River Conon & Strathconon







Location map of Strathconon, Ross-shire.

Trout fishing on the River Conon is largely restricted to a stretch of the lower river owned by Brahan Estate and stretches of the Upper Conon and the Upper Blackwater, its main tributary, controlled by Loch Achonachie Angling Club; a friendly and well-run local club. LAAC also offers visitors some very good trout fishing by boat & bank on the Strathconon lochs comprising Achonachie, Meig and Scardroy.

While all lochs in the system hold brown trout, the bigger lochs such as Glascarnoch, Garve, Luichart & Ussie also hold pike & perch. Loch Achilty is a rainbow trout fishery.

TroutQuest map of wild brown trout fishing, River Conon and Strathconon, Ross-shire.

River Conon System Trout Fishing

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. Day tickets can be obtained from Brahan Estate.

Upper River Conon
Loch Achonachie Angling Club control the fishing on the Upper Conon above Loch Achonachie. Water levels are prone to significant rises, but this beat offers some nice trout water in the spring before salmon arrive.

Upper Blackwater
LAAC also control the fishing on the Upper Blackwater above Rogie Falls. The falls are a temperature barrier to migrating salmon, so there is good access above them for trout fishing in the spring and through into July.

Loch Achonachie
Loch Achonachie is a shallow reservoir lying in the River Conon valley formed by construction of the Torr Achilty Dam at its south-east end. It is just over 1 mile in length. Bank fishing is allowed, but access is restricted so the loch is best fished from one of the 2 boats owned by the club.

Loch Achonachie produces brown trout, salmon, pike and perch. The brown trout are typically ½ to ¾ lb in size but there are also some very large ones caught occasionally. In addition to the natural stock, LAAC has an annual stocking program with hatchery-reared brown trout introduced at about 1 lb.

The water levels in Achonachie are subject to change very quickly when the hydro-electric schemes are generating, so pay heed to warning signs around the loch and be particularly aware of sudden drops in water level at the west end where the Upper Conon enters the loch. Sunday fishing is NOT permitted. 

Loch Meig
Loch Meig is a long, narrow reservoir, 1.9 miles in length, lying in the River Meig valley in picturesque Strathconon. It was formed by a dam built at the east end during the hydro-electric power scheme development of the Conon system in the 1950s.

The loch is generally shallow (excepting near the dam), overlying the once fertile River Meig valley floor. The fishing is by fly only, and both traditional 'loch style' and modern stillwater tactics can be productive.

The fishing on Loch Meig is controlled by LAAC, who have a brown trout stocking program. So in addition to the indigenous wild brown trout, typically ½ to ¾ lb in size, the club introduces several hundred larger fish each year. 

The club have 4 boats for hire on the loch, as well as a custom built ‘Wheely Boat’ that can accommodate two wheelchairs plus helpers. The bank fishing can also be very good, particularly at the west end of the loch, though access can be difficult if the loch level is too high or too low.

The season runs from 1st April to 30th September, and Sunday fishing is also permitted.

Loch Scardoy
Loch Scardroy (also known as Loch Beannacharain) is a natural loch lying at the top of the River Meig valley approximately 8½ miles beyond Loch Meig. It lies at an elevation of 476 ft (145m) above sea level, and is approximately 1.7 miles long. It is quite exposed so outboard motors and drogues are recommended for boat fishing.

The loch reaches depths in excess of 50m, so the best boat fishing is to be expected along the shorelines and in the shallower bays at both ends of the loch. In addition to wild brown trout averaging ½ to ¾ lb, Loch Scardroy also contains Arctic char & ferox trout.

Loch Achonachie Angling Club has 2 boats available on Loch Scardroy, and bank fishing permits are also available. Fishing is permitted on Sundays.

The loch opens on April 1st, and fishing can be good from opening day, though in general it tends to fish better as the season progresses and temperatures warm up. The average size of fish is about 10 oz, but an average bag will usually also include some fish in the ¾ to 1 lb range.