Top Salmon & Sea Trout Fishing in South East Sutherland

Kyle of Sutherland Rivers Category: 1

The Kyle of Sutherland is the tidal estuary for the rivers Carron, Oykel, Cassley and Shin, pouring into the Dornoch Firth at Bonar Bridge. Each of these rivers has a large catchment extending to near the West Coast and is a renowned salmon fishery in its own right. Collectively they rival Scotland’s ‘big 4’ salmon rivers.

River Carron
The River Carron is the most southerly of the Kyle of Sutherland rivers. It’s a fast flowing medium-sized river running for some 25 miles from its source near Beinn Dearg in Wester Ross, in an overall Easterly direction to the Kyle at Bonar Bridge. Catches on the Carron are typically in the range of 600-800 salmon/year.

River Shin
The Shin system was developed for hydro-electric power generation in the late 1950s. Although the Shin system is huge, extending for some 25 miles to the north-north-east, the Shin is now just a short river, flowing for just 6 miles from the dam at Loch Shin, to the Kyle. Shin Falls about half way along the river’s length is a famed viewing point for leaping salmon, particularly after rainfall in the summer. 

River Cassley
The Cassley is the smallest of the Kyle rivers, and a classic spate river. Its source is a chain of lochs on the north flank of Ben More Assynt. From there the river flows south-east for approximately 18 miles to join the Kyle of Sutherland just downstream from the Oykel at Rosehall.

River Oykel
The Oykel is the most prolific of the Kyle rivers, typically producing 1000-1500 salmon/year. It rises on the southern slopes of Ben More Assynt flowing 6 miles to Loch Ailsh and from there for a further 14 miles to the Kyle at Inveroykel. The main river is split by the Oykel Falls into the Upper Oykel and Lower Oykel Fishings.

An important tributary, the Einig, joins the main stem of the river just below Oykel Bridge that drains a huge area to the east and south-east of Strath Oykel.

The fishing on all these rivers is let weekly as advanced lets, and it is difficult to get day permits. However, there is some very good fishing on the estuary, through which all fish must pass, available from the Kyle of Sutherland Angling Association.

Main Season: Mar-Sep 30th

river carron
Gledfield, River Carron

river shin
Upper Shin

river cassley
River Cassley

river oykel
Oykel Falls

KoSAA - Kyle of Sutherland Estuary
The Kyle of Sutherland estuary extends for about 12 miles from the mouth of the River Cassley to a point about 500m below the bridge at Bonar Bridge. Permits for sea trout fishing, downstream of the bridge only, can be purchased separately.

For permits contact Kenny Campbell, river watcher, based at the old netting station next to the road bridge at Bonar Bridge.

kyle of sutherland, salmon fishing
The Kyle at Bonar Bridge


River Brora Category: 1
The River Brora comprises two main sections of river separated by the large body of Loch Brora. Above the loch there are several miles of excellent salmon fishing on both the Upper Brora and its even more important tributary the Blackwater. Below the loch are the Lower Brora fishings which extend for about 3 miles to the Estuary.

The main river beats are very difficult to get onto, however there is salmon fishing available as day lets on the estuary and on Loch Brora.

Main Season: Apr 1st-Oct 15th
river brora
Lower River Brora

Brora Angling Club - Estuary Beat
Just under a mile in length, comprising 5 named pools and 2 good runs.

Permits from Linda's Café in Brora. Tel: 01408 621530.

river brora estuary
Brora Estuary

Brora Angling Club - Loch Brora
A large narrow loch 3 miles or so in length, situated in picturesque Strath Brora. Brora Angling Club has 3 boats available.

Boat hire from Cunningham's store in Brora. Tel: 01408 621204.

loch brora
Loch Brora


River Helmsdale Category: 1
The River Helmsdale has its source in the three interconnecting lochs of Loch Badanloch, Loch nan Clàr and Loch Rimsdale.  From there it flows south east to Kinbrace before heading south down the Strath of Kildonan. The large catchment and control of the flow from the headwater lochs ensures extended periods of good river levels after rain. The Helmsdale is one of the most productive rivers in the Highlands with annual catches in the range of 1500-2000 salmon/year.

This renowned Highland salmon river rarely has availability on the private beats, but it is however possible to fish the Association water at the estuary.

Main Season: Mar-Sep 30th
river helmsdale
Beat 2, River Helmsdale

Helmsdale Angling Association - Town Water
The Association water is a mile and a half long, half of which is tidal, with lovely fly water and fast streams, including the Flat pool, one of the most productive spring pools on the entire river.

Permits from Thyme and Plaice in Helmsdale.

river helmsdale, association beat
Town Water

sitemap | cookie policy | privacy policy | accessibility statement