Loch Shiel

Loch Shiel
Loch Shiel Hotel
PH36 4JL
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  • Brown trout
  • Salmon
  • Sea trout
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Loch Shiel was once an important route for trade and communication between the railway at Glenfinnan and the communities of Moidart and Ardnamurchan. However, improvements to the road network mean that the loch is now a more peaceful place, and the few boats can all find their own quiet part of its 18 mile length.

You'll need a boat to fish Loch Shiel. If you have your own boat, then permits and access to a slipway can be found in Acharachle at the southwest end of the loch. This is currently the only place for visiting anglers to get boats onto the loch. Orkney longliners can be hired for either a half day or full day from the Loch Shiel Hotel in Acharacle.

Trout are plentiful in the loch and impressive specimens tipping the scales at over 10lb are regularly caught. Fly fishing and spinning work best in the bays and along the shallow contours with trolling more effective in the open water. Or what could be better than a spot of dapping in the golden light of a calm summer's evening waiting for the tug of a trout to disturb the reflection of the surrounding hills on the water.

For fishing on the River Shiel go to

Wider area

The Loch Shiel area is rich in history and wildlife. The Glenfinnan Monument marks the spot where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard and began the second Jacobite uprising. Time your visit right and you might see the Jacobite Express steam train crossing the Glenfinnan viaduct made famous by the Harry Potter films.

The ruins of Castle Tioram sit in a strategic location at the mouth of the River Shiel. The castle is not open to visitors, but at low tide it is possible to walk around the formidable walls that date back to the 13th century.

Wildlife watching cruises are available on Loch Shiel and eagles, otters, black-throated divers are all common sights. Hotels and cafes can be found in both Acharacle at the south and Glenfinnan at the north of the loch. Acharacle also boats an excellent bakery, fish and chip shop, outdoor shop and regular local produce markets in the village hall. The Loch Shiel Festival takes place every spring showcasing local music and poetry.

The fishery distilled

How to get here



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The fishery distilled

  • Loch Shiel offers excellent brown trout, sea trout and salmon fishing.
  • A boat is required to fish the loch. Boats can be hired at the Loch Shiel Hotel in Acharacle at the south west end of the loch and the Acharacle slipway can be used by anglers with their own boat once a permit has been purchased.
  • Permits can be purchased from the Loch Shiel Hotel at Acharacle or via email at
  • Boat hire from the Loch Shiel Hotel costs £32.50 for a half day or £52.50 for a full day including a fishing permit and fuel.

How to get here

Loch Shiel is a large loch and, though roads pass both its northern and southern shores, fishing access is best taken from Acharacle where permits can be purchased and boats hired.

Cross Linnhe via the Corran Ferry and continue on the A861 through Strontian until you reach Salen. Turn right here and follow the road for approximately two miles until you come into Acharacle.

The Loch Shiel Hotel is on your right and the out of doors shop on your left.


  • A maximum of two rods can be fished from each boat and boats must display the number allocated to them obviously on the front of the boat.
  • The season runs from 15 March to 7 October for brown trout and from 1 May to 30 September for salmon and sea trout.
  • Fly fishing and spinning are permitted, but there is no bait fishing on the loch
  • Catch and release of all salmon throughout the season. Catch and release for sea trout caught before 15 June.
  • Trolling is not permitted in First Bay (west of the large forestry block on the south shore near Acharacle) from 1 July onwards and no fishing is allowed in the River Shiel marked by black and white posts.
  • Other areas of the loch may be out of bounds to protect breeding birds and anglers are asked to follow notices displayed around the loch and not fish or land in sensitive areas.
  • Visiting anglers must complete a catch return and give it back to permit issuer at the end of their trip.

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