News 2020

News 2020

Saturday, 01 February 2020 16:46

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

Saturday, 01 February 2020 16:30

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

Saturday, 01 February 2020 13:45

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

Friday, 31 January 2020 09:07

Rising river forces opening change

Inverness Angling Club has been forced to change the location for its season opening ceremony tomorrow (Saturday).

Heavy rain over the past couple of days has caused river levels to rise, making access to the Mill Stream Pool by Holm Mills difficult and unsafe. 

The opening ceremony will now take place at the Little Isle Pool on the west side of the river, by the anglers’ car park. It is timed for 10.30 for 10.45 am. Mary Dyce, head of a keen angling family, will bless the water with a splash of whisky. Veteran angler Melvin Smith will then make the first cast of the year, formally opening the 2020 salmon fishing season.

Thursday, 30 January 2020 17:18

Anglers prepare for season opening

Members and friends of Inverness Angling Club will gather by the Mill Stream Pool of the River Ness on Saturday (February 1) to celebrate the opening of the 2020 salmon fishing season.

The ceremony will begin at 10.30 am when anglers will be piped to the river from the upper car park at Holm Mills. They will be led by Alex Elliott, club president, and Melvin Smith, a member for 40 years who will celebrate his 89th birthday in March.

Neil Souter, manager of opening day sponsors the Holm Mills Shopping Village, will bless the river with a generous splash of whisky. Melvin will then make the first cast of the year, formally marking the opening of the season.

Prepared: Melvin looks forward to the first cast of the season

Wednesday, 29 January 2020 15:32

Mind the Redd…!

Falling catches of salmon have generated considerable discussion about causes and potential solutions. Current research confirms that predation has a significant impact on freshwater survival. Further research will determine the level of survival of migrating smolts at sea. 

But anglers venturing out on the River Ness from opening day on February 1 could make a contribution that might exceed all the proposals for hatcheries and mandatory catch and release. It’s Mind the Redd. Deep wading, which leads to tramping over spawning areas and valuable ova, potentially could kill more salmon than any angler - or even the entire body of club anglers - is likely to catch in a year or more. 

And there’s another reason. Salmon are sensible creatures. They conserve energy by taking the easiest way up river, using the slower water off the main current. How often have we seen salmon jumping between a deep wading angler and the bank from which he has entered the river? 

River Ness salmon are known to spawn later than those in the upper reaches of the Ness system. Anglers fishing through February and March should stick close to banks and take care to avoid any areas where gravel provides ideal spawning redds. You know it makes sense….!

Wade with care: It makes sense

Monday, 27 January 2020 19:00

Volunteers clear Braes banks

Congratulations - and many thanks - to the club members and friends who turned out on Saturday and Sunday to tackle the Braes banks. It’s been an immense effort and the benefits the works will bring for fishing this popular pool are there for all to see.

Thursday, 23 January 2020 15:45

Appeal brings help

A previous post about the lack of volunteers for bank works seems to have spurred some club members to action. But further assistance would still be welcome for works planned for the Red Braes this Saturday and Sunday (January 25 and 26). 

Volunteers should meet at the Whin Island playground car park at 10.30 am each day. Please be prompt and dress appropriately. Tools can be provided but bring a pair of loppers if you have them.

Monday, 20 January 2020 12:39

Renewal of associate permits

Associate members of Inverness Angling Club should note that permit renewal forms should be submitted to vice president Bill Byers during the month of February. Bill’s contact details can be found in the 2019 membership cards.

Anglers seeing to take out local or associate membership for the first time should submit applications to the membership secretary, but there will be a short delay in responding to them. Application forms can be downloaded from the club’s web site -


Sunday, 19 January 2020 11:45

Sad lack of volunteers

There’s been a hugely disappointing response from Inverness Angling Club members to an appeal for volunteers for bank works at the Red Braes. So far, just one member has put his name forward for the works planned on January 25 and 26. 

Whether or not individual anglers fish that pool, it is part of the river for which members bear a collective responsibility under the club lease from the Inverness Common Good Fund. Many hands make light work - yet the main body of membership appears to feel comfortable in leaving it to three or four individuals who are always the first to turn up when help is needed.

Experience shows that members who never turn up to help the club are the first to complain if overgrown banks and overhanging branches hinder access to their favourite pool. Come on guys - cut complaints by cutting the banks! Get your names in for one or other of the days. Phone or text membership secretary John Ralph or add your name to the list in the Little Isle hut, which is open most days around 11 am. 

Wednesday, 15 January 2020 15:03

Help wanted

Summer, winter, spring or autumn, work still needs to be done on the banks of the River Ness to maintain comfortable fishing. Inverness Angling Club is seeking help to clear the banks of the Red Braes on January 25 and 26. Volunteers should submit their names to membership secretary John Ralph who will provide further information and meeting times. His contact details can be found in club membership cards.

Wednesday, 08 January 2020 15:06

Melvin to open 2020 season

One of Inverness Angling Club’s most active, passionate and long-serving members will have the honour of taking the first cast on opening day of the River Ness on February 1.

Melvin Smith, who will celebrate his 89th birthday in March of 2020, joined the club 40 years ago having moved to Inverness from Yorkshire where he had run a busy plumbing business and, with his brother, two tackle shops serving burgeoning coarse fishing activities. He caught his first salmon on the fly from the east bank of the MacIntyre Pool in the early 1980s.

President Alex Elliott said: “Melvin is an example to us all. Despite ill health over the years he has continued to make regular visits to the river, beating many others to the water and landing a good share of the annual catch of salmon and grilse. He thoroughly deserves this recognition of his support for the club and commitment to its aims.”

All club members and friends are invited to the opening ceremony on Saturday, February 1, gathering by the Mill Stream Pool from 10 am. The event is sponsored by the Holm Mills Shopping Village whose manager, Neil Souter, will make the traditional blessing of the water with a splash of whisky. Neil and his staff will later provide bacon rolls and refreshments in the Ghillie’s Restaurant of the Mill.

Wednesday, 08 January 2020 14:18

Get your 2020 permits now!

The opening of the 2020 salmon season is fast approaching. Club anglers who plan to fish on and from opening day on February 1 are advised to renew their membership as soon as possible. Cards are available from Graham’s tackle shop in Castle Street.

New membership applications should be submitted to membership secretary John Ralph immediately as he will not be available to process applications during February. Application forms can be downloaded from the club web site at fishing/permits/ness-permits.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019 18:14

Happy New Year

Inverness Angling Club wishes all its members and friends every good wish for 2020 - and tight lines for the season!

Friday, 13 December 2019 15:04

2020 permits now on sale

Inverness Angling Club’s 2020 membership cards, which give access to fishing for salmon, sea trout and brown trout on some three miles of the River Ness, are now available from Graham’s tackle shop in Castle Street, Inverness. This gives anglers an opportunity to renew membership over the week-end, not just on Saturday but on Sunday when the shop will be open for festive sales from 12 to 4 pm.

Adult male membership costs £150, lady and concessionary £75 and intermediate (age 18 to 20 inclusive) £50. Junior membership (17 and under) is free. The club’s web site gives full details together with downloadable application forms for new members and associates. Go to 

Sunday, 08 December 2019 20:16

Fees for 2020

Here’s a quick guide to Inverness Angling Club fees for the 2020 season. Full details and downloadable application forms are available at 

Printed permits will be available soon. The fee for adult males and associates will be £150 for the season while ladies and lady associates will be charged £75. Intermediate members (aged 18 to 20 inclusive) will pay £50. The concessionary rate for members aged 65 with 12 years of unbroken membership will be £75. Junior membership, for those aged 17 and under, will be free. 

As an incentive, adults who have not been members within the previous five years will be charged a one-off special introductory fee of £100. A sea trout ticket for the estuary fishings below the Black Bridge is available at £20. 

Visitor permits for 2020 will be charged at £20 per day from February 1 to May 31 and £30 per day from June 1 to October 15. The junior fee will be £10 per day throughout the season.

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