Loch & River Arkaig

Loch & River Arkaig
Achnacarry Estate
Spean Bridge
PH34 4EJ
See map

  • Brown trout
  • Pike

Contact:Mark Hirst

Tel:07879 437471

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The loch is well known for its trout populations (both wild brown and ferox trout) and large specimen pike. It is one of the few lochs in Scotland where these magnificent large trout can be caught on the fly.

The loch is large and lightly fished, so it is always possible to find a quiet spot. A road runs along the north side of the loch providing access to bank fishing and there is a slipway at the east end of the loch for launching boats. The loch is covered by a protection order and fishing is by permit only.

The trout fishing season runs from March 15 to October 6 and fishing is at its very best from April-early June and in August to September. Traditional drift fishing over shallow water around the loch margins can result in excellent catches of brown trout, with fish generally averaging 3/4lb.

Ferox are caught both on the fly and trolling, with fish in double figures not uncommon. The best fishing times for Ferox are traditionally early or late in the season, though double-figure fish are caught throughout.

Good pike fishing can be found in some of the weedy bays (see fishery map) and several fish over 30lbs have been caught. Pike are generally difficult to catch during the breeding season (early April), and the best fishing is from May onwards.

The River Arkaig runs out from Loch Arkaig into Loch Lochy. Fishing is mostly for trout, though occasional salmon are caught. The trout in the river, like those in the loch, can be big and provide excellent sport. The upper river has good runs which fish well in low to medium water and the pool above the weir is good in high water. The lower part of the river has some deep pools which are best fished in low water.

Guided fishing can be arranged on the loch and river, contact the Water Bailiff for more information.

Loch Arkaig is 8 miles from the nearest shop and 15 miles from the nearest garage so come prepared! Mobile phone coverage is very limited so expect to be out of communication and enjoy some uninterrupted fishing.

Wider area

Achnacarry estate was the training grounds for the Royal Commandos and you can still find evidence of their time here. The Commando Memorial, with its stunning backdrop of Ben Nevis and surrounding mountains, can be found on the road to the estate. The area around Loch Arkaig is stunning and offers some spectacular walks. The Chi-aig falls and the witches pool (just before you get to the loch) are a great photo opportunity and featured in the film Rob Roy.

Achnacarry Sporting & Country Pursuits offer deer stalking, clay pigeon shooting alongside wildlife, photographic and hill walking tours through this magnificent countryside. The Clan Cameron Museum houses interesting exhibits and is of interest to members of the Cameron Clan and people interested in the Jacobite uprising.

Spean Bridge (8 miles from the loch) has a few gift shops including the Old Woollen Mill and the Highland Soap Company alongside a post office and Spar.

The fishery distilled

How to get here



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The fishery distilled

  • Loch and River Arkaig trout fishing season runs from 15 March-6 October. Pike can be fished at any time of year.
  • Bank fishing is available for £10/day, boat launch & fishing (2 rods) for £20/day. Permits can be purchased from the honesty box at the jetty.
  • Permits for the loch are available from the jetty (honesty box system) or via fishpal. Permits for the river can be obtained from the baililff (07879 437471).
  • The shallow bays and edges of the loch are reserved for fly-fishing or spinning. Trolling is permitted in deeper water.
  • The loch operates a 100% catch and release policy on salmon and sea trout. A bag limit of 3 trout is allowed, with no fish smaller than 10 inches or larger than 3 lb to be killed.
  • The river offers fishing for up to 3 rods. The section of the river around the castle (from the weir to the red bridge) is private.
  • Catch returns should be posted in the green letterbox at the jetty.

How to get here

From Spean Bridge take the A82 to Inverness for about 1 mile until you reach a large statue on your left (this is the Commando Memorial and worth a stop).

Turn left (signed Gairlochy) and follow this road for just over 2 miles until you pass over the canal.

Just after the canal bridge turn right and follow this road for 6 miles until you come out at the loch and in less than 500m you’ll see the jetty and parking.


Loch Arkaig

  • Fishing will only be permitted between the hours of sunrise and sunset.
  • Fishing will be by rod and line, spinning and fly only.
  • The following methods of fishing are expressly prohibited: the use of live or dead minnow; the use of one or more rods set up on the bank and left unattended. (This is known as set line fishing and is an illegal method.); the use of fish bait smaller than 4 inches; and no worm/maggot or any other natural or manufactured bait (power bait).
  • Trolling is only permitted in deep water and not across recognised fly fishing beats.All records of fish caught must be handed into the point of ticket sale.
  • Anglers may launch their own boats on to Loch Arkaig by payment of the launching fee with maximum of three fishing rods only.
  • Fishing on the bank of the south shore is allowed but exclusion zones apply where sign posted.
  • Anglers should not cast over mooring lines.
  • An exclusion zone of 100 meters exists around the fish farm sites on Loch Arkaig. Trolling and Spinning is not allowed in this zone.
  • Parking is only allowed at designated sites. Coach parties are strictly prohibited.
  • The season for fishing on Loch Arkaig commences on 15 March and finishes on 6 October each year.
  • All anglers are responsible for their own safety and no liability can be accepted by Achnacarry Estate for any loss of equipment, injury or loss of life. Life jackets must be worn. Persons fishing or using a boat on Loch Arkaig, do so at their own risk. Access to foreshore and surrounding countryside is allowed in accordance with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
  • Bag limit – Maximum of three Brown Trout per rod per day.
  • Size limit – Minimum 10 inches or 254.0mm to Maximum of 18 inches or 457.2 mm.
  • Size Weight – Maximum 3 pounds, all large fish to be released.
  • Dogs must be kept on leads.
  • All rubbish to be taken home.
  • To improve bio-security on the loch please rinse your boat before and after use and wash all equipment and make sure it is dried properly before further use.


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