Draining some 220 square miles the Shin was the largest river in Sutherland, at least in terms of the volume of water that it dispensed.
From Loch Shin (a vast sheet of water some 16 miles long) the river drops 270 feet in its short seven mile course; most of this descent is in the last mile or so, and it is this tumbling rock-strewn section that really established the Shin's legendary reputation as one of the most challenging of salmon rivers. Close to the top of this section is the Falls of Shin, or Big Falls, a daunting obstacle 12 foot high.
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 Shin has long been famous for being a small river that holds huge fish.
Loch Shin was dammed in the late 1950s for hydro-electric purposes. Those anglers, who can remember pre-hydro days, speak of a very different river- at times a truly awesome sight, untamed as it raged down through Achany Glen to the Kyle below. There is however one major advantage to the hydro scheme- guaranteed water levels; the Shin keeps on flowing in good angling order even during the severest of droughts.
Beats in ascending order:
• Lower river. 1.5 miles double bank.
• Upper river. 3.5 miles double bank.
The beat map below is available to purchase from: Fishing maps - Kyle beats