Thursday, 30 September 2010

The Allt Rugh Fhearchair loch system Above Cluanie Dam And The River Moriston, The Highlands.

My reasons for me being this far up north was certainly not for the fishing, more important things were to be done but I had to slip in a wee cast or two at some point over the weekend. I know this area well from coming up here for nine years now, normally just fishing the river Moriston mainly through how much time I have for a cast. A couple of years ago, I took a walk up the hills north of Cluanie Dam where I stumbled across a collection of small hill lochs so remote there wasn't even a path leading to them, my footwear was not exactly up for the job so didn't really have a chance to explore, this year I planned different things.

Looking Down Of Cluanie Dam (Thanks to Martin for stunning photo)

6am, all ready to go, still dark but you could see the sun starting to peak over the hills. I figured if I left now I'd get up to the hill lochs within the hour giving me a good few hours fishing time before I had to be back. The plan was to walk down the road a little till I found the path that leads up the side of a small burn called Allt Nam Peatharin, this then leads on to the old military road which I thought would take me near the lochs.

Equinox Moon

Half way along the military road it seemed to just disappear into a peat bog, from here on in it got pretty treacherous by this time though I could see what I was heading for so nothing was going to stop me. This place is one of the most remote and beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure of being, let alone having the chance to fish.

The Allt Rugh Fhearchair loch system

The First loch I came to didn't look very fish able, it looked very shallow but what a place, I don't think I've noticed water Lillie's in such a wild place, I thought these plants were introduced for ornamental proposes into course fishing ponds and such things.

The Water Lilly Loch

So, on to the next one over the hill, this was a little different. The moment I got to the water I spooked at least 3 fish who were hiding in the margins. A stunning piece of water, no chance of much wading here though, most of the loch had a ledge about 10 feet out from the bank, I didn't fancy being lost down there.

Second Loch Over The Hill

Down By The Water

My experience of fishing the river Moriston is its not short of fish, shame most of them are not over 5 or 6 inches but its still great fun. This loch system was much the same only even more fish. I think I averaged one fish to every three casts, unbelievable!! I cant say in words how privileged I felt to be fishing a place like this, the thought of how isolated I was was overwhelming.

One Of A Hundred

Hill Loch Brown Trout

There was no way I was going to take a picture of every fish I caught, I was far too busy catching them. The difference from these trout and the fish found in my local rivers was unbelievable, much darker with much larger mouths with stumpy nosies and very large tails. Hardly any red spots, just big black ones, straight out the ice age!!

After fishing this loch for over an hour and countless amounts of fish, I followed the burn down the hill to another small shallow loch, nothing there. Then on to what looked like another nice looking piece of water. Nothing here though, not sure if this was through my impatience to get back down the hill to what I was meant to be doing that weekend.

Onwards and Downwards

I then followed the burn which leads down the hill from the loch system to finish my trip of with a couple of casts in the Moriston.

Looking Over The River Moriston

Its not a huge river, just a bit bigger than the Water of Leith, that's where the similarities end though. From where it exits Loch Cluine, for a good mile, it runs down the valley, changing from very rocky fast moving runs and waterfalls leading into deep pools, to a very wide, slow and deep stretch that carries on for a further 2 miles down stream. Not easy to fish though, mainly due to the terrain surrounding the river, very rocky banks covered in moss and heather, you think your walking on flat ground until you end up up to your knees in bog

The River Moriston

Again, lots of fish to be had here, not every cast or anything like that but, still a fair few. On average, I would say the fish in the river were just a little smaller than in the loch system.

River Moriston Trout

About 4 hours fishing and i must have caught in the regions of 30 to 40 fish. I would love to come up here purely for the fishing, there must be some monsters lurking in the deep if I had the time to get through the masses of 4 inchers. I don't do this to catch huge fish though, if it was purely that, I'd go fish some trout pond.

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