Loch Assynt

Trout Fishing in Assynt - book cover

This is one of the lochs featured in a new book - Trout Fishing in Assynt: A Guide to 30 lochs - which gives you the best, local expert advice there is about fishing this loch. The booklet, which helps fund local angling, is available from Inverbank Newsagents, Lochinver.

The biggest loch in the area, 8kms long by 1.5km wide, with both bank and boat fishing available. Brown trout, ferox, arctic char, salmon and sea trout, with a huge head of averaged sized trout. Very much better fish inhabit the waters obviously too with the odd double figure monster being taken from time to time, so watch out with every cast. Dangerous in high winds but easily accessible.


OS Grid: NC207248
Decimal: 58.175498, -5.050544
Degrees: 58° 10' 31.7928" N, 5° 3' 1.9584" W
Permit details: £5/day, £25/week from usual outlets

Tell Us About It!

Please tell us about your experience of fishing at this loch. This will help other anglers as well as local angling groups.

Your feedback is important so please tell us:

  • Where you fished, when, what conditions were like.
  • What you caught, when and on what (be a little vague if you don't want to give it all away!)
  • Anything other anglers should be aware of - access, reeded up waters, difficulties etc.

Please use the COMMENT FORM at the BOTTOM of the page.

Got photos? Email them to us: anglingresearch [at] substance.coop


Loch Assynt June 2019 (HD)

On Wednesday 5th June in the evening I headed off to Loch Assynt for a spot of bank fly fishing. I tried what seemed a likely area, a bit East from where the boats are normally anchored (around NC 2131 2508). I fished up and down this area with a variety of flies. A N wind helped with the casting. I gave up around 11pm, having had one splash, two tugs and some nibbles - but I didn't catch a single trout. A consolation was the glorious sunset around 10pm, and I also saw a pair of black throated divers.

Loch Assynt May 2018 (HD)

Monday 21/5/18 - a very wet start to the day.In the evening I tried bank fishing on Loch Assynt along where the road goes up to Kylesku. A stream enters at this point, so I tried (fly) casting around this area. One splash, but no takes. I headed out to the nearby point. but found that the rocks were lethally slippy, so I returned back along to where the boats are usually moored, and eventually hooked one small trout. Maybe at this time of year the fish are lying further out in the deeper water


In the evening of 14/6/2016 I headed along the north bank of Loch Assynt – beyond where the boats are normally launched. My intention was to try out a new light spinning rod. However after a few casts and two small trout, I retired the spinning gear. My problem was that it was too difficult to unhook the trout from the treble hooks on the lures– even if they were debarbed. Maybe replacing the trebles with a single debarbed hook would make spinning more acceptable. I returned to my fly rod and fished for an hour around 10pm with flies tied on debarbed hooks, and tormented a number of small trout, but landed only one which was safely returned.


Hi All,
I'm planning my vacation and very keen on spinning fishing. I've read the previous replies re trolling and boat spinning. However are there any more places with a bank spinning in addition to Loch Assynt? Is camping allowed?
Thanks in advance


Hi Dima

The only bank spinning allowed is on Assynt.

Camping is allowed, but follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Some links which might be of use:



Hi Adam,
Thanks for your answer. A few more things, what will be the best way to hire a boat (with engine)in case I'm interested in fishing on Lochs Beannach (W5), Cam (E21), Veyatie (E22). Are there a phone numbers/e-mals, so I can book the boat in advance?



The details for all permits and boat availability are on this pageon this website:

To book, contact Peter Hendrich - The Cottage Culag Square, Lochinver (01571 844076).

Also you might want to check the Assynt Angling Group website: http://www.assyntangling.co.uk/

Please report back on here how you got on!


Peter no longer dealing with bookings.

Just off the phone to Peter to sort the usuals and he’s informed me that now I need to go through the Chandlery for all things fishing, just thought I’d mention for others who may be reading.

Cheers, Max.

request for advice

Hello - I am staying just norh of Lochinver for the week starting July 9 and am keen to have a day (or part day) fly fishing for Salmon on the river Inver. I email Galbraith's in Perth last week but got no reply. Does anyone know how I might ger a permit.

request for advice - reply


Try 01738 451111 for Perth office.
Alternatively you could enquire at the Inverlodge Hotel (not sure if they do permits for non-residents).

There is also salmon and sea trout fishing on lochs and other sections of river. Go to places to Fish section and select salmon and sea trout from the Angling Groups drop down.

- Adam


I am up in a couple weeks and my dad and son don't fly fish I would like to take them out on the boat trolling, which area is best for this?
Also is there a number for peter at the cottage or do u just contact him up there?


Peter's number is on the permits page on this website (scroll down): http://www.assyntanglinginfo.org.uk/outlets

The lochs you can spin/troll on are in the Assynt Angling Group and are:

Spinning/Trolling allowed from boat on Lochs Beannach (W5), Cam (E21), Veyatie (E22) and Assynt (S10/E6). Loch Assynt has a 4 mile bank zone where spinning and artificial lures is permitted. http://www.assyntangling.co.uk/
- Adam


Thanks so much for the quick reply, I have booked a day on assynt, one other thing as my dad is also very keen but does not use a fly rod much, is it allowed to use a bubble snd fly in any of the lochs?

Dad Fishing.

I have been fishing Assynt Lochs for over 40 years. My father who was from Lewis, had family in Ullapool and Elphin, introduced me to fishing. Days on Borrolan and Urighill .At 6 years old. From an early age,I could catch trout on the fly .But my dad was happy using fly and bubble or a worm on Stuart Tackle .I think that the old timers should be allowed to catch their last trout by the way they learned. If they catch one at all.

trolling reply

I'd ask Peter about this.

Loch Assynt; 13/05/2016

Fished the northern bank of Loch Assynt on 13th May 2016 in the afternoon through to sunset from the northern bank (adjacent to the A837) starting approximately 3 miles west of Ardvreck Castle, moving back to the Castle (i.e. the stretch of bank where spinning is permitted). Attempted to fly fish but struggled with vegetation/banks behind and with the wind (strong easterly). Air temperature was approximately 24 degrees, water much colder with very bright sunshine. Used 8wt line with wet flies and nymphs, no takes. Then tried spinning with great success; had approximately 12 Brown Trout from 0.5 lb to 1.5 lb but lost a much bigger fish late in the day opposite Ardvreck Castle. All fish were taken on a small (8g?) silver vibrax type spinner on light/medium spinning tackle. All fish returned to the water.

Noticed a very distinct pattern to the fishing: arrive at a spot, take 1 or 2 fish almost immediately then goes quiet so move on. Most fish were taken where the banks clearly dropped off quickly into deep water and at least half the takes were on-the-drop immediately after casting.

Tried spinning again the following day in the afternoon, had 1 follow from a small fish but no takes. Note, overnight the air temperature had dropped approximately 10 degrees.

Probably the most enjoyable days fishing I have ever had!

Fishing Assynt

August 2015

Had a great day afloat on Assynt. Superb loch with a great head of fish that fight like demons when hooked. Claret flies worked best on our day.

Such a shame 2 out of 3 boats on Assynt (and all on Awe) are controlled by the Inchnadamph Hotel. Residents obviously get first shout for the boats which meant only 1 day afloat on Assynt for all of us and we never managed to get a boat on Awe at all! Surely Assynt Assosiation should control all of the available boats on Assynt and allocation should come down to a first come first served basis. I for one would not want to stay at the Inchnadamph just to secure a few days fishing on Assynt (or Awe).

Fishing Assynt - Reply re Boats


In reply to the query about availability of boats on Assynt.

Confirmed the following details with Peter at the Assynt Angling Association:

The boats on Cam, Veyatie, Mid & Head Assynt , Awe & Sandy lochs are administered by the Inchnadamph Hotel on behalf of the Assynt Angling Group.

They can be booked in advance by contacting the hotel, but as Awe in particular is very popular some anglers will be disappointed. You do not have to stay at the hotel to book the boats. The other boats on Awe are not owned by the group.

Anglers planning fishing can contact Peter at the Cottage, Culag Sq or contact the hotel to book. Contact details on www.assyntangling.co.uk and on this site: http://www.assyntanglinginfo.org.uk/outlets

The boat at Assynt tail is administered by Peter.



We'll I've been fishing up her for 30 years and I have a bit of fly and maybe a spin and I do no harm. It's all about respect and I respect the place and the fish, but if you want your tea and the fish aren't taking the fly, get a couple on the spinner


Yet again visit somewhere, where clearly if you dont fly fish, you are unwelcome. Hardly any spinning availability but bet Mr Ghillie likes to have a wee spin or chuck a bunch of worms in a nice deep pool on the river.

Anyway, not for me, you lot would get more anglers parting with money if everything wasn't so god damn elitist with 'Flies Only'. Next time I'm up, I'm targeting Bass and will be using methods that wont be liked but are quite legal in the salt.

Another visiting angler annoyed!

RE: Upset

There are waters in Assynt where spinning is allowed. Cam, Veyatie, Assynt and Beannach from boats and 4 1/2 miles of bank on Assynt as shown in the brochure of fishing in Assynt Angling Association waters.

We have no problem with having fly only on the majority of waters or with the vast majority of the 1500 anglers who fish here, some of whom have been doing so for 30 to 40 years. Many of them would be outraged if we allowed spinning in more areas - they value the very cheap but unique wild fishing that is available and want it preserved.

Please fish in the River Test with a spinner if you feel that we are not welcoming in Assynt.

Secretary Assynt Angling Association.


The Assynt area is an anglers paradise , £25 for a weekly permit that opens up more water than you could fish in a week.
From roadside lochs to remote ones, and totally isolated ones if that's your desire and you can read a map and compass.
Paradise on earth for me . On my numerous trips to Assynt I have tried spinning and fly , depending on rules of what water I am on.
Cannot comprehend why anyone would wish to change what Assynt A.C have achieved and are trying to preserve for future generations.

Ian Johnstone
Visiting angler from Ayrshire

Spinning happening

I've been following the "spinning-debate" on your website. For sure, the area has to remain fly only.

I found a Mepps spoon today on the bank of a loch of the Clashnessie area. So this is not only a theoretical problem of rules, the practice of what is going on now should also be considered. I'm afraid some people are already fishing with Mepps here in Assynt. So what are the two main Fishing associations going to do to stop that ? This is an urgent question...


(posted on his behalf by Adam (admin))

Well there you go, I need not

Well there you go, I need not say anything further, 'many would be outraged', says it all really on those who look down on anything other than fly fishing...elitist attitude and a mind set that any other method is detrimental, many spin fishermen care as much about stocks as any fly fisherman and to give spinners only a few of the hundreds of loch and lochans is elitist.


At £5 for a day ticket and the tackle required often costing a whole lot less than wheelbarrows full of coarse angling kit I would not call the fly fishing in Assynt 'elitist' by any stretch of the imagination!

Fly fishing reduces the chance of a fish, which might be too small to keep or simply intended to be caught and released, from being hooked deep in the gullet. This reduces the chance of fish having to unnecessarily killed.

For the waters managed by the Assynt Angling Association the rule of fly only was part of the Government Protection Order. This Protection Order opened up the fishing to everyone, for just a fiver a day, less if you get a week ticket, not just an few elitst tweed-clad hoo-raas.

Your baseless snidey comments on the estate workers, or 'Mr. Ghillie' as you somewhat patronisingly refer to them, are just that. Based on your bitter and un-informed opinion and nothing more. I, on the other hand, am informed and can tell you unequivocally that they never fish the river using anything other than a fly. They don't have to. They could catch more salmon with a fly than most people armed to the teeth with every other method could! On top of that, why would they? They get plenty of opportunity to fly fish the river (with that incredible rate of success) with paying clients throughout the entire season! And just to dis-spell any lingering doubt you might have in your cynical mind, they have so much salmon to eat (donated by well-meaning clients) that they are all sick of it. They would much more appreciate one of your Bass, maybe they would even do a swap!?

Oh, and just in case you are interested, the FLY FISHING for Pollock and Bass is fantastic fun on the Assynt coastline! Why not look me up on You Tube and see for yourself?

Stewart Yates - Assynt Fly Fishing


Stewart, I know many locals throughout Scotland who like to catch a wee loch broonie and take their kids up to some remote wee lochan to catch a few....not all want or fish with the fly and many use the worm or a wee spinner, often barbless.

Now my comment on the ghillie was unfair and I take that back but I do not take back using elitist. There is still an elitist attitude with those that you, yourself describe as tweed wearing and your secretary himself mentioned the outrage of spinning in the burns and rivers...god forbid.So, I'm not narrow minded nor bitter or uninformed and pointing out what visitors to the area see and read and trying to give a wee bit of advice to spruce up a bit more revenue for you clubs. Oh and im not a course angler either.

So after your insults to a visitor who is big enough to take it on the chin I hope your ghillies are to and we can both stop the personal abuse and focus on why is it that there is only a few, when compared to the hundreds of loch and lochans, available for spinning?


All the locals in the pubs fish with worms , fact

Spinning would be abused

People would take advantage of the lochs supplies and ruin the fishing, if you want to spin then lochinver is not the place for you, it is a fly fishing location and it should remain that way, if you want to fish and spin lochinver then do it where it is permited, rules ain't going to change for you!

I rest my case

On May 3rd, 2015 Anonymous

There you go to all you fellas visiting Lochinver, you aint welcome (even though you may be staying in local B&Bs, hotels, camping sites, shopping at the local, eating and drinking in the pub, paying entrance fees etc etc etc), go home and fish elsewhere. Unless you want to purchase a £5 quid ticket (bargain), break the bank buying a fly rod, oh plus the Hardy reel, lines, assorted flies and of course the waders et-al and hire a local 'guide', it should work out a wee bit cheaper than bringing the spinning rod you already have...not;-)!

Seriously whats wrong with a 2 fish limit thats what most fisheries have, so why would spin fishermen be any differnet and abuse it, that is elitist and a out-dated and snardy comment to make on those who do not fly fish.

Breaking the bank at £150

You can buy a decent orvis combo set with rod, reel and line for 150 pounds. If that breaks the bank you have other issues to deal with.

'Break the bank'

You could quite easily fish the fly, very cheap these days, get a grip and stop moaning! Spinning used to be allowed, fish stocks decreased and that is why it is fly only! If spinning were to be re-introduced it would drain the lochs, because more people would come and it would ruin the fishing. Stick to your stockies if you do not want to take advantage of the spinning on offer.

Loch Assynt (East)

Fished the east end of the South bank from a couple of hundred meters along the to the River Loanan intersect in my float tube for an hour or two mid afternoon yesterday (2nd August 2010). Had seven trout, between 1/4 and 3/4 lb. Mainly fairly dark fellas, but good fighters. Mainly coming to the bob, which was a bushy black and brown, or an olive French-partridge-ish (tried to make up for the lack of partridge in my tying kit by using a combo of bronze mallard and Brahma hen March brown hackle) affair. Wind couldn't quite make up it's mind, but was mainly a gentle WSW, cloud cover was good, midges were terrible! Hatch of some form of fairly large darkish olives.
Waders are delaminating around the crotch and seat so are a bit leaky and chillsome. A couple of hours was definitely the most I could manage n the tube.

Will be out and about over the coming weeks and will make an effort to provide regular updates.

Tight lines

Loch Assynt - Never again

I stayed at the Inchnadamph Hotel in 2006. I had heard so much of Loch Assynt I was very enthusiastic to fish it.

I was disappointed to find that the south shore was out of bounds as was the area around the Castle. The available water had very difficult banks such that I could only physically fish about 20% of the bank.

Having found a nice bay I could fish a boat appeared that was fishing along and casting into the shore. They cast (spinners)to within 5 yards of me and had a large bag of fish in the boat. They never spoke and nor did I. It seems that all was within the rules!

Since the week with travel cost me the best part of £1000, I would certainly not want to repeat the experience.

Loch assynt -Never again

If you were staying at the Inchnadamph Hotel you would have had access to some of the best lochs in the area and in my opinion bank fishing Loch assynt was probably your worst option.
It is fair to say that the better fishing is to be found far away from the roadside in hill lochs mostly involving a hike of 1.5 to 2 hours to get to them ,but the feeling of "away from it all" and the chance to fish for and catch beautiful wild brown trout in the amazing landscape of Assynt is well worth the effort believe me.
On this site,and in Cathel Mcleod's book "Trout Fishing in Assynt" you will find the information as to some specific locations and advice on how best to fish them ,but there are literally hundreds of lochs and lochans out there.

Loch Assynt -never again

Sorry to hear your visit to Assynt was a disaster.Loch Assynt is over 6 miles long as the crow flies,but if you take into account all the bays and points the north bank probably has close on 10 miles of bank .If i was bank fishing i,d start about 15/210250 and work west,forget the south shore most of its mountain goat territory.Get a boat,an out board and a life jacket and explore the bays and points.Ifyou prefer bank fishing you are spoiled for choice,most of the roadside lochs,eg Cam, Borralan,Drumrunie lochs are full of trout mostly half pounders As a general rule the further you are from the road the better the quality fish ,there are better lochs than loch assynt in my opinion
tight lines
Davie (East Kilbride)

Loch Assynt never again

Sorry to hear about your Loch Assynt experience . Where on earth did you get the incorrect information about the 'out of bounds', areas? There are no 'out of bounds' areas there, and you can fish the whole perimeter of the loch with fly if you so desire. There are some parts where spinning from the shore is allowed, which are clearly marked on the brochure, and trolling is allowed from boats on the loch. All that is required is a £5.00 permit and you can fish till your heart is content along the massive length of Loch Assynt's shores.

This loch, like many others, can be very productive with plenty of quality trout to be had, given the right conditions, but conversley of course,it can be equally difficult.

Hope the above is helpful and please do not let this experience inhibit your return to Assynt where we have an abundance of excellent wild brown trout fishing available to everyone.

Best regards,

Cathel MacLeod,
Treasurer of Assynt Angling Club.

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