Rannoch is a large water running east to
west and extending to 10 miles in length
and just over a mile at it widest. It is
a typical ribbon lake, bordered by spectacular
mountains to both the north and south, the
most famous being Schiehallion to the southeast.
Many of the banks are wooded. The Black Wood
on the south shore is one of the few last
remnants of the old Caledonian Pine Forest,
which once covered the land.
Loch Rannoch is perhaps most famous for
its huge Ferox trout. Ferox are actually
brown trout, which have discovered that other
fish make an ideal meal. As a result of their
carnivorous activities they grow faster and
can attain enormous size. Indeed for until
1993 Loch Rannoch held the UK record. Many
fish over 20lbs have been recorded from Rannoch
and even a few larger specimens are rumoured
to have been caught.
Fishing for Ferox is a real challenge and
can be very specialised. Since they feed
on smaller fish, the best bait is their natural
prey, which in Rannoch is either other small
trout or arctic charr, of which there are
at least two species in the loch. These are
best presented as a wobbled bait (often at
depth). Live baiting is not allowed, alternatively
large plugs (Rapalas) can be used. This is
best achieved from a moving boat in order
to cover as much water as possible.
However Rannoch is an unusual Scottish
loch in that it has good areas of shallows
at the western end. These are ideal for
fly-fishing from a boat (loch style drifting).
knowledge that there are monster fish are
in the loch adds a certain edge to your
day. Indeed they do sometimes come to the
As the loch runs west to east (with the
prevailing winds) there are some superb "drifts".
Most of the trout are just under the pound,
but they make for great sport with a team
of three traditional flies such as the
Pennel, Wickams Fancy and Bibio. Modern
such as the Pearly Pennel are also favoured.
Fishing with a long rod and a short line
enables the angler to present quietly and
to hang that bob fly in the manner so beloved
of the brown trout. Trout season extends
from March 15th till October 6th.
The loch has the further advantage that
minor roads (B846) run round its margins.
This makes bank access much easier. Since
larger fish use the burns and rivers to spawn
in autumn, such locations offer a chance
of an even better fish.