It’s been four years since my last visit to Loch Carron, mainly because it’s over 200 miles and 4+ hours away, and because the fishing is OK rather than good. However it’s a fine place to visit and I could do with a change from the standard winter choices of Etive or Leven, so the inflatable got packed in the car and I set the alarm for a ridiculously early start.
Arriving at Ballachulish a little over 2 hours later it was a touch depressing to realise I was just over the half-way mark to Loch Carron, but at least it looked to be a good day and there was little wind showing on the loch.
Two hours and innumerable potholes later I finally reached Loch Carron. Stromeferry is at the bottom of a pretty steep hill, and has a good concrete slip (apart from the lobster pot clutter and all the weed on it) and is still perfectly usable for a hard boat launch if you’ve got a reasonable towcar. Apart from avoiding falling on my backside on the weed I’d no difficulty in getting the Avon ready and launched quite quickly, although the Tohatsu took a few pulls to wake up from a couple of months of neglect.
There were a few ripples on the loch but nothing more and I was soon zipping up towards the avalanche shelter area. Last time here I’d been accompanied by a pair of dolphins, but they were nowhere to be seen today so it was a rather uneventful 20 minutes or so.
The seabed here is extremely rocky and drops from 40 feet to 120 in only a few metres, so you tend to fish very close to shore. This is where I started, alternating between a set of mini-sabikis to pick up some smaller fish and a set of mackerel tipped hokkais for anything slightly larger.
The sabikis proved the bigger hit with a stream of small codling, Pollack and poor cod. Nothing sizeable and the biggest was a modest coddie of around 3lbs or so, but it was fairly rapid and entertaining fishing. Out in the middle of the loch I could see a pair of sea eagles searching, something I haven’t seen for quite a while – huge wingspan compared to the seagulls keeping a respectful distance from them.
The area near the avalanche shelter is tucked in under a high cliff, which hides the sun until early afternoon, and you could feel the cold air falling off the hillside – so I pulled ashore along the loch a bit to warm up in the sun as much as stretch my legs. I’d a wee play with the GoPro too, picking up some shots of the SIB from the shore.
Back along at the fishing things had slowed a little, but there was still enough to keep some interest going as I explored along the shoreline trying a few other spots and providing some distraction for any passengers on the handful of trains that trundled slowly by – almost above my head at times given how close the railway runs along the shoreline and how close to the shoreline I was fishing.
By mid-afternoon the wind had risen just a smidgen which made fishing 100 feet of water over very broken ground rather tricky as the Avon needs no excuse to move in the slightest breeze. As a result the fish more or less disappeared so I packed it in a little after four and worked my way back down to Stromeferry.
Driving back down to Fort William I was treated to the sun setting over the mountains in a clear sky, a colourful reminder of some of the other reasons for making the long trek up here just for a day out.Share this: