Sutherland is famed for its wide expanses of wilderness, stunning scenery and myriad of lochs and rivers welcoming the game angler. This south-east corner is the least remote part, much of it within an hour or so drive of Inverness, but nevertheless, there is some excellent salmon and trout fishing to be had.
The best and most easily accessed of the trout lochs in this area lie in a broad belt running north-south from Beannach, about 4 miles north of Lairg, past Loch Craggie, down to Loch Migdale at Bonar Bridge, so it means a short diversion inland from the North Coast 500 route, but well worth a visit. There are also additional lochs in the foothills along the coast from Dornoch to Brora, closer to the NC500. Many of these lochs benefit from a mayfly hatch, typically for a month or so from early June.
The local angling clubs (Lairg, Kyle of Sutherland and Dornoch) have boats on most lochs, offering permits from local outlets, with the exception of Loch Migdale, which is privately managed. There is a variety of trout fishing on offer suiting the most discerning fly fishers to family holidaymakers.
Craggie is recognised as the cream of the lochs in this area, indeed one of the best in the Highlands. It is famous for both its mayfly hatch and the quality of its trout. Brown trout average around the 1lb mark, with many better fish in the 2-3lbs range caught each season. The loch is about ¾ mile in length, and fishing is by boat only with only electric motors permitted.
Loch Craggie lies above Lairg at an elevation of 545 ft (166m) and is accessed via a forestry track, as are the nearby lochs of Dola and Tigh-na-Creige, which also offer excellent fishing. The average trout size on these lochs is a little smaller, around the ¾lb mark, with occasional fish up to 2lbs.
Loch Cracail Mor
Loch Migdale is a large picturesque, low lying loch situated behind the village of Bonar Bridge at an elevation of just 118ft (36m) above sea level. The loch runs broadly east-west for a total length of 1.8 miles (2.9 km), and although it reaches depths of up to 50ft (15m), much of it has a depth of 10ft or less.
Trout average ¾ lbs is size, but better fish are fairly common and typically, there are a handful of specimen fish in the 2 to 3lbs range caught each season.
Migdale is rich in natural food throughout the season, though the highlight is the mayfly hatch which peaks in June. For further information on fishing this loch, visit our web page dedicated to Loch Migdale here.
More Photos from South-East Sutherland
See our Pinterest board for more photos from the lochs of South-East Sutherland:
Dornoch Angling Club
Permits are available from the Eagle Hotel, Castle Street, Dornoch, Tel: 01862 810008.
Kyle of Sutherland Angling Association
KOSAA permits are avaIlable from Ardgay Store & Cafe, Tel: 01863 766801.
Lairg Angling Club
Boat hire for Loch Shin from Robert McQueen on 01549 402980.
Permits for Lochs Beannach and Craggie are available from Dunroamin Caravan Park, Lairg. Tel 01549 402447
Tel: 01863 766242
Tel: 01349 830606