East Ross-shire








Location map of Easter Ross.

East Ross-shire or Easter Ross as it is known locally, is dominated by the Cromarty Firth, a sea inlet fed primarily by the River Conon and River Alness, both of them productive salmon rivers, but of very different character.

On the south side of the firth is the Black Isle peninsular, and on the north side a narrow, fertile strip of land rising inland to a range of mountains extending south-west to Ben Wyvis above Dingwall. There are a few trout lochs along this coastal strip, but there is significantly more trout fishing in the River Conon system.

The Conon is Ross-shire’s premier salmon river. Its catchment extends 40 miles to the west and north-west through several important tributaries including the Blackwater. The system is dominated by its hydro-electric schemes comprising several large dams/storage reservoirs and power stations.

The most productive salmon fishing is on the private beats, that span more than 8 miles of the main stem below the Torr Achilty dam at Loch Achonachie, to the start of the estuary.

The majority of the Lower Conon beats are let by the week, but visitor access is possible through local angling clubs to the estuary beat and stretches of the Upper Conon and the Upper Blackwater.

There is also some very good trout fishing available to visitors on the Strathconon lochs. You can find more information on River Conon trout fishing on our legacy Strathconon web page.

The River Conon system is the most northerly in the UK to hold pike, which are present in all the large lochs and reservoirs, and also in Loch Ussie.

East Ross-shire Trout Lochs & Rivers

Loch Scardroy
Loch Scardroy is a natural loch lying at the top of the River Meig valley. It's deep reaching >50m, so the best boat fishing is along the margins and in the shallow bays. The loch also contains Arctic char and ferox trout. Loch Achonachie A.C. has 2 boats on Scardroy, and bank fishing is also permitted.
Permits from Contin Filling Station, Tel: 01997 421948.

Loch Achonachie
Loch Achonachie is a 1 mile long, shallow reservoir impounded by the Tor Achilty Dam at its south-east end. Fishing is by fly or spinning, for brown trout, salmon, pike & perch. The loch is best fished from one of the 2 boats owned by the club. No Sunday fishing.
Permits from Contin Filling Station, Tel: 01997 421948.

Loch Meig
Loch Meig is a long, narrow reservoir lying in picturesque Strathconon. The loch is generally shallow, and both traditional loch style fishing and modern stillwater tactics are productive. The fishing is controlled by the Loch Achonachie A.C. who have 4 boats for hire. Bank fishing is also available.
Permits from Contin Filling Station, Tel: 01997 421948.

Lower River Conon
Arrangements between Brahan Estate and the Conon Syndicate (who control the salmon fishing on the Brahan beats) allow for brown trout fishing on 3 stretches of the north bank of the lower River Conon.
Permits from Brahan Estate, Tel: 01349 861150.

Loch Eye
Loch Eye is one of the very best trout lochs in the Highlands. It's a large, shallow loch, rich in weed, invertebrates and crustaceans, and home to a large population of wild brown trout averaging 1¼ lb, with fish in the 2-3 lb class caught regularly, and occasional fish up to 5 lb or more.
Regrettably, boat hire is no longer available for visitors.

River Conon System

Main Season: Apr-Sep 30th Category: 1

The River Conon is Ross-shire’s premier salmon and sea-trout river. Its catchment extends to the west almost to Kinlochewe and to the north as far as Beinn Dearg, just 5 miles or so from the West Coast.

The Conon system includes a number of tributaries, notably the Blackwater, as well as many large lochs such as Glascarnoch, Fannich and Luichart; some of which were created or enlarged by development of a major hydro-electric scheme in the 1950s. 

The River Conon runs for about 15 miles (23.5 km) from the outflow from Loch Luichart to the junction of the Conon estuary and the Cromarty Firth near Dingwall.

Dingwall and District Angling Club - Estuary Beat
Dingwall A.C. controls miles of salmon & sea trout fishing on the right bank downstream from the railway bridge at Conon Bridge to the Cromarty Firth. There are 6 named pools.
Permits from the Sports and Model Shop, Dingwall. Tel: 01349 862346.

Loch Achonachie Angling Club - Upper Conon & Upper Blackwater Beats
Loch Achonachie A.C. controls salmon fishing on 2 stretches of the Conon system. The Upper Conon beat extends from below Loch Luichart Power Station for approximately 2.6 miles to Loch Achonachie. The Upper Blackwater extends for about 1¼ miles from Loch na Croic to Rogie Falls.
Permits from Contin Filling Station, Tel: 01997 421948.

River Alness

Main Season: May-Oct 31st Category: 2

The River Alness, or Averon as it is also known locally, is one of the most picturesque salmon rivers in the Highlands, running for just 11 miles (18 km) from Loch Morie into the Cromarty Firth, with a drop of 630ft (192m). The steep descent creates a multitude of fast flowing pools, and a variety of stunning scenery throughout its beats. The Alness is a hunter’s river; ‘rivercraft’ and persistence are generally rewarded, and long casting is rarely needed. Although a spate river, there is a dam on the outflow from Loch Morie, and flow is regulated to provide compensation levels and occasional freshets.

Novar Fishings
The Novar Fishings comprise about 6.2 miles (10 km) of double-banked salmon fishing split into 6 rotating beats over two sections of the river.
Permits from the Novar Estate, Tel: 01349 830208.

Alness Angling Club Beats
Alness Angling Club control the salmon and sea trout fishing on 2 beats of the River Alness as well as the estuary. Permits for estuary sea trout fishing can be purchased separately.
Permits from the Kardz shop, Alness.