The Oykel, which drains 137 square miles, rises on the southern slopes of Ben More Assynt in west Sutherland. It has a fairly sedate pace to Loch Ailsh; thereafter it flows down Glen Oykel for some 15 miles, through a great variety of wild terrain including several gorge sections, to its mouth at the head of the Kyle near Rosehall. It is an entirely natural system with none of its waters impounded or abstracted; it has a wealth of spawning tributaries.
The Oykel system is dominated by two sets of falls- one on the main river just above Oykel Bridge and the other a mile up the main tributary, the Einig. Both of these are temperature barriers and spring fishing is restricted to the waters downstream.
Although the Kyle rivers share a common estuary, they each have their own individual characteristics as well as distinct runs of salmon. These are wild, rugged yet strangely intimate rivers, which offer a wealth of salmon angling opportunities amongst some of the most stunningly scenic backdrops in the Highlands.
The River Oykel is one of the most famous and productive salmon fisheries in the Scottish Highlands and it is naturally split into two parts by the Falls.
The lower river fishes from February to September. Above the Falls, the Oykel is more confined and one would be hard-pushed, except in one or two pools, to put out a full salmon line. The upper beats are essentially a summer fishery, with excellent sport whenever good water levels coincide with the main grilse run.
Beats in ascending order:
- Lower Oykel 7 miles double bank.
- Upper Oykel 6 miles double bank.
- Benmore Lodge 2 miles double bank.
- Corriemulzie Estate
- East Rhidorroch
The beat map below is available to purchase from: Fishing maps - Kyle beats