The River Alness, or Averon as it is also known locally, is one of the most picturesque salmon rivers in the Highlands, running for just 11 miles (18km) from Loch Morie into the Cromarty Firth, with a drop of 630ft (192m). The steep descent creates a multitude of fast flowing pools, and a variety of stunning scenery throughout its beats.
The salmon fishing on the River Alness is owned or controlled by 4 parties. Novar Estate own the majority of the fishings which are split into 2 different stretches of water, both double-banked. The upper Novar beats start below Loch Morie and extend for about 3 miles (5 km) downstream to the junction with the Blackwater. The lower Novar Fishings start about 2.3 miles further downstream and extend for a further 3.7 miles (6 km) ending just north of the town of Alness.
Alness Angling Club control the salmon and sea trout fishing on 2 beats of the River Alness as well as the estuary. There are also arrangements in place for AAC members to fish the Kildermorie beat, but not visitors.
The 5-year average for the club's own waters - Beats 2, 3 and the Estuary beat - is 136 salmon & grilse. The total catch return for 2015 for the club's beats was 139 salmon & grilse of which 100 were returned (72%), and 44 sea trout.
Beat Two - Novar/Crown Water
This beat extends from the lower limit of the Novar Fishings to opposite Cruive Cottage. Access is via a right of way through the Golf Course or from Coulhill by footpath through the wood.
Beat Three - Club Water
This beat extends from Cruive Cottage through to the new A9 road bridge. Fishing is from both banks above the road bridge in Alness, and from the left bank only below the Alness road bridge.
This beat extends from the A9 road bridge to the estuary on both banks.
The season for Alness Angling Club's waters is from March 15th to October 15th. The club's conservation policy provides for all fish to be returned before 30th June, and thereafter all fish over 10lbs to be returned. After June 30th, anglers are permitted to keep 2 salmon or grilse per day, and a maximum of 4 per week; once an angler has caught 2 fish (killed or released), that angler must then leave the water. Although the Club Water, downstream of the Averon Bridge, and the Novar waters are fly only, worming is permitted on the Crown and Estuary beats.
Visitor's permits are available from the Card Shop, High Street, Alness. Pricing is very reasonable, however there is no limit to the number of anglers fishing the club's beats at any time, so the beats may get busy when conditions are favourable.
Adult River £25.00
Junior River £7.50
Parent and Junior River £28.00
Estuary Beat Adult £7.50
Estuary Beat Junior £3.00
The River Glass, or Allt Graad is a small spate river, lying directly to the west of the River Alness. Its catchment drains the north and east slopes of Ben Wyvis, with a number of streams feeding into Loch Glass, and the Allt na Caorach burn which joins the river below the loch.
Loch Glass is a huge body of water, nearly 4 miles (6km) in length, lying at an elevation of 215m, and reaching depths of over 100m.
The main river runs for just 7.5 miles (~12 Km) from Loch Glass, falling some 700ft, and emerging into the Cromarty Firth about 2.5 miles to the south-west of the River Alness estuary.
Approximately 2.4 miles upstream from the firth is the spectacular Black Rock Gorge; a mile (1.6 km) in length, cut through old red sandstone, which reaches depths of 120ft (36m), while just being 1-2m wide in parts.
Black Rock Gorge is an impassable barrier to upstream salmon migration so from a fishing perspective effectively divides the river into 2 halves.
The only salmon fishing available is therefore below the gorge, most of which is controlled by Evanton Angling Club. The season runs April 1st to October 31st, with most fish caught during summer months; prospects being significantly improved by recent rainfall.
EVANTON ANGLING CLUB MEMBERSHIP
Membership of Evanton Angling Club is open to anyone. In addition to salmon fishing on the River Glass, members can enjoy the benefit of brown trout fishing available by boat on Loch Glass, and Loch Bad a' Bhathaich.
Adult Membership (IV16 postcode) £45.00/year
Adult Membership (outside IV16) £50.00/year
Junior Membership £10.00/year*
Membership applications are available at the Cornerstones cafe in Evanton, or you can contact David Smith, the Club Treasurer on 01349 831019.
Visitor's permits can be purchased from the Cornerstones cafe in the village of Evanton.
River Glass £20/week
Loch Bad a' Bhathaich (boat hire + 2 permits) £30/day
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