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PLACES TO FISH

There are just too many places in Scotland to fish for me to do them justice so here are just a few of the ones that I know .

Kilmelford Lochs

Kilmelford lies South of Oban Approximately halfway to Lochgilphead. It comprises of The Culfail Hotel a number of houses and a post office/shop. Permits can be bought in Oban or at the post office.

The best map to get of the area is OS Pathfinder #355 KILMELFORD.

Loch A'Phearsain

As you come over the hill to this loch its setting really hits you, lying as it does in a natural bowl in the hills. To the left the bank is covered in forest and a quarter way along it is the outlet burn.To the right the bank is clear of trees for the most part but the bracken can be a problem. Down the hill in front of you is a small wooded island and here is where the boat is moored. Fish are found all round the loch, some quite close in so, it pays to fish along the bank as well as out in front of you. If you are fishing from the boat then a good drift is into the large weed bed half way done the right bank.The loch contains Brown Trout and Char.

Loch An Losgainn Beag

This is a small loch with clear banks all round although the proximity of the hills can make back casting difficult in places. There are a large number of Lily beds round the edge of the loch which can make fishing difficult in the latter part of the year but it is around them that the large fish of this loch live. Why are they large? because they can be difficult to catch, but when you catch one it will be a memorable experience.

Loch A'Mhinn

This is a large loch with clear banks for most of its shoreline, although again there are places where the hills can make casting difficult. When you first come over the hill to this loch the most productive places to fish are from the shore in front of you.The loch contains Brown Trout, Char and Rainbow Trout all of which can be difficult at times to tempt but the Rainbows are fairly large and fight extremely hard so be prepared and keep a firm grip on the fly rod.

Loch na Curragh

This small loch lies to the left of the previous loch with the footpath going along one side. It is shallow and weedy with a floating bog at the south end and fishing from here is not advised. The banks are clear of obstructions, although again the proximity of the hills can make casting difficult. The loch fishes well all round the weed beds and the smaller fish are found along the bank with the footpath. The best place to fish is on the opposite bank, which of course is the most difficult side because of the extremely steep hillside, but perseverance could catch you one or two 3/4 to 1lb hard fighting brown trout

Big Feinn

If you follow the path past na Curragh down into Gleann Mor, cross the burn and soft ground and climb the escarpment where the burn runs down, you will come to this loch. The casting is relatively easy on the South side where the ground is flat but as you move round the loch the hills move in and casting becomes that bit more interesting. Fish are all round the loch and can be close into the shore in places where the water is deep. According to the leaflet issued by the angling club the fish are large and difficult to catch, personally I have had fish to 1lb from the loch.

Wee Feinn

The loch lies above Big Feinn to the West and is a small but deep loch. As with all these lochs fish are found all round the loch but as usual the casting can be a problem because of the steep hills that come right down to the waters edge.

Loch na Sailm

The best way to get to this loch is to go North West off the West end of Loch a' Chaorainn, follow the burn till it turns West and cross it then pick up the next burn which flows into the loch at a waterfall. A long narrow loch damed at one end. The casting was easy when I was here as the water level was low, but there are high banks in places so casting could be difficult at times. I found the best place to fish was opposite the water fall on the North shore around the rock shelves. The fish were plentiful around, the 6-8oz mark.

Loch a' Chaorainn

This is one of my favourite lochs here. To get to it you have to drive past Losgainn Mor, up the hill then park at the forestry road at the bottom of the next hill just before the bridge. Walk along the forestry road to the wide parking area and carry on due North across swampy ground through the forestry plantation till you come to a gorge with a burn coming down it. The path is on the right of the burn and is steep in places. Follow the path and cross the burn then keep going till you climb the style over the deer fence. Continue North till you come to the loch. The casting is pretty easy on this loch as the banks aren't quite as steep as some of the rest of the lochs. Fishing can be slow, but hit it at the right time and fish will be rising all round the banks. I found the fish to be between 8-12oz and, if they were in a taking mood, would take dry fly, wet fly or nymph, with no particular preference.

(More to follow)

For more info. on fishing in Argyll have a look at this site run by four enthusiastic fishermen Fishing-Argyll

Summer Isles Lochs

The Summer Isles Hotel, who manage these lochs, is in the village of Achiltibuie which is situated on the West coast of Scotland to the north of Ullapool. The lochs are for hotel guests but some permits may be available for the visitor. All the lochs are fly only.

The lochs can be found on OS Map 15 "Loch Assynt" 1:50,000 series.

Lochan Fada

After a short but strenuous climb from behind the Hotel this is the second of four lochs you will see. This is a long narrow loch, shallow at both ends and deep in the middle. It fishes well along its full length with fish averaging 12 oz but the clarity of the water makes fishing a challenge , as it does on all these lochs. Fishing a floating line with a four pound tippet with small dry flies and nymphs was my most successful method bringing me six Brown Trout between 6 oz and 1.5 lbs (all returned).

Lochan Ballach

This is a small loch, very weedy, but don't be put off, with a single dry fly and careful casting some very nice, but challenging fishing can be enjoyed here. The fish are slightly smaller than in the other lochs but can be just as difficult to land.

Leacach

This is a long loch with clear banks and wider than Fada. It is a very deep loch with very clear water, so clear in fact that it is like looking down into a fish tank, and with polaroids it is sometimes possible to see the fish swimming along the edge. Fish rise freely and take dry fly and surface nymph as well as wet fly.

River Earn

The River Earn runs from Loch Earn Eastwards across Scotland to the North Sea at The Firth of Tay. It has Brown Trout, Sea Trout, Salmon, Rainbow Trout and Grayling.

The Haugh beat at Aberuthven, where we fish can be found on OS Map 58 1:50,000 series.

The Haugh

This stretch of the river is at Aberuthven, on the A9 between Dunblane and Perth. The beat is one bank of approximately 1˝km, it starts at the top with a deep run down the side of what would be an island in high water into a long shallow pool to a weir. From here down the river is a series of long slow runs with small places of fast water between them. In the right height of water the stretch can be waded, with chest waders, for most of its length.

Fly fishing, Spinning and worming are allowed but prawn and shrimp are banned.

The best times to fish? Brown Trout in the summer months , Grayling all year, Salmon in the Autumn, sea trout from May onwards. Personally I find the fly to be the most successful, and most satisfying, method for all species.

E-mail received from George Sutherland Oct 2002.

As a regular fisher on the river earn for more than 20yrs the last 2yrs have been very poor for trout and grayling fishing I'm not sure about salmon fishing as I'm not in that heavily priced bracket yet. I hope this year for grayling goes back to normal because when it does its a good a river as any and better than most this year I had 2 brown trout around 5lb in AUG and as usual loads of small fish all year

yours geordie

LOCH AWE

Loch Awe is a very long loch which stretches from Dalmally at its Northern end the 25 miles to Ford in the South. It is approximately 3/4 of a mile wide

Loch Awe can be found on OS Maps 50 "Glen Orchy"and 55 "Lochgilphead" 1:50,000 series.

Loch Awe

The loch holds Brown Trout, Sea Trout, Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Pike and Char and can be fished for by any legal method. Permits are available from many outlets around the loch and in the general area. Casting from the bank with a fly can be difficult in places because of the trees, but boats are available for hire. It tends to fish best for brown trout at the start of the season with the majority of fish taking wet fly.

©2008 Alexander Birrell
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