The Forss is a typical spate river which fishes well in the nine-inch to twenty-four inch range. Formally a net fishery, it became a rod fishery for the first time twenty-five years ago, when it was turned into a time-share river known as Forss House Fishings. This comprises 240 rod weeks between the end of February and the end of October although the first three weeks and last two weeks are not fished. Forss House Fishery is divided into four two-rod beats, two below the Forss Falls which can be fished all season and two above the Falls which are only fishable when water temperatures enable fish to ascend the Falls, normally by the end of April.
There are twenty-nine named pools in the fishery,which is capable of producing fish throughout its length in a variety of water levels. The lowest beat,Beat One, comprises deep channels running through a low lying strath to the rocky sea outfall in Crosskirk Bay . Beat Two is similar in the lower half but the top end of the beat terminates in the beautiful Forss Falls . The Beat comprises a chain of rock and cobble pools which hold significant numbers of fish when water levels over the Falls restrict passage. Beats Three and Four of the Forss comprise an immature meandering flow through marshland which has probably the most diverse summer flora of any site in the North of Scotland. The boundary between these two beats is the picturesque original early 18th century humpy backed Forss Bridge which is a listed structure.
The 2011 Season
The Forss River had another good season, achieving the third best catch of all time. Apart from the usual intermittent dry spells which characterise spate rivers, we had good regular catches throughout.
The summer salmon run was later than usual and the grilse run was not only late but characterised by much smaller fish than usual, in the 2-1/2lb to 4lb range rather than the more normal 4lb to 7lb range.
As usual, the Falls and Sea Pools were the most productive. Is this because one is near the Forss House Hotel and the other is one hundred yards from our comfortable and well equipped bothy?