A share in the most prolific salmon river on the west coast of Scotland
Lot 1 - Willow Cottage Situated about 100 metres from the south bank the River Lochy, Willow Cottage is a very pretty traditional 2-storey stone-built cottage with fi ne outlook to the north and south. Situated at Kilmonivaig beside beat 1, the cottage overlooks the minor public road and has access directly off it to an enclosed garden and parking area.
The cottage has been renovated in recent years to provide accommodation for the owner and tenants whilst fi shing the private beats of the River Lochy. Whilst the kitchen and bathroom fi ttings are contemporary, the timber panelled sitting room and coombed first floor bedroom ceilings ensure that the traditional charm of the cottage has not been lost. With its triple aspect fenestration and open fireplace, the sitting room is a particularly comfortable room in which to reflect on the days fishing experiences amidst good company.
The cottage sits amid a large enclosed garden which is laid down to lawn for ease of management but has potential to be embellished. It includes ample space for several cars to park. There is also a substantial outbuilding/workshop used for storage for garden machinery and fishing equipment.
In addition to being used by the owner, the cottage is let to salmon fisherman during the season with very few unlet weeks between May and early October each year.
Lot 2 - The River Lochy Owned independently of Willow Cottage, the subjects of lot 2 comprise a one sixteenth share in the River Lochy Association.
The River Lochy Association The River Lochy Association (RLA) was formed in 1963 and comprises 16 equal Pro Indiviso shares in the ownership of the freehold of the subjects. Virtually unique in terms of the extent of its ownership and control of the River Lochy and its tributaries, the members of the RLA own the double bank salmon fishing rights over about 7.6 miles of the main stem of the River Lochy plus circa 5.9 miles of the River Spean, downstream of Spean Bridge.
The RLA owns additional salmon fishing rights including the River Lundy (not currently fished for salmon), and one-third of the rights on the whole of the River Roy.
From a facility at Glenfinnan, 17 miles west of Fort William, the RLA runs the largest wild salmon hatchery in Scotland with the capacity to produce one million ova, half a million fed fry and 50,000 S1 smolts.
The Fishing Fishing on the Lochy comprises four principal double bank beats extending over about 7.6 miles, with each beat fished in daily rotation by four rods. Fishing on the private beats rotates daily in numerical order.
In his revered book, A Salmon Fishers Odyssey, John Ashley-Cooper describe the River Lochy as follows: The soul of the Lochy must indeed be one of outstanding beauty and purity. Shepherding like Arethusa of old its bright fountains so sparkling and clear amongst the high hills and precipitous glens of Lochaber. Each of the beats is described as follows:
Beat 1 Beginning at the point where the outflow of Mucomir Dam and the River Spean meet, Beat 1 has long shingle based pools with fast runs, wide glassy glides and deep rocky pools giving excellent holding places for salmon at all heights and throughout the year, with two of the most prolific pools being the Croy and Rock Pool. Croy can be fished from the right or left bank, and has a fast stream at the top before it widens into a deep holding pool before running out through Mckillops Pot into the wide deep pool called Pile, a great favourite at the back end of the season. Crossing to the island there are two excellent mid-season pools, the Jetty and Rock Pool with classic fly fishing water. Lower still there is a wonderful right bank stretch called Golden Burn reached by one of the two boats on the beat.
Beat 2 Beat 2 meanders through the Lochy flood plain with its top pool Blackcairn Flats being the go to place at the end of the season in high water. Earlier in the year the depths of Boat Pool hold fish and provide exciting sport. Garribuihe Flats and Stream are hugely productive pools to fish under the high banks peppered with sandmartin nests. Graveyard seems to change every year with the shifting shingle banks and is an exciting if somewhat puzzling pool, while Loy Mouth and Pollock are well worth the boat trip to the right bank as they are a joy to fish.
Beat 3 The top half of Beat 3 with the Upper, Middle and Lower Camiskys and the lunch hut is a truly beautifully stretch of water, and fish often obligingly show opposite the hut to tantalise fishermen. As the river turns the pools become narrower with more turbulent water and rocky pockets where salmon will shelter in low water and hot summer conditions. The bottom half of the beat holds the truly magnificent Falls Pool, a wide glassy pool, where kingfishers are a frequent sight. The river narrows dramatically and thunders over the lip of the gorge, where fish are often hooked (and lost) as they turn tail. Crossing to the right bank below the Gorge, is the aptly named Grilse Run which flows into the productive Upper Garden Pool.
Beat 4 Beat 4 has some cracking deep pools with swirly currents holding fish deep in the depths, namely Kitten and Big Rock, great holding pools and hugely exciting to fish. Canal, Lucky Cast and Larch Tree have deepened over the last few years, and become better and better. The river at the bottom half of the beat is wider and slightly slower, with some great high water pools, Beech Trees and Ford in particular, and Rail End and Crieve being favourite low water destinations as you fish looking up from the river to the mighty heights of Ben Nevis. At the very lowest end of the beat are two very productive pools, particularly when fished on the tide, Lundy Mouth and Foxhunter, the first pools in the main river where the fish pause for breath. Each beat has a timber and felt-roofed fishing hut and two boats. Many of the pools are fishable by wading which is largely over gently sloping shingle. The majority of the 38 salmon pools are easily accessible by footpaths leading from the minor public road and parking areas close to the southeast bank of the river. These tracks are passable with care in a two-wheel drive vehicle.
Most fishermen favour 13 to 15-feet doublehanded fly rods to cover the pools effectively in most water conditions with standard choice of flies ranging from size 6 to 10 depending on water height.
In addition to the four private beats, there are two further short beats of fishing; the Sluggan & Town Water Beat, and the Tailrace Beat, extending to about 0.6 mile and 1.4 miles respectively and situated between the bottom of beat 4 and the sea at Loch Linnhe.
The fishing on the Sluggan & Town Water beat is let by RLA to the Inverlochy and Fort William Angling Clubs and is fished exclusively by their members. The Tailrace beat is let to the Fort William Angling Club and is shared with the private beat rods. Both beats are tidal, the fishing is fly only and the same catch and release policy applies.
Having been placed in category 3 under the Wild Salmon Conservation measures introduced by the Scottish Government for the 2016 season, the Lochy has been moved to category 2 for the 2017 fishing season. This gives the RLA a degree of autonomy regarding the killing of salmon/grilse. In practice, the RLA adheres to a policy of fly-fishing only with catch-andrelease of all salmon/grilse with the exception of fin-clipped hatchery-reared salmon and escapee farmed salmon.
The Lochy is famed for its run of large salmon. In most years, fish of 30lbs and over are caught with spring fish averaging around 17lbs in weight. Whilst the legal fishing season for salmon/grilse commences on 11 February and runs until 15 October, the main spring run of salmon arrives in mid to late April and there is, in practice, little fishing effort prior to this.
The season is divided into 3 categories: Mid-April-July the main spring run of mostly fresh/sea-liced multi sea-winter (MSW) fish which average 15lbs to 17lbs but with several much larger fish of up 30lbs caught each year.
August the main run of grilse with some small MSW salmon also caught mostly fresh/ sea-liced.
September Mid-October the autumn grilse run with some big late running MSW salmon also featuring.
A detailed description of each of the private beats is available on request from the selling agents and from the River Lochy website www.riverlochy.com.
Sea-Trout In addition to providing first class salmon/grilse fishing, the Lochy has an improving run of seatrout which provide exciting sport throughout the season including the opportunity for night fishing in mid-summer. Whilst the five-year average sea-trout catch for the four private beats plus Tailrace and Sluggan is 178 fish, a remarkable 646 sea-trout and finnock were caught during the 2014 season.
The Hatchery Situated at Glenfinnan, 17 miles west of Fort William, the RLA hatchery is a modern facility which has the capacity to produce up to one million ova, half a million fed fry and 50,000 S1 smolts each year.
In addition to supplementing the natural reproduction of salmon in the Lochy system, the hatchery produces an income from the sale of fry and smolts reared for release in other systems in the west Highlands.
The hatchery is situated on ground leased from West Highland Woodlands, also a member of the RLA.
Smolt Rearing Programme Utilising the RLAs hatchery facility and working together with local fish-farm company, Marine Harvest, the hatchery and restoration manager and his team operate the largest indigenous smolt rearing operation in the country.
The last few years have seen a trial period of changing the hatchery operation from production of fed fry to the production of smolts which are treated for protection against sea lice prior to being released into the sea for their journey through Loch Linnhe to the open Atlantic Ocean.
Smolts released have their adipose fin removed so that they can be identified if they are caught on their return to the river as grilse or salmon. Under the current smolt release programme, around 50,000 smolts are released each year. A key feature of the current restoration plan is working with the fish farming industry to ensure that sea lice numbers and the escape of farmed salmon are kept under strict control.
It is particularly vital that there are no sea lice in the estuary in the spring when the smolts go to sea and the hatchery manager is heavily involved in various initiatives to try and ensure that this can be achieved.
All predators particularly seals, goosanders, rainbow trout, mink and poachers can have a severe impact on numbers of returning fish and the team are constantly vigilant for these threats. A full range of licences are held to control these predators and at least five warranted bailiffs patrol the catchment 24 hours a day to protect against poaching.
Employees The RLA employs the following full-time staff:
A River Manager A Hatchery and Restoration Manager.
In addition, a part-time hatchery worker and seasonal water bailiff is employed and four self-employed ghillies are available for employment by proprietors/fishing tenants on a weekly basis during the fishing season.
River Spean Draining the mountainous region of the Mamores to the west of Fort William, the river Spean flows due west for about 13 miles from Loch Laggan to its confluence with the Loch Lochy hydro-electric outflow, after which it becomes the River Lochy.
The RLA owns the left bank of the Spean and the whole salmon fishing rights extending to about 3.6 miles between Spean Bridge and Kilmonivaig. In addition, the RLA leases the whole salmon fishing rights over a further 10 miles of the river between Roy Bridge and Spean Bridge. This is sub-let to local angling clubs.
Situated in the Lochaber area of Invernessshire, the River Lochy System drains both the mountains of the south-western Monadhliath and the mountains of Locheil Forest. The main stem of the Lochy fl ows into the sea at Loch Linnhe at Fort William, a thriving centre of commerce and tourist destination serving a large part of the northwest Highlands.
Fort William is 75 miles from Inverness airport and 133 miles and 108 miles from Edinburgh and Glasgow respectively.
To reach Fort William from Inverness Airport, proceed west from Inverness airport towards the A9. Join the A9 and at the fi rst roundabout turn left and follows signs for Fort William and the A82. Continue through Inverness and having crossed the Caledonian Canal on the west side of the town, proceed for 64 miles to Fort William.
From Glasgow and Edinburgh, follow signs to Stirling and join the A84 signposted to Callander and Lochearnhead. Continue on this road passing through Callander and Lochearnhead after which the road becomes the A85. Continue through the village of Tyndrum and then join the A82 signposted to Fort William. Continue along this road through Glencoe and Ballachullish until you reach Fort William.Read all
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