Items filtered by date: February 2020

Awards test tyers

A successful series of fly tying classes concluded on Wednesday evening (February 26) with tyers testing their skills to win awards in skilled, intermediate and beginners sections.

The skilled section was won by Eric MacLeay with Jamie Urquhart runner-up. Martin Ross won the intermediate section with Ian Lamswood, a recent recruit, taking the runner-up position. Alan James won the beginners section with young Theo Ross runner-up.

Plans are being laid for repeating the classes from the end of October this year to the end of February 2021, led by tutors Graham Forbes and David Mateer.

Happy group: Fly tyers at the final class of the series which attracted over 20 anglers on most evenings

Coaching commitment

Inverness Angling Club has made a further commitment to its coaching abilities by putting another five volunteers through the UK Coaching Certificate Level 1 qualification supervised by the Scottish Anglers National Association and the Angling Development Board of Scotland. They await their final assessment. The course was kindly hosted by Ryan Rutherford, ghillie at the Ness Side beat of the River Ness. The club also expresses its thanks to Ness Side Catering for its excellent service.

Cyclists prepare for Etape

Anglers are advised that access to some parts of the River Ness may be affected by preparations for Etape Loch Ness, which will be staged on Sunday, April 26.

Etape Loch Ness, which attracts some 5,600 cyclists from across Scotland and the UK, is a closed road cycle sportive following a 66 mile route around Loch Ness, starting and finishing in the Bught area of Inverness. Preparations in the days prior to the event could impede access to the pools on the west side of the river.

Details on temporary road closures during the event are available at

Opening record

The Gallery section of the web site has been updated to include a few pictures of the club’s river opening ceremony on February 1. Go to the home page, select Gallery then Opening Day 2020. Click on the pictures to enlarge and see explanatory captions.

Top tutors

Fly tying tutors David Mateer and Graham Forbes have done much over the close season to help anglers develop their tying skills, and introduce beginners to this fascinating and rewarding hobby.

They have been assisted by visiting instructors Graham Nichols and Ali Hutchens, who added their own styles to the craft. And in the most recent of the weekly gatherings, Graham MacKenzie introduced the class to his Silver Shrimp, a salmon fly he invented and which has brought him significant success over many years.

The 2019-2020 series, which began on October 23, will end on Wednesday, February 26, when skilled, intermediate and beginners will tie a fly of their choice in a bid to win the award for their section.

Tying: David Mateer tutors keen beginner Kai Afek

Family 1: Graham Forbes shows Tracy, Gordon and Cheyenne Stronach how it's done

Family 2: Graham MacKenzie introduces Theo and Fiona Ross to the Silver Shrimp

Happy gathering

A Godfather had a particularly happy meeting at the opening day of the River Ness salmon season. Melvin Smith, who had the honour of making the first cast of the season, was joined by Godson Ewan Martin, making a special trip from Edinburgh, and father Michael. 

Fishing is in the blood of all three. Over many years, Michael and Melvin have successfully sought salmon on the River Ness. Tutored by father and Godfather, Ewan developed into an accomplished trout fly fisherman, representing Scotland in international tournaments.

Fishing friends: Melvin (centre) with Ewan (left) and Michael Martin

Anglers mark new season

Rain didn’t dampen the spirits of Inverness anglers as they gathered at the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness today (Saturday, February 1) to mark the opening of the 2020 salmon fishing season.

Led by piper Gill Omand of the Northern Constabulary Pipe Band, a large and happy crowd marched along the riverside to cheer on Mary Dyce, matriarch of a well kent angling family, as she blessed the water with a dram from the traditional quaich.

There was similar support for 88-year-old Melvin Smith as he put up his fly rod, pulled out line and made the first cast of the year.

As they enjoyed a celebratory dram - followed by bacon rolls, tea and coffee in the restaurant of sponsors Holm Mills Shopping Village - ever optimistic anglers hoped for a season with improved catches of salmon and grilse.

March: Anglers make their way to the Little Isle Pool

Blessing: Mary Dyce prepares to bless the river, with (left to right)

John Ralph, Davey Dyce and club president Alex Elliott

First cast: Melvin Smith makes a fine job of the opening cast

The craic: Anglers discuss 2020 prospects


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