About the river

This short river flows westward from Fionn Loch in West Sutherland to enter tidal waters at Loch Kirkaig. Fionn Loch has an extensive system of lochs, small rivers and streams draining into it from a catchment area of 84 square miles. Only the first 2 or 3 miles upstream from the river mouth are of interest for salmon fishing as the 60 feet high Falls of Kirkaig bar the ascent of migratory fish. It is a mystery how returning fish manage to reproduce as there is very little gravel and no burns/tributaries on the lower river.

When to fish

Spring fish are occasionally caught but the main runs of fish are from July (or late June given water) to the end of the season. Dependent on water, between 200 to 400 salmon are caught annually with an average weight of 8lb. A few heavier fish, up to 20lb are usually caught towards the end of the season. The season is from 11th February to 15th October.

Where to fish

The river is divided into three beats. Beat 1 starts at the Kirkaig Falls Pool and has 13 pools ending with the MacKenzie Stream. The Little Falls Pool on this beat is regarded as the best pool on the river. Beat 2 has 10 pools with the Upper Red Pool, Little Kirkaig and Hazel being regarded as the best by regular rods. Beat 3 starts with the Heather Pool, possibly the best pool on the beat, and has 7 pools ending with the Sea Pool. This beat has the easiest access being next to the road from Lochinver. Fishing is by fly only with classic flies such as the Yellow Torrish, Thunder and Lightning, Green Highlander and the Black/Silver Doctor regularly accounting for fish. The Collie Dog can also be useful in low water.

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Kirkaig Location

Where to stay

Many fishers stay in lodges or cottages provided with the fishing, but for other alternatives, some of whom can offer fishing packages, please see our list of North West accommodation providers.

Contact details

CKD Galbraith LLP
Lynedoch House
Barossa Place
Perth PH1 5EP
Telephone : 01738 451600