Fishing the River Halladale


Tel 01641 571271

Mail: Miss A Imlach; Strath Halladale Partnership; Estate Office; The Kennels; Forsinard; Sutherland KW13 6YT

Apart from in its upper course, in the Forsinard area, the River Halladale is, for most of its twenty mile length, a rather sluggish salmon river.

Nevertheless, this northern Sutherland river can provide excellent salmon fly fishing. Very much a spate river, the Halladale relies very much on rain to give good sport, and the rule, as on most other northern rivers, is fly only.

The Halladale river rises in the hills to the south east of Forsinard and flows northwards to enter the sea at Melvich. Salmon can be taken in April but the best months are from June to September. Overall, the average size of fish is about 7 pounds but, given rain, there can be a lot of them. The earlier run of Spring fish average 9 to 10 pounds, while the grilse, which may appear from June onwards, will be in the 4 to 5 pound range, with some larger summer salmon running throughout the latter part of the season.

The river is divided into six beats, the lower four beats, with three rods on each, fished in rotation. In a normal year the eight miles of the four lower beats would traditionally produce in the region of 300 fish, while the upper two beats might have 50. Recent years, however, have seen an improvement in the salmon catch, with the five year average for the season rising to around 600 fish. The 2006 season produced the best catch of spring salmon on record, with 203 salmon taken before mid June. The fishing is usually let in conjunction with holiday cottage accommodation.

The Halladale River is a productive salmon fishery with a five year average catch of 759 salmon and grilse. The fishable river is about 15 miles in length and flows through beautiful wilderness scenery into the Pentland Firth. It comprises 6 beats and over 50 named pools.

Fishing is usually let with one, or a combination, of three comfortably appointed cottages. Accommodation is also sometimes available at the magnificent Bighouse Lodge. There is excellent loch fishing for wild brown trout, a fine local 18 hole golf course and stunning sandy beaches for those who want to engage in other activities.

Bookings are usually made in November for the following season but it is always worth checking availability for cancellations. Rods and some accommodation have become available for weeks 20th and 27th of June.

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