Tackle Advice

Tackle for Salmon for large and smaller rivers

The tackle you decide to use will depend on the time of year and height of water. Generally speaking, a 15ft rod will cover all eventualities on the system throughout the year, as the Connon tends to be on the large side.

A single-handed 10-11 foot fly rod with floating or sink tip, and intermediate lines of AFTM 6-10 provides excellent sport for sea trout and grilse when the water is low during the summer months, especially on the smaller rivers.

Regarding lines, it is generally accepted that a floating line with a range of sink tips or an intermediate line will see you through most conditions through the season. None of the rivers on the system have any extreme depth.

Again fly choice will depend on the time of year. In the spring and autumn weighted tube flies may be required, but if the water is low, flies tied on larger doubles or trebles will be sufficient. In summer bring doubles and trebles down to a size 12 or even smaller on some tributaries. Flies such as the black shrimp and the nessc were devised on the River Ness, and often prove to be the anglers choice regardless of the season.

Personal safety

Waders are necessary on most beats with chest waders being preferred by most anglers. From a health and safety a wading staff (ensure that the end is weighted and has a rubber stopper to minimise vibration), eye protection, and life jackets are recommended.

Favourite flies

The experienced angler will always have favourites, but in general, spring and autumn, 2 inch tubes and Waddington's fish well. A good guide for fly colours is the time of year. In spring, fish natural spring colours and in autumn, fish natural autumn colours. Stoat's Tail, Willie Gunn, Ally's Shrimp in size 8-10 doubles are also worth carrying.

For sea trout and grilse, Teal Blue and Silver, Peter Ross, Stoat's Tail and Invicta in sizes 10-12 together with light tubes of 1/2 inch are ideal.

Further advice can be obtained from Roger Dowsett

Full-time guide/instructor covering the Rivers Alness and Conon for salmon, Loch Eye plus many more lochs in Ross-shire, Caithness & Sutherland for wild brown trout. 01349 830606

Hiring/buying tackle

Visiting and local anglers are able to purchase tackle from local tackle shops and mail order outlets. Those marked with an asterisk (*) in the following list of suggestions also hire out equipment.

Tackle shops