North Inverness-shire








Location map of North Inverness-shire.

For the purposes of this site, North Inverness-shire is defined as the area drained by the River Ness system and its neighbouring River Beauly catchment, both of which pour into the Beauly Firth.

The Ness catchment is the largest in the Northern Highlands extending over 60 miles to the south west. The system is dominated by Loch Ness into which the Moriston and Oich (& Garry) and some minor tributaries drain. The River Ness itself flows from Loch Ness to the sea; a short distance of just 6.5 miles.

To the north is the Beauly catchment that reaches more then 40 miles to the south west with 2 main tributaries that meet about 12 miles from the Beauly Firth; the Glass and the Farrar.

Both river systems were harnessed for hydro-electric power in the 1950s and ‘60s, with the development of several dams and power stations, which have a major effect on the fishing today.

On the Ness system, power stations on the Garry and Moriston create significantly variable river flows downstream, though the effect on River Ness levels is dampened by the huge surface area of Loch Ness.

The Beauly system is dominated by hydro-electric schemes that influence both the fishing and salmonid migration. There are 2 dams/power stations on the main stem of the River Beauly (both with Borland lifts) and another 4 power stations upstream on its tributaries.

Increased water storage on both systems means that water levels are generally good, even in periods of low rainfall. 

North Inverness-shire Trout Lochs & Rivers

Loch Beannacharan
Loch Beannacharan is a sizeable trout loch situated about 6.5 miles up Glen Strathfarrar from the junction with the River Glass.
Boat hire from Eagle Brae. Tel: 01463 761301.

Loch Ruthven
A beautiful trout loch and nature reserve situated about 10 miles to the south of Inverness. A sizeable loch at about 2 miles in length, east to west, with no petrol or electric outboard motors allowed. Trout average ¾ lb with a few fish up to 2 lb.
Permits from Graham's tackle shop Inverness. Tel: 01463 233178.

Loch Knockie
Loch Knockie is a picturesque tree-lined loch about 1.25 miles in length, near the village of Whitebridge on the south side of Loch Ness. Good numbers of free-taking trout in the ½-¾ lb class, with occasional fish over the 1 lb mark.
Boat hire from the Whitebridge Hotel & Knockie Estate. Tel: 01456 486737.

River Ness

Main Season: Mar-Oct 15th Category: 1

The River Ness is an extremely wide river, that flows for just 6.5 miles from Loch Dochfour at the northern end of Loch Ness, through to Inverness, where it pours out into the Beauly Firth. 

The first 3.5 miles below the loch are the private beats: Dochfour & Laggan, Ness Castle and Ness-side. Inverness Angling Club control the fishing on the remainder of the river as it continues through the centre of Inverness.

Dochfour & Laggan
Two individual 3-rod beats totalling 2.2 miles. The Upper beat begins below the weir at Loch Dochfour and comprises 7 pools; the Lower beat is made up of the former lower Dochfour beat and the Laggan beat.
Online booking through FishPal.

Inverness Angling Club Beat
Inverness Angling Club have 3 miles of double-banked fishing, extending from just upstream of the Holm Mills Weir to the sea. The first mile or so, through the Ness Islands is particularly attractive and offers some excellent fly water over 10 pools.
Visitor permits from Graham’s tackle shop in Inverness (Tel: 01463 233178), or book online with FishPal.

River Beauly

Main Season: Mar-Oct 15th Category: 2

The main stem of the River Beauly begins at the confluence of the rivers Glass and Farrar, with the Upper Beauly fishings, which extend for about 2.5 miles downstream. Below that, is the 'Middle Beauly', a slow moving section of river and gorges dominated by two hydro-electric power stations and their associated dams.

Below Kilmorack Dam are the Lower Beauly Fishings, the prime beats, that span 5 miles of river to the Lovat Bridge on the A862, where the Beauly A.C. Estuary Beat begins.

Fortunately the dams are limited obstacles to migrating salmon, as both structures include Borland fish lifts, allowing the salmon passage to the Upper Beauly, Glass and Farrar, though the two main tributaries that extend to Glen Affric and Glen Cannich and to Glen Strathfarrar respectively must be considered as summer rivers.

Upper Beauly Beat
The Upper Beauly comprises about 2.5 miles of fishing starting at the confluence of the Glass and Farrar rivers. 2 x 3-rod beats: Eskadale & Aigas. This is a summer beat; fishing typically beginning in July when salmon begin to clear the Aigas dam.
Visitor permits can be booked online with FishPal.

Beauly Angling Club - Estuary Beat
Beauly A.C. have salmon fishing on the River Beauly for around 2 miles downstream from Lovat Bridge; 10 named pools. There is also sea trout fishing available on the inner half of the Beauly Firth.
Visitor permits from Graham’s tackle shop in Inverness (Tel: 01463 233178), or book online with FishPal.