By Gabbi Armstrong
Communications Project Manager for the North Coast 500
Published: 1st May 2018

Creel Experience

A stay at Shieldaig Lodge, on the West Coast of Scotland, offers guests the opportunity to experience traditional Scottish creel fishing on the tranquil waters of Gairloch with local skipper Ian McWhinney. A descendant of the MacKenzies, who have lived, fished and farmed in the area since the 15th century, Ian brings Gairloch to life for visitors.

Ian’s fishing trips are a combination of fascinating local folklore and history combined with harvesting langoustines, crabs and squat lobsters from his creels.  Guests are invited to help haul in the creels from the crystal clear waters and participate in an activity that has been taking place on the loch for centuries.  Guests will discover shellfish and sea life as the day’s catch is harvested: langoustines, squat lobsters, crabs, octopus, starfish and beautiful shells.

Your catch of the day will be served up as a shell fish feast later that evening. Much of the shellfish ends up on the tables of London’s best restaurants.With this experience you will be having the freshest feast possible, no need to travel to London! Find out more about this unique experience below.

Shieldaig Lodge

Gairloch is a truly beautiful location for an afternoon on the water, circled to the south by the dramatic Torridon Mountains including the 3300ft high Beinn Alligin and Slioch (3215ft), one of Scotland’s finest mountains.  Warm Gulf Stream waters make for a temperate climate which attracts plentiful wildlife, including seabirds, otters, dolphins, seals and whales that feast on the seasonal bounty of the sea.

After a successful day fishing on the loch, guests are invited to take their catch back to Shieldaig Lodge for the hotel’s chefs to prepare an unforgettable seafood dinner with the haul.  Using fresh, locally sourced West Highland ingredients and home grown produce, Head Chef, Jermone Perdont and his team will produce a feast to remember.  The hotel has recently renovated Shieldaig’s walled garden and has reinstated a vegetable garden, allowing for fresh produce to grow just outside the restaurant door.

Shieldaig Lodge is truly the perfect base for travelling fishing parties.  On the Shieldaig Estate, guests have access to 26,000 acres of first class fly fishing, with salmon and sea trout fishing on Loch Badachro and the River Badachro and brown trout fishing on the famous Fairy Lochs.

As well as offering creel fishing trips, the Lodge has fishing rights in nine major and numerous smaller lochans, with boats on six of these lochs.  Beginners are welcome from any age.  Fly fishing lessons typically start on the lawn of the Lodge and once guests have mastered the cast they will progress onto a loch with a personal instructor.

Book your creel experience now!

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