Pulling back the Freedom’s curtains on Wednesday morning revealed views of the loch even more breath-taking than before. This was thanks to a cloudless sky, beaming sun and perfectly calm waters stretching out in front of us. A phone call to the Balmaha boatyard had confirmed it was possible to rent a small boat with outboard motor for the day – provided we got there early enough. At 9am, fishing rods in hand, we clambered onboard, fired up the motor and chugged out into Balmaha bay.
Balmaha boatyard is also where you can book a ferry over to the nearby island Inchcailloch, take a cruise around the loch or pick up a fishing permit. My brother and I enjoy fishing for pike and perch back in Dorset, and were keen to cast in a few lures and see what was biting. Having asked about fishing the loch on site and in Balmaha, we had heard rumours about 48lb pike roaming the river beds up here. As it turned out, our one and only catch of the day weighed more like 4-8lb. But we were proud nonetheless!
The brilliant thing about having a boat on Loch Lomond is that everywhere becomes immediately accessible. A drive to the village of Luss, for instance, is a good 30minute journey from Cashel. Being able to hop in the boat and cross the loch in half that time is a real luxury. Our boat wasn’t what you’d call fast, but a day’s boating sets you back £50. That gets you enough room for four people, five tanks of fuel and ultimately, unrivalled freedom to explore the lake, its islands and its many fishing spots. Come lunch time, with no fish to cook, we moored up near site and walked back to the caravan. It would have to be ham sandwiches instead.
We returned to Balmaha bay a full seven hours after setting out, with no fish, but plenty of great memories. To be quite honest, the loch is an amazing thing to behold whatever the weather, but we both agreed the sunshine helped make it one of our greatest holiday experiences.