News 2021

News 2021

Wednesday, 04 August 2021 16:53

Duggie does it

Dyce is a name inextricably linked to the catching of salmon on the River Ness. And the tradition continued today as Duggie Dyce landed and released a fly-caught grilse of six pounds at the Little Isle Pool.

Wednesday, 04 August 2021 13:46

Looking for these?

Having difficulty reading or looking for that elusive salmon? Then this could be the answer. A pair of spectacles has been found at the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness. They are in the safe keeping of interim president Bill Byers who can be contacted by telephone at the number listed in the club membership card.

Lost specs: Found at the Little Isle

Tuesday, 03 August 2021 17:15

Chris connects

Numbers of salmon finally may have arrived on Inverness Angling Club’s beats. Chris Bruce, who accounted for one good fish towards the end of last month, was in the right place at the right time again today.

Fishing the Weir Pool, he landed and released a grilse of 6.5 pounds and a very small fish of two pounds. And that wasn’t all. He hooked and lost three fish to make it a very satisfying outing.

Wednesday, 28 July 2021 18:27

Peter picks the spot

The Mill Stream is always a pleasant place for a cast on Inverness Angling Club’s River Ness beat. And that was where Peter Easton scored success today, landing and releasing a cock fish of eight pounds.

Saturday, 24 July 2021 18:08

Chris makes two

They have been a while coming but Chris Bruce landed the second salmon from Inverness Angling Club’s beats today (July 24).

With loads of sunshine and no rain, conditions are hardly at their best for salmon fishing. But Chris managed to land a five pound grilse from the Infirmary stream, duly released.

While rain is forecast for next week, it will take a lot to make any difference to the level of Loch Ness, which has a huge influence on the level of the river. But salmon continue to run the river, demonstrated by catches at Dochfour where 12 were landed this week to raise the total so far to 61.

A good start: Chris with his bright grilse

Friday, 23 July 2021 16:13

Contamination confirms anglers’ concerns

Fears of many anglers concerned by construction projects on the banks of the River Ness were realised today (July 23).

The west side of the river was contaminated when the silt curtain at the Archimedes Screw construction site at the top of the Mill Stream burst. Anglers fear for the health of young fish as this area holds a high proportion of salmon fry and parr.

Steve Watt, temporary vice president of Inverness Angling Club, has made a formal complaint to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa). It is understood that the agency has arranged for an officer to inspect the site and the contaminated area. The Ness District Salmon Fishery Board (NDSFB) has also been informed of the incident.

Steve explained: “This is what anglers have feared since the start of construction projects by the stretch of river we manage on behalf of Inverness Common Good Fund. There’s been lots of talk about art and the production of cheap power but, it seems, little thought about the very special environment of our riverside and the fish it breeds.”

Mucky waters: The contamination reaches the General's Well Pool

Friday, 23 July 2021 12:22

Contractors move waterline fencing

For the first time for a while, there’s good news from the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness — site of the controversial construction of the ‘My Ness’ art scheme.

The fencing along the riverside is being moved back 15 to 20 feet from the waterline to allow anglers to fish down the length of the construction site. But the point of the wall may prove an obstruction when river levels rise.

The move comes at the time Inverness Angling Club members would expect more activity with the arrival of Ness salmon and grilse. Traditionally, Ness stocks arrived in mid-July but recent years have seen runs delayed for a few weeks.

Friday, 23 July 2021 09:11

Committee acts to fill positions

The committee of Inverness Angling Club has made three temporary appointments to fill positions left vacant by recent resignations.

Current vice president Bill Byers will become temporary president, Steve Watt will be temporary vice president and James Emery will step in as temporary secretary.

Bill Byers explained: “These posts will only be to the end of the season, or until we can convene an annual general meeting or special general meeting. We are down to a committee of 12 but effectively 11 as Billy Orrock is now resident in Orkney.”

Tuesday, 20 July 2021 15:13

Report catches and stay informed

With the main part of the River Ness salmon season fast approaching, and the first fish safely landed, it’s time to remind all anglers of the need to make prompt returns of their catches. Club rules specify that all salmon and grilse catches should be registered within 24 hours. But it would enable club members, and visitors, to stay informed if reports could be made on the day of the catch.

There are two ways to submit reports — through the club web site or by phone as specified in permits. The preferred method is via the club web site. Catch details are automatically copied to those responsible for daily web site news, weekly reports to FishPal and for mandatory record keeping. Telephone reports have to be physically copied to others, involving a lot of time

It’s easy to report online by mobile phone or computer. Access the club web site at, (even easier if you’ve added this to your browser favourites), scroll down the Home Page, click on Report Catch, complete the form and click Send. You can easily add a picture (landscape preferred) which we are always happy to receive and use.

Tight lines to all!

Thursday, 15 July 2021 08:37

Salmon survey results

The Ness District Salmon Fishery Board (NDSFB) has published initial results from this year’s River Ness mainstem juvenile salmon surveys, taken on sites increased from three to 10,

The ratio of fry (0+ year old) to parr (1+ year old) densities varied from site to site with the given habitat. Despite a decline in rod catch, juvenile populations seem to be relatively healthy and as expected. Average fry density from the sites was 185 per 100m2 while average parr density was 51 per 100m2.

The full report on the surveys can be viewed at

Wednesday, 14 July 2021 13:15

First of the year for club water

Donnie Mackay has put in a lot of hours on the club water of the River Ness this year. And he got due reward for his efforts today (July 14) with a cock fish of 5.25 lbs from the top of the Little Isle Pool.

The fish was attracted by a Red Frances — a fly that has proved increasingly popular, and successful, on the Ness in recent years. The fly was a gift from vice president Bill Byers.

Donnie was delighted with his catch but disappointed that he could not release it to continue its journey upstream. He said: “I tried to return it but it flicked its tail and went belly up. All efforts to revive it failed and it was humanely dispatched,”

Tuesday, 13 July 2021 16:52

Resignation blows for IAC committee

Alex Elliott, president of Inverness Angling Club, has stepped down from his post, with immediate effect. He said that his decision had been made for personal reasons, with great regret.

“The club and its fishings have given me great pleasure over many years,” said Alex, “and I wish it and its members all the best for the future.”

It has emerged that two other members of the committee, Tracy Stronach and Kevin Elliott, have also resigned. These follow the recent resignation of the club secretary, Graham Forbes, who felt that his work commitments meant he could no longer devote the time required to meet the needs of the club.

The resignations reduce the normally 16-strong committee to 12. These include the remaining office bearers, vice president Bill Byers and treasurer and membership secretary John Ralph.

Wednesday, 07 July 2021 09:12

‘My Ness’……?

 Not for most: Intrusive ‘art’ at the Little Isle


Tuesday, 06 July 2021 16:51

Council gives parking guidance

In a further effort to secure parking arrangements to improve river access for IAC members, president Alex Elliott and vice president Bill Byers have had lengthy discussions with Inverness city manager David Haas and Shane Manning, traffic manager for Inverness.

Shane Manning indicated that side streets leading to Huntly Street had parking available while Gilbert Street, just below the Friar’s Bridge, had unrestricted parking only a short walk under the bridge to the Friar’s Shott.

Parking at Bellfield Park was also discussed and Shane confirmed that parking could be obtained from the parking meters at a cost of £1 for two hours and £2 for a period of four hours. He also explained that parking at meters could be paid for by using the mobile app RingGo.

Monday, 05 July 2021 21:30

Club secretary stands down

Inverness Angling Club has confirmed that its secretary, Graham Forbes, has stood down from his post, with immediate effect. An increase in professional work commitments means that Graham feels he can no longer provide the time required to meet the needs of the club.

President Alex Elliott said: “Graham stepped in to help the club at an important time and has made a major contribution to the management of the club’s affairs. His efforts have been very much appreciated and we wish him well in his professional and family life.

“While it is not always appreciated, managing the affairs of the club involves a significant commitment of personal time by those who volunteer for the crucial posts as office bearers. The current committee will continue to manage club activities until the election of office bearers at the AGM in November.”

Monday, 05 July 2021 16:12

Habitat study moves to club water

Specialists will begin an examination of Inverness Angling Club beats of the River Ness later this month as part of the ‘River Ness Habitat Restoration Feasibility Study’ commissioned by the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board.

Local company CBEC Eco-engineering will be looking to target habitat improvements that could help restore the quality and quantity of available habitat, and increase salmon recruitment.

Anglers are advised that operations will include the use of a boat to study the river from the Holm Weir to the sea. Work will start in the week beginning July 19, subject to weather and water conditions.

The full report on the study, which is being funded by the Ness & Beauly Fisheries Trust, is expected in December of this year.

Monday, 05 July 2021 15:08

Hut opening demands ‘ill thought out'

Social media demands that Inverness Angling Club should re-open its huts on the River Ness are “ill thought out and show no consideration for the health and safety of members”, says president Alex Elliott.

“Everyone can see the very strict measures being taken in all indoor spaces that are allowed to open under current conditions. The club would have to do the same. In fact, given the small size of our huts any measures we could take would have to be even more strict.

“This would mean a seriously deep clean before we could open any of our three huts. But the process wouldn’t finish there. Strict sanitation would have to continue. We could only allow one person into a hut at any one time, sanitation would have to be repeated after each individual left and before anyone else could be allowed in.”

Alex underlined that it was a totally different matter in huts on private beats where very small numbers of anglers could be suitably managed by ghillies.

He added: “The club is not prepared to take any risks with the health of our members or visitors. Consequently, the huts will remain closed until national rules are such that the club committee deems it safe to consider re-opening.”

Monday, 05 July 2021 14:11

Power piling begins

The environment of the River Ness is experiencing the start of further permanent change this week. Piles are being hammered into the riverside at the top of the Mill Stream Pool in preparation for the construction of the Archimedes power project.

The twin-screw 92Kw power scheme, conceived by Highland Council, is due for completion in March of next year with the majority of river works completed before the end of this year. The project will incorporate a visitor centre which the council forecasts will attract over 40,000 visitors a year.

Piling begins: Bank works at the top of the Mill Stream

Wednesday, 30 June 2021 14:32

Ness stock levels remain high

A team from the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board (NDSFB) have been out on the River Ness in the last couple of days completing one of their regular fish stock surveys.

Once again, electro fishing has shown high levels of young salmon stock at four sites, including two on the Inverness Angling Club beats — at the top of the west side of the Mill Stream and just above the Little Isle Pool.

Further information will be available once the fisheries team completes a full analysis of the exercise.


Dedicated team: Board director Chris Conroy (left) at the top of the Little Isle Pool

with fisheries officer Chris Daphne (right) and fisheries assistant Fiona Stephen

Good stock: A mix of one and two year old salmon parr are measured for analysis

Wednesday, 30 June 2021 14:26

Achonachie lifts restrictions

Stephen Dowds, chairman of Loch Achonachie Angling Club, confirms that Covid-19 restrictions applied to their waters will be lifted from July 1.

Members will be able to buy visitor tickets for guests they wish to take out fishing, and visitors to the area will be able to buy permits at Contin Filling Station. Restrictions in place at the filling station have to be followed at all times.

But David warns: “This lifting comes at a time when, although very many have been vaccinated, there is a significant rise in cases of the Delta variant of the virus, including in people who have been double vaccinated. Safety in all things including fishing is therefore still essential.”

He reminds all members that they must book beats on the rivers at all times, report all salmon catches, be aware of all club rules and carry their permit card with them when fishing.

Friday, 25 June 2021 18:07

Stay safe near building works

Members of Inverness Angling Club, and visitors to the Ness fishings, are reminded that they should not enter the work areas at the Little Isle Pool or the west bank of the Mill Stream.

Clearly, strict health and safety rules govern building sites. Anglers are permitted to fish the Little Isle Pool, but they must stick to the river line and stay clear of current construction activity at the end of the wall.

Building works on the Archimedes Screw project begin on July 1 from which date anglers will not be able to fish the Mill Stream upstream of the fenced area at Jock’s Seat. The Highland Council indicates that the project is due for completion in March of next year, with the majority of river works completed before the end of this year.

Thursday, 17 June 2021 18:22

Top fishing for James

One of three junior members nominated by Inverness Angling Club will be fishing the private Coul beat of the River Conon in August.

The lucky lad is 11-year-old James Stewart whose name was drawn out of the hat by Eileen Elliott, wife of club president Alex. The unsuccessful nominees were Liam MacKenzie and Theo Ross.

The competition was organised by Coul ghillie John Macaskill to encourage young anglers by giving them a taste of fishing top salmon beats. A raffle for senior anglers among local angling clubs raised £1620 for the Missing Salmon Alliance.

Top tyer: James is a keen member of a fly tying class organised for local anglers, 

currenlty postponed by Covid-19

Thursday, 17 June 2021 12:17

Unwanted intruder

The wall appears: An intruder into the outstanding natural beauty of the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness

Wednesday, 16 June 2021 19:07

Study targets Ness habitat improvements

Fishery authorities have launched a detailed study of the River Ness following a significant decline in the numbers of returning adult salmon. The aim is to target habitat improvements that could help restore the quality and quantity of available habitat, and increase salmon recruitment.

With full funding from the Ness & Beauly Fisheries Trust, the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board has commissioned local company CBEC Eco-engineering to deliver a ‘River Ness Habitat Restoration Feasibility Study’. The project began in early June and the full report is expected in December 2021. Key aims are: 

* Completion of an initial desk-based assessment of the physical and ecological condition of the River Ness from Ness Weir downstream to the tidal limit in Inverness. This aims to provide an understanding of how the river currently operates, the ‘reference state’ and how historic modifications may have resulted in the river deviating from this condition.

* A field-based survey of the physical condition of the river to assess the distribution of morphological, sedimentary and ecological factors, in combination with human impacts along the length of the study section of the river. 

* The production of a series of maps detailing the present-day physical character of the River Ness. This will support the implementation of any future sustainable measures towards the restoration of habitat, improving the natural conditions required for fish rearing and production.

* A final feasibility report detailing the influence of historical human pressures on the current physical character of the River Ness — specifically impacts on salmonid habitat. This will detail the development of a number of potential habitat restoration or enhancement measures. 

Wednesday, 16 June 2021 19:06

Coul charity effort

Inverness anglers were unsuccessful in the raffle for Conon fishing launched by Coul beat ghillie John Macaskill. Over 80 tickets were purchased by members of local angling clubs, raising £1620 — a magnificent effort which John will donate to the Missing Salmon Alliance.

Monday, 14 June 2021 16:14

Fishery students go electric

Chris Daphne of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board is having a busy couple of weeks. As a national instructor with the Scottish Fisheries Co-ordination Centre, Chris is training newcomer and more advanced students in electro fishing on the Mill Lade, which runs alongside the Weir Pool of the River Ness.

He ran two introductory courses for 10 students last week and will run advanced courses for six students on Tuesday (June 15). Electro fishing plays a key role in the board’s studies of fish stocks throughout the Ness System, from the headwaters of the River Garry to the club waters of the River Ness.

Wednesday, 09 June 2021 18:22

Pink return?

 The skeletal remains of what is thought to be a pink or humpback salmon were found on the gravel at the top of the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness today (June 9). It was probably the victim of an otter.

The discovery was made by club member James Emery who alerted the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board. Officials will test the remains to confirm its species.

Pinks were discovered on the Ness and a number of other Scottish rivers two years ago. It is thought that this year could see a return of the species, completing a two-year cycle.

Alien species: Skeleton heralds possible return of pink salmon

Wednesday, 09 June 2021 16:09

Controversial contracts continue

Works continue on two Highland Council projects on the banks of the River Ness which have caused significant concerns to both anglers and the general public.

The so-called ‘My Ness arts project’ at the Little Isle Pool is scheduled to be completed by the end of June, but current progress suggests that it will continue into July — when Ness salmon begin to arrive in numbers. On anglers’ estimation, the wall will reduce the fishable area of the pool by some 60 yards — at one of the key catching points opposite the outfall of the Aultnaskiach Burn

Further upstream, ground works for the much-vaunted Archimedes Screw generation and visitor centre project have caused the closure of a popular walk.The works have also resulted in the installation of barriers to prevent access to a substantial section of the west bank of the Mill Stream, a productive area for salmon and sea trout.

My Ness: July completion?

A walk no more: Completion next year?

Lost fishings: Jock Dyce would be furious!

Friday, 04 June 2021 09:21

Electro fishing training

The Ness District Salmon Fishery Board will be carrying out electro fishing on the Holm Mills Lade next week (week beginning June 7). The exercise is to enable board staff to carry out practical training for students.

Tuesday, 25 May 2021 12:23

Graveside service for Donnie

The funeral of Donnie Mackay, former secretary of Inverness Angling Club, will take place on Friday (May 28). A graveside service will be held in Tomnahurich Cemetery at 1.15 pm, under current Government guidelines.

The cortège will leave from 4 Maxwell Drive, Inverness, at 1.00pm, with a five-minute stop at the back entrance to the cemetery. Donations are invited in Donnie's memory for the Highland Hospice via William T. Fraser and Son, Funeral Directors, Culduthel Road, Inverness.

Thursday, 20 May 2021 15:41

Quick response needed for Coul offer

Anglers interested in buying raffle tickets for fishing on the private beats of the River Conon’s Coul water should get their tickets within the next couple of days. This also applies to nominations for junior members to participate in coached fishing sessions on the same beats.

See earlier posts for full details and contact treasurer and membership secretary John Ralph as quickly as possible.

Thursday, 20 May 2021 15:39

Parking plans make progress

A series of discussions between Inverness Angling Club and The Highland Council about future parking arrangements at the Little Isle car park is nearing conclusion.

Club officials met council representatives at the park on Thursday (May 20) to consider outline plans for parking, which will be subject to public advertisement prior to implementation.

The proposals will make public parking subject to charges and time limits, but free parking will be available to anglers by displaying a parking badge which will be issued by the club.

Monday, 17 May 2021 13:40

Take a chance for prime beat fishing

Junior members of Inverness Angling Club are reminded that they can still apply to be nominated for a day’s salmon fishing and tuition on a prime beat of the River Conon.

The initiative has been launched by John Macaskill, head ghillie of the Coul Beat, in a bid to help young people to become involved in salmon fishing, and access prime fishing on a private beat.

Juniors who wish to participate in the IAC selection process for nomination should contact treasurer and membership secretary John Ralph (see contact details on membership cards or the web site). Club members may propose juniors they feel deserve nomination.

The beat is also offering all local anglers a chance to fish the river during the prime time of fishing in July. The week commencing Monday, July 5, is to be made available to all local anglers on a raffle ticket style basis, with all proceeds going to the Missing Salmon Alliance.

Anglers who buy a raffle ticket will have the chance to win three days fishing for one rod, on either July 5 to 7 or 8 to 10, enabling eight individual winners to fish the four rod beat for the week. Tickets will be priced at £20 each, available from John Ralph.

Sunday, 16 May 2021 21:01

Former secretary passes away

Inverness Angling Club has lost a long-term member who gave years of service to the club. Don Mackay passed away in the Highland Hospice on Sunday evening (May 16) after a long illness.

Don helped guide the club’s fortunes over many years. Following service on the committee, he took on the role of secretary which he held for many years until retiring at the AGM in November 2013.

The club sends his deepest condolences to his daughters Donna and Jenny, and to brother Russell and sister-in-law Margaret.

Thursday, 13 May 2021 11:06

River Ness faces powerful threats

Construction of the controversial ‘My Ness’ arts project continues at the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness, giving rise to serious concerns about the impact on the special environment of the area.

Further upstream, another project which threatens the safety of anglers and the quality of the town fishings is about to start.

Ground works for The Highland Council’s Archimedes Screw venture at the top of the Electric Burn will begin on Monday (May 17) when contractors P Bradley and Company of Coleraine, Northern Ireland, will move on site. The project includes the construction of a visitor centre around the twin screw hydro project. Works are expected to continue until early next year.

It is understood that the 92kW power generation from the screws will require one-third of the water flowing down the Red Braes Pool above the Holm Bridge.

Anglers fear this will have a signifiant negative impact on the fishings in the Red Braes — a major spawning area for salmon — and the Weir Pool. There are also grave concerns about the safety of fishing the west side of the Mill Stream, where fast water from the screws will re-enter the river, and how this flow will affect the bed of the river.

Inverness Angling Club president Alex Elliott is requesting a site meeting with the council to express the club’s concerns. The club will seek assurances that the council will mitigate any threats to the health and safety of anglers and to the quality of the fishings.

Monday, 03 May 2021 12:28

Agency refuses to act on ‘My Ness’ scheme

Much is being written and said in Inverness these days about the environmental damage that will be caused by Highland Council’s so-called ‘My Ness’ art scheme at the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness.

Concerned parties have made strong representations to SEPA — full name Scottish Environmental Protection Agency. But these have failed to bring about any changes to the scheme and the threat it poses to one of the finest examples of nature’s art.

Piling works for the scheme began on May 4.


Foreign structure?: Piling begins at Little Isle

Friday, 30 April 2021 15:48

Last cast for Jimmy

Inverness Angling Club has lost another of its long standing members. Jimmy Findlay, who died on Friday (April 30) at the age of 76, was a regular early morning angler at the Little Isle Pool along with his late brother Charlie and surviving brother Brian.

An HGV driver before retiring, Jimmy had moved from Inverness to Drumnadrochit to be close to his daughter, Karen, who looked after him in his final years.

Sunday, 25 April 2021 14:01

Tackle shop re-opens

Grahams of Inverness has re-opened to continue their services to all those involved in field sports.

Anglers who have yet to renew their membership of Inverness Angling Club can do so at Graham’s Castle Street tackle shop, or through club membership secretary John Ralph.

All new members should apply through John. Click on Permits on the Home page to see information and application forms 

Thursday, 22 April 2021 17:27

Ruthven boat ready to row

Anglers who fancy fishing for native brown trout on a top loch will be happy to know that Inverness Angling Club’s boat will soon be available on Loch Ruthven. The key for the boat will be available to club members from Graham’s tackle shop from Monday (April 26).

Club president Alex Elliott expressed his thanks to member Walter Mackay. “Walter is always ready to help get the boat in and out of the water and ensure that it is in top condition for our members.”

On the wave: The IAC boat on Loch Ruthven

Thursday, 15 April 2021 22:04

Ness art project threatens angler safety

Detailed plans for ‘The Gathering Place’ project on the River Ness reveal an unacceptable risk to the safety of anglers. Inverness Angling Club claims that the plans, seen unofficially by club representatives for the first time, show that the proposed wall extends further into the river than indicated in artist’s impressions.

In moderate river levels, the depth of the water at the most extreme pillar of the wall would be around 1.3 metres (4.26 feet). In such conditions the water would be just below an angler’s waist. But the wall extends over two metres (6.5 feet) beyond this, at a point where the bed of the river shelves into deeper water.

The club believes this could risk the safety of anglers tempted to wade round the point of the wall to continue fishing. The only alternative would be to leave the river, negotiate the wall and begin fishing several metres downstream of the wall, denying access to a significant stretch of productive salmon water.

President Alex Elliott explained: “We have always had serious concerns about the extent of the wall’s intrusion into the river. It is a potential threat to the safety of anglers. There is also a threat to the general public. Anyone accidentally falling off the end of the wall would be going into fairly fast, deep water from which they may have to be rescued.

“We are also aware that the action of medium to high water on the pillars and point of the wall will cause a significant eddy. This is likely to shift gravel, interfere with the beach and fundamentally change the nature of one of the most attractive pools on the river. As far as we know, this has not been properly assessed by hydrologists.

“For many months we have been asking The Highland Council to show us detailed plans in order to satisfy these concerns. But all we get are artist’s impressions. As a result, we have been unable to assess the full impact of the project until now. These major concerns must be resolved before major construction works begin.”

Alex added: “We are disappointed by the council’s potentially unsafe decisions on this. Unlike others, we have raised no objections to the art project. We co-operated fully with the council and trusted councillors and staff to consider our interests. But it appears our trust has been misplaced and we have been kept in the dark over crucial detail.”

Metal wall: The left bank of the popular Little Isle Pool prepared for construction of 'The Gathering Place'

Wednesday, 07 April 2021 13:08

Coul beat offers prime opportunity

Inverness Angling Club, along with other local angling clubs, has been invited to take part in a welcome project proposed by John Macaskill, head ghillie of the Coul beat on the River Conon.

In a bid to create opportunities for young people to become involved in salmon fishing, and access prime fishing on a private beat, John is inviting each of six clubs to nominate a junior member for a day’s fishing and tuition at Coul on August 23, 24 or 25.

Juniors who wish to participate in the selection process for nomination by IAC should contact treasurer and membership secretary John Ralph (see contact details on membership cards or the web site). Club members may propose juniors they feel deserve nomination.The successful junior would need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the duration of the day to comply with Health and Safety and Child protection.

The beat is also offering all local anglers a chance to fish the river during the prime time of fishing in July. The week commencing Monday, July 5, is to be made available to all local anglers on a raffle ticket style basis, with all proceeds going to the Missing Salmon Alliance.

Anglers who buy a raffle ticket will have the chance to win three days fishing for one rod, on either July 5 to 7 or 8 to 10, enabling eight individual winners to fish the four rod beat for the week. Tickets will be priced at £20 each, available from John Ralph.

Contact: Playing a salmon on the Gillanders Pool of the Coul beat

Saturday, 03 April 2021 16:58

Art project set to start

The Highland Council has assured anglers that they will be able to continue fishing when the construction of a riverside project begins next week.

The so-called Gathering Place is designed as an amphitheatre landmark with curved walls on either side of the river. It embraces part of the Little Isle Pool, one of the most popular salmon pools on the River Ness.

Design changes include a small widening to the end of the pier to enhance accessibility and signage which highlights the work is closed during high water events.

Local firm Simpsons has won the contract which is expected to be completed by early summer. They will endeavour to maintain access as far as possible. If there's a problem, anglers should liaise with the site agent. Steps will be provided just downstream from the start of the existing wall to ease access for more senior members.

Preparation of the site begins on April 6 with main works starting on April 13. Piling, to a depth of six to seven metres, will begin on May 3. This will have the greatest impact on angling activity, with little or no access to the pool.

Wooden benches will be removed and retained for reinstallation at a suitable location. The wall sections will be pre-constructed off site and lifted in by a crane, which will operate from a site adjacent to the fishing hut. The footpath behind the hut will be closed off during these operations.

Redesigned: The west side of the Gathering Place

Wednesday, 31 March 2021 17:18

Enjoy an exchange

Inverness Angling Club is continuing traditional exchange permit arrangements with a number of club fisheries. These include Beauly, Dingwall and District, Loch Achonachie and Wick Angling Clubs - all available to members under current Covid travel restrictions.

Those outwith the Highland Council area - Aberdeen and District, and Ugie Angling Clubs, and Elgin Angling Association - will not be available until inter-region travel restrictions are lifted on April 26. To book tickets, contact membership secretary John Ralph.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021 17:17

Avoid penalty

Anglers have just a few hours to renew their Inverness Angling Club permits for 2001, without penalty. From midnight tonight (March 30) a penalty of £20 is payable on top of the standard senior membership fee. Contact membership secretary John Ralph to renew in time.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021 14:39

Ruthven launch delayed

Inverness Angling Club has delayed placing its boat on Loch Ruthven. Officials had planned to launch the boat tomorrow (April 1) but forecast weather conditions seem pretty severe. This is not an April Fool...! Watch this space for the launch date.

Monday, 29 March 2021 18:38

Moy Fair cancelled

Covid-19 has led to another sporting casualty. For the second year in succession, organisers of the annual Highland Field Sports Fair at Moy Hall have decided to cancel the event planned for Friday and Saturday, August 6 and 7, this year.

Inverness Angling Club has supported the fair for many years, using a position by Loch Moy to present distance and accuracy casting competitions and deliver valued coaching in the use of trout and salmon fly rods.

Accuracy: Steve Black and Eric Craig supervise popular Moy competition

Friday, 26 March 2021 18:50

Fishery board cuts assessment

Inverness Angling Club president Alex Elliott has welcomed a reduction in the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board assessment paid for the club waters for 2021.

Assessments are raised from riparian owners or their tenants to help finance the board’s operations, including conservation projects, research, and the management and policing or an extremely large fishery.

The assessment paid by IAC, as a tenant of riparian owner The Highland Council, has been set at £9,300 for 2021, a 50 per cent cut on the sum paid for 2020.

Friday, 26 March 2021 12:21

Saving our salmon

The Moray Firth Smolt Tracking Project continues this year in a concerted bid to find answers to the decline of Atlantic salmon stocks. Led by the Atlantic Salmon Trust (AST), the research has united the salmon fishing world as never before.

Scotland’s rivers are home to 90 per cent of the UK’s salmon population. For every 100 young salmon that go to sea, only five return as adult fish. The AST fears that numbers are dropping so dramatically that, at the current rate, the wild Atlantic salmon could disappear by the middle of the century.

Ness District Salmon Fishery Board has joined other boards and fishery organisations to secure information that could lead to answers to the decline.

The board’s team has just deployed the final acoustic receivers for this year's project. A total of 16 receivers have been positioned throughout the Ness river and canal system, enabling the tracking of juvenile salmon smolts as they leave their natal river and head out into the Moray Firth.

Monday, 22 March 2021 18:06

Popular writer and angler passes away

It is with the deepest regret that we have to report the death of Inverness Angling Club member Laurence Ford, a much respected journalist who reported angling matters in his Highland News column for many years. Laurence (71) followed in the traditions set by John Cathcart whose weekly ‘Black Shrimp’ column was required reading for hundreds of local anglers. Laurence upheld those traditions in perfect prose.

He passed away peacefully at his Inshes home on Sunday, surrounded by his family to whom club members send their deepest sympathies. The funeral service will be held at 12 noon on Wednesday, March 31, in the funeral home of William T Fraser and Son, Culduthel Road, under Government guidelines, and thereafter to Daviot Cemetery. The service will be streamed live through the William T Fraser web site.

Writer and angler: Laurence's column brought angling news to hundreds

Monday, 15 March 2021 15:13

New bench hides a mystery

Inverness Angling Club counts itself lucky to have a strong team of anglers who apply a range to skills to maintaining the riverside.

These skills include the construction and maintenance of benches which provide valuable points for resting between fishing sessions and having a chat with fellow members. They are also much appreciated by members of the public strolling the riverside.

But it seems the team has been joined by a mystery craftsman who has built and installed a superb new bench on the west bank of the Mill Stream, adjacent to Whin Park. Whoever you are, many thanks, as the old bench was in need of repairs. Your contribution is much appreciated.


Nice work: But who built the bench?

Friday, 12 March 2021 14:09

Club loses faithful member

Finlay MacGillivray, a keen long-term member of Inverness Angling Club, has died at the age of 80.

For many years, Finlay was a familiar figure on the east bank of the club’s River Ness fishings where he would put in fairly long shifts fishing through the Weir Pool and down the Mill Stream.

The club sends its deepest condolences to his wife June and to their family of Finlay, Kevin, Graham, Mark, Shirley and Ruth.

Monday, 22 February 2021 17:21

Board seeks bird count help

Several volunteers are required to assist the annual bird count carried out by the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board. Those who wish to help should contact president Alex Elliott. Contact details are listed in club membership cards.

The fishery board is able to control fish eating birds such as mergansers and goosanders, working to specific terms of annual licences based on numbers of the birds in the river system.

Friday, 05 February 2021 17:34

Temporary path closure

The footpath from the west of the Holm Mills Bridge up to the Caledonian Canal towpath will be closed temporarily from 0800 hours on Monday (February 8).

This is to allow the safe construction of a path that will allow pedestrians, cycles and wheelchairs to go under the bridge and access either the West Link footpaths or the canal towpath.

The closure will last for a maximum of five days. Pedestrian access will be maintained under the bridge, up the set of steps adjacent to the bridge and along to the existing access to the towpath.

Shut down: This path will be closed for five days. Acces to the canal towpath

will be via the steps on the immediate right

Monday, 01 February 2021 12:07

President toasts opening day

A snowy scene met Inverness anglers today (February 1) as they ventured out for a cast on the opening day of the Ness salmon season. With the opening celebration cancelled because of the coronavirus, club president Alex Elliott made the traditional toast to the river at the Mill Stream Pool.

He said: “It was disappointing to call off the opening day gathering but we were not prepared to risk the health of members. There is always a good attendance of anglers and their families and we missed them today, as well as Holm Mills manager Neil Soutar who usually sponsors the event.”

With the Ness running at a perfect level, anglers braved the heaviest snowfall of the winter to fish the Weir, Mill Stream, Macintyre and Little Isle Pools. There is always the hope of making contact with a springer running to the Moriston, Oich and Garry.

Blessing: Alex Elliott’s opening day toast is recorded by Inverness Courier photographer Calum Mackay

First cast: Alex wets a line and looks forward to a successful season

Tuesday, 19 January 2021 16:44

A membership reminder

As advised towards the end of the year, anglers seeking to renew or apply for membership of Inverness Angling Club for the 2021 season should do so through membership secretary John Ralph.

This followed the opening restrictions placed on shops like Inverness tackle dealers Grahams, a main point for membership renewal. John can be contacted by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Alernatively, he can be called on 01463 718010 or 07702889841. Please don't call after 8 pm.

Official information on membership of Inverness Angling Club can only be found on the club’s web site. Any similar web sites are not recognised by the club and have no role in presenting club or membership information.

Friday, 15 January 2021 17:07

River opening ceremony cancelled

Inverness Angling Club advises members and visitors that no formal ceremony will be staged for the opening of the salmon fishing season on the River Ness town fishings on Monday, February 1.

President Alex Elliott said: “The club committee feels that any gathering for an opening ceremony would flout current Covid-19 regulations and risk the health of those attending.

“Angling is permitted under current regulations and fishermen value the contribution it makes to their physical and mental health. Many of us will have been looking forward to getting out on the river for a cast.”

He added: “If you do go out on opening day, it’s important that you observe strict social distancing and sanitise your gear and hands after using any riverside installations. All huts will remain closed until further notice.”

Friday, 15 January 2021 14:51

Parking plans proposed for Little Isle

Negotiations continue with The Highland Council to maintain angler access to the Fisherman’s car park at the Little Isle Pool of the River Ness.

Council plans to introduce metered parking have caused Inverness Angling Club some concerns about the availability of traditionally free parking adjacent to one of the top salmon pools on the town fishings.

It is hoped that an early meeting with the council will secure a free parking arrangement for anglers. This would be secured by an appropriate windscreen display for parking wardens who will police the car park. Once approved, the ticket would be available to members and visiting anglers on application to the club.

Friday, 15 January 2021 14:49

Club renews board duty

Harry Fraser will represent the interests of Inverness Angling Club on the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board. As a member of the club committee, Harry has taken a particular interest in the work of the board, attending open meetings over the past couple of years.

Friday, 08 January 2021 09:33

Club loses dedicated member

Anglers who are regulars on the west bank of the MacIntyre Pool of the River Ness will be sad to hear of the passing of Alastair Macdonald. A long-term member of Inverness Angling Club, Alistair (88) was nicknamed ‘The Ghost’ for his quiet manner and style of fishing, His dedication to the river and the club was such that he wrote and self-published a book on the fishings. The club sends its deepest condolences to his wife Anne and family.

Thursday, 31 December 2020 16:10

A new year dawns

It has been a tough year. All of us have faced the possibility of contracting a dangerous virus. Some have caught it and come through. Others have suffered the most serious consequences. Tomorrow will see the start of a new year in which vaccines offer real hope for the future, and economic and social recovery.

In the great scheme of things, fishing may seem insignificant. For many of us, however, it makes an important contribution to physical and mental wellbeing. Regulations may prevent us from picking up a rod for a cast on the River Ness opening day on February 1. We shall have to wait and see. Meanwhile, Inverness Angling Club sends its best wishes to members, and anglers far and wide, for a successful and enjoyable season on river and loch. Stay safe - tight lines!


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