Items filtered by date: May 2020

Club prepares for river reopening

Inverness Angling Club is currently preparing for a welcome return to fishing on the River Ness, whenever government confirms it is safe to do so. A condition will be a detailed risk assessment to form the basis for rules governing a return to the river.

The most important element of this will be the maintenance of social distancing. To meet that requirement the club will close all riverside huts, traditional centres of social engagement. New padlocks soon will be fitted to the huts at the Little Isle, MacIntyre and Mill Stream pools with keys held by a senior official.

Members who have left any personal belongings in the huts are asked to remove them as soon as possible. Another important consideration is that The Highland Council has indicated that work on the arts scheme at the Little Isle will begin as soon as construction works are permitted. This will include the demolition of the existing hut in preparation for its replacement.

A fiery variant

Gary Goddard keeps up his good work with a variant of the Cascade that he finds is good for bright and sunny days. The development of the fly is attributed to the late Kenny Macdonald, a passionate salmon angler whose son Ross contributes the ‘Fly of the Month’ feature in Trout & Salmon Magazine.

Cascade Variant (Macdonald)

Tyer: Gary Goddard

Tail: Red and yellow buck tail with strands of pearl Flashabou
Body: Flat silver tinsel
Rib: Oval silver tinsel
Wing: Purple hackle fibres
Sides: Jungle cock
Front hackle: Red over yellow cock
Head: Black

Bright fly for bright days

Interesting tweaks

Sandy Howie has tweaked two well-known salmon flies to produce interesting variations, tied on US-style tubes. Developing small versions of the Ally’s Shrimp for a friend planning to fish the River Wick, he found that the grey squirrel underwing would not lie well at this size. He replaced this with an additional head hackle of grizzly hen behind the orange.

Ally’s Shrimp
Tyer: Sandy Howie

Tube: 1.8mm fluoro red tubing with a 10mm fluoro orange US Tube slipped on to the rear.
Thread: Personal choice
Tail: Bunch of hot orange Arctic Runner, some strands of fluoro orange and Fluoro fibre on top
Rib: Silver wire
Body: Rear half Globrite no 5 orange floss, front half black floss
Wing: Bunch of hot orange GP tippet
First hackle: Two turns grizzle hen followed by a couple of turns orange.
Cone: Hot orange

The second fly is a Sutherland favourite, The Alistair. Sandy did not have “dirty” yellow buck tail so used a banana-dyed buck tail and added a banana head hackle.

The Alistair
Tyer: Sandy Howie

Tube: 1.8mm fluoro red tubing with a 10mm gold US Tube slipped on to the rear.
Thread: Personal choice
Body: Dubbed ball of SSS nasty rusty dubbing brushed out backwards
Wing: Relatively sparse banana buck tail with a few strands of mastery rusty angel hair added top and bottom.
Hackle: Two turns banana hen hackle
Cone: Dark red


Tweaked: Ally's Shrimp

Tweaked: The Alistair

Any more for ‘lockdown’ series?

We are still looking for contributions from tyers to our popular ‘lockdown’ series of fly patterns - your favourite salmon or trout fly pattern, your own version of a standard pattern or a fly you have invented. Please include the name of the fly, the detailed dressing and a J-PEG picture. E-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fly for first cast

Government is not making any promises yet, but Ness anglers are becoming more and more hopeful that they will be able to return to their river fairly soon.

Clearly, social distancing rules would have to be observed on the banks. But there would be no problem in the river where, under club rules, a minimum of 30 yards (27 metres) is required between anglers to aid comfortable casting.Meanwhile, however, please don’t go fishing; it’s highly likely that you will be caught by patrols and face serious consequences.

With a return in mind, whenever that may be, it would be interesting to know what fly anglers will choose for their first cast after lockdown. E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the heading ‘First Fly’, the name of the fly and a J-PEG picture, and your reasons for choosing it, for posting to the IAC web site.

Get well soon Ali!

All his friends in Inverness Angling Club will be pleased to know that Ali Scott, who has been so ill after contracting coronavirus, got out of ICU today to great applause from the medical staff. Ali had spent three weeks in an induced coma. He is still very weak but has been up from his bed and taken a little food. All his friends in the club wish him well and look forward to seeing him at the river as soon as he is able.

Two to try

Cormorants may not be welcome on freshwater fisheries but their like-named flies are a sure way for anglers to attract fish. David Mateer has had a lot of success with them on the competition scene and submits these two for anglers to try.

“They can be fished on a variety of lines,” says David, “but are best fished near the surface. A 3' or 6' midge tip would be my preferred choice on a washing line set up. These are well worth having in your fly box. I would be delighted to accept any black marabou tips from any club member who doesn't use them.”

Tyer: David Mateer

Red Holographic Cormorant
Hook: Kamasan B175 10 or12
Thread: Black
Body: Medium red holographic tinsel
Wing: Tip of black marabou feather, one strand of small red holographic tinsel up each side of wing

Mirage Cormorant
Hook: As above
Thread: As above
Body: Medium mirage tinsel
Rib: Black thread
Wing: As above, but with one strand of small mirage tinsel up each side of wing

Tying tips: Once the body has been completed, whip finish and apply two coats of varnish before finishing the fly.

Cracking catchers

Clinics and Field Fair cancelled

The Government is expected to make some early moves to ease restrictions imposed to deal with Covid-19. But social distancing is likely to be required for some time to come. Consequently, two annual events of interest to those involved in field sports have been cancelled.

Casting Clinics: Inverness Angling Club has cancelled its Casting Clinics scheduled for each Wednesday evening in June. A popular annual event, the clinics are designed to introduce newcomers to angling to the casting skills they will need to fish river and loch. They also help experienced anglers to sort out any casting problems they may have, especially in Speycasting.

Highland Field Sports Fair: This major event, traditionally held at Moy Hall on the first Friday and Saturday of August, attracts country sports enthusiasts from all over the country. Inverness Angling Club has taken a major role in the fair for many years, providing casting competitions and coaching on Loch Moy.

Tuition: World Speycasting champion Scott Mackenzie leads the Casting Clinics

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