River Oykel Salmon Fishing

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Salmon Fishing - River Oykel Scotland

O. S. Map 16

The Oykel is the best of the Kyle of Sutherland rivers. There are no hydro schemes on the Oykel to inhibit the natural flow of the river, which relies on precipitation, in the form of rain or, very early in the season, snow, to give of its best. Excellent Spring fishing on the lower river with sport on the upper river throughout the summer months.

Salmon enter the river from the start of the season in January and can travel as far as the Rock Pool, below Oykel Bridge and the junction with the Einag, its main tributary. When the water temperature reaches 42 degrees Farenheit, usually in early March, the salmon will push on upstream as far as the Falls of Einag, and to Oykel Falls on the main river, where they will halt until the temperature rises enough to encourage further upstream movement, usually around the end of May. By June, salmon will be over the Einag and Oykel Falls and into the upper river, which sees runs of fresh run grilse in June and July, continuing into August and building to a peak in September, although some of the fish will then be getting stale. The river has an annual catch of up to 2000 salmon, the vast majority from the lower river, whose best month is usually April with catches of around 200 salmon. Of the summer months, July is best with around 150 fish. The upper river will produce around 150 salmon and Loch Ailsh can produce a few salmon as well as a good number of sea trout.

There is a long waiting list for fishing on the lower river and fishing on the upper river, handled by the Oykel Bridge Hotel, is also popular. Loch Ailsh is owned and managed by the Assynt Estate, along with part of the upper river.


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River Oykel

Oykel Bridge

Oykel Bridge Low Water

River Oykel

Lower River Oykel

River Oykel Fishing Map

River Oykel Fishing Map

click on map to select an area to enlarge

The maps on this website have been reproduced with the permission of Collins Bartholomew. Please note that these maps may date back several decades. Much of the human detail will have changed but the character of the rivers and lochs, and the trout and salmon in them, will be much the same as they have always been.

In addition to the information provided here, I would recommend that anyone planning a fishing or walking trip in Scotland should equip themselves with a compass and the appropriate Ordnance Survey map. The most useful of the O.S. maps for the fisherman is the Landranger series, scale 1:50,000. For each of the lochs and rivers listed here, I have given the relevant O.S. Map number. 

See Ordnance Survey Maps

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River Oykel




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Trout and Salmon Fishing