Loch a Phuill and Loch Bhasapol Fishing

letters to editor

Many’s the time I have fished these waters with my companions, catching trout on barbless hooks and returning them to the water, drinking tea and putting the world to right, and spotting the odd otter with a bit luck. But that was a few years ago.

Being a former secretary of the Tiree Angling Club I feel that you and your readers should know the position of fishing in these waters now. Several years ago the Club had the lease of the waters from Argyll Estates but one year the Estate refused to renew the lease but in fairness to them they still allowed members of the Club to fish the waters albeit each member had to purchase a permit from them.

This year one of our members applied for a permit and was told by Argyll Estates that no permits were being issued and he would no longer be allowed to fish on the waters. On pursuing this matter I have since found out that six permits will be made available for local residents so Argyll Estates are still not saying that you cannot fish they are just making it a bit more difficult to do so. Permits last year cost £90 but this year a permit will cost £200 with restrictions in as much as a permit holder will only be allowed to fish ten times.

I think it is incredible that in this day and age Argyll Estates can ride roughshod over individuals living on the island and increase the cost of a fishing permit by over 100% and stipulate the number of times they may use it. One would wonders if they are trying to keep local residents from fishing the waters by their pricing and rules policy and that they may have more lucrative rods to fish the waters and local rods would just be a nuisance.

I would be interested to hear view points from other An Tirisdeach readers on this matter.

Bill Campbell


  • I must admit first of all I am not resident on the Island. I do however take a close interest in what’s happening in Tiree mainly because I have become totally captivated by the island. Having visited most of the Scottish Islands I can genuinely say that Tiree is without hesitation the best. Having spent a lot of time on the island as a holiday maker I am sad to see the attitude of Argyll Estates to not just the residents but also holiday makers. My children have spent many days paddling in Bhasapol and picnics at Phuill whilst some of us fly fished for trout. Other days were spent on the beaches that surround the island. One day was unfortunately spend in the cottage hospital getting my leg reset. ( Incidentally I intend to return the crutches this year.)

    Please be assured that this will affect every one on the island that relies on tourism for a living. It will affect the local economy and it will affect peoples view as to where they will go on holiday. There are other activities on the island but the prospect of cutting off one of them to residents and visitors alike is not something that will help tourism or the local economy.

    The estate is entitled to make a modest charge for the right to fish, but the high and mighty attitude being exercised by them is not in the communities best interest.

    If you are a cafe owner, a hostel owner, a shop owner or let cottages I would urge you to make the estate know their actions , or lack of them, are not acceptable.

    I sincerely hope you find an amicable solution for the benefit of the island, its residents and the estate

  • I feel perfectly sure that Bill Campbell, Matt MacIntyre and Jocky Bryce and I can get together for a useful discussion to sort out some sort of compromise where every party concerned comes away a winner. Believe it or not it was certainly not Argyll Estates ambition to annoy the local fly fishers, quite the opposite Rather I would seek to set up a more useful arrangement with them and this cannot be achieved by confrontation, discussion and compromise are the road to success so I encourage Bill, Matt and Jocky to get in touch with me on 220498 or my mobile 07752 662 847 and we can set up a meeting where we can inform each other of our needs and realities.

  • I am a keen fly fisher and this August I am holidaying with my family on Tiree for the first time. I fully planned to take my fishing equipment to get a few hours fishing on loch-a-phuill and loch-bhasapol, working on the basis that I could purchase a permit on the island. I am saddened to learn that the Argyll Estates have inflated the price of a permit to £200 and that there are additional restrictions on the amount of times you can fish. If there is any resolution on this issue please could someone please leave a reply or message as I would love to experience fly fishing on this island. Regards, Chris Anderson

  • I personally find it quite amazing that our society has been structured in such a way as to prevent fellow humans from partaking in a necessity of life, the ability to hunt. How can it be that one should pay to be able to feed oneself by fishing in a sustainable manner? The commoner vastly outnumbers and has the capability to overthrow the tyranny from the elite, yet we have had our will and ambitions castrated by years of subjection. Throughout my life I have been brainwashed about how lucky we are to have the freedoms we do. In reality the freedoms we have are a mere illusion and under scrutiny we would realise that every aspect of our lives are controlled and profited from. Sometimes you have to let a little anarchy prevail to restore balance and common sense. #freefishingforall

  • I think Mr Anderson and Mr Grant should refer to Peter’s post… as Islanders we are generally able to “compromise” with the estates…we have not as yet had our “ambitions castrated by years of subjection”…you must be refering to somwhere else….in regards to the “necessitis of life” I am also sure Mr Grant could grab some fishfingers at the Coop or pay for a days goose shooting. 🙂



  • I would prefer to just shoot the goose and fish freely. I could sort of understand paying a nominal fee if the loch is being stocked at someones expense, but if a goose just happens to be flying over, I couldnt possibly imagine what claim anyone would be able to have on it. Most likely someone would lay claim on it and therein lies the problem elitism.

  • It may be worth pointing out the following letters, which were published in An Tirisdeach Issue #595…

    “Dear Editor,
    After a productive discussion with local fly fishermen Matt MacIntyre
    and Bill Campbell I’m pleased to say that a better outcome and
    atmosphere for all concerned has been reached. This can only prove to
    be of benefit for the future of Tiree’s amazing machair lochs and their
    inhabitants. Amended details of trout fishing lets can be seen
    advertised in this paper. I sincerely hope that all who appreciate these
    rare and vulnerable eco-systems will feel free to address any points or
    concerns directly to me on Tiree or Argyll Estates Office, Inveraray.”
    Peter Isaacson.

    “After meeting with Peter Isaacson last week regarding trout fishing on
    Tiree both Bill Campbell and myself are pleased with the overall
    outcome and would encourage those locals who intend applying for a
    season ticket this year to accept the conditions offered.
    Day permit holders will pay rates comparable to fishing on Scottish
    lochs of a similar quality.
    We thank Peter Isaacson for brokering this fair and amicable resolution.”
    Matt. Macintyre and Bill Campbell.

    The full, re-negotiated rates can also be found in said issue….

    “Loch a’ Phuill and Loch Bhasapol trout fishing season will run from 18th April to 30th Sept’.
    * Fishing will be fly only, catch and release, barbless hooks, quick handling practices, knotless
    nets. No bank fishing permits will be sold.
    * Season permits for local residents only £120, – no restriction on no’ of outings but full data
    on outings and catches to be reported to Peter Isaacson for AE records.
    * Any season permit holders accompanied by guest anglers in their boats must pay
    £25/guest/day to AE.
    * Argyll Estates will have sole use of both lochs for the fortnight, 25th July to 8th August.
    * Day tickets £50/day for fishing with estate boat, £75/day if it is two rods. Engine hire will be
    an extra £15 for the day. 5 days fishing for one angler with boat will be £200 + £60
    for the engine.”

  • “I would prefer to just shoot the goose and fish freely” ?….

    Mr Grant as with all sports involving the ultimate death of a wild species (tag and re-ease aside) a certain amount of resource management goes along with the sport… nothing elitist about this… maintaining fish stocks on the island involve management, reducing, or at least keeping the geese from grazing for too long on one croft or farm involves management…this management directly or indirectly generates income and emplyment for Tiree.

    Un-fettered access not only puts the islands natural resources at risk, it would also certainly have a direct impact on both Aggyll Estates and islanders income stream.

    (it seems to me that you may have a parallel axe to grind regarding land & water ownership… you simply cannot enter somebody elses property and expect to treat its resources like your own…the days of the hunter gatherer in Scotland have long gone)


  • The condescending views expressed by some voices here merely kowtow to a culture of entitlement, which belongs in the age of dinosaurs. The sooner we have progressive and extensive land reform in Scotland the better. Long live the highland spring

  • Could you be more specific Kelpie. What kind of land reform do you desire?

  • Mr Grant – In answer to your question, I would like to see a complete re-structuring of existing landownership patterns, including a ban on foreign ownership of vast tracts of Scotland and the expansion of community ownership similar to Assynt, Eigg and South Uist etc. The Norwegian model of land tenure is a good example.

  • Just finishing our holiday on Tiree and had a lovely time. However, extremely disappointed that visitor fly fishing for trout is not made more welcome. Small islands such as Tiree can’t keep expecting people to chuck money at them if they do not make a basic effort to market the product and give basic information. Suspect local business are trying hard but 1 particular absentee owner deliberately makes things difficult for the rest of the island by living in the 17 the century. Shame we and other prospective holidaymakers will be forced to fish/stay/support other areas of Scotland in future.

  • The local fishing club can keep the fishing and be under the control of the duke I’ll take my money and holiday else where… Shame on you all in the club you are no better than the money grabbing duke ..

  • Was considering a holiday on tiree with my wife in june , and as a keen life long flyfisher , simply not at these prices ,, looks like harris again for us

  • We are currently in Tiree on holiday just now and my 14 yr old brought his fishing kit. He’s just a keen beginner. Anywhere you can recommend , tips and hints? Thank you

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