All Comments and Fishing Reports

Below you can find all comments and fishing reports left on the site (most recent first).

  • General Comments   10 years 47 weeks ago

    My wife and I spent a lovely early July fortnight in North Assynt, fishing now and then, and I very much endorse the view that there is a balance between trying to popularise the fishing and managing the resource. On the five days we fished we covered 10 lochs and lochans, Loch Drumbeg, Loch Daraich, Loch an Fada, Loch Poll, Loch an Tolla Bhaid, Loch na Loinne,Loch Toor nan Uidhean,unnamed lochan by the Drumbeg peat road, Loch Crocach, unnamed lochan to the south east of Crocach, Gorm Loch Mor, and Gorm Loch Beg. Overall we caught 86 trout (breakdown by by loch fish and fly available if needed)on standard wet flies (mainly butcher, stoat's tail, invicta, sizes 8 to 12), sized from 2oz tiddly to about 1lb solid, and all were released safely. We did this not because we didn't want a tasty breakfast or fish course with dinner, but because we didn't know how much pressure each loch was under and whether it was a "keep all you take" situation of a loch with very successful breeding but inadequate food supplies for the fish that hatched and survived, or a "keep only fish over 9in" where the younger fish need the bigger fish out of the way, or a "take only fish under 8in " where the fish will grow but only if their ranks are thinned selectively, or "take only one fish please" where the food supply is good and the fish grow well, but the breeding success is poor - etc etc.

    If the key question for the research is "How do we protect the natural resource and heritage whilst maximising benefits for local communities?" ....and the "whilst" bit of the question says we need lots of visitors buying goods and services, but not if that destroys what they have come for.....then the information gathering should surely focus on the resource - which lochs have good food supplies and good breeding success?(lots of all sorts), which lochs have poor breeding success and good food supplies (few big fish), which lochs have good breeding success and poor food supplies (lots of tiddlers) - how big is each loch and what is the number of trout it holds and what is their age profile (lots of field work needed for that) so how many trout can be taken at what sizes from which lochs to safely manage the resource without damaging it (always allowing the nesting divers to have "first dibs"). Is the research programme well enough resourced and is the information flowing in adequate to make informed decisions within a couple of years as to how various Lochs and Lochans should be fished to manage the resource most effetively?

    I have to conclude by saying I hope to be able to come back time and time again and find things only getting better.

  • Fionn Loch   10 years 48 weeks ago

    I first fished here on a number of occasions in 1969 and caught good sized fish from the boat and from the stream between Fionn and Veyatie. My friend and I fished here on two occasions in the past two years, however, and apart from a 1lb fish from the stream we caught large numbers of 6ozs trout. Truly beautiful place to fish but is this a loch where increased angling pressure/divers etc might improve current size of fish.

  • Unnamed lochans near Loch Crocach and Cnoc nan Caorach.   10 years 48 weeks ago

    Hi Matt, Dave,

    Thanks very much for both your comments and interest in the site. Can I say first that we welcome the debate - it's only through the input of anglers that we can get feedback for the research. Matt - we understand your concerns and are very aware of the issues you raise which have been a well documented issue elsewhere (and in fields other than angling). We have a member of our team who is very experienced in researching these issues.

    Sorry if this is a bit long, but we wanted to respond fully. I would like to make a few points about what we are trying to achieve.

    i) We would never have developed this site without full consultation with local angling (and other) groups and we would take their steer if they thought this was in any way irresponsible. They don't - indeed people have welcomed it.
    ii) As Dave says, receipts from angling are a critical source of income: for the ACT it is their biggest source of external income; for the AAG money made is reinvested so angling can be improved; for tourist related businesses it is an important element of business (through the research we wish to provide evidence of just how important).
    iii) The site addresses one of the key issues that angling groups locally have reported to us - that they don't get much feedback (eg 6 catch returns in a year) as to where people are fishing, what they are catching, what they are keeping etc.. They need that information to help inform their work.
    iv) One important factor is that there are very significant limitations in terms of infrastructure to increasing the amount of anglers and pressure on more remote lochans to any great degree. These include - Assynt's location; the limited number of places to stay; the majority demand on accommodation from people who are not fishing, which isn't likely to diminish; the sheer size of the area and number and diversity of lochs; the location of many lochs in places that most anglers are not prepared to walk to; the at times 'challening' nature of angling there and the overwhelming preponderance of smaller fish in many lochs...
    In short, the idea that Assynt will become a mass angling tourist destination with coach parties turning up to empty all the small lochans isn't likely.
    v) There are of course concerns if people start taking lots of fish from smaller/remote lochans, especially larger fish. However, our evidence so far is that the trend is the other way - there are far more people practising catch and release than used to be the case. Local advice, such as Cathel's new booklet, stress the need to be responsible in this regard. I like Dave's suggestion of people adding info for lochs about which are better for taking a small fish for the table and where none should be taken.
    vi) As Dave says, much of this information is already out there and people have been reporting catches in one way or another since at least the mid 19th century.

    Overall, if the site supports the efforts of those locally to increase angling numbers a small percentage, informs them about who is fishing where and catching what, helps increase numbers at times of low demand (the 'shoulders' of the season), spreads the pressure to more lochs, and thus increases the benefits from the natural resources in Assynt for the local community, then that surely is a good thing?

    Finally, that fish was one I caught. And it was still in there when I left it!
    Thanks, Adam

  • Unnamed lochans near Loch Crocach and Cnoc nan Caorach.   10 years 48 weeks ago

    An interesting post, Matt; since it seems to be addressed to me, I feel I should reply. I've fished Assynt for about 20 years and well understand the fragile nature of these small loch systems. They should be treated with respect and any sizeable fish should be returned. For those like me for whom a trout breakfast and supper is part of the trip, there are plenty of lochs with an over abundance of fish which can take, and in fact need, a reasonable cull. Perhaps the descriptions of lochs should indicate where restraint should be practised and where breakfast can be obtained.
    Your point about information on this site is understandable,
    after all, we don't want to make things too easy for the bubblefloat, worm and mepps brigade, but this info has been in the public domain for years. Many of the nameless lochans are mentioned and grid referenced in Bruce Sandison's excellent guidebook, yet they still survive and prosper.
    You have to remember that anging tourism makes an important contribution to the local economy (over £5000 in permit sales last year), and the Crofters have every right to encourage it. This site has the potential not just to inform, but to educate, so that we can all enjoy yet conserve these precious fishings. As you say yourself, it takes time to develop your knowledge and appreciation.
    Regards,
    Dave Ellison

    PS on the Cnoc nan Caorach page there is a photo of a large fish. I didn't post it; not my fish.

  • Unnamed lochans near Loch Crocach and Cnoc nan Caorach.   10 years 49 weeks ago

    These small lochs are very sensitive to fishing pressure. I know one of the lochs you are talking about, its small and has nice fish. You have to remember there may only be a few fish in such lochs. I don't think such web sites are doing angling or wildlife a service by making this information known. Wild brown trout fishing in the hills is a private experience that you develop over time and learn respect for the hills and nature.
    Matt Wright.

  • General Comments   10 years 49 weeks ago
  • Loch Druim Suardalain (The Glen Loch)   10 years 49 weeks ago

    Fished for a few hours on Monday evening (27th July). Caught about 10 trout to 11", drifting between the islands and along the north shore. Golden Olive bumble was the most successful fly. No sign of sea-trout.

  • Loch Cul Fraoich   10 years 49 weeks ago

    Squally wind.
    Rose four, caught one of three quarters, from bank.

  • Loch Cul Fraoich   10 years 49 weeks ago

    Almost flat calm conditions. Lots of Buzzer shucks on the water and few adults in the air. Covered three rising fish with drys, took two on Yellow Owl Shuttlecock and one on Suspender Buzzer. Fish were 13", 13" and 17", had to chuck it early midges were biting better than the fish.
    Great water well worth a visit.
    Note, not a difficult walk from road, 200yards max.

    SCAPAFLOW

  • Loch Cul Fraoich   10 years 49 weeks ago

    Fished early evening in a strong SW wind. Took two fish around 9.5" on a Silver Muddler FI line. Wind got up and I took a nice fish also on the muddler of 14.5" and dropped what I think was a bigger fish moments later. Had to throw in the towel at this point as casting was impossible due to wind.

    SCAPAFLOW

  • General Comments   10 years 50 weeks ago
  • Loch Braigh a' Bhaile   10 years 50 weeks ago

    Cracking waters to fish but appear fishless! that was until my last cast on loch nan gobhar.I noticed many waterboatmen so i put an imitation on and caught the trout of a lifetime of at at least two and a half pounds.This was carefully returned to give another angler the thrill it gave me.Need a boat on loch dubh!!!!

  • General Comments   10 years 50 weeks ago
  • Loch a Choireachain   10 years 50 weeks ago

    Lots of trout in all sizes from 4oz up to a few half pounders.Flies to try loch ordie and anything black.Only 2 mins from the road and easy to fish from the bank.Not listed on angling club or crofters permits!

  • Lochan Sgeireach   10 years 50 weeks ago

    Although it may appear unlikely to those that do not know the boundaries, this loch is on land owned by the Assynt Estate, and that is why it is listed in A.A.G. literature. As a very rough guide, all of the land located to the south of the road there, is so owned. Assynt Crofter's Trust own all of the the land to the north side of the road. And you're right, it is dour, very dour, but the biggies are there. You have to persevere!!

    From the Author.

  • Lochan Sgeireach   10 years 50 weeks ago

    Surely this loch is on the Assynt Crofters permit.
    Man, it's dour !!

  • Unnamed lochans near Clashnessie   10 years 51 weeks ago

    Access. Park at beach, walk up past 'phone box and post box, follow signed 'footpath to the waterfall' but head off uphill, to the left, before you reach the 'fall.
    Hot and sunny with a light breeze from the sea. Fished 5 - 6 p.m. and landed several nice pan-sized fish (all returned).
    Flies used: dry #12's Black Pennel and Kate McLaren. Started at waterfall and fished the north side to the first narrow, where a golden eagle took off from the rocks there!...quite spectacular, and a big bonus to a nice hours fishing.
    WARNING: the flats between the fingers of rock, which look sandy and firm are NOT! Walk around them. I sank up to my knees and nearly lost my boots!
    Louis, from the Scottish Borders.

  • Loch Cul Fraoich   10 years 51 weeks ago

    As one of the four float tubers I can say we had the best few days(nights?) sport since first fishing it 3 years ago. By successful I mean I had around 6 fish up to 15" on Deer Hair Sedges & Sedgehogs for four evenings. One of our group had fish to 18" and saw a fish which he first noticed as two 'pyramids' in the water till they moved - he tried to catch it but it just moved away - a really big fish. I think the wind really helped, previously we fished in much calmer conditions with less success, though we've all had the obligatory 'dustbin lid' boil at our flies.

  • Loch Cul Fraoich   11 years 2 days ago

    Cloud, wind and first colder day for ages. Headed up around 10pm for an hour and a half to find 10 other anglers there, including 4 in float tubes! Never seen more than two here at once. A few fish moving and had a few takes but caught nothing. The fish tend to nibble at or play with the fly rather than a full on take, which keeps you on your toes! Apparently the float tubers fared better later on in the night and the odd monster was spotted cruising...

  • Unnamed lochans near Loch Crocach and Cnoc nan Caorach.   11 years 3 days ago

    Bright day with light but very changeable wind. The long loch was dour - no fish but I took a nice fish from the small lochan.

  • Gorm Loch Mor / Gorm Loch Beag   11 years 3 days ago

    Really need the boat for this one, banks very steep. Fished it twice around midsummer and caught lots of small 2-6 oz fish. great fun.
    Fish well fed and really good eating. Any old fly will do but always something black on the point.
    Conditions :- first time overcast and windy, second bright sun with gentle breeze. Results the same.

  • Unnamed lochans near Clashnessie   11 years 1 week ago

    Fished a few of these one day earlier this week. Got 5 - all pretty small bar one of a pound - on one loch, but nothing on the others. Pretty much died at about 7pm.

  • Loch Cul Fraoich   11 years 1 week ago

    Fished here from about 8pm-10pm on Wednesday 1st July. Baking hot and precious little wind meant it was very hard work - caught one small one but by 10pm you could have used the loch as a mirror. And by then the midges were outand about in force. Took some nice snaps though (how do I upload those?) and it was fun watching the gulls, terns and bonxies squabbling with each other...

  • General Comments   11 years 2 weeks ago

    Had some great fun with some of the nicest, golden yellow brown trout thanks to directions and advice from Cathal - next visit will be soon. Only just found this site but will make it a bookmark and am going to buy the guide book as well!

    Neil Thomson

  • Fionn Loch   11 years 4 weeks ago

    I fished here off the bank about 15 years ago and had a good day. The mayfly were hatching and the fish weren't fussy; any old fly would do. Kept 4 for 2/12 lb and put about 20 back.
    A great place to fish.

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