Heart of Sutherlandshire: Chain of Lochs and Streams in Scotland Abound in Trout and Called Anglers Paradise, Daily Racing Form, 1922-03-28


view raw text

id an J" ce i,H Us n8 ot lit f no JJ" jj K. jj ** cc er "J t lj J * t 0 C er J . » lj ly 9 rt ;e r 9 •n t» ■ is is ., 1 le „ m II. •c v- l I Is ■ . j t L .. I I : B y o 1 j I * , * a - 0 t * , " I , , 1 1 « h J [ , L 1 HEART OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE !ip Chain of Lochs and Streams in Scotland ind Abound in Trout and Called Anglers Paradise If tin easier scan-, the map of Scotland he will will oli-crvc in the heart of Sutherlaudsliirc a chain 1 of of 8MBM and streams running right across the county *"» Troiii the east to the west seaboard at Iixford. old. These lochs and Stream abound in trout, and liave avo aptly been called the anglers Paradise. Loch Shin, the largest sheet of water, is about Hl,t eighteen miles long and stretches from Lairg — a a itatlf on the Highland Railway— to Overscaig aig Hotel, a picturesque house on the mail car road end. from Lairg to Scourie on the West Coast. Overscaig aig Hotel i conveniently situated for fishing the lochs, that and is the haunt uf keen, experienced disciples of of Walton, some of whom journey thither year after Wat year to enjoy their beloved sport. One of these icse veterans addres-ed me tk«M: "I have been coming ling here for about thirty "years. I am generally racked ke j with rheumatism when I arrive. I go home after •r 1 a month apparently cured, refreshed in body and mind, ind. and where can you get better fishing;" Yes, ■ hen; tern can yea get better fishing? The air is sweet and and pure, and even iu the contemplative man engenders lors a vaunting jollity which p-rhaps accounts for some line of the gibes of the uninitiated. AVitli the editors permission. I will endeavor to to describe faithfully a visit to tiiese angling waters. ■rs. the visit of a dominie and a banker, the former r a a successful teacher of the young and a book lover, the the latter a lover of Nature iu all her moods, his sedate ate calling fraaaaatly disturbed and haunted by the call call of the wild in his blood. During the past season ••ou Overscaig Hotel was crowded, and we had some dif- lif- ficulty in getting accommodation. Our period of twelve days ran from July 11. .Tune is the best „»st nx.nth for trout, and first-class sport was obtained ned ! y the guests, ten pounds being considered a poor .oof baaket. . ■inly ■ was a bit stifr. but not too stiff Tor the keen. en. resourceful aicler. There were five beats 011 Loch Ota Shin--Top Bala, Mid Shin. Iiag. Heron Island and uedl Gull Island. Of these. Mid Shin is the poorest and. ""• beiag new arrivals, we had to accept this beat for for our first day out, but we did so in a sporting spirit. lit. The day v. as not a gaaj fishing one. A sharp north rUl wind swept the loh. and aliove ■ bright sun blazed Bed, down. We creeled aboatt six pounds of trout, but but w-re eoBtCfn to enjoy the greatT part of thK our °"r first aaj, iu the freedom of our surroundings and md the holiday atmosphere. Ho beat part of Mid Shin is on the opposite side 1 " of the lack from the hotel. There are numerous uus bay- and boulders, and if the trout are not so S1 numerous as in some other beats they are of very LIA giod size and nuality. FAVORITE SFOKT FOR FER0X. The following day we were Baatasj to Top Shin. in. 1 very convenient beat, which starts a couple uI of aaaarea yards or so below the boteL lrom then * to the top of the loch is about two miles. This is is .1 favorite reach for ferox. 111 lint; the writer caught ,ht one Of eight pounds in June, trolling up the loch «■ With P.rown Phantom, it was a beautiful fish, and md the first of the season, and gave me a very exciting jn„ "•**• We tiled haN for one on this occasion. Kvery--? :-y- thing seemed favorable, but the gods were unkind. ml ami we reached the top of our beat with a couple I"e of trout only. Two .streams enter the loch at the the tap— the Carrie Stiver and the Garria River. The "" Uarrie River is the link which connects Lech Shin with Loch t.riam. It is short and not of much " I account. These two streams have formed a consid-9 id- arable saaaaaak which stretches right across tb tti-- loch, and on this bank very fine baskets of trout bare been repeatedly eassht It is best 1o drift ift across, if passible. Whoa the loch is very low tliis 1 is atfflchlt, and the srillie is often in difficulties, es. and the easier has occasion to curse the weed which ich float* here and then on the surface. It is worth pUl l he trouble at all times, however. Salmon are ,re frciiuently caught with the fly in September at the the mouth of the Gertie, where they congreKate preparatory ,;l lo going mi the chain farther in suitable water. "• In the hotel there h a cast of a beautifully proportioned ir- ferox of six pounds caught with a small Jock |.k Scott iii Top Shin. We did better on Top Shin. The dominie had p a weakness far drawing his trout across the lee side [I„ of the boat when drifting, a circumstance which Irerpiently lost him a trout. It was amusing to to see him swing vigorously often too vigorously to t0 port 011 seeond thoughts. As we were now rising ■9 in the list, we had the gratification of being allotted cd the Bias beat on the following day. This beat ,.,, starts at the bottom of Mid Shin and extends to the "•■ mouth of the Kias river, u distance of about two ivc mils, a fine, sandy stretch of bottom. The Flag as trout are famous speckled beauties, and it is indeed " joyful sight to the angler to see a good basket ;et from this beat. There is always the chance of I I salmon in this beat, and several were caught in Juno on the trout fly. We were not so fortunate. :e. but we had a good day: and as we were now gel ting ,,„ oar baaeh la, our baskets were mounting we, and the ■* Killic — Mnckay developing a joyful sense of humor. r. There is ■ coauneadabte spirit of rivalry among the I,., gillies it DveteealS. The gillie whose party happens ■■ to have the sssafiest baa comes la f. t a lot of chaff. Not knowing what the day may bring forth for the 1|H Others, they are keen to the end of the day. and the "■ "weighing In" is a very serious matter to them, to hajbre by their demeanor, :,t any rate. It is amusing lo ore the "ton lister" lording it over the less fortunate eraftsaeaa. 1 am afraid the poor angler er is generally considered to have had very little cou-neetion u_ with the catch. FINE FISHING AT HERON ISLAND. The foih.w ins aay saw- us taancben on Herea » Island beat. This is a shorl beat, but one of the iie best on the lech. The island is worth a visit in the ||. aestiag season. There is quite a colony of heroes 1 there, and at lunch Usee we "snapped" ■ few of of he ungainly but interesting young lords. Not fully Iv fledged, they Happed fresh branch to breach, craning 6 their Becks in evident ah. nil at our intrusion. The ie island i-- ahoal Urn yards long by 89 yards wide, and „, the riabiag is esretleal all round. Two asselers on the previous day bad e.fhtces poena* of trout, many 1V one pounders aatoag them. Two days afterward a ., bad] saSVtr bed I ahca ferox of five pounds on a .old Devon, and iu addition some alee trout with h fly. The dominie was llfTrloetOI food form aid M| getting as keen as Bastard. We were rewarded With a basket of thirteen saseeda Of trout in Heron ■a Island beat. The oaly ethft beat in Loch shin ,, [which we had not Hebcd. was the one be|.,w Ilcioi, IshUMi i-nown. I think, as Ball Island. !ip ind will will 1 of of county *"» old. liave avo about Hl,t — a a aig road end. aig lochs, that of of after Wat these icse ling racked ke j •r 1 a mind, ind. hen; tern and and lors some line to to ■rs. r a a the the sedate ate call call season ••ou dif- lif- of best „»st ned poor .oof keen. en. Loch Ota and uedl and. ""• for for lit. north rUl Bed, but but our °"r and md side 1 " uus so S1 very LIA Shin. in. uI of then * is is ,ht loch «■ and md jn„ :-y- ml I"e the the The "" Shin much " I id- tb tti-- trout drift ift tliis 1 es. ich pUl are ,re the the ,;l "• ir- Jock |.k p a side [I„ to to to t0 ■9 cd beat ,.,, the "•■ two ivc Flag as " ;et I I in :e. ting ,,„ the ■* r. the I,., ■■ the 1|H the "■ to less er u_ » the iie the ||. 1 of of Iv 6 ie „, on 1V a ., a h M| ■a ,, There is excellent fishing there, and keen competition for this allocation. Gull Island is a very small sand and gravel bank which rises a few feet above the normal level of the loch, in which a few sea gulls nest. For a considerable distance all round it the loch bottom is sandy, and some fine trout are usually caught when fishing round the island. Ferox are frequently caught in this beat. Our day We* a yvl.y stormy one, too blowy for a good drift, but by dint of hard work on the part of all concerned we had excellent sport. A number of good trout were eaught trolling with a Silver Devon. One monster was lost after a short struggle. After Gull Island we proceeded to Loch Griam. This is a beautiful loch amid grand surroundings, about one and a half miles from the hotel. It is about one mile long and half a mile broad, and the niail car road runs alongside. The trout run about three to the pound, but their vitality is very goo-1 and they give excellent sport. Ferox are also caught in the loch. Indeed, the whole chain of lochs contains feror. Salmon are caught in Loch Griam in September. A few years ago two anglers fishing this lech creeled two large salmon, one ferox and a fine basket of trout, all iu a few hours with trout flies and tackle. This is, of course, exceptional. In September ferox rise freely to the fly. WHERE SALMON ARE PLENTIFUL. The Hiver MerlUand, length about one mile, connects Loch U-iam with Loch Mcrkland. Oood baskets are sometimes caught in the river, which is a very pleasant stream to fish. In the autumn salmon are plentiful. Loch Griam is fishable all over, but is especially good at the top. The sand and gravel deposited by the Mcrkland River have formed a long bank stretching over the loch, a silvery bank of rippling sand 09 which the trout lie. Sometimes they can be seen, ghostlike, gliding over the sun-of struck bottom. Needless to state, a stiff breeze is necessary when fishing over the shoal when the lodi is ow. When fishing Loch Criam a few seasons eg* a jjoiden eagle sailed majestically overhead at 1 high altitude. We watched it for a long time. Ibey nest away up in the corries where the human ""t cannot follow. Their positions are generally •*E*1 hosen. usually on a. shelf of rock under a beetling cliff. King of birds, it is a pity they Ore dwindling down in numbers. Farther on. about four miles from the hotel, a ■*e* walk for •*• pedestrian, is Loch Mcrkland. I i.i -is perhaps the finest loch of the group. It is ah pi two and a half miles long and contains trout ami ferox. and at times salmon. Although salmou ate Sl1i"1" caught, one can always depend on a go,..| basket of trout, and one or re ferox with the troll, if one is keen for this kind of sport. I had .1 curious experteace on Loch Mcrkland on one o. -vision. As I had left my principal box of flies at the hotel, 1 was short of suitable sizes. 1 intimated to Donald. the boatman, that I was putting on a Thunder and Ughteing single hook salmon fly on the cast a tail fly. It was dressed on a x0. 14 hook new numbers. Donald was a somewhat sarcastic individual when be saw an opportunity, and he replied to tie-effect that "the trout will be able to see it v.liat-•vcr." there was only a very slight breeze a I the thete, and 1 felt that the experiment was doomed from the start. "Anyway." 1 countered, "it will help carry out the line." To my amazement and. it is certain. Donalds disgusl. a trout was hooked every third cast or so on the tail fly. Donalds monosyllabic grunts were highly amusing as he liuded and removed the trout time and again from ; ." tail fl-v- At N*et, suspecting that I was "pulling his ha*," he fatted to reply to my oft-repeated Muesuon. "What fly this time. Donald?" And I kept rubbing it in. The breeze was so slight that the fly. even when well thrown, fell with a slight splash. Bat this made no difference. The trout were after this big fly and determined to get it. Latterly the t:nsel care* away and the hackle trailed behind like the tail of a comet, and yet Donald was kept busy. When it was bora de combat. Donald aaaed at the remnant* with a philosophers eye, and cvlainud. "Vera extraordinar" FAMOUS DEER FOREST. The mountainous regions around Mcrkland Loch IOCS* a famous deer forest. Indeed, Nature is here see* in her most sublime mood. Her impression of vls"iess fills the mind and pygmy thoughts are .liven out. Here is lads si. a field for the conlem-"« pl.iiive mans recreation, where the soul is ennobled and the harsh things of life softened and subdued 111 the light of Gada wonderful creation. It is in such places that the Highlander finds his inspiration and his strength of character. Our last day in these delightful regions was reserved for Loch Gorm. a bill loch which is not oftee fished, but which should not be missed by eay angler who docs not mind exerting himself. It is reached by motor to tlie Carrie BUrer, two and a half miles, and a foot climb from there over the hill of Mother two and a half miles, it is a stiff climb anil on a wet day can be very disagreeable. The loeh is situated on a plateau about 1.000 feet high iiu the top of Sutherlandshire. There are one or two lochs close together, but only ou one — Loch lorni proper— is there a boat. Tin- fish are somewhat unsophisticated and one can generally get a nice basket. A fine fish of seven pounds if mV memory does not fail me was caught here earlier in tie-e-i season, trolling. A considerable discussion took DMce in the hotel as to the identity of the fish. ltimately a few seales were forwarded to the editor, who pronounced the fish a ferox. I am t"ld We spent the most of the forenoon trolling in deep water below the mountain in the hope of hooking something big. but in this we were disappointed. Discarding th* troll in the afternoon in favor of the fly. we fished the northern bays with excellent el feet, ultimately creeling fifty trout of a total weight of nineteen pounds. Not a big average, certainly, but the fish are lively and strong and give line play. It is quite pofcsible to get thirty or forty pounds in this loch 111 a days fishing. Indeed, our catch was obtained in a few hours in the afternoon, and the trout were rtsiag freely when we had to leave. The great thing is to know where the trout b". Much time is sometimes lost in fishing barren water. There is a very fine seat in the stream Which is-ues ironi Loeh Conn, just below a small fall about a couple of hundred yards from the exit enturing a farewell cast in this pool. I quickly leaded a ronpte of pounders, rose a large trout, anil in the first threw of tin. Silver Devon hooked a monster tish which broke away after a short strug-If. le. We regretted exceedingly that we had not time to test this ]h.o1 thoroughly. On the way home we passed through a sharp shower which soaked us thoroughly, but we vowed that if ever oar wander-to bag footsteps led us to this part of Sutherlandshire we would fish Loch Gens, be the weather conditions ever so bad. The fishing t im t day was somewhat ■tarred by a leaky boat, but everything is there in hat wild Highland loch and its environment which goes to make a perfect angling day. Before clsahag, :t is just that mention should be saade of the only other loch of note attached to this fishing. I refer bo Loch More. Sea trout have aeeess t.. this loeh from the wesi coast through the ■Ire* Laxford to Lech stack tone of the finest sea treat lochs in Beattaad, but strictly preserved by the Duke of Westminster, hence to Loch More July was too early to fish Loch More for sea trout but 1.1 August -ome fi,„. baskets of that sporting "»b »** obtained by anglers fro,,, Qsatecajf. We passed Lech More and Loch Stink on our way to S.oui:.- to spend Sunday. It was a magnificent drive, only an .11 1 is-1 in word picture could do it Justice. Bocks everywhere, pinnacle on pinnacle. stealing to block the reed a; every turn, and over all, dominating the Undscape for miles around lien Stink, stern sentinel „f the wild. The road skirt-i Ulcfa More and I.och Stack, and a pSSSieg view of th .ue sleeis of water fired our angling hearts Perhaps some day we may be lacsy. Scourie boast* a very nice hotel, situated in die extreme western seaboard opposite, or nearly opposite. Handa Island On that Sunday in July it was bathed in glorious sunshine a strajoge contrast to the weather-beaten appearance of vrituer when it is lashed bv the wild Atlantic gales. i:celleni set ffahiag is to be hud bare at all limes, very large cod being caught with bead lines. Bhtearie is also famous for its lobsters. There are also f,.„. sandy beys where bathing can be nafely indulged in. ulirUi Dana in be Fishing

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1920s/drf1922032801/drf1922032801_6_3
Local Identifier: drf1922032801_6_3
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800