Fresh Water Fishing
Some of the finest wild brown trout fishing in Western Europe is to be found amongst spectacular surroundings, in this corner of the Highlands. To the game-fisher the mention of Assynt in any conversation instantly translates into 'fisherman's paradise', conjuring up a mental picture of truly majestic scenery, dozens of sparkling hill lochs, dancing streams and rivers, all teeming with wild, golden, speckled brown trout – a place to escape from reality for a while, where time means little in a land of angling abundance. This Parish has been popular with fishers for over two centuries, and much has been written on the subject. Interestingly enough, historical records show that the quality and quantity of fish in our lochs then was much the same as it is now, so nothing has really changed trout wise, in two hundred years, despite a perception to the contrary.
Today the Assynt Angling Group manages the fishings, with about 150 lochs at its' disposal. Controlled by a Protection Order since 2004, you must purchase a permit before trying your luck with a rod. Permits, which cost little, (£5.00 per day or £25.00 per week) are easily obtainable at numerous outlets in the area, including your accommodation at Polcraig Guest House, so there is superb wild brown trout fishing to be had for a 'pepper corn' rent. Monies raised from the sale of permits, goes towards the purchase and upkeep of boats and equipment for the general benefit of the angling public, so you can be assured that when you purchase your permit you are not lining some rich man's pocket.
Further north in the parish, the Assynt Crofter's Trust have about 200 hill lochs to choose from and permits to fish in their area are also widely available at identical cost.
The trout themselves vary in size from tiddlers to monsters in the teens of pounds, so you never know what you will connect with on a days fishing here.
Salmon and Seatrout fishing on the Rivers Inver and Kirkaig is also available on a first come first served basis, through CKD Galbraith, Perth Office. (See links page)
The Highland School of Fly Fishing based in the hamlet of Elphin is a good point of contact if you are new to, or inexperienced in the art of fly-fishing. You will be taught all of the basics needed to get you started out on your own, so why not give it a go.
You can fish almost anywhere for sea fish along the coastline, except in the river estuaries. (No permits required) Sea bass, lithe, cuddies, pollack, cod, haddock, ling, flat fish, conger eels, mackerel, are all there if you strike it lucky, indeed you never know what you will hook up with when sea angling here, so use strong tackle. Good fishing can be had from the various harbour jetties in Lochinver itself, especially on arrival of the mackerel shoals. When shore fishing take lots of care and look out for the occasional large wave that can easily engulf you if you are not paying attention. People have lost their lives in the past doing this, so play safe, enjoy, and don't become another statistic.
You can charter a boat from Lochinver Harbour for sea angling too. This is usually done for groups of people, otherwise it becomes expensive, but sharing the hire out among several anglers reduces the individual cost considerably.