General Comments

We'd love to hear what you think. Tell us about your angling experience in Assynt here.

  • Any general comments/issues/queries about fishing in Assynt?
  • How was your fishing and your visit?
  • What makes Assynt different?

Leave a comment below, or on many of the pages of this site including the pages on individual places to fish.

All the comments from across the site are aggregated onto this page:
All Comments and Fishing Reports

You can also check our Places to Fish list to see which places have comments/fishing reports, and see all Fishing Reports in date order.

Comments

Assynt

Just fished large bay below inchnadamph hotel caught and released 9 browns around 12 inches best flies skinny bodied black hopper with lime green tag and peter Ross emerger fished between 9.30am and 1 pm weather sunny with slight breeze

Loch assynt

Just fished large bay below inchnadamph hotel from 9.30am til 1pm caught and released 9 browns all around 12 inches best fly was skinny bodied black hopper with lime green tag and peter Ross emerger nice day little breeze fish lying well out from bank

Shore fishing

Recently completed the North Coast 500 in a motor home and en route fished at Clashnessie. The beach itself is very shallow so I headed further round the bay on the left using a fairly overgrown path. I chose a suitable rock, and found a good depth of water in front. I only had spinning tackle but it was almost a fish a chuck. Only small coleys to 1lb but gret sport. Would love to have a crack here again with bottom fishing gear. Tight lines!

Changes to Tourist Info Centre location

If you are not yet aware, the former Tourist Information Centre - which sells fishing permits for b oth Assynt Angling Group and Assynt Crofters Trust - has now moved to the Mission Building next to the playing field in Culag Park.

The details are:
01463 244118

e-mail: Lochinver [ at] Visit scotland.com

Address:
The Mission,
Culag Park,
Lochinver,
Sutherland,
IV27 4LE

Opening Times

Monday 10:00 16:30
Tuesday 10:00 16:30
Wednesday 10:00 16:30
Thursday 10:00 16:30
Friday 10:00 16:30
Saturday 10:00 16:30
Sunday 11:00 15:00

Tourist Centre Opening hours

I'm up on my fishing week to Assynt. As usual, I arrive on Saturday evening, then stroll down to the Tourist Info Centre on Sunday morning to buy weekly permits - and this time I headed to its new location at the Mission around mid-day - only to find that it is shut on Sundays! Ok - it has turned into a wild day and so I may only be tempted by a short spell of un-permitted fishing in late evening.
Maybe the permit sales should be relocated to the Spar, which seems to have more acceptable opening hours

I just paid the next day

Same thing happened to me, so just went fishing and went in the next day and paid. They did think I was a bit too honest and mad when I explained that I wanted to pay for fishing the day before, but it is very important to put your money in for the upkeep.

Tourist centre opening hours reply

Hi

You can also get permits from other locations - for Assynt Angling Group, from Peter at the Cottage Culag Sq (just behind the Mission), Achins bookshop, Inchnadamph Hotel and the chandlers (not sure of Sunday opening); as well as Assynt Crofters permits from their offices in Stoer. I am not 100% sure if the post office (now at the Spar) is still selling but will check.

All permit outlest are on this site - tho one or two might need updating.
http://www.assyntanglinginfo.org.uk/outlets

We will try and make this page a bit more prominent.

Thanks for info on the TIC - I'll check on opening and amend. The fact that it has had to move and has more restricted opening is far from ideal for all concerned!

- Adam

Tourist Info opening hours

Yes - Peter is fine for Assynt Angling, but Assynt Crofters is a bit more problematic. The chandlers are not open on Sundays, and the Stoer Office has very limited hours (I'm reasonably certain - no Sunday Opening). Anyway, I'm sure no one will object if I fish until I can buy a permit!
I understand that the former Tourist Info building was sold without consultation, and it is a skeleton service that is now operating from the Mission - which, on reflection, I would like to continue supporting.

Support Crofters disabled boat funding

Please support this important fundraising campaign.

The Assynt Crofters' Trust are trying to raise funding to purchase a boat for disabled anglers, so that those who are less able can enjoy fishing in the North Assynt area.

The boat and associated costs amounts to £10919, and to date ACT have raised £7367, so £3552 is still needed.

Donate here:
https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/assyntcrofterstrust

Thanks
Adam

Fire near Suilven

I was today at the Suilven through the hills for the first time since the fire and could see how it looks exactly.
There are large patches of burned heather (the grass and the trees escape the fire) in the valley opposite the Glencanisp lodge, sparse burned places between Loch Na Circe and the Suilven, and a large burned area around the un-named loch base of Suilven. The lower south side of the western summit of Suilven also burned. One can still smells the ashes more than a week after the fire ! But I must give up it doesn't look as terrible and mortiferous as I had expected, even if it is impressive of course. And heather will need long years to recover... I made a few pictures if need be.
Jérôme D.

Poachers

The chap in the last comment was correct... Define 'poaching' ...Did anyone see the posts on YouTube a year or so back of the two rough chaps from Yorkshire/Manchester who were sitting in a tent with three rods each,waiting for the bite alarms to go? There were several clips...some on Cama some on Fionn.
They were fishing with ledgered dead bait and were catching big trout and big eels...
These posts seem to have vanished.
I wonder why.

WS Fisheries Trust Auction

Hi

The West Sutherland Fisheries Trust are holding a fund raising auction to support their excellent work. Some geat prizes.

Please go here to bid: http://www.melandphil.com/geo/index.php

Thanks
Adam

Assynt Fishing Feis - Please Support!

The Assynt Fishing Feis 2016 is on Tuesday 26th July at Glencanisp Lodge. It is a great event with family fun, food, casting, fly tying and a fishing competition.

Please support this if you can with a Crowdfunder donation:
http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/2016-assynt-fishing-feis

More information is here:
https://www.facebook.com/assyntfishingfeis

Stewart Yates from https://assyntflyfishing.com/ organises the event with others and it deserves everyone's support.

Thanks
Adam

Poachers

I've seen two people today -a man around 60 and his wife, I think, owner of a red Astra- both fishing with telescopic rods, spinning reels and big bubbles at the Loch Bealach Cornaidh. As we walked to the loch I asked the guy if it was a fly rod he had on his back (it didn't look at all like one...) and he answered "Of course !" Of course no, as I could see later from the crest of the Quinag with my binoculars and later at the loch. I made very closed pictures of that poacher with his bubble rod and of his car with the registration number and sent them to the Assynt Angling Asociation. I also told him he wasn't allowed to fish with such bubbles but he kept fishing... Bealach Cornaidh is a lovely loch with beautiful average goldish trout and has not to be fished with such methods.

So if you see a red Astra on a "fishing" car park...

Poachers

I too have seen elderly couples,trying to catch a trout using the clumsy and ineffective method of 'Big Bubble' float and bait. I always laugh, as I catch 10 trout on the fly and they perhaps get 1. I certainly wouldn't 'report' them as poachers.
But well done in being so vigilant...getting registration number,photographs etc.

It would be interesting to see a procurator Fiscal taking the case of 2 old folk poaching with a bubble float.

Keep your eyes peeled and happy casting.

Poachers

Well done for taking the trouble of reporting this. This precious loch and others like it are particularly vulnerable to thoughtless, illegal fishing.

Poachers - offence.

Thank you for reporting this.

In the interests of clarity for everyone:

ALL of the Assynt Angling Group/Association waters are covered by the Assynt and Coigach Protection order.

This means that fishing without a permit or breaking the rules of that permit (which includes fishing by methods other than fly, except in designated lochs, which this is not) is a criminal offence. The fine can be up to £1,000.

"Section 1(8) of the Freshwater and Salmon Fisheries (Scotland) Act 1976 provides that any person who contravenes a prohibition in a protection order is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale."
See: http://faolex.fao.org/docs/html/uk48573.htm

Regards,
Adam

fishing

Is anyone reading this fishing in the area first two weeks in July as I will be there and plan to try as many lochs as possible, I also plan to try and arrange some salmon fishing too

july

I am there also first two weeks in July have a couple things booked already but looking for more to try I'm with my dad and son

"Boot Loch"

Speaking of lochs with elusive trouts : does anybody ever catch a trout in the unnamed loch looking like a boot at 177-243 (exactly under the first "S" of Assynt) ? Looks good, but I made two attempts without any fish in view. Any information wellcome.

Boot Loch

A friend and I hiked up from Loch a Ghlinnein a few years ago and had a few casts with zero result.
It was our impression that it was devoid of fish.
We had more luck at 187-239 loch a Ghuib Aird where we both caught several fish 6-7 oz,before hiking down to Loch Assynt and back to Little Assynt via the stalkers path.
Very interesting geology up there with many "eccentrics"in the form of large rocks left behind when glaciers melted thousands of years ago

Loch nan Cuaran

I travel to Assynt most years in May and have given Loch nan Cuaran (NC291239) a go on a couple of occasions on route to other destinations. I've had absolutely no success whatsoever, I've never even seen signs of fish life. Does anyone know of a reason why this loch appears devoid of fish or is it merely my ineptitude?

Geoff Mann

Loch nan Cuaran

I haven't visited this loch and most likely never will, due to lack of fitness these days. However it does surprise me a little that the only fish reported are a few very small ones. Loch nan Cuaran is listed in the SNH standing waters survey as one of the few eutrophic (ie nutrient-rich) lochs in the Assynt area, the great majority of others being oligotrophic (peaty, nutrient-poor). Eutrophic waters generally produce large, healthy fish.

Colin Macaulay

Loch nan Cuaran

I've also visited that loch a couple of times when heading to other lochs like you (maybe the same ones...) It looks beautiful, very alpine, rocky, cold. I hadn't seen any activity the first times I passed along, but one evening, at dusk, with a friend, we've seen fish making head-and-tail in the north-west corner. We cast some dry flies and caught tiny trouts (4 or 5 inches) with pink reflections. Impossible to get a bigger one. Very strange. It's a very wild place and there is maybe a very poor insect life there. The southerly loch nearby, Loch nan Caorach, looks even better. I've just tried once, but no success...

loch nan cuaran

Like you I have tried my luck here several times.
I have only ever caught a single fish which was about 5 inches long and very silver in colour.

I spotted fish rising and cast amongst them .

I suspect that there are only a few and small fish in here.

Lochinver Pier

Does anyone know if flatfish can be caught of the peir? Just want an easy way to add them to my list of fish caught, thanks

Sunday fishing

Hi, I was reprimanded by someone for fishing here on a sunday. I have been visiting here since i was a child and have never heard of this. On the chance that i may have been somewhat ignorant about this and not wishing to offend local customs, I checked several websites which said that whilst it isnt illegal, it is frowned upon on some waters. However, i've now checked the booklet, which should be what permit holders have to go by, and it says nothing about sunday fishing. Could you clarify this? Thanks. P.s. i blanked :)

Sunday fishing

The Assynt Crofters Trust say there is no Sunday fishing with their permit information. The Assynt Angling Group rules on their website specify No Sunday fishing on Lochs Assynt (S10/E6), School (S4), Glencanisp (S5), or Awe (E17).

Hope that helps!
Adam

Sunday fishing

Thanks, fair enough about the specific lochs for AAG, although i've just checked my permit for the crofters trust info and there is nothing about sunday fishing at all, neither on the permit itself or the crofters website.

I've been refused Sunday boat

I've been refused Sunday boat hire on Loch Drumbeg but there doesn't seem to be an issue with walk-in lochs. If someone complained to me I would refer them to whoever sold the permit. If they are happy to take your money for a date that falls on a Sunday I can't see why it should be a problem.

Sunday fishing 2015

We had no problems getting a boat on Borrolan on a Sunday.

Good news for the future ?

I'm wondering if other "regulars" of Assynt lochs have the same experience as mine this year : in many lochs where I usually only caught nice trouts (let's say 13 inches and over) the last years, this year I catch trouts of the same size plus smaller ones, I mean "average" trouts around 8-11 inches. Does it mean that there were good spawing years since 2011 or so ? Or is there another explication ? I would be glad to understand...

Cheers,

Jean D.

Good news for the future?

It's a good question, Jerome. I certainly didn't notice much over 13 inches this year ! but in some places an abundance of 'average' trout....

I think it highlights the need for some fisheries science work looking at populations in a sample of different types of loch - breeding patterns, growth, effect of different geology/fauna, effect of removal of different sizes of fish in different types of lcoation. Really, there is very little known about these issues in Assynt as there has been very little work done. If others are interested it would be good to look for some ways to develop this (whilst protecting identity of locations etc.) which could help inform future practice and guidance.
Adam

Assynt Fishing Feis

The Assynt Fishing Feis is on August 6th and 7th. A must for local and visiting anglers.

There's an Introduction to Fly Tying & Casting on August 6th and the Assynt Open Fishing Competition on August 7th. The Assynt Games, including the casting competition, follows the next day.

Details:
www.discoverassynt.co.uk/event-details.php?id=652

Assynt Events

There's everything from bat evenings to ranger walks to craft days - see details here: www.discoverassynt.co.uk/events.php

Loch Roe 29.8.13

Posted on behalf of HD: I headed off to Loch Roe, at the weirs where it changes from fresh to salt water, hoping to catch a sea trout, around high tide. The fresh water stretch is near-unfishable at this point, since it is covered in lily pads – a beautiful sight for non-fishers! I tried casting just below the weirs , but there were shoals of tiny saithe and Pollock which grabbed at every fly. I eventually hooked and safely returned a small bright silver sea trout (a few ounces).
NB this loch needs a marker!

SEA ANGLING

Have enjoyed many great days fishing the trout lochs of Assynt but would love to try fishing from the shore and would be interested to hear from anyone as to whether it is worth doing so in the autumn and winter and of any hot spots to try. Don

Sea Fishing

Hi Don (are you the Don which whom I am already acquainted?)

The winter fishing for Pollock from the shore up here is truly phenomenal! I am not 't(r)outing for business' here but search "Assynt Fly Fishing" on You Tube and you will see some of the fun I have to keep me occupied through the long, dark winter months! Winter sea fishing? In Assynt? Oh most definitely YES!

Stewart - Assynt Fly Fishing.

Adventures of a Sporting Angler - update

There is a great new Assynt-related website dedicated to V Carron Wellington, an angling author (and much more) who wrote a celebrated book in the 1950s called The Adventures of A Sporting Angler.

The book has a lot of tales of fishing in Assynt and I featured it on our historical literature pages on this site when we first set it up in 2009.

This led to me being in touch with Richard Wynne, VCW's grandson. He related some fascinating and surprising information about VCW and has now set up a website dedicated to him:

www.sportingangler.net

The website's sub-title - 'the many lives of V Carron Wellington' - hints at what you can find out there. Go and have a look, you won't be disappointed!

Also, Richard is trying to find out further information about Vincent Carron Wellington so if you know anything, especially any knowledge of him in Assynt please get in touch. We believe he stayed at the Culag Hotel so if anyone knows if the old fishing records are anywhere, that would be particularly interesting and would go along with the scans we have from the Inchnadamph and Alt Hotels on here.

The book features several chapters on angling in Assynt and is a fantastic tale of derring do and close shaves. VCW gets attacked by a wild goat at Loch Dubh in Ardroe, swims across a loch with a cormorant in his bag, fished the Corrieshalloch Gorge near Ullapool and pursues trout up from Bad na Muirichinn to Suilven getting trapped in the lilies on the way. It also has some great old photos.

With Richard's kind permission we put some scans of seections of the book in our literature section on the Assynt site: http://www.assyntanglinginfo.org.uk/angling_history_literature

So any information, memories or artefacts - let Richard know via the site.

If not, just go and have a good read.

Adam

Fishing week of 18 to 25 May

Excuse the late post from Australia but wanted to record another fabulous week at the Assynt Foundation's fabulous Glencanisp Lodge. We had sunshine at both ends of our week and the full range of weather in between. There were three serious fishers in out party of 17 and much of the week was spent in the company of ghillie extraordinaire Stephen Smith of Highland School of Fly Fishing in Elphin. No big trout for the week - most returned but about 6 taken for breakfast. 21/5 Loch Veyatie - cold and windy 1 trout - we lasted till just after lunch. 22/5 Loch Cama - 7 trout. 23/5 Loch Awe 4 trout - never been so cold in all my life - snow and hail - lasted till lunchtime and retreated to The Caberfeidh for proven liquid remedies for hypothermia! 24/5 - highlight of the week - returned to Loch Veyatie - 5 trout - in sunny calm conditions - took boat to top of the loch and fished river in Fionn Loch - great fun and I defy anybody to show me a more jaw droppingly beautiful place to fish for wild brown trout. Hope to return in 2014. Most fish on standard patterns - grouse and claret, blue zulu, soldier palmer. Keep up the good work Assynt Angling and the Assynt Foundation. David Nicolson

Assynt Fly Fishing Facebook

Assynt Fly Fishing - https://www.facebook.com/assyntflyfishing - is a (relatively) new Facebook page run by local angler, Stewart Yates.
There's some good updates on his fishing up there and some great videos and photos. he also has a new website:
http://assyntflyfishing.com/

Stewart has just started doing guiding and tuition for trout fishing in Assynt.

The research we did from 2009-2012 (see http://www.assyntanglinginfo.org.uk/?q=research-reports ) suggested that this was the sort of angling service that could be expanded to help local employment so it is great to see this get off the ground.

Adam Brown
(Assynt Angling Info, Substance)

Thanks

Thanks Adam, just spotted this browsing! Much appreciated!

Look forward to catching up,
Stewart.

Suggestion to the webmaster

I do mostly agree with this 16th September comment. But I think Cathel's book (and this website) must just be considered as an (excellent) introduction to the fishing in Assynt. As you say, there are hundreds of lochs in the area. And not so many folks in the moor... I fished there every day last May, mostly remote and montaineous lochs without any path from the road and I've seen... one fisherman during the whole month, including around lochs mentionned in Cathel's book !

By the way, one suggestion to the webmaster of this precious website : sometimes, fishermen don't want to reveal everybody their so called "gems". But it could be interesting for us to be allowed to send "private" or "personnal" messages to one particular author of a message, as it is possible on other forums. As we can see these last days, this forum can be very lively...
Jérôme D.
September 19th, 2012 :

Forums & fishing type chat rooms as they were once known as!

I have created a number of forums over the last ten years mainly with friends who stay at the Scourie Hotel in a certain week in June. But we extended the membership to like minded anglers who know the Assynt area well and included all areas north of Ulapool to Rhiconich within our discussion topics.But MSN groups changed and it was transferred to a variety of different social media type sites but with a locked group format. This was to protect as Jerome says the gems we have all discovered and even created over the last thirty years. But with Facebook being so dominant the group has faded away with less enthusiasm and as a last resort I started a Facebook group. We (around 22 of us) would certainly support a group based around Assynt fishing as we all have fished here and intend to do more as long as the limbs are able. Thinking of walking and fishing from Tongue to Ulapool next June via Inchnadamph but don't let my Wife know as that permit is yet to be secured. cheers Graham

Graham, Jerome, Could you

Graham, Jerome, Could you please drop me an email to anglingresearch[AT]substance.coop ?
Thanks, Adam

Thanks for all your comments

Thanks for all your comments recently everyone. (I’ve moved these to ‘General Comments’ as they are more general issues).

We did look into a forum for the site when the Lottery funded research project was still live but decided against it due to the amount of moderation it can take. However, we can look at this again if people would use it (at the moment we don't have any funding to support this site, so we need to sort that out first).

The central issue raised here is about striking a balance between:
i)Maintaining/increasing visiting anglers' access to Assynt (through more and improved information provision - Cathel's book, our website, information in the tourist office etc.) and
ii) Preserving what it is everyone loves about fishing there (remoteness, fishing sustainably/properly, not seeing other anglers etc.).

That is an age old issue in rural development, but it is not one that can't be managed properly to increase local community benefit - angling 'tourism' is an important part of assynt's long term sustainability.

I'll try and do a longer blog/post about this for people to comment on as it is too long a debate for a comment post. However, as a first step have a look at our Assynt Angling reports which highlight these issues, present data on actually how much trout angling does take place and suggest three levels of ongoing development?

This is the link to the Final Report on Assynt:
http://www.assyntanglinginfo.org.uk/sites/resources.anglingresearch.org....

And this is the link to the permit sales/rod days data in more detail:
http://www.assyntanglinginfo.org.uk/sites/assyntanglinginfo.org.uk/files...

As a matter of fact, I’ve just been up for a week and didn’t see another angler the entire week... I'll post a couple of reports soon.
Cheers,
Adam

Assynt Lochs x 300+

My brother Peter and I agree completely and we are also thinking of counting the number of lochs we have fished on map 15 since 1971 but it might take a few nights work. Maybe it would be better to look at the lochs we have not fished? But in the meantime some extreme lochs fished in recent years Lochan Dearge a Chuil Mhoir on the east cliffs of Cul Mor, Lochan Dearg on the Coigach and the one above on Beinn an Eoin at 450m but no fish in this one and the series of lochs between Glendhu and Glencoul (called Bein Aird da Loch) there are fish here and some giant rabbits. You will not meet many people at these lochs but great exploring. cheers Graham
September 24th, 2012

Assynt September 2012

This is my 4th year of fishing in Assynt for a week in September. This year it was extremely windy, making fishing difficult, and indeed impossible on one of the days. Even allowing for the weather, I was less successful than in previous years (although I still hugely enjoyed myself). I mentioned in previous years that the large numbers of free rising tiddlers that were around in 2009 seemed to have disappeared - possibly due to two extreme winters. I suspect that this has now worked through into the 3 to a pound class - which now seem (in my experience) to be less numerous. Does anyone have contrary evidence?

South and West Zones

I have just spent the week (22 to 28 July) fishing various lochs in the Assynt South and West Zones.

The weather was generally quite favourable - warm with a good wind and variable cloud (little rain) - but despite this I found the fish hard to find. The usual lochs where '3 to the pound' is the norm seemed devoid of fish although I did manage one at 1 1/2 pounds from the 'Dog Loch'.

This is in stark contrast to many previous visits to the same lochs when the fish lived up to their 'free rising' reputations and good baskets were to be had.

I tried the usual well tested wet flies, dries, as well as buzzers and nymphs to no avail. The fish just did not seem interested and a few other fishers I spoke to (including locals) indicated that was their experience also.

Could this be down to the prolonged dry spell experienced in the area over the last couple of months or have all the fish mysteriously disappeared (which seems unlikely)?

Deer fences

I am finding this site a very interesting read and have only managed to work my way through some of the pages so far :)

Having fished up in this area, for years, I have always found it to be a hit or a miss in terms of catching anything. However, it has always been the mecca for me as far as fishing goes, which includes the stunning views as part of the deal.

My only criticism (if it can be called that) is regarding the deer fencing. Last year, I wild camped just off the road at Clashnessie and headed off for a days walking and fishing in the hill lochs behind the waterfall - my path took me from the falls along to meall nan garbh loch, round Loch Poll Daidh and back along the peat road onto the main road and then back into Clashnessie. A good walk on a good day - about 16k in total.

This distance might have been shorter if it wasn't for the deer fences....! I had my 2 dogs with me - and the first fence I came to, I spent an age trying to find a way across it - I could have climbed it, but had to find a gap under it to let the dogs through - however we managed it, until after another short walk we came to the fence again - now maybe I was very unlucky and just happened to choose the wrong direction each time, but at my last count I had to cross the fence 4 times in total..... I take it the fence zigzags its way across the area?

Anyway a small criticism and quite likely a pointless one :)

Other than that - spent years fishing at poll daidh ans catching good size half pounders to a pound, in the narrow inlet between the two main lochs, but of late have caught nothing but tiddlers.

Great to read the comments :)

slàinte - RSM