Loch Maree Hotel
Tel: 01445 760288
The Loch Maree Hotel has a rich fishing heritage, on what has been called the most beautiful loch in the Highlands. Up until the decline of sea trout stocks, in the 1990’s, Loch Maree was one of the most famous sea trout systems in Scotland, and regularly fished for sea trout and salmon. In the 1970’s and 1980’s the hotel itself boasted nine ghillies through the fishing season.
The majority of Loch Maree’s fishing is still controlled by The Loch Maree Hotel, although guests staying at Talladale and Kenlochewe hotels can also angle the loch.
The loch itself has 28.6 square kilometres (11 square miles) of water and is the largest loch North of Loch Ness. The loch sports a reasonable stock of wild brown trout, usually around 8oz or less, as well as some sea trout, and salmon (though the latter are more usually found in the numerous waters into the loch rather than the loch itself).
The best fishing grounds of the Loch are those around the numerous shallow banked islands and off their points.
Both the loch and sea trout are partial to similar flies, although the larger catches seem to prefer natural bait or artificial minnow. Most larger fish in the loch are also fond of the dapping technique (use of a long rod and length of floss line, with a bushy fly), which was developed on the loch during the first half of the twentieth century. Most likely because the dapped fly when chased, mimics the loch’s common dragonflies and daddy-long-legs.
A wet fly is more likely to take a salmon, and fly’s to try for this would be the Black Pennell, Silver Invicta or Soldier Palmer.
Loch Morar offers a great variety of fishing whether fishing from the bank, fly fishing from a drifting boat using traditional loch style or trolling the deeper water for the large ferox trout and salmon. Whether fishing round the many islands at the western end of the loch or exploring the wide bays on the southern shore the visiting angler will be spoilt for choice and variety.
The trout in Loch Morar are truly wild fish as the loch is one of the only large lochs in Scotland to be unaffected by the influences of fish farming. The average size of the trout is about ¾ lb but there are many caught every season up to 3 lb. Ferox trout have been recorded up to 15lb. Salmon and sea trout enter the loch from mid May, mostly the salmon are caught by anglers trolling on the loch though they are occasionally caught by fly anglers.
The bag limit is 8 brown trout and one salmon per day, all sea trout must be returned. Unless fish are to be kept for the table anglers are encouraged to return all fish caught. No salmon may bne killed before the 20th of June as part of a Lochaber wide conservation measure.
Permits are available from the following outlets;
Boat launch permits are only available through the Loch Superintendent. Boats must be deemed sea worthy and suitable for use on a large loch, all occupants must have life jackets.
Loch Shiel Hotel
Loch Shiel was once an important route for trade and communication between the railway at Glenfinnan and the communities of Moidart and Ardnamurchan. However, improvements to the road network mean that the loch is now a more peaceful place, and the few boats can all find their own quiet part of its 18 mile length.
You'll need a boat to fish Loch Shiel. If you have your own boat, then permits and access to a slipway can be found in Acharachle at the southwest end of the loch. This is currently the only place for visiting anglers to get boats onto the loch. Orkney longliners can be hired for either a half day or full day from the Loch Shiel Hotel in Acharacle.
Trout are plentiful in the loch and impressive specimens tipping the scales at over 10lb are regularly caught.
Fly fishing and spinning work best in the bays and along the shallow contours with trolling more effective in the open water. Or what could be better than a spot of dapping in the golden light of a calm summer's evening waiting for the tug of a trout to disturb the reflection of the surrounding hills on the water.
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