Some items of fishing gear have been found on the banks of the River Ness. The owner can claim their return by posting a description of the lost items to the contacts page of Inverness Angling Club’s web site - www.invernessanglingclub.co.uk Click on Club Details/Contact and enter the detail.
Entries for Inverness Angling Club’s Centenary Speycasting Tournament are rolling in. Fourteen Speycasters have registered since the Eventbrite online system opened last Wednesday (February 22). It’s a heartening start for the September tournament which will be open to 30 Speycasters - so don’t delay, enter right away! Go to scotlandsalmonfestival.org, click on the tournament info and you’ll find the link to the entry system.
Among the entries so far are Lee Cummings from Cumbria, who came sixth in the 2015 Alexander Grant Memorial Speycasting Competition on the River Ness. This time he will have some female competition - his wife Angela, a formidable caster in her own right. Also returning to the Ness are Scotland’s Andrew Toft, a former world champion, and Ireland’s Derek Doyle, from Greystones in County Wicklow. Others casting again are Fraser Smith of Inverness, a former winner of the Scone Game Fair Speycasting championship; and Hamish Young, whose Coastguard colleagues did such a sterling job in course laying and safety cover in 2015.
Newcomers will be IAC member Aiden MacDonald, a successful local angler who works with tackle dealers Grahams of Inverness; Steven Pugh from Cheshire; Finlay Thomson, assistant ghillie on the Kercock beat of the River Tay; and Russell Mein of Dochfour fishings. Junior (under 17) entrants so far include IAC members Jordon Grant, Fraser Shanks and Fraser Munro, along with young Ayrshire Speycaster Blaine Lyon.
Former world champion Andrew Toft competing in the 2015 Alexander Grant Memorial
Speycasting Competition at the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness
Work on the new Ness bridge restarted as storm Doris drifted away, allowing a massive crane assembled on the Holm Mills side of the river to lift the first 50-metre, 180 tonne steel beam into place. A total of three pairs of beams are set for the south side then the 70-metre high crane will be disassembled and moved to the north side to lift the remaining beams into place.
Progress: Wills Bros begin installation of bridge base
Sponsors are crucial to events like Scotland’s Salmon Festival. Dr Melanie Smith - head of research development at Inverness College UHI and chair of the festival steering committee - thanks the sponsors of the Speycasting tournament to be held at the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness on September 1 and 2.
Melanie is pictured shaking hands with David Traill, of Grahams of Inverness. Looking on are (left to right) Marcus Valente, of Scottish Ghillie; Gordon Armstrong, representing Ness Castle Lodges; and IAC president Graham MacKenzie. Drummossie Hotel, one of the leading hotels in Inverness, is also assisting the event.
IAC celebrates a special year
Entries are now being taken for an international Speycasting tournament being staged to celebrate the centenary of Inverness Angling Club (IAC). At a media launch by the banks of the River Ness today (Wednesday, February 22) it was confirmed that the tournament would be staged on Friday and Saturday, September 1 and 2, as part of Scotland’s Salmon Festival.
All entrants will compete in two heats on September 1 and a third on the morning of September 2. The top six Speycasters will go forward to a final in the afternoon, preceded by a ladies final. Junior Speycasters, aged 17 and under, will compete in their own final - a feature being introduced by IAC to recognise and reward the developing casting skills of young anglers.
Prizes, to be presented at a civic reception in the historic Inverness Town House - hosted by the Provost and Councillors of Inverness - will include silver-plated IAC Centenary Quaichs for winners and runners up in open and ladies competitions, plus cash awards of £1,000, £500 and £300 for open first, second and third, and £500 and £300 for the winning lady and runner-up. A Centenary Quaich will also go to the winning junior.
The tournament is being sponsored by Ness Castle Lodges, Drumossie Hotel, Grahams of Inverness and Scottish Ghillie.
Launch party: (Left to right) Scott Mackenzie, junior anglers Fraser Shanks, Jordon Grant
and Fraser Munro, David Traill of Grahams of Inverness, Dr Melanie Smith of Inverness College UHI,
IAC president Graham MacKenzie, Marcus Valente of Scottish Ghillie and Gordon Armstrong of Ness
Inverness Angling Club’s fly tying classes are going well, attracting up to 14 keen tyers each night. And anyone interested, member or non-member, skilled or non-skilled, is welcome to attend, particularly young anglers who would like to expand their angling experience. The classes are held in Hilton Community Centre every Thursday night from 7 to 8.30 pm, up to April 27. Tools and materials are available to introduce novices to this fascinating hobby.
It would seem that there is still some misunderstanding about the conservation regulations governing the harvesting of salmon and grilse on the Ness system. A key regulation is that anglers are limited to one fish in any given week, to a maximum of two fish for the season, in the period from July 1 to October 15. All hen fish, and all fish over 8 lbs, must be released. Some anglers appear to believe that they can take two fish from each beat in the system. This is not the case. The two fish limit applies to the entire Ness system.
Members and visitors will be aware, through Facebook postings from the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board, that salmon spawn much later in the lower reaches of the Ness system. This led to club officials asking anglers to refrain from deep wading in these early months of the season.
It would appear, however, that there are one or two anglers who have not noted the advice, or are ignoring it. This is particularly so on the left bank of the MacIntyre Pool, an important spawning area, where an individual angler has been seen wading up to his waist. If the angler concerned is reading this, please stop wading so deep. It won’t help you catch any more fish and you could be killing future stock.
Big lifts are about to begin as construction of the new Ness bridge enters its next phase. Wills Bros have confirmed that they will begin installing beams on Monday (February 20) and complete on Wednesday. A rescue boat will operate on the river in case of any accident. Watchmen will be posted on the south river bank to ensure members of the public stay in the safe zone during lifting.
A south of Scotland angler is singing the praises of Inverness Angling Club’s fishings. Ian Mulholland from Lochwinnoch used the FishPal service to book a day on the Ness on February 9. He gave the fishings top marks for value for money and general upkeep, describing both as exceptional. He added: “A great day. Saw fish in the Weir and Mill Pool but just unlucky. Will definitely return for another visit.” Thanks for the compliments, Ian. We look forward to your return.