Fishing in the Gairloch Area

Poca Buidhe

It’s 3 o’clock in the morning in the middle of June. It’s almost broad daylight. The only disturbance to the surface of the loch 70 feet below the bothy is the huge rise of feeding trout and when you manage to prise your eyes away from the loch you are spellbound by the majestic scenery. You find yourself in an amphitheatre completely surrounded by mountains, some over 3000 feet.

The bothy is in the shadow of Beinn Eoin. The sun will not appear above the south ridge of this mountain for another four hours. Carn na Feota, Bein Dearg, Sgur Nhor and Beinn Alligan take up the whole southern skyline and the mighty Baosdheinn stretches all the length of the west side of the loch. Four hours before the sun strikes the loch it is time for a basket of trout before breakfast.

No, this isn’t a dream, it’s the Poca Buidhe experience, but before you rush off to the nearest telephone to make a booking I must remind you of the other two factors which you may encounter. It sometimes rains up there and you sometimes get strong winds and you sometimes get both of them together! If you are unlucky and get this kind of weather and are still determined to fish you can still try the Gorm Lochs and if that fails you can always crawl back into your sleeping bag for a couple of hours!

The Poca Buidhe is a bothy situated at the south end of Loch Na h Oidhche. The boat shed at the north end of the loch is approximately 5 miles from the A832 Gairloch to Achnasheen road. The bothy is a further 1 ¾ miles boat trip from the boat shed. A good walking pace takes just under 2 hours to the boat shed and a further ½ hour by boat with outboard motor to the bothy. The stone built bothy contains one bedroom with four bunks, a kitchen with cooker (four rings), ample pots, pans, dishes etc, wood burning stove and sink unit with cold running water, a store room and an elementary bathroom with wash basin and flush toilet. The bothy has calor gas lighting throughout. The hire includes the use of the 14 foot boat with outboard engine. Fuel logs for the stove are also supplied.

Front cover of Fishing in the Gairloch Area

Poca Buidhe fishing adventure

Favourite dapping patterns

Back cover of Fishing in the Gairloch Area

As well as Loch Na h Oidhche which has a boat with outboard, anglers can fish a number of small lochs close to the bothy including Gorm Loch Fada and Gorm Loch na Beinne. These lochs fish well from late May if the spring weather has been mild.

The most productive areas on Loch Na h Oidhche are marked on the map on page 50. Late evening and early morning are prime times on the big loch with the small lochs doing well during the day.

Wet and dry flies fish all fish well. A well greased size 10 bushy fly fishes particularly well in the evening. Dapping the big loch can be rewarding but if there is no rise it can be hard work during the daytime and the Gorm lochs should be tried.

The fish in these hill lochs are magnificent specimens with green backs and silver white bellies. Few fish under 3/4lb or over 1lb are caught in Loch Na h Oidhche whereas the small lochs hold trout in excess of 3lb. You will never forget the fighting qualities of these wild highland trout and for a bonus their flesh is red/pink and tastes wonderful.

Due to the remoteness of the area, a detailed consideration to safety is essential. Indeed the bothy administrators normally require guests to sign a safety disclaimer before they set off. There is also a published code of conduct which guests are expected to read and adhere to.

If the weather is kind to you the Poca Buidhe experience will be remembered as one of your great fishing expeditions.