Saturday was a good day for popular IAC member Graham Ross. Fishing the Little Isle Pool, he landed and safely released a fresh 12lb salmon. Graham and his young daughter Beth both attended the club’s winter fly tying class and are looking forward to a planned restart of the class in the autumn. The big question is - was his cracking catch lured by a fly tied by Dad or daughter?
Delighted: But who tied the fly?
Inverness Angling Club’s annual series of Casting Clinics swung into their second week on Wednesday with a good attendance of junior and senior anglers seeking to develop their casting skills. The club’s Level 1 coaches were led by three times world speycasting champion Scott Mackenzie and GAIC instructor Frank Durdle.
Several young novices quickly picked up the basic techniques of trout rod casting on the grass of the Bught Park while speycasters received individual tuition on the adjacent Little Isle Pool of the River Ness.
The Castling Clinics are a key part of IAC’s efforts to promote angling, develop skills and recruit new members. Tuition is free and non-members are welcome. The clinics continue at the Little Isle from 7 to 9 pm each Wednesday to the end of June. Bring a rod if you can but club fly rods for both salmon and trout can be provided.
Champion: Scott Mackenzie demonsrates the principles of speycasting
IAC associate member Derek Macaloney is seeking members’ help to find a box of flies he mislaid in the area of the Little Isle Pool. Derek, form Gartcosh, Glasgow, is currently on a week’s visit to the club’s fishings. If any member has found a box of flies, it can be left at the Little Isle hut, in an envelope marked with Derek’s name.
Anglers throughout the Ness system are reminded that mandatory catch and release continues to the end of June. Under a hard-won arrangement with the Scottish Government, the system does not move to Category 2 until July 1, when salmon or grilse can be taken.
From this date individual anglers are restricted to taking one cock fish under 8lbs in any given week, to a maximum of two for the season. All hen fish, all fish over 8lbs and all coloured fish must be safely returned to the water. The River Moriston remains at Category 3, subject to mandatory catch and release, throughout the season.
The restrictions apply to the entire Ness district. Anglers must note that they cannot take two fish from one fishery then go on to take two from another. Any infringement of the rules could have serious consequences. The angler could face prosecution and, importantly for the majority of anglers, the club and the system could lose any hope of continuing the Category 2 arrangement or progressing to Category 1.
Revised arrangements for access to the Braes have been issued after anglers discovered it was impossible to follow the suggested route due to the ongoing construction works at the canal pitches. Following discussions with contractors Mackenzie Construction, club president Graham Mackenzie advises that anglers can have pedestrian access along the towpath from Tomnahurich Bridge to the Clachnahagaig Stone, provided works traffic is not obstructed.
“Safety is paramount,” says Graham, “as large construction vehicles will be using the towpath at times. Vigilance by both anglers and construction staff is vital to ensure the safety of all. At particularly busy times an escort vehicle will precede construction vehicles traversing the towpath, again to ensure safety for all.”
Graham added that The Highland Council have confirmed the availability of temporary parking for six to eight cars on Bught Road, just past the canal cottage beside Tomnahurch Bridge - turn left off Glenurquhart Road at the new large roundabout. But anglers parking there should take care not to block the widened towpath access by the canal cottage.
Club member Alan Scott got off the mark today with a cracking hen salmon from the tail of the Weir Pool of the River Ness. The fish - measuring 83cm which puts it at around 14lbs on the Sturdy Scale - took a small monkey fly expertly tied by junior member Jordon Grant.
“That’s the third fish I've hooked on this fly but the other two, on the River Oich, fell off," said Alan. "And I came close to losing this one as it seemed determined to head through the fast water and under the new bridge. A great fight! And many thanks to club member Walter Mackay for tailing and holding the fish until it could be unhooked, professionally measured by a gathering of bridge construction workers and safely released.”
Happiness: A cracking salmon from Inverness Angling Club's Ness fishings