Probably the most beautiful place on earth
Corran was my utopia in the late 70s, early 1980s, almost certainly a place that I could live in for the rest of my life. The last time I visited Corran was way back in 1983 when I was 14 years old. These images were taken in 2010 and can be found on Google Street view. Although everything is very familiar and what I remember, there are quite a few changes since I was last there. I am happy to say that the changes I can see have not had a detrimental affect on this beautiful place.
I can always remember driving across this bridge, it was a little bit more rickety 30 years ago, we could always hear when cars were driving over it. It certainly looks as if a lot of work has gone into refurbishing it.
If you look in the top left-hand corner of the photo you will see a white building (with a great big black arrow pointing at it). When we used to visit Corran there was a caravan located where this building is. Well, when I say caravan, it was a rather beaten up green caravan that probably dated back to the fifties, however it suited us for the two weeks that we would stay there and I wouldn't have had it any different.
This river, or burn as small rivers are known as in Scotland, flows into Loch Hourn, which is on the West Coast of Scotland. I can remember spending many happy hours sitting on the grass casting out my garden earthworm and catching small sea trout.
I thought it would be fun to compare a photo from 1979 to a photo taken in 2010. The little dog sitting next to me was not mine, she was called Jet and belonged to the local policeman, postman, firemen, mountain rescue man. Yes, one man had all these jobs. This cute little dog would sit next to me all day and every day until we went home, she was absolutely gorgeous and I'll always remember having her in my company. I think I've done a pretty good job of marking exactly where I was sitting that day, things haven't changed as much as I thought they would have.
Whether I will ever get back to visiting Corran again is a very difficult question to answer. Having said that, it's quite encouraging to see that the terrain isn't quite as lumpy & bumpy as I had been imagining. The river bank looks as if I could actually get to it, after all, there is no point in going all that way if I can't take my fishing rod with me. I would imagine that the building that sits where the caravan used to is a holiday chalets, again, it would all depend on whether it's wheelchair accessible. You never know, I might just look into going back up there, it would certainly be fantastic to relive all those fabulous memories I have got. But then again, maybe all those fabulous childhood memories are best left in the past where I can visit them in my head occasionally and dream of good times gone by.
If you are an angler and you ever make it up to Corran then you must take your fishing gear with you because the fishing is absolutely superb. Okay, it was 30 odd years ago since I was there, but I cannot imagine that the fishing has diminished in that time, it's not as if Corran is really in a location that many people go.
Fishing from the banks of the river (Burn)I used to get up at about 5:30 in the morning and walk what was only about 100 yards down to the little river that runs into the lock. I was only young in the early 80s so I really didn't have the benefits of much experience when it came to fishing. Having said that, I caught a shed load of sea trout using simple ledger tactics and worms I had dug out of the mud beside the river. Now if you're going to ledger in the river than be aware that it is extremely snagging, the bottom is absolutely littered with rocks so expect to lose tackle, I certainly did. Again, with the benefit of hindsight I would probably use a Paternoster rig and a rotten bottom. This would mean I would only ever lose my lead and not the hook. I probably wouldn't even use a proper lead, I think I'd probably collect a bunch of nuts and bolts and use them for weights. Having said that, sea trout feed at all levels so I would probably advise you to use a small floats, something like a bubble float or a trotting float. Remember that the river is flowing so you would be fishing on the trot. Alternatively, I also caught quite a few sea trout on spinners. Anything that resembles a small fish will catch sea trout because they are quite predatory. Flyfishing will also take sea trout, use an imitation sand eel, or anything resembles a small fish.
Fishing in Loch HournI don't think many people do a lot of sure fishing in the area of Corran, is just too far off the beaten track. Therefore, you're fishing over virgin ground. A friend of ours used to have a boat that we would go out on occasionally, they would keep it at the beach and we would all take it down to the shore to launch. I can remember on numerous occasions seeing very large fish very close to the beach. I think I may have seen an angler fish one day, plus plenty of flatfish. Also, the beach is full of massive lugworm, huge great big black lug, so make sure that you take advantage of this fantastic bait source.
You get tons of mackerel in the summer which can be taken on feathers and normal sliding float tackle. The place is absolutely infested with lesser spotted dogfish so don't be surprised if you get plagued by these. I've never fished the Loch in the wintertime, however since you get codling during the summertime, I would imagine that there is a possibility of catching some reasonably good quality cards during the winter. I would probably concentrate on using bottom fishing tactics, two or three hook flapper rig baited with lugworm, fish bait, or a mixture. I read somewhere that thornback ray are prevalent in the Loch which I can quite believe, is the perfect place for them. I would imagine that there is also the possibility of picking up different species of flatfish, maybe conger and definitely pollock. You can also catch bigger sea trout if you fish off the beach, especially using a large Abu Toby spinner, I found that sea trout love these.
Live sand eel is an excellent bait for large sea trout. Fish from the beach using either free line, or a small see-through bubble float. But you must use live sand eel, dead sand eel probably won't work. Alternatively use fly fishing methods with an imitation sand eel and fish around the weed where sea trout often hunt for food.
If you ever do fish Loch Horne them please drop me an email and tell me how you got on maybe you could add to this article.