As you will have gathered by now between March and early October most of our outdoor adventures have a fishing element. With the trout season limited to less than 7 months it would be a shame to waste any time (so say the anglers) but it could get quite monotonous after a while - especially with a non-fishing member of the party. The key to avoiding such issues is to keep exploring new places so the fishing rods are simply coming along and fly fishing is something done on the way rather than being the sole purpose.
This year we developed a real passion for an area in the south of our little corner of the North-West Highlands. Which is nice, as last year we were really into the North and spent a lot of time there. Quite possibly the attraction of the Elphin and Ledmore areas also got to do with the Elphin Tearoom being under new ownership this year. Can't beat a tea room for treats before or after an adventure! So it was in late July that we first ventured out on a family outing along the small stream that flows out of Loch Urigill and into Cam Loch. It's a perfect wide open space for the dogs to run too and once you get down to the stream it meanders beautifully through some wooded areas ... then catches you out with a surprise waterfall. And if you actually remember to look back then there are amazing views of Suilven our iconic Assynt mountain.
We settled on a nice spot to fish - me to read - and all of us to fight off the midges. They were bad that day but then other than repellent and midge hats distraction is definitely the third best coping strategy! A few nice brownies were caught and released and we then had a bit of lunch to keep us going for further explorations. We knew, of course, there was a loch at the other end of the stream. Loch Urigill - a new loch for us and even Stewart who had not fished it. So with purpose, we worked our way further up the stream, to be finally greeted by the magic loch. It’s a big and very shallow loch. When you stand on the edge all the mountains of Assynt & Coigach are behind you - and a big wide expanse of land and sky are in front of you!
The weather was changeable that day with warm spells and rain and big threatening black clouds. All of which added to the amazing atmosphere. Stewart was off to wade into the loch - as you do. Corwin was also wading although remaining a bit more shallow and fitting in a play with the dogs on one of the small sandy beaches dotted around the shoreline. Generally, dogs splashing in the water does not mix well with fishing so we had to stay well out of the way of the ‘quiet zone’ further along.
I was the resident photographer, with intermittent spells of nestling into the heather with a book. Sadly the dark mesh of a midge hood is not ideal for reading. Soon enough Stewart started catching - when you try to land a trout a little helper is always welcome so Corwin has to come to the landing rescue quite a few times. By that time the clouds started to close in and it started raining but it was still incredibly beautiful and serene on the loch. And as is so often the case in the far north of the Highlands - even in the height of the summer, we had it all to ourselves.
With much sadness, we finally said goodbye and headed back along the stream to the care but we vowed to be back soon (which we were - a couple of weeks later actually - that might be another blog post in due course!)
Written by Monika Strell on Thursday, 07 September 2017.
Posted in Environmental Education and Wildlife, Scottish Highlands and Islands