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Fort William, Inverness-Shire

Under Offer £160,000

Property Description

Full description

Lot 2 - The River Lochy
Owned independently of Willow Cottage, the
subjects of lot 2 comprise a one sixteenth share
in the River Lochy Association.

The River Lochy Association
The River Lochy Association (RLA) was formed
in 1963 and comprises 16 equal Pro Indiviso
shares in the ownership of the freehold of the
subjects. Virtually unique in terms of the extent
of its ownership and control of the River Lochy
and its tributaries, the members of the RLA
own the double bank salmon fishing rights over
about 7.6 miles of the main stem of the River
Lochy plus circa 5.9 miles of the River Spean,
downstream of Spean Bridge.

The RLA owns additional salmon fishing rights
including the River Lundy (not currently fished for
salmon), and one-third of the rights on the whole
of the River Roy.

From a facility at Glenfinnan, 17 miles west
of Fort William, the RLA runs the largest wild
salmon hatchery in Scotland with the capacity to
produce one million ova, half a million fed fry and
50,000 S1 smolts.

The Fishing
Fishing on the Lochy comprises four principal
double bank beats extending over about
7.6 miles, with each beat fished in daily rotation
by four rods. Fishing on the private beats rotates
daily in numerical order.

In his revered book, A Salmon Fisher's Odyssey,
John Ashley-Cooper describe the River Lochy
as follows: The soul of the Lochy must indeed
be one of outstanding beauty and purity.
Shepherding like Arethusa of old its bright
fountains so sparkling and clear amongst the
high hills and precipitous glens of Lochaber.
Each of the beats is described as follows:

Beat 1
Beginning at the point where the outflow of
Mucomir Dam and the River Spean meet, Beat
1 has long shingle based pools with fast runs,
wide glassy glides and deep rocky pools giving
excellent holding places for salmon at all heights
and throughout the year, with two of the most
prolific pools being the Croy and Rock Pool.
Croy can be fished from the right or left bank,
and has a fast stream at the top before it widens
into a deep holding pool before running out
through Mckillops Pot into the wide deep pool
called Pile, a great favourite at the back end
of the season. Crossing to the island there are
two excellent mid-season pools, the Jetty and
Rock Pool with classic fly fishing water. Lower
still there is a wonderful right bank stretch called
Golden Burn reached by one of the two boats
on the beat.

Beat 2
Beat 2 meanders through the Lochy flood plain
with its top pool - Blackcairn Flats - being the
'go to' place at the end of the season in high
water. Earlier in the year the depths of Boat Pool
hold fish and provide exciting sport. Garribuihe
Flats and Stream are hugely productive pools
to fish under the high banks peppered with
sandmartin nests. Graveyard seems to change
every year with the shifting shingle banks and is
an exciting if somewhat puzzling pool, while Loy
Mouth and Pollock are well worth the boat trip
to the right bank as they are a joy to fish.

Beat 3
The top half of Beat 3 with the Upper, Middle
and Lower Camisky's and the lunch hut is a
truly beautifully stretch of water, and fish often
obligingly show opposite the hut to tantalise
fishermen. As the river turns the pools become
narrower with more turbulent water and rocky
pockets where salmon will shelter in low water
and hot summer conditions. The bottom half
of the beat holds the truly magnificent Falls
Pool, a wide glassy pool, where kingfishers are
a frequent sight. The river narrows dramatically
and thunders over the lip of the gorge, where
fish are often hooked (and lost) as they turn tail.
Crossing to the right bank below the Gorge, is
the aptly named Grilse Run which flows into the
productive Upper Garden Pool.

Beat 4
Beat 4 has some cracking deep pools with
swirly currents holding fish deep in the depths,
namely Kitten and Big Rock, great holding
pools and hugely exciting to fish. Canal, Lucky
Cast and Larch Tree have deepened over the
last few years, and become better and better.
The river at the bottom half of the beat is wider
and slightly slower, with some great high water
pools, Beech Trees and Ford in particular, and
Rail End and Crieve being favourite low water
destinations as you fish looking up from the river
to the mighty heights of Ben Nevis. At the very
lowest end of the beat are two very productive
pools, particularly when fished on the tide, Lundy Mouth and Foxhunter, the first pools in the main river where the fish pause for breath. Each beat has a timber and felt-roofed fishing hut and two boats. Many of the pools are fishable by wading which is largely over gently sloping shingle. The majority of the 38 salmon pools are easily accessible by footpaths leading from the minor public road and parking areas close to the southeast bank of the river. These tracks are passable with care in a two-wheel drive vehicle.

Most fishermen favour 13 to 15-feet doublehanded
fly rods to cover the pools effectively in most water conditions with standard choice of flies ranging from size 6 to 10 depending on water height.

In addition to the four private beats, there are two further short beats of fishing; the Sluggan & Town Water Beat, and the Tailrace Beat, extending to about 0.6 mile and 1.4 miles respectively and situated between the bottom of beat 4 and the sea at Loch Linnhe.

The fishing on the Sluggan & Town Water beat
is let by RLA to the Inverlochy and Fort William
Angling Clubs and is fished exclusively by their members. The Tailrace beat is let to the Fort William Angling Club and is shared with the private beat rods. Both beats are tidal, the fishing is fly only and the same catch and release policy applies.

Having been placed in category 3 under the
Wild Salmon Conservation measures introduced
by the Scottish Government for the 2016
season, the Lochy has been moved to category
2 for the 2017 fishing season. This gives the
RLA a degree of autonomy regarding the killing
of salmon/grilse. In practice, the RLA adheres
to a policy of fly-fishing only with catch-andrelease
of all salmon/grilse with the exception of
fin-clipped hatchery-reared salmon and escapee
farmed salmon.

The Lochy is famed for its run of large salmon.
In most years, fish of 30lbs and over are caught
with spring fish averaging around 17lbs in weight.
Whilst the legal fishing season for salmon/grilse
commences on 11 February and runs until 15 October, the main spring run of salmon arrives in mid to late April and there is, in practice, little fishing effort prior to this.

The season is divided into 3 categories:
Mid-April-July - the main spring run of mostly
fresh/sea-liced multi sea-winter (MSW) fish
which average 15lbs to 17lbs but with several
much larger fish of up 30lbs caught each year.

August - the main run of grilse with some
small MSW salmon also caught - mostly fresh/

September - Mid-October - the autumn grilse
run with some big late running MSW salmon
also featuring.

A detailed description of each of the private
beats is available on request from the selling
agents and from the River Lochy website

In addition to providing first class salmon/grilse
fishing, the Lochy has an improving run of seatrout
which provide exciting sport throughout the
season including the opportunity for night fishing
in mid-summer. Whilst the five-year average
sea-trout catch for the four private beats plus
Tailrace and Sluggan is 178 fish, a remarkable
646 sea-trout and finnock were caught during
the 2014 season.

The Hatchery
Situated at Glenfinnan, 17 miles west of Fort
William, the RLA hatchery is a modern facility
which has the capacity to produce up to one
million ova, half a million fed fry and 50,000
S1 smolts each year.

In addition to supplementing the natural
reproduction of salmon in the Lochy system,
the hatchery produces an income from the sale
of fry and smolts reared for release in other
systems in the west Highlands.

The hatchery is situated on ground leased from
West Highland Woodlands, also a member of
the RLA.

Smolt Rearing Programme
Utilising the RLA's hatchery facility and working
together with local fish-farm company, Marine
Harvest, the hatchery and restoration manager
and his team operate the largest indigenous
smolt rearing operation in the country.

The last few years have seen a trial period
of changing the hatchery operation from
production of fed fry to the production of smolts
which are treated for protection against sea
lice prior to being released into the sea for
their journey through Loch Linnhe to the open
Atlantic Ocean.

Smolts released have their adipose fin removed
so that they can be identified if they are caught
on their return to the river as grilse or salmon.
Under the current smolt release programme,
around 50,000 smolts are released each year.
A key feature of the current restoration plan is
working with the fish farming industry to ensure
that sea lice numbers and the escape of farmed
salmon are kept under strict control.

It is particularly vital that there are no sea lice
in the estuary in the spring when the smolts
go to sea and the hatchery manager is heavily
involved in various initiatives to try and ensure
that this can be achieved.

All predators - particularly seals, goosanders,
rainbow trout, mink and poachers - can have a
severe impact on numbers of returning fish and
the team are constantly vigilant for these threats.
A full range of licences are held to control these
predators and at least five warranted bailiffs
patrol the catchment 24 hours a day to protect
against poaching.

The RLA employs the following full-time staff:

A River Manager
A Hatchery and Restoration Manager.

In addition, a part-time hatchery worker and
seasonal water bailiff is employed and four self-employed ghillies are available for employment
by proprietors/fishing tenants on a weekly basis
during the fishing season.

River Spean
Draining the mountainous region of the
Mamores to the west of Fort William, the river
Spean flows due west for about 13 miles from
Loch Laggan to its confluence with the Loch
Lochy hydro-electric outflow, after which it
becomes the River Lochy.

The RLA owns the left bank of the Spean and
the whole salmon fishing rights extending to
about 3.6 miles between Spean Bridge and
Kilmonivaig. In addition, the RLA leases the
whole salmon fishing rights over a further
10 miles of the river between Roy Bridge
and Spean Bridge. This is sub-let to local
angling clubs.

Situated in the Lochaber area of Invernessshire,
the River Lochy System drains both the mountains of the south-western Monadhliath and the mountains of Locheil Forest. The main stem of the Lochy fl ows into the sea at Loch Linnhe at Fort William, a thriving centre of commerce and tourist destination serving a large part of the northwest Highlands.

Fort William is 75 miles from Inverness airport
and 133 miles and 108 miles from Edinburgh
and Glasgow respectively.

More information from this agent

Listing History

Added on Rightmove:
28 September 2016

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