The River Alness (also known as the Averon) has a catchment area of 205 square kilometres, rising in the high hills of the Kildermorie deer forest in Easter Ross and flowing for 24 miles to enter the tidal waters of the Cromarty Firth. From its source the river flows for 11 miles gathering water from numerous burns to Loch Morie. The outlet from Loch Morie is partially controlled by a small dam with a fish pass. Although the Alness is a spate river, flow can be regulated to provide compensation flow and occasional freshets through periods of low rainfall
The main stem of the Alness is one of the most picturesque salmon rivers in the Highlands, running for just 11 miles from Loch Morie into the Cromarty Firth, with a drop of 600ft. The steep descent provides for a multitude of fast flowing pools, and stunning and varied scenery throughout its beats. Approximately 3 miles downstream from the loch, the main river is joined by the Blackwater tributary. The river then flows through woodland and permanent grassland. For the last 4 miles or so the river cuts through old red sandstone and conglomerates, providing dramatic holding pools, before reaching the town of Alness.
An angler fishing the Alness
The River Alness.
The Conon system, by far the largest north of the Great Glen, drains 400 square miles of Ross-shire's high mountains and moorland. Bordered in broad-brush terms by the Beauly to the south, the Ewe to the west and the Carron to the north, it is supplied by a fan-like formation of four main tributaries, each between 20 and 30 miles long; they are in clock-wise order the Orrin, the Meig, the Bran and the Blackwater. The Conon itself has a course of some 12 miles from the Conon Falls, initially Highland in character before flowing through the rich pastures and arable fields to its mouth at the southern end of the Cromarty Firth by Dingwall.
The River Connon