To be able to offer an incredible experience that properly enables clients to really get the feel of Assynt. To be out there, up surrounded by the hills, mountains and lochs – right in the middle of it all. To eat, sleep, fish and explore with the knowledge that your experienced guide as everything in hand and is getting you to the absolute best places possible and all you have to do is experience the whole thing. Assynt Fly Fishing Safaris do just that!
Charlie had contacted me around the end of March 2014, hoping to squeeze in a quick trip to Assynt, hoping to get introduced to the fine Brown Trout fishing. Unfortunately, that trip, planned for August 2014, fell through but Charlie had been formulating much grander plans with some mates and had also heard a first-hand recommendation for Assynt Fly Fishing form an experienced and trusted friend that made him all the more determined to make it happen! The big 2015 trip was on and it was down to me to organise the lot, from arrival to departure, accommodation, expeditions, permits, boats, engines, options – five days of pure Assynt magic!
After their epic trip north, with an overnight visit to relatives in Glasgow, I thought it only fair that I offered the lads the option of pitching their tents on our field and sharing a BBQ and some Highland Hospitality with them for their first night in Assynt. This also gave me the opportunity to scrutinise their wild camping equipment to ensure it would be up to the proposed (and somewhat exposed) location for the next evening, high in the mountains of Assynt. Not to mention their apparent physical abilities – people can sometimes paint a overly rosy picture in the process of booking! Everything was absolutely fine, with just one swap of a slightly large and heavy tent for one of my ultra-light-weight tents, later described as the ‘canvass coffin’! I knew their physical abilities would be challenged, but that was just what I was looking for in our first exploration – a challenge for the body, mind and fishing with great reward for the conquest of each!
A testing two hour trek up into the heart of the Assynt wilderness saw us established at our camp. It was a pretty tough and challenging undertaking but ultimately hugely rewarding experience for everyone. The weather at least stayed dry but the strong south-easterly wind and unbroken sunshine made the fishing very tough indeed. Andrew, very new to fly fishing, was an excellent student, roll casting very well despite the blustery conditions and was rewarded with the only fish of the day. It may have been the smallest fish I have ever seen caught up there but that was a welcome sign that the loch was in balance and, as none of us had caught anything, we were in no position to criticise! I managed a rise from what looked like a really good fish just in the dying light but that was it for the day. A spectacular sunset and a couple of drams brought a fantastic day to a fitting close.
By the time dawn broke the following morning, the wind did as forecast and backed around to a more southerly direction, losing some ferocity as it did so. With expectations and air temperature rising I allowed myself a fifty meter section of bank for a quick cast before breaking camp. Ten meters in and I turned a very nice fish and about twenty minutes later was rewarded with a beautiful specimen of just under two pounds. A short time later, just before heading back down, Charlie also hit gold with a beautiful fish of around two pounds. A well-deserved reward for the coordinator of this Assynt adventure!