problem - our Casting Clinics can help you iron out any difficulties.

Best of all It’s completely free - club member or not. And tuition comes from top casters, like three times world Speycasting champion Scott Mackenzie, instructors Frank Durdle and David Mateer, and the club’s qualified coaches.

Take this chance to develop your skills. The clinics will run from 7 to 9 pm every Wednesday in June - the 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th - at the Little Isle Pool and on the adjacent Bught Park. You can bring your own tackle or use our top class equipment kindly provided by international tackle company, Loop. Graham MacKenzie has kindly donated a Hardy's game bag for raffling in aid of junior member development.

Saturday, 01 June 2019 18:10

Mill car park closed

Anglers are advised that vehicular access to the angler’s car park at the Mill Stream is closed following the appearance of another hole in the surface. An additonal steel plate has been ordered to strengthen and cover the weakness. Watch this page for ujpdates. Meantime, anglers can use the main Mill car park.

Danger: Hole causes closure of angler's car park at Mill Stream until further notice

Saturday, 25 May 2019 21:11

Trout league makes it ten

Saturday (May 25) saw the completion of the tenth anniversary Inverness Angling Club Winter Trout League at Achagour Fishery. Trout were ultimately plentiful, if slow to take early on, and most anglers finished the day with creditable bags. The Mackintosh family were again genial and generous hosts, laying on a enjoyable lunch. Results were:

Senior winner - Alex Elliott with a bag weight of 44lb 2oz over the eight month league. Prize - Snowbee Spectre fly rod, Snowbee line and IAC trophy. Senior runner-up - Angus MacKinnon, overall bag weight 33lb 1oz. Prize - Snowbee chest pack, Snowbee sun glasses and Snowbee hat. Senior third - Ian Woolley, bag weight 31lb 1oz. Prize - Snowbee line and hat.

Heaviest fish - Alan Scott, 3lb 7oz. Prize - IAC Trophy and £50 voucher from Bellfield Enterprises. Heaviest final day bag - Eric Craig,  9lb 6oz. Prize - £50 voucher from Bellfield Enterprises.

Junior champion - Cheyenne Stronach, bag of 5lb 14oz. Prize - Achagour fishing voucher and day permit for Ness-Side. Junior second - Gordon Stronach, bag of 2lb 6oz. Prize - Achagour fishing voucher and day permit for Ness-Side.

Fine fishers: Winter league competitors in the 2018/2019 final celebrate with host Stewart Mackintosh

(See the Gallery for more pictures)

Tuesday, 21 May 2019 14:21

Doesn’t time fly!

It seems no time at all since club anglers were enjoying themselves at a successful final of the 2018 Trout League. But it’s here again. The 2019 final, open to anglers who signed up for the league from last October, will be staged at Achagour Trout Fishery this coming Saturday (May 25). Once again there will be a range of valuable prizes donated by international tackle company Snowbee, local tackle dealers Grahams, Bellfield Enterprises and Achagour Fishery. 

Registration is at 09.00 with fishing starting at 09.30. Entry for the four-fish event is £25, with a £2 discount for pensioners. Once again, Achagour Fishery and the Mackintosh family will host their usual splendid lunch. A raffle will be run on the day in support of junior angler training and other good causes.


Fun fish-off: Happy faces at the 2018 final

Tuesday, 21 May 2019 14:12

Trailer for sale

Inverness Angling Club is offering for sale a boat trailer which has become surplus to requirements following the purchase of a new boat for Loch Ruthven. The price is £150 or near offer. Interested parties should contact club treasurer Gordon Smith on 01463 238197.


A sound bargain: Good wheels for your boat 

Thursday, 16 May 2019 10:08

Poachers caught as bailiffs and police patrol club water

Fishery board bailiffs apprehended two individuals fishing the Red Braes without tickets last night (Wednesday, May 15). Three others were at the General’s Well yesterday and several have been removed from the lower tidal stretch of the river over the last two weeks. It seems they have been targeting kelt sea trout.

Apart from the bailiffs, police have been patrolling the river asking anglers for their permits. Patrols continue so it is a timely reminder that anglers must carry their permits with them at all times. (See Rule 2.2 of the Rules Regulating the River Ness Fishings). It’s been noticed that some anglers, rather than carrying their printed permits, are carrying pictures of them on their mobile phones. Actual permits are required at all times.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019 20:13

Improved mooring for Ruthven boat

IAC has upgraded the mooring arrangement for its boat on Loch Ruthven. It employs a floating system which avoids the need to haul the boat off and on the beach. In normal water levels, wellies are sufficient to wade to the boat and unlock the mooring line. The same key opens the padlock on the oars. Users are asked to return the boat to its mooring after use and ensure that all are securely locked. 

The boat should be booked through Grahams Tackle Shop where the key to the padlocks can be collected. Club members can use the boat free of charge. When not booked by members Grahams will hire out the boat to visitors, giving the club some valuable extra income.

Wellies should do: Alex Elliott with the club's Ruthven boat

Monday, 13 May 2019 15:23

Walk a mile from Little Isle

Club anglers are advised that the Little Isle area will be busy on the morning of Saturday, May 25. Birchwood Highland are organising a ‘Walk a Mile’ parade down the riverside, starting at the Fishermen’s Car Park by the Little Isle Pool at 11 am and ending in the City Centre. A registration desk will be set up in a small gazebo on the flat grass area adjacent to the car park from 10 am to around 11.30.

Saturday, 11 May 2019 15:40

A timely tip

This is the time of year when spawned fish are making their way back to the sea where a rich diet will quickly restore their health and strength. While most anglers will immediately think of salmon kelts, spawned sea trout are also making their way downstream. Sadly, too many of these are killed by anglers who don’t realise what they have caught. 

The picture below shows an apparently healthy sea trout caught and released on the Mill Stream. But experienced anglers will immediately see that it is a kelt from its very slim appearance, particularly the lack of any belly. Please don’t kill such fish. Back at sea they will quickly put on weight and return to the river as a fully fit, fighting fish.

Slim fish: Clearly, a kelt sea trout - all such fish should be released

Tuesday, 07 May 2019 19:49

Electrifying students

Electro fishing will take place on the Mill Lade this Thursday and Friday, May 9 and 10. Chris Daphne, biologist with the Ness and Beauly Fisheries Trust, will be supervising students as part of their course. As the activity will not be taking place on the main river, it should not disturb anglers in the area.

Monday, 06 May 2019 16:35

Trouting success

The club waters may be awaiting their first Springer of the year but trout are delivering some sport on the Weir Pool. Brian King was on the spot today (May 5) to play several well conditioned brownies while another two anglers cast for salmon.

Good fish: Brian with one of his Weir Pool brownies

Monday, 06 May 2019 15:54

Boat launched on Ruthven

Inverness Angling Club is now all shipshape with a new boat on the waters of the Loch Ruthven trout loch. The boat, launched today (Monday, May 6) at the club berth at the lower end of the loch near the RSPB car park, is available for use by club members and visitors. 

Trout anglers are asked to use the boat responsibly and ensure that it is replaced ‘as found’ and securely tied. A more permanent berthing arrangement will be installed soon. Users must book the boat through Grahams Tackle Shop and collect keys for the padlock to the oars. Club members can use the boat free of charge. When not booked by members Grahams will hire out the boat to visitors, giving the club some valuable extra income. 


It floats!: (Left to right) Walter Mackay, John Ralph and Alex Elliott launch the club's new boat on Ruthven

Friday, 03 May 2019 17:20

Club secures replacement boat

IAC acting president Alex Elliott has confirmed that a replacement club boat will be available on the Loch Ruthven trout fishery in the very near future. The boat, a 15ft clinker-style GRP Fulmar, was collected from Errol in Perth and Kinross today (Friday, May 3) by committee members John Ralph and Bill Byers.

Alex reported: “We secured a really good deal on a boat which is in tip-top condition and includes an excellent trailer. I’m really pleased that we will be able to continue to provide access to fishing on this famous trout loch.” 

He added: “The provision of fishing on the rivers and lochs in our area is a key objective of the club, specified in the first lines of our constitution. We have one or two jobs to do on the boat and its moorings but it should be available soon. Watch this space!”

Tuesday, 30 April 2019 09:19

Ready for a riverside ramble?

A reminder that willing club members should set aside a couple of hours this Sunday for a ramble on the banks of Inverness Angling Club’s fishings. Volunteers are needed to note and notify works needed to keep the banks shipshape for members and visitors - like grass and branch cutting, fixing bank and path erosion, removing litter and any repairs to seats, steps, handrails and rod rests. Once needs are identified, groups will be organised to carry out necessary works. Volunteers should meet at the Little Isle hut by 10 am this Sunday (May 5). Please advise planned attendance by e-mail to membership secretary John Ralph. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Friday, 26 April 2019 21:54

Calling all volunteers

Inverness Angling Club is calling for help to assess what works are needed on the river banks ahead of the busiest, hopefully successful, part of the salmon angling season. 

Volunteers are asked to gather at the Little Isle hut on Sunday, May 5, at 10 am. From there teams will walk both banks of the river to identify and list what needs to be done to ensure safe and satisfying access to all parts of the club water. Work parties will be organised in subsequent weeks. Volunteers should confirm their attendance by e-mail to membership secretary John Ralph - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thursday, 25 April 2019 14:23

Government requires data on fishing effort

Scottish Government regulations will require all salmon anglers and fisheries to record fishing effort along with their annual catch returns submitted at the end of the 2019 season. Marine Scotland state that data on fishing effort will form a key part of the assessments which determine the conservation status of rivers under the Salmon Conservation Regulations.

Alex Elliott, acting president of Inverness Angling Club, emphasised: “It may seem like a further imposition on anglers and fisheries, but such returns are a legal requirement and apply to all categories of club membership, including juniors. As a club and as individuals, we cannot ignore this. Failure to submit the necessary information is an offence. All of us will need to keep a record of our fishing days so that we can make an accurate return, along with our catch returns, at the end of the season.”

Fishing effort should be recorded as ‘rod days’ - irrespective of the time spent fishing or the method used. For example, fishing for salmon for two hours on any day, whether or not fish are caught, should be recorded as a rod day. For further information see Frequently Asked Questions -

Monday, 22 April 2019 21:09

‘Open Ness’ not for us, says club

Inverness Angling Club is not involved with, or a supporter of, the so-called Open Ness campaign relating to the ‘Gathering Place’ proposals for the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness. The clarification came today (Monday, April 22) from the club’s acting president, Alex Elliott, following a meeting called by Open Ness at the anglers’ hut by the Little Isle Pool.

“This meeting, and its location, seemed to imply that the club supported the Open Ness campaign,” said Alex. “This is simply not the case. Our sole concern is the future of the anglers’ hut, a facility that members and visitors have enjoyed, in one form or another, for the best part of 100 years.”

“We  continue to have constructive discussions with The Highland Council concerning the future of our hut. We mean to ensure that this much valued facility continues to serve anglers from far and wide for many years to come.”

Saturday, 20 April 2019 18:38

Calling all coaches!

Inverness Angling Club coaches are reminded that the annual series of Casting Clinics take place every Wednesday night in June - the 5th. 12th, 19th and 26th. They will be joined by three times world Speycasting champion Scott Mackenzie, who will be giving his top tips, and instructors David Mateer and Frank Durdle.

The clinics have a long history of helping novices to master a variety of casting techniques for salmon and trout fishing. Traditional single and double Speycasts are joined by the recent developments like the Snake Roll and Snap-T. Special efforts are made to encourage young people to attend the clinics where they can learn casting basics. These begin with trout fly casting on the grass of the Bught Park and, once the students have shown commitment and improving skills, a chance to try Speycasting with salmon rods on the river. Any adults experiencing difficulty with their casting can also benefit from instructors' advice.

Everyone, including non-members and visitors, is welcome to the clinics. Bring your own tackle if you wish but salmon and trout rods are available for use, thanks to the kindness of international tackle manufacturers Loop.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019 21:26

Ruthven boat withdrawn

Members are advised that the club boat on Loch Ruthven is currently unavailable. A detailed examination has shown it to be in a dangerous condition and probably beyond repair. The club committee will be considering what steps they can take towards continuing to offer trout fishing on this famous trout loch. 

Wednesday, 27 March 2019 20:09

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.” 

Tuesday, 26 March 2019 13:33

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.

Friday, 22 March 2019 21:16

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.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019 11:57

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.

Saturday, 16 March 2019 14:50

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.

Thursday, 14 March 2019 21:43

‘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"

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 22:11

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

Friday, 01 March 2019 18:06

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

Thursday, 28 February 2019 11:41

Tyers show their skills

Fly tying instruction finished with a flourish on Wednesday evening as participants in Inverness Angling Club’s close season classes applied their skills to win prizes. It proved to be a close run thing in all groups. In the junior section young James Stewart took first prize, winning a hand made tool block, while runner-up Cheyenne Stronach received a voucher. 

The beginner/intermediate section also proved very competitive with decimal points separating tyers. Donald Mateer took first prize, winning a fly rack, while runner-up Tracy Stronach was presented with a voucher. In the experienced section, winner Graham Forbes and runner-up Jamie Urquhart, were presented with tool and fly racks. Class members sent their best wishes to tutor Mike Campbell who was unable to attend the final classes through illness.

Winners: (Back, left to right) Graham Forbes, Donald Marteer and Jamie Urquhart

(Front, left to right) Tracy Stronach, James Stewart and Cheyenne Stronach

Catch them young: Class youngsters with (back, left to right) tutors/organisers 

David Mateer, Alex Elliott and Alan Scott

Concentration: Jamie Urquhart ties his successful fly

Top junior: James Stewart shows his Mackenzie Cascade

Saturday, 23 February 2019 14:24

Ness grading confirmed

The Scottish Government has confirmed the Grade 1 rating of the rivers Ness and Moriston for 2019, with effect from April 1. The gradings, which regulate the retention and killing of Atlantic salmon in Scottish waters, were first announced in October as proposals. Following consultation, Scottish Ministers believe that the gradings proposed remain valid. The only change is for the North Harris SAC which rises from Grade 3 to 1.

Inverness Angling Club welcomed the grading but has agreed that restrictions designed to conserve salmon stocks in the Ness will continue. These specify mandatory catch and release to the end of June. From July 1, the taking of salmon is restricted to a maximum of two cock fish of eight pounds or under for the season, with only one being taken in any given week. These restrictions will also be followed by other Ness fisheries.

Further detail on the outcomes of the consultation, and a table showing the gradings for all 173 rivers and assessment groups for the 2019 season, can be found at the Marine Scotland website

Thursday, 21 February 2019 17:51

Tying classes close

Inverness Angling Club’s fly tying classes will end with a flourish next Wednesday evening (February 27). All tyers - experienced, beginners/intermediates and juniors - will be challenged to tie a fly of their choice using the skills gained from tutors Mike Campbell and David Mateer, and demonstrations by Graham Nichols and Ali Hutchens. Prizes will go to the flies judged best in each experience category. Plans are in hand for the continuation of the classes from October 2019 through to the end of February 2020. Watch this space!

Developing skills: Tyers at work

Thursday, 14 February 2019 22:48

Praise for Kai

A second visit by fly tyer Ali Hutchens attracted a record 21-strong attendance to Inverness Angling Club’s fly tying class on Wednesday night (February 13). And Ali’s teaching talents were ably demonstrated when he guided young Kai Afek through the tying of his first ever fly, a Kinermony Sunray. An appreciative audience applauded the effort, much to the delight of grandfather Mike Afek. The class, which has another two meetings to go, has exceeded expectations. A survey issued to participants will help organisers plan for continuation in the autumn.

First fly: Kai works on his first fly under the guidance of Ali Hutchens (right), watched by grandad Mike


Tuesday, 12 February 2019 12:02

Loop aids IAC training

International tackle company Loop has backed Inverness Angling Club’s drive to attract more local people to angling, and to train them in the skills required. Loop has donated several thousand pounds worth of its leading trout and salmon fishing rods and reels to assist the club’s skills development programme. On behalf of Loop, Ness Castle ghillie Gordon Armstrong, presented the equipment to club president Graham MacKenzie at the Little Isle Pool today (Tuesday, February 12).

Graham said: “We have been fortunate over the years to receive gifts of rods which have supported out coaching activities. But these tend to be older rods which don’t match the performance of today’s lighter and more powerful rods. These are more expensive and certainly out of the reach of younger anglers. Loop’s tackle is among the best available world wide and will make a huge difference to our coaching and the progress of young people and seniors seeking to develop their skills.”

Great gift: Gordon presents a selection of the donated equipment to Graham

Group thanks: IAC members show their appreciation

Thursday, 07 February 2019 22:31

Catch a bargain!

Membership of Inverness Angling Club totalled 118 at February 4, compared to 127 at the same time last year. Senior members stood at 51 (74 last year), concessionary 24 (25), associate 19 (14), ladies 5 (4), intermediate, 18 to 20 years old, at 1 (0) and juniors 18 (10). Take-up in the early part of the season tends to be slow but it should pick up soon. 

Several members introduced to the club through the close season fly tying class are submitting applications. With interest stimulated in proven fish-catching patterns, they recognise the bargain that the club’s Ness fishings offer for £150 per season.

Membership application forms can be downloaded from the web site. Click Join Today at the foot of the home page, complete the form and return it to the membership secretary or via the e-mail contact also at the foot of the home page.

Thursday, 07 February 2019 15:49

Inverness in top ten fishing towns

FishingBooker, the web site that helps anglers book fishing world wide, has named Inverness in the top ten fishing towns in Britain for 2019. The city comes seventh in the list, behind the only other Scottish entry, Perth, which is listed at third place. See

The site says: “Inverness may be a seaside town, but all the best angling happens inland. Start off on the beautiful banks of the River Ness for some outstanding salmon and trout fishing. Move up to Loch Ness to add pike, eel, Arctic charr, and who knows what other monsters to the list.” 

Perth gets another positive post: “The River Tay is an outstanding salmon fishery….. Salmon aren’t the only game fish on offer, either. Just a few miles to the south, Loch Leven has some of the best brown trout in the world. In fact, Loch Leven trout are so good that they have been stocked as far away as Australia and Argentina!”

Top fishery: The Ness at the Little Isle

Wednesday, 06 February 2019 22:22

Fish catcher!

Tracy Stronach demonstrated the progress being made by beginners at Inverness Angling Club’s fly tying class on Wednesday. The fly for this class was the Alistair, a Sutherland- born pattern designed for coloured water which can be tied as a tube or double. 

Although not such a testing fly as some of the others which have challenged the class, tutors were looking for a well balanced fly finished with a neat head. Tracy’s examples show that she is well on the way to becoming an accomplished tyer, along with other members of the class.

Flies for fish: Tracy's Alistair doubles 

Friday, 01 February 2019 16:38

Press features fly tying class

This week’s Highland News have given a superb spread to the activities of Inverness Angling Club’s fly tying class. Photographer Gary Anthony visited the Wednesday evening class and produced an array of pictures which demonstrate the range of members involved and the development of their skills. Happily, the piece also featured the commitment of key junior members - Cheyenne and Gordon Stronach, who attend with parents Tracy and Stephen, and James Stewart, who comes along with grandfather Jimmy. There’s still time to get out and buy a copy!

Great pix!: Above and below - The Highland News feature on the fly tying class

Friday, 01 February 2019 15:13

Wading shrinks salmon stocks

Salmon spawning is stimulated by low water temperature. It is common knowledge that, as a result of the influence of Loch Ness, which maintains higher temperatures in the River Ness, spawning is later than in rivers in the upper part of the system. As a result, salmon continue to spawn in the Ness well after opening day when anglers take their first steps into the river.

IAC vice president Alex Elliott has called upon all anglers venturing out on the river over the next month or so to be extremely careful where they wade. He explained: “Careless wading in areas that hold salmon ova kills future generations of fish and can undo all the efforts we are putting into conservation. “

He stressed: “Ideally, don’t wade at all. But if you have to go into the water don’t wade over ankle depth. And watch out for gravels which are prime spawning areas. Examples of these include the Little Isle and MacIntyre pools, and the Braes. Protect spawn now and we’ll have more salmon returning in future seasons. It’s just common sense.”

Take care: Redds are often close to the bank

Friday, 01 February 2019 12:59

Provost makes our day!

Over 60 anglers attended the River Ness opening ceremony organised by Inverness Angling Club today (Friday, February 1) - the best opening day gathering for many years. Although extremely reluctant to do so, David Traill of Grahams of Inverness was finally persuaded to carry out the traditional ‘blessing of the water’ by throwing some very fine whisky into the river! 

Club president Graham MacKenzie then invited City of Inverness Provost Helen Carmichael to take the first cast of the season, which she made with considerable style. On a bitterly cold day, the tea, coffee and bacon rolls provided by sponsors Holm Mills Shopping Village were especially welcome.

Procession: Provost Helen Carmichael, accompanied by president

Graham MacKenzie and David Traill, lead anglers to the river

Accomplished: Provost Carmichael makes the first cast of the season

Leading ladies : The Provost is joined by Tracy Stronach (left),

daughter Cheyenne (right) and Graham MacKenzie

Thursday, 31 January 2019 09:14

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

Tuesday, 29 January 2019 14:49

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.

Monday, 28 January 2019 21:39

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.

Friday, 25 January 2019 09:47

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.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019 19:21

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.”

Thursday, 17 January 2019 18:42

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?


Thursday, 17 January 2019 17:19

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.

Monday, 07 January 2019 19:53

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.

Thursday, 03 January 2019 18:31

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.

Thursday, 03 January 2019 18:29

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.

Thursday, 03 January 2019 18:26

Time to tie

Now is the time to get that little bit of help to design and tie that special fly to catch salmon in 2019. Inverness Angling Club’s popular fly tying classes will re-start for the 2019 sessions at 19.00 hours on Wednesday, January 16, in the upstairs conference suite of Dow’s Bistro on Balloan Road. Led by tying experts Mike Campbell and David Mateer, with assistance from club coaches, the classes will be run each Wednesday evening un February 27. 

Two top tyers will give demonstrations during this period - Graham Nicholls on January 30 and a second visit by Ali Hutchens on February 13. Newcomers are welcome, whether beginners or experienced. Tools and materials can be provided. They should register in advance with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thursday, 03 January 2019 18:20

IAC committee meetings

The 2019 committee meetings of Inverness Angling Club are set for the following dates: January 10, February 7, March 14, April 18, May 16, June 13, July 18, August 15, September 12, October 17, and November 14. The annual general meeting will be held on November 21. Details of committee membership can be found on the club’s web site at

Thursday, 20 December 2018 19:01

Best wishes

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