River Nairn Angling Association 2017





AGM Date


The Nairn angling association Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday 12th December 2017, starting 7.30 in st ninian bowling clubhouse viewfield, Nairn.







The river level dropped away all week, with no fresh water but the catches were still good. Monday and a grilse was caught by Charlie Black and Gordon Rennie had 2 both released. Tuesday was the best day of the week, with Billy Milne catching 4 grilse retaining 1, Gordon Rennie a 10 lb salmon and grilse both released, Charlie Walker had his 1st of the season a 6 lb grilse, John Mackintosh a grilse and David Johnstone a grilse. Wednesday and Davie Campbell had 3 grilse 1 released, and Kevin Graham a 3 lb sea trout released. Thursday and Gordon Rennie had a grilse and David Wilson a grilse. Friday and Gordon Rennie had 2 grilse released and David Wilson another grilse. Saturday and Charlie Walker had a great mornings sport with 2 grilse 1 released and a 15 lb salmon released. The river rose on saturday evening and should be good for monday, but not a lot of rain is in the forecast, so levels will drop away.

The week was marred by the capture of 3 pink pacific salmon by the River Bailiff at Spindrift. Several were seen spawning and he managed to remove 2 males and a female that had already spawned. Anglers are requested to kill any caught and to notify Ali Skinner the bailiff or Bob Laughton of the Findhorn Nairn and Lossie Fishery Trust, who will take the fish away for analysis.    




The week started off with a nice level for fishing and was topped up twice during the week with small rises. Monday and Gordon Rennie had 2 grilse he released, Eric Summers had his first fish of the season a lovely sea liced 5 lb grilse, Billy Milne a grilse released, Kelvin Fraser a grilse and Kevin Graham 2 cracking salmon of 12 lbs and 10 lbs both released, fishing in the evening. Tuesday and Davie Mackintosh had a 4 lb grilse. Wednesday and John Macdougall had a grilse, Thomas Lobar a grilse, and John Mackintosh also a grilse. Thursday saw Ali Skinner have his 1 st of the season a cracking 12 lb salmon he released. Friday and Davie Campbell had a grilse and the week finished off on saturday with John Mackintosh landing another grilse. There seemed to be a lack of fish about and it was a case of being in the right place at the right time. Hopefully this coming week will see the needed rain and get things moving.  




The river remained low on Monday but on Tuesday Nairn town had an inch of monsoon rain. Obviously this never fell in the catchment area as the river only rose a few inches on tuesday evening, but plenty fish ran the river. The river fell away again until thursday night saw a big rise up top and friday was almost unfishable with a rising water. Tuesday and Gordon Rennie had a grilse he released and new member Dr MacMillan had his first ever salmon, a nice grilse of 3 lbs. Wednesday was the main day and the pools were stuffed with fresh salmon and grilse jumping in all the pools. Davie Campbell had 3 grilse releasing 1, Charlie Black had 2 grilse and a 4 lb sea trout he released, John Macdougall a sea trout he released, Gordon Rennie a grilse he released and David Wilson had his 1st grilse of the season. Thursday and the level had dropped away but Gordon Rennie continued his good spell with 2 grilse released and Pat Jackson from Peterhead had his first catch of the season with a sea liced grilse he kept and another coloured grilse he released. In spite of the big water on friday, David Johnstone had a 10 lb salmon and Gordon Rennie a 4 lb grilse. Saturday and 10 were caught and the successful anglers were Billy milne with 3 grilse 2 released, Gordon Rennie 3 grilse 2 released, Thomas Lobar a grilse, John MacDougall a grilse, Davie Mackintosh a grilse and finally junior member Robert Johnstone landed a cracking 12 lb salmon which should win him the junior trophy at the end of the year. The river has risen again on sunday so this week should be good, but with not much more rain in the forecast the  1st 2 or 3 days will be best. Most of these fish were caught on fly.  Best flies were Cascade and Allys.  



There have been several reports of foreign Pacific salmon, sometimes called pink salmon, being found in Scottish rivers.  Recently they have been caught in the Ness and the Spey.  We have been told that Pacific salmon have also been caught in the Alness and Conon rivers. These fish are a risk to the river if they are able to spawn and they should be killed when caught.  If you catch a Pacific salmon please kill it and contact the bailiffs who may wish to take samples to identify where it came from.  

Pacific pink salmon, when fresh from the sea, are steel blue to blue-green on their backs, silver on the flanks and white on their bellies. There are large black spots on the backs, upper flanks, adipose fins and tail – some of the spots on the tail can be as large as the fish’s eyes. They are very uniform in size, reaching only 40 to 60cms in length.







The river remained low throughout the week and is now well below summer level. Fishing conditions were very difficult and the fish caught were all caught in the late evening. In spite of the forecasts very little rain fell all week. This week seems to be better with some heavy rain coming. Catches were pretty awful with only small grilse caught. Monday and Gordon Rennie had a 4lb grilse released. Wednesday and Thomas Lobar 3 lbs, thursday and Gordon had another 4 lbs released, friday and Gordon had a  2 lbs released and the week finished on saturday with Hughie Fraser landing a 2 lbs grilse.

The harbour area is full of small grilse jumping and with the dolphins just offshore there are obviously a lot of fish still to come.  




The river remained low throughout the week and is now below summer level. Fishing conditions were difficult and the fish caught were all caught in the late evening. It was blank up until friday when Jimmy Mackenzie and his fishing pal Billy Hossack each had grilse of 4 lbs and 3 lbs. Sandy Wallace also had a 7 lbs salmon the same day. We badly need some rain to get things going again but the grilse are still running in the low water so its worth a try early mornings or late evening. The forecast for the coming week does not have much rain in it.   




The river was till a nice height at the start of the week but dropped away quickly again, but a 6 inch rise on friday saw saturday as being the best day. Catches were below average though and the main grilse run have yet to appear in any numbers, and with a dry week ahead, going out first thing in the morning or last thing at night seem to be the best options. Teusday saw Gordon Rennie with a nice 10 lbs salmon and John MacDougall had a 3 lb sea trout. Thursday and Gordon Rennie had the 1 st grilse he returned. Saturday was the best day with Gordon Rennie 8 lbs. John Mackintosh 10 lbs, Billy Milne a grilse released, after losing 2 double figure salmon and John MacDougall landing 2 salmon weights unknown.





The river remained very low for the last 2 weeks until wednesday when it rained all day and night.

It was unfishable thursday and part of friday with another massive flood, which once again has caused some more gravel movement. Catches were disappointing on saturday due to high water, and of course sunday would have been the best day as so often happens. Only 1 salmon was caught by Bill Nicholson 10 lbs and 2 sea trout of 3 lbs by Gordon Rennie and David Johnstone. Next week should be good given the lovely water.




The Nairn remained at a good level for fishing until friday when it had dropped back to pretty low again. Catches were very good for some lucky anglers. Monday saw Gordon Rennie land an 11 lb salmon, Billy Milne with a 9 lb salmon, Eddie Wallace a 9 lb and  John Mackintosh a 9 lb salmon. Tuesday saw 6 in the book with Gordon Rennie scoring again with 9 lb and 7 lb salmon both released and a 2 1/2 lb sea trout, Billy Milne had an 8 lb salmon,  Charlie Black 11 lb salmon and new member Maciej Dubanowski had his 1 st salmon ever at 12 lbs and also landed a 3 lb sea trout from the same pool so congratulations to him, and Mr Fraser from Cawdor had a 10 lb salmon. Wednesday and Charlie Black had a 7 lb salmon he released. Thursday and things quietened down and only 2 were caught with Davie Campbell losing a good salmon then landing his 1 st fish of the season, a nice 5 lb fish and Charlie Black had a 9 lb salmon. Friday and Billy Maitland landed a cracking 12 lb salmon for his first of the season. Saturday and Jake Steven had a 7 lb salmon.      

Successful flies were Cascade, Allys Shrimp, Pink Willie  and Willie Gunn. Levels are going to drop further and with no rain forecast next week it may be a struggle. Sea trout are on the go though and its is worth a shot in the evening with small flies.






Low water prevailed at the start of the week until tuesday, when it rained all day then all night. A 2 meter flood on wednesday made the river unfishable, and resulted in major gravel movement and also bank damage and trees deposited in some pools. Anglers should beware as some bits of the river that were easily crossed are now deepened. Thursday saw a drop in the level, and some anglers were successful with Billy Milne landing a cracking 5 lb sea trout he released. Jim Fulton had a 4lb grilse he released, Kelvin Fraser landed a 9 lb salmon spinning and an unknown angler had a 12 lb salmon. Friday and the river rose again, but Sandy Wallace managed an 8 lb salmon spinning. Saturday and levels were back down but still high. Catches were a bit disappointing, but Gordon Rennie managed a cracking 9 lb sea liced salmon, Brian Herbert a 2 lb sea trout and David Johnstone a 4 lb sea trout. Plenty fish were seen running, but the fish seemed reluctant to take.  River levels are back to a nice height and this week should see plenty of action, but more rain seems to be in the forecast.







Low water prevailed once again all week and the river is at its lowest for many years now. We had heavy rain all day on saturday and the river rose 3 inches but is falling away already. Jake Stevens went out on Saturday night and managed to catch a 3 lb sea trout in Town Water but plenty sea trout have been seen in the estuary, and they will have run on Saturday in the fresh water so next week could be very good.








Anglers please note with immediate effect we no longer have the Clava / Leanach fishings as the new owner has decided to make the fishing private.


Low water prevailed on monday and tuesday but the snow and gales made fishing almost impossible anyway. Wednesday saw the river rising and we had a good lift in levels. Charlie Walker had a sea liced 4 lb sea trout on wednesday on fly, and a shoal of sea trout was also seen early morning running up at Firhall. Friday saw Kevin Graham from Inverurie land  nice 3 lb sea trout. Apart from that it was a bit disappointing with no salmon caught, but a few were hooked and lost. The river has now dropped back and is almost at summer level again and with no rain in the forecast it will drop further. The smolt trap has been working again, and 4000 were caught during 1 day, which is exceptional.





Low water all week again, and still no sign of any appreciable rain this week. It did not stop Sandy Ord however, who fishes only the Town Water every morning, and he duly caught the first fish after the 31 st March moratorium. It was a 7 lb sea licer and wins him the Graeme Moffat memorial trophy. Conditions are still not good however, with the very low water persisting. The river is now in need of a good flush to get things moving again. Hopefully we will get back to normal levels soon.  





Once again it was low water all week and we are now below summer level. No catches once again this week, and prospects do not look good, as very little rain is in the forecast. Sea trout have been seen running in the estuary so it is worth a shot in the evening with the usual sea trout flies. The smolt trap has stopped turning due to the low water and has been raised to prevent any fish entering. Hopefully we will get back to normal levels soon and get back out for a cast.  




As predicted, there was almost no rain at all and as a result I have heard of no fish being caught all week. The river is now at summer level and badly needs some fresh water but the coming week does not appear to have any rain at all. April can be a great month on the Nairn for springers so lets hope we get some decent rain soon. The smolt trap has been in action and is doing well so early in the season with plenty smolts, parr, trout and even a lamprey. The main migration is usually May when the count really takes off. April also sees the arrival of the sea trout and the Nairn can be very prolific in April and May for these lovely fish.

The usual Willie Gunn is recommended with Cascade and Allys also worth a try.  





Best week this year on the Nairn with some great spring fish caught and released. The previous week Sandy Wallace had a cracking 14 lb fish. Water levels were very good at the start of the week but the lack of rain has meant levels are down now. This week, monday started off with Gordon Rennie netting a 10 lb salmon. Tuesday saw 3 caught with Gordon once again on the mark with a 16 lb salmon, Stewart Hayden a 10 lb salmon and Charlie Black also with a 10 lb fish. Saturday saw John Macdougall land a 9 lb salmon. All fish were caught on fly. The week ahead is going to be a struggle but as the fish are in, dropping a fly size or two should still attract a fish in the lowish water. Very little rain seems to be in the forecast. The usual Willie Gunn is recommended with Cascade and Allys also worth a try.  









The weather once again last week, was not good with high winds and pretty cold, last year at this time we had caught 3 however Adrian Ormerod has managed to get the club off to a start with the first fish of the season at around 7lb on a Cascade. The week ahead looks even worse with snow and very cold weather on the way. Still worth a try though as fresh fish will be in somewhere, if you can stand the cold.

The smolt trap goes in this week so we are looking for volunteers to man the trap on a daily basis. Ali Skinner the bailiff is the man to call. His number is on your permit. The usual Willie Gunn is recommended with Cascade and Allys also worth a try.






The work parties have now finished thanks to all would put some great effort in. That's the first full week of the new season over, but with constantly rising and falling water every day, it did not give good conditions. Despite this, a few hardy anglers did venture out but the only fish that were caught were all well mended kelts. One angler was in double figures for his week. Given that the Findhorn is doing very well, there are bound to be fresh fish in the Nairn now, and I am sure the 1 st fish will be caught this week. The usual Willie Gunn is recommended with Cascade and Allys also worth a try.  



The season opens on Saturday 4th March with the opening ceremony at the Jubilee Bridge at 10.00 am. Volunteers are required to help our water bailiff with the Smolt trap which will be installed at Milton bridge from late March until the end of May.  Please phone him on his mobile (0782 5554808) if you wish to volunteer, he will be delighted to have assistance it is also very interesting to see !


The 2nd  river work party is taking place on Sunday 12th February to clear paths and trees before opening. Please attend at Kildrummie Farm at 10.00am if you wish to volunteer - we have tools and gloves. **Some really excellent work has recently been done by members at Jocks and the Howford bridge. See our Gallery page **


If you haven’t fished the Nairn then why not consider it for 2017, the club has extensive fishing from the lower river to the upper reaches. Springers can be caught from opening day and most are in the 12-17lb range. With the seatrout runs also seeing significant improvement it has to be worth a cast !


Season 2016 summary


Despite some prolonged low water the 2016 season on the Nairn was actually a very good one indeed. Early indications of just how healthy the River Nairn  can be seen from the results from the smolt trap operated early in the season by the NDSFB where they recorded more than 8,000 salmon smolts. Anglers also reported good numbers of seatrout present in the system this year, if more people were to try fishing for these fish then the results might be quite surprising. Overall and  despite many anglers reporting loosing a larger number of fish than normal, the recorded returns for the year were still very good.


Salmon   42

Grilse    332

Seatrout  89


It is of great credit to the members of the club that the number of returned fish this year was in excess of 70%, the vast majority being caught on the Fly. The committee are working hard to ensure we can improve on this number for the forthcoming 2017 season.




The Nairn season runs from March 1st to 7th October and day or weekly tickets are available to visiting anglers. Methods are Fly and Worm, Spinning is also allowed when water levels are above the spinning marks.


For a relatively small river it can be very productive, both in terms of the quality of fish caught and the quantity. Often called "The little Gem" the Nairn can provide fantastic sport for local anglers and visiting fishers alike.


River Bailiff  0782 5554808


The Nairn Angling Association holds 8 miles of fishing offering the angler some of the best Salmon & Sea Trout Association water in Scotland. The fishing's are over some 7 beats and include some excellent fly water.


The Nairn Angling Association dates back to 1923 and its aim is to promote and improve fishing, on an 8 mile stretch of the river Nairn for both local people and visitors alike.


The River Nairn rises in headstreams on the slopes of Carn Ghriogair in the Monadhliath Mountains and flows North-Eastwards through Strathnairn for 38 miles to empty into the Moray Firth at Nairn.


The Nairn Angling Association holds 8 miles of fishing offering the angler some of the best Salmon & Sea Trout Association water in Scotland. The fishing's are over some 7 beats and include some excellent fly water.


The Nairn Angling Association dates back to 1923 and its aim is to promote and improve fishing, on an 8 mile stretch of the river Nairn for both local people and visitors alike.