News 2019

News 2019

Thursday, 14 February 2019 22:48

Praise for Kai

A second visit by fly tyer Ali Hutchens attracted a record 21-strong attendance to Inverness Angling Club’s fly tying class on Wednesday night (February 13). And Ali’s teaching talents were ably demonstrated when he guided young Kai Afek through the tying of his first ever fly, a Kinermony Sunray. An appreciative audience applauded the effort, much to the delight of grandfather Mike Afek. The class, which has another two meetings to go, has exceeded expectations. A survey issued to participants will help organisers plan for continuation in the autumn.

First fly: Kai works on his first fly under the guidance of Ali Hutchens (right), watched by grandad Mike


Tuesday, 12 February 2019 12:02

Loop aids IAC training

International tackle company Loop has backed Inverness Angling Club’s drive to attract more local people to angling, and to train them in the skills required. Loop has donated several thousand pounds worth of its leading trout and salmon fishing rods and reels to assist the club’s skills development programme. On behalf of Loop, Ness Castle ghillie Gordon Armstrong, presented the equipment to club president Graham MacKenzie at the Little Isle Pool today (Tuesday, February 12).

Graham said: “We have been fortunate over the years to receive gifts of rods which have supported out coaching activities. But these tend to be older rods which don’t match the performance of today’s lighter and more powerful rods. These are more expensive and certainly out of the reach of younger anglers. Loop’s tackle is among the best available world wide and will make a huge difference to our coaching and the progress of young people and seniors seeking to develop their skills.”

Great gift: Gordon presents a selection of the donated equipment to Graham

Group thanks: IAC members show their appreciation

Thursday, 07 February 2019 22:31

Catch a bargain!

Membership of Inverness Angling Club totalled 118 at February 4, compared to 127 at the same time last year. Senior members stood at 51 (74 last year), concessionary 24 (25), associate 19 (14), ladies 5 (4), intermediate, 18 to 20 years old, at 1 (0) and juniors 18 (10). Take-up in the early part of the season tends to be slow but it should pick up soon. 

Several members introduced to the club through the close season fly tying class are submitting applications. With interest stimulated in proven fish-catching patterns, they recognise the bargain that the club’s Ness fishings offer for £150 per season.

Membership application forms can be downloaded from the web site. Click Join Today at the foot of the home page, complete the form and return it to the membership secretary or via the e-mail contact also at the foot of the home page.

Thursday, 07 February 2019 15:49

Inverness in top ten fishing towns

FishingBooker, the web site that helps anglers book fishing world wide, has named Inverness in the top ten fishing towns in Britain for 2019. The city comes seventh in the list, behind the only other Scottish entry, Perth, which is listed at third place. See

The site says: “Inverness may be a seaside town, but all the best angling happens inland. Start off on the beautiful banks of the River Ness for some outstanding salmon and trout fishing. Move up to Loch Ness to add pike, eel, Arctic charr, and who knows what other monsters to the list.” 

Perth gets another positive post: “The River Tay is an outstanding salmon fishery….. Salmon aren’t the only game fish on offer, either. Just a few miles to the south, Loch Leven has some of the best brown trout in the world. In fact, Loch Leven trout are so good that they have been stocked as far away as Australia and Argentina!”

Top fishery: The Ness at the Little Isle

Wednesday, 06 February 2019 22:22

Fish catcher!

Tracy Stronach demonstrated the progress being made by beginners at Inverness Angling Club’s fly tying class on Wednesday. The fly for this class was the Alistair, a Sutherland- born pattern designed for coloured water which can be tied as a tube or double. 

Although not such a testing fly as some of the others which have challenged the class, tutors were looking for a well balanced fly finished with a neat head. Tracy’s examples show that she is well on the way to becoming an accomplished tyer, along with other members of the class.

Flies for fish: Tracy's Alistair doubles 

Friday, 01 February 2019 16:38

Press features fly tying class

This week’s Highland News have given a superb spread to the activities of Inverness Angling Club’s fly tying class. Photographer Gary Anthony visited the Wednesday evening class and produced an array of pictures which demonstrate the range of members involved and the development of their skills. Happily, the piece also featured the commitment of key junior members - Cheyenne and Gordon Stronach, who attend with parents Tracy and Stephen, and James Stewart, who comes along with grandfather Jimmy. There’s still time to get out and buy a copy!

Great pix!: Above and below - The Highland News feature on the fly tying class

Friday, 01 February 2019 15:13

Wading shrinks salmon stocks

Salmon spawning is stimulated by low water temperature. It is common knowledge that, as a result of the influence of Loch Ness, which maintains higher temperatures in the River Ness, spawning is later than in rivers in the upper part of the system. As a result, salmon continue to spawn in the Ness well after opening day when anglers take their first steps into the river.

IAC vice president Alex Elliott has called upon all anglers venturing out on the river over the next month or so to be extremely careful where they wade. He explained: “Careless wading in areas that hold salmon ova kills future generations of fish and can undo all the efforts we are putting into conservation. “

He stressed: “Ideally, don’t wade at all. But if you have to go into the water don’t wade over ankle depth. And watch out for gravels which are prime spawning areas. Examples of these include the Little Isle and MacIntyre pools, and the Braes. Protect spawn now and we’ll have more salmon returning in future seasons. It’s just common sense.”

Take care: Redds are often close to the bank

Friday, 01 February 2019 12:59

Provost makes our day!

Over 60 anglers attended the River Ness opening ceremony organised by Inverness Angling Club today (Friday, February 1) - the best opening day gathering for many years. Although extremely reluctant to do so, David Traill of Grahams of Inverness was finally persuaded to carry out the traditional ‘blessing of the water’ by throwing some very fine whisky into the river! 

Club president Graham MacKenzie then invited City of Inverness Provost Helen Carmichael to take the first cast of the season, which she made with considerable style. On a bitterly cold day, the tea, coffee and bacon rolls provided by sponsors Holm Mills Shopping Village were especially welcome.

Procession: Provost Helen Carmichael, accompanied by president

Graham MacKenzie and David Traill, lead anglers to the river

Accomplished: Provost Carmichael makes the first cast of the season

Leading ladies : The Provost is joined by Tracy Stronach (left),

daughter Cheyenne (right) and Graham MacKenzie

Thursday, 31 January 2019 09:14

Tyers take to Willie Gunn

Salmon on the River Ness are likely to see a lot more of the Willie Gunn tube fly this season following a visit to Inverness Angling Club’s fly tying class by professional fly tyer Graham Nichols. The Willie Gunn is a favourite among Graham’s customers and he passed on his tips for tying the iconic fly to a fascinated audience last night (January 30). 

After his demonstration, class members produced some excellent examples of the Willie Gunn, which was named after a Sutherland ghillie. At the close of the class, Cheyenne Stronach showed the appreciation of members by presenting Graham with a tool stand, hand made by her father Stephen.

Attentive: Class members watch Graham’s tying demonstration

Appreciation: Cheyenne Stronach presents Graham with a tying tool stand

Tuesday, 29 January 2019 14:49

Class gets Courier credit

Inverness Angling Club activities get a favourable write up in the Inverness Courier today (Tuesday), leading with a piece on the success of the fly tying class and detailing arrangements for the season opening ceremony this Friday (February 1).

The fly tying class tomorrow (Wednesday) night will welcome well-known angler and top fly tyer Graham Nichols, who is kindly travelling from Golspie to demonstrate his tying skills. Graham’s Grainhead flies are a ‘must have’ for salmon anglers throughout the country. He will demonstrate his signature pattern, the Willie Gunn tube fly, then help class members to tie the pattern.

Club members who have not signed up for the class, but would like to watch Graham’s demonstration, are welcome to come along. It starts at 7pm in the upstairs conference room of Dow’s Bistro off Balloan Road.

Monday, 28 January 2019 21:39

Opening celebration for River Ness

City of Inverness Provost Helen Carmichael will formally open the salmon season on the River Ness this Friday (February 1). She will make the first cast at the Mill Stream Pool to herald what club members and visiting friends hope will see a continuing improvement in catches of salmon and grilse.

Members and guests should assemble in the top car park of Holm Mills for 10.00 hours. Pipe Major Steve Spencer of Northern Constabulary Community Pipe Band will lead the parade to the river where David Traill, director of tackle shop Grahams of Inverness, will perform the traditional ‘blessing’ with a splash of whisky. Club president Graham MacKenzie will invite Provost Carmichael to make the first cast of the season. Thereafter, bacon rolls and refreshments will be provided in the restaurant of opening day sponsors Holm Mills Shopping Village. The club also appreciates the assistance of Tesco.

Friday, 25 January 2019 09:47

Opening tidy

Volunteers are being sought from the IAC membership to tidy up the Mill Stream area in advance of the opening of the salmon season on Friday, February 1. The tidy-up will start at 1100 hours this Sunday (January 27). Please help to ensure a clean site for the opening by Provost Helen Carmichael and the attendant media.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019 19:21

Fly class success

Fly tyers will gather again at Dow’s Bistro this evening (January 23) for another session of the skill that adds a different dimension to angling. Landing a silver salmon or tenacious trout on a fly of your own tying is well worth the time spent at the tying vice.

Class attendance has averaged 15 tyers per night since starting following the close of the salmon season on October 15 last year - a really good attendance by both seniors and juniors, and experienced and novice tyers led by tutors Mike Campbell and David Mateer. 

Organisers Alan Scott and Alex Elliott have been delighted by the response. Said Alan: “We have a good cross section of members and the classes have attracted non-members whose growing fly tying skills could well lead to them joining the club. We’ve been particularly pleased by the progress of juniors whose enthusiasm is heartening.”

Thursday, 17 January 2019 18:42

Fenced out?

Inverness Angling Club has approached officials of The Highland Council to raise concerns about the construction of a fence along the riverside path adjacent to Whin Park playground. On the face to it, the fence, running from just above Charlie’s Seat right up to the Holm Bridge, could pose a significant threat to angler access to two of the best beats of the Ness fishings, the MacIntyre Pool and Mill Stream. While the club has not been consulted on the project, it is believed that sections of the fence will be left open at each existing path access to the pools.

Nice fence!: But will there be full access to the river?


Thursday, 17 January 2019 17:19

Membership queries

IAC membership secretary John Ralph will be taking a break between February 6 and 20. During that period all membership matters should be raised via the ‘Contact Us’ section of the web site. Just click on the ‘Contact Us’ circle on the home page for a reply from the president or secretary, usually by return.

Monday, 07 January 2019 19:53

Big billing for Ladies Day

The successful Ladies Day staged on Inverness Angling Club’s Ness fishings last year will be featured in the February issue of Trout and Salmon magazine. The club hosted and coached a cheery group of 20 ladies on their fishings on Saturday, September 1. The event was organised by angling marketing agency FishPal in aid of the Highland Hospice. Reports and pictures by a Trout and Salmon journalist will grace the pages of the February issue which will be on magazine shelves within the next few days.

Thursday, 03 January 2019 18:31

Opening celebration

Members and guests are invited to attend the opening day ceremony of the 2019 salmon angling season at the Mill Stream Pool on Friday, February 1. Please assemble in the top car park of Holm Mills for 10.00 hours.

This popular event is kindly sponsored by Holm Mills Shopping Village and gives members and guests an opportunity to catch up with fellow members and discuss the prospects for the new season, over a wee dram, a bacon roll and a cup of tea or coffee. Anglers are asked to wear fishing gear and bring a rod to present a good image for the attending media.

Thursday, 03 January 2019 18:29

Loop promote best practice

Gordon Sim, the chief executive officer of Loop Tackle Design, will be the guest speaker at the annual public meeting of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board on Thursday, January 17. The meeting, which has always attracted a good number of interested anglers from around the area, will be held in the Press and Journal Lounge of Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club, starting at 19.30 hours.

A native of Fort William, Gordon will talk about the world class fisheries management applied to Loop’s own river systems in Labrador, Canada; the company’s wish to act as a ‘global conduit for best practice’; and his own passion for salmon fishing.

Agenda items will include the activities of the board during 2018 and proposed activities for 2019. Copies of the board’s annual report will be available. The meeting is open to the pubic but places are limited to 50 seats. Those interested in attending should register their interest with the clerk, Chris Conroy, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01463 861245.

Thursday, 03 January 2019 18:26

Time to tie

Now is the time to get that little bit of help to design and tie that special fly to catch salmon in 2019. Inverness Angling Club’s popular fly tying classes will re-start for the 2019 sessions at 19.00 hours on Wednesday, January 16, in the upstairs conference suite of Dow’s Bistro on Balloan Road. Led by tying experts Mike Campbell and David Mateer, with assistance from club coaches, the classes will be run each Wednesday evening un February 27. 

Two top tyers will give demonstrations during this period - Graham Nicholls on January 30 and a second visit by Ali Hutchens on February 13. Newcomers are welcome, whether beginners or experienced. Tools and materials can be provided. They should register in advance with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thursday, 03 January 2019 18:20

IAC committee meetings

The 2019 committee meetings of Inverness Angling Club are set for the following dates: January 10, February 7, March 14, April 18, May 16, June 13, July 18, August 15, September 12, October 17, and November 14. The annual general meeting will be held on November 21. Details of committee membership can be found on the club’s web site at

Thursday, 20 December 2018 19:01

Best wishes


Inverness Angling Club

Ness Walk

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