About the river
About the Awe
The River Awe runs northwest for 4 miles from Loch Awe to enter the tidal waters of Loch Etive at Taynuilt.
In 1961 the 59ft high barrage at the Pass of Brander was completed and Loch Awe was impounded. The flow of the river is now controlled from the dam and even when heavy rain falls in the 270 square mile catchment area, spate conditions never occur. Water drawn off to power the turbines at the Inverawe Hydro Plant re-enters the river close to it's mouth at Loch Etive. In 2012, SEPA, Scottish & Southern Energy and River Awe fishery owners agreed a revolutionary new flow regime in an effort to maximise the numbers of smolts produced by the river.
Fish enter the River Awe as early as April with the peak of the runs in May to August. Although fish are not as large as those in the past, the river still produces the occasional 30lb specimen.
A voluntary catch and release policy is operated and official figures show that anglers release 90% of their catch. In a good year over 400 fish are caught with an average weight of 10lb. A fish counter at the Barrage provides river managers with accurate data on fish moving through the river.
The Laggan Estate is situated on the Hebridean island of Islay and is set amidst some of Scotland's most spectacular and stunning scenery.
Approximately 2 miles south of Bowmore on the west side of the Island, it is possibly one of the best mixed sporting Estates on the island offering salmon fishing; sea trout, brown trout loch fishing; red and roe deer stalking along with game and wild fowl shooting.
The Estate's water on the River Laggan extends to approximately 5.5 miles of double bank fishing on the River Laggan from the sea to Laggan Bridge which is the largest and most important and productive part of the Laggan system.
In total there are 38 named pools offering a great variety of fishing with pools ranging from fairly slow and deep in the middle and lower sections of the river to faster, narrower water in the upper sections.
All pools are accessible by vehicle and little walking or wading is required.
The fishings are divided into four beats each accommodating up to four rods. Beats rotate on a daily basis. All the beats have a fishing hut.
River Laggan Seapool.
About the Ruel
The Ruel is an extremely attractive spate river of about 12 miles in length flowing through Glendaruel and into the sea at Loch Riddon.
The river has been very lightly fished in recent years but a few salmon and a good number of sea trout have been caught and the potential is significant. As with all spate rivers, the quality of the fishing at any time depends on water levels, and rain is needed to produce the best results. Whilst the season runs from March to the end of October, in practice migratory fish do not historically arrive until the beginning of June. Night fishing for sea trout has never been practised on a regular basis, but no doubt this is a largely unexplored potential. On all three of the beats which can be booked via Fishpal, there are pools which are comparatively easy to fish without being heavily tree lined.
Kandahar, which offers the fishing for just over a mile immediately upstream of the tidal beat, has historically been the most productive on the river and there are 13 named pools. This was once owned by the Ormidale Hotel. The Tighnariddon beat, which used to be the Glendaruel Hotel water and stretches to about a mile on the East bank, has 10 named pools and fishes best from August onwards.
The Upper Beat covers about 5 miles further upstream of the Caravan park and there are numerous holding pools and many attractive runs. Normally a floating line or a sink tip is best on a rod not more than 11 ft and it is very seldom that one would fish with anything bigger than a size 10 sea trout fly. Traditional patterns such as Ally's Shrimps, Stoat's Tails and Cascades work well but as is usually the case, presentation is more important than the fly being used! There are parts of the river where it is useful to be able to wade, but much of the river can easily be fished from the bank.
All the fishing is on a catch and release basis.
Tucked away in the Argyll Secret Coast, the Ruel is what has often been called by visiting anglers 'a hidden gem' and although, as for all West Coast rivers, the spectacular catches of pre aquaculture days would seem to be a thing of the past, there still remains significant potential on very attractive water which for the most part is easy to fish.
River Orchy Dalmally Beat.
About the Orchy
The lower slopes of the Blackmount and Rannoch Moor drain into Loch Tulla and the outflow of this 4km long loch is the River Orchy.
The Orchy flows South for its first 4km across bare and boggy moorland until it is joined by its main tributary the Kinglass. It then heads Southwest through the scenic Glen Orchy where it tumbles down though a series of spectacular falls, gorges, rapids and glides for a further 12km.
It then levels off and passes for about 11km through flatter land with lovely natural gravelly pools before finally reaching its destination, the freshwater Loch Awe. Loch Awe is Scotland's longest loch and its outflow is controlled by a hydro electric dam which feed the River Awe.
The River Awe is just 6km long and meets the sea in Loch Etive just North of Oban.
All the Orchy's salmon pass through a fish lift in the barrage at the head of the river Awe where there is a fish counter.
With Loch Tulla at its head, the Orchy is not a true spate river but its flow and fishing conditions are very dependent on the rainfall which, thankfully, is plentiful in this part of the West Highlands. To accommodate the wide variety of conditions that anglers might face, all methods are permitted except the use of prawn and shrimp.
Strict conservation rules are applied to ensure that a healthy spawning population is maintained. As soon as fish pass the Awe barrage in April, they will run the Orchy and can be caught right up to the middle beats.
The main Summer run of fish starts in mid June and is tailing off by August but the river is full of fish by September as it is the main spawning ground for the system.
The gravel beds of the lower river attract most of the grilse with the bigger fish mainly being found above the falls on the central beats.
Both daily and weekly lets are normally available throughout the season.
Fishing is mainly concentrated from May onwards with some beats fully booked from September but day tickets normally available on others right up to the end of the season on October 31st.