The Alness River is a classic highland spate river. After leaving Loch Morie the river falls over 600 feet as it runs through wild unspoiled moorland and forest along its ten mile course to the Cromarty Firth, which it joins south east of Alness. The Alness River has an excellent population of juvenile fish and the river is used only to provide water for the two distilleries that are located near its banks.
The Alness Angling Club has over 2 miles of largely double bank fishing at the bottom of the River Alness, also known locally as the River Averon. This includes The Upper Novar beat 2, and the Novar and Crown beats 2 combined with the Club’s own waters that extend to include the river estuary. The beats have a number of named pools which can be found on the maps in the links tab above.
The river opens in early February with a traditional ‘blessing of the river’ ceremony but fishing is not permitted on the beats, excluding the estuary, until 15th March to allow kelts to return safely to sea. Fishing on the estuary is available from 1st April. Salmon runs generally begin in May to June and continues throughout the remainder of the season with highest numbers being caught as the river rises or falls and especially towards the end of the season. Sea trout appear slightly later and are most frequently located in the estuary water and the lower parts of the river. A good number of double figure fish are caught each year.
Most of the water is fly only with worming permitted on some designated sections, subject to the Club regulations which should be downloaded from the Angling Club website. Worming is not permitted after 15th September and spinning, or the use of spinning tackle, is not permitted at any time. The use of barbless hooks is encouraged.
Bank access is generally good with stiles where necessary. Easiest access is on the right bank above the town bridge and on the left bank below the town bridge. Wading is not generally necessary.
A 12/13 ft fly rod is suitable for all conditions and in the summer 10-11 ft rods can be employed successfully . Favourite flies include Cascade, Yellow Ally's and Stoats Tail, all in small sizes or in small tubes. In high water larger flies and tubes are successful.