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River Conon, Easter Ross

Offers in Region of £375,000

Property Description

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The Coul Salmon Fishings

The Coul Salmon Fishings is a productive beat of single (left) bank salmon fishing extending to about 1.8 miles (2.95km). The upstream limit is 480 yards below the Tor Achilty Dam, with the downstream boundary at the confluence with the River Blackwater.

The water is relatively fast flowing providing ideal fly fishing with traditional patterns on a double or treble hook favoured. Due to the size and width of the river, double-handed rods of 13ft to 16ft are necessary to cover the water.

There are 12 named pools which vary in length and nature and can be fished by a combination of bank fishing, wading or by boat (in the Upper and Lower Boat, and New pools).

Although fished from the left (north) bank, the assembly point for anglers is the fishing hut and car park on the south side of the river beside the minor public road. From here, access to the north bank is by boat.

There is a traditional timber-built hut with an open balcony overlooking the Lower Boat Pool. Including a table and comfortable seating and a charming example of its genre, the hut amply serves its purpose for accommodating a party of up to 10 people for a picnic lunch. The site on which the fishing hut is situated is leased by the Coul Proprietors until 2084 at a rent of 1 per annum.

Beside the hut is a parking area for three cars and a boathouse/workshop which is both leased from and shared with the proprietors of the Upper Fairburn Fishings on the south bank.

The fishing records for the Coul Fishings since 2001 are as follows:

Year Salmon/Grilse
2001 114
2002 117
2003 73
2004 97
2005 93
2006 111
2007 93
2008 88
2009 99
2010 133
2011 99
5-year average 102
10-year average 89

Catch records for the 2011 season on a week-by-week basis are available on request from the selling agents.

The Coul Fishings and Upper Fairburn Fishings Reciprocal Agreement

Directly opposite the Coul Fishings on the right (south) bank of the river is the Upper Fairburn Fishings, the downstream limit of which is just below the 'Robin's Run' pool. Also in syndicated ownership, an informal agreement exists between the proprietors of Upper Fairburn and Coul, the purpose of which is to alternate fishing arrangements between both banks (so that each enjoys exclusive fishing of pools) and to avoid the conflict that can sometimes arise when opposite banks of the same river are in different ownership.

Incorporated within the agreement is the following:

" One full-time and one seasonal ghillie is employed between both beats. The ghillies rotate between the Coul and Upper Fairburn beats on a daily basis to ensure that each has an equal interest in the enjoyment by anglers on both sides, and in the success of the enterprise as a whole.

" The costs of employing the ghillies and maintaining the boats and boathouse is shared equally between the proprietors of Coul and Upper Fairburn. Any bank maintenance or improvement costs are borne by the owners of that bank.

" Coul rods do not fish the Gillanders Pool from the red marker post at the head of the pool to the white marker post (approximately half way down the pool) unless the river level on the gauge is showing 2 feet or more.

" The Boat Pool is divided into two beats (Upper Boat and Lower Boat pools) each with double bank fishing and the use of a boat, the dividing point being the burn (entering the river on the south side) between the Boathouse and the Coul Fishing Hut. Coul fish the Upper Boat pool on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and the Lower Boat pool on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

" The maximum number of rods fishing at any one time on each beat between the head of Gillanders pool and the downstream boundary of the Upper Fairburn beat is four. Interested parties should note that downstream of this point, there is no restriction on the number of rods that may fish the Coul beat and it is common practice for up to three additional rods (and therefore seven in total) to fish the lower part of the beat.

" Not more than two rods may fish any one named pool at any time with the exception of the Lower Boat Pool where more than two rods may fish if conditions dictate.

A copy of the Coul and Upper Fairburn Management Agreement is available on request from the selling agents.

The Coul Fishings Syndicate
The freehold of the Coul Salmon Fishings is owned by the Coul Fishings Syndicate which was established in the mid 1980s to purchase the beat from the previous proprietors, Scottish Hydro Electric.

The freehold of the Coul Salmon Fishings includes the solum of the riverbed up to the medium filum and a strip of land of 10 feet in width running parallel to the north bank of the river.

Included within the Title to the Fishings is a formal right of pedestrian access from the public road to two points (marked A and B on the plan of the beat) on the south bank of the river for the purposes of taking access by boat to the north bank.

In addition, the Coul Fishings includes a 50% share in the freehold of Clachuille Cottage which is situated beside the minor public road, to the east of the fishing hut.

This is a detached stone-built two-storey property of traditional style with four bedrooms. The cottage was originally purchased jointly to accommodate the head ghillie for Coul and Upper Fairburn. The current head ghillie has chosen to make alternative accommodation arrangements and, therefore, this cottage is let on a Short Assured Tenancy at a rent of 550 per month.

It is retained by the proprietors of both beats so that accommodation can be offered if/when there is a change of head ghillie in future.

The legal Title to the Coul Fishings is held by Brodies & Co (Trustees) Ltd for and on behalf of the proprietors.

The subjects of sale in this instance is a one-tenth Pro Indiviso Share representing 50% of the whole of the freehold ownership of the Coul Salmon Fishings (including 25% of Clachuille Cottage).

Following completion of the sale, the purchaser of this share shall be issued with a Certificate of Ownership.

Please note that in return for delivery of a Certificate of Ownership, purchaser will be required to sign formal agreement confirming their compliance with:

" The rules of ownership, control, exercise and management of the salmon and other Fishings on the Coul Water.
" The rules of ownership of Clachuille Cottage.
" The rules of management and operation of the Coul and Upper Fairburn Fishings contained within the Coul and Upper Fairburn Management Agreement. A copy of these agreements is available on request from the selling agents or vendor's solicitors.

Allocation of Fishing Amongst Shareholders

At present and historically, there are 10 recognised 'prime' fishing weeks on the Coul Fishings between mid June and early September. The current arrangement is that these 10 weeks are allocated between the existing proprietors according to the quantum of their shareholding. There is no formal rota for allocating fishing weeks amongst shareholders with this being agreed in advance each season by discussion and agreement.

If there is any difficulty in allocating the prime weeks following the sale of the vendor's share, a formal rota ensuring the fair allocation of fishing in future may be introduced.

The purchaser of this one half share will be entitled to five week's fishing during the prime part of the season. Shareholders can also rent days or weeks of fishing outside the prime weeks at market rental value.

On account of fluctuations in the timing of 'runs' of fish in recent years (i.e. grilse arriving in early August rather than late June and fresh salmon entering the river in the latter part of September), the designation of the 'prime' weeks may be subject to change in future.


Outside of the 10 prime weeks, fishing is let both by the week and on a daily basis. The profits and losses of the syndicate including Capital Expenditure are borne by the shareholders on a pro rata basis proportionate to their shareholding. A copy of the audited accounts for the syndicate is available on request from the selling agents.


The Coul Salmon Fishings are situated in the valley of the Lower River Conon in Ross-shire. Strathconon has the reputation as one of the most beautiful glens in Scotland and is renowned for its dramatic mountainous scenery and semi-ancient native woodland.

The Coul Fishings are situated at the foot of the glen at the point where the River Conon leaves the Highland landscape behind and enters a softer environment characterised by fertile farmland and woods. The accessibility of the beat is one of its features being 23 miles (and about 20 minutes' drive) from Inverness and 2 miles from the A835 Conon Bridge to Ullapool road.

Local services are available in the village of Contin (2 miles) and Dingwall (7 miles) while a more extensive range can be found in Inverness, the commercial centre and 'Capital' of the Highlands. Inverness Airport is 30 miles east of Coul and provides daily flights to London and a range of domestic and international destinations. There is a railway station in Muir of Ord (4 miles) with frequent services to Inverness where there are regular services to Edinburgh and Glasgow, and a sleeper service to London.

In addition to the first class salmon fishing which the Coul beat provides, there is a range of outdoor and leisure pursuits available locally.

Golf is a feature of the area with courses locally at Muir of Ord and Strathpeffer and the highly acclaimed Championship courses of Royal Dornoch, Castle Stuart and Nairn within an hour's drive of Coul.   

A substantial part of the Highlands is accessible within an hour's drive of Coul giving almost endless options for day trips for non fishing guests. This includes the west coast at Ullapool, the Torridon mountains of Wester Ross, Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness, and Culloden Battlefield.

The Coul beat is also very well placed for local accommodation with several high quality hotels within a short distance including the Coul House Hotel in Contin (2 miles).

More information from this agent

Listing History

Added on Rightmove:
10 February 2012

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