A general guide to coarse Angling and Sea Fishing in Scotland
Scotland without doubt offers the best fishing options in the UK with over seven thousand miles of coastline and over six thousand lochs, ranging from small hill lochs offering wild brown trout fishing to some of the largest freshwater bodies in the UK with fishing for fresh water salmon, sea salmon, sea trout, Arctic char, Ferrox Trout, Brown Trout, Grayling, Pike, Perch and Chubb….and with sea fishing stations and charter boats in abundance you can enjoy a productive fishing holiday almost anywhere in Scotland.
All Scotland’s east coast rivers continue to benefit from the buy-out of the drift-nets and these salmon rivers have become very productive again over the past few years. habitat improvements, catch and release and increased stocking have all contributed to this most welcome revival. As always Scotland remains a top venue for trout fishing, whether on stocked waters or for wild brownies and sea trout. Wild brown trout fishing is excellent from May onwards, once fish have regained condition from the winter.
There is no better place to experience this type of fishing than the hill lochs and rivers of the Scottish Highlands and islands.
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There are also very few places in Scotland where you are not within easy reach of one of the hundreds of commercial fisheries, predominantly offering rainbow trout fishing, but an increasing number of the fisheries are now introducing additional species such as blues and steelheads and coarse species such as carp, tench and perch. In addition there are more than a 100 quality salmon and trout rivers throughout Scotland.
Offer the River Borgie, River Naver, Strathy, River Thurso, River Wick, Loch Watten, Loch Shin, River Okel, Carron, River Beauly, River Berriedale, River Brora and River Helmsdale (often fished by prince Charles)
The Northern Scottish Highlands have a wealth of excellent salmon and trout rivers, freshwater hill lochs and sea lochs. The fishing being traditionally for salmon, brown trout and other wild species such as the artic char. Coarse angling for pike is now becoming increasingly popular and the stocking of rainbow trout into privately owned lochs has increased in recent years and there are now a number of commercial fisheries offering quality day ticket rainbow and brown trout fly fishing. Come and fly-fish in the Scottish Highlands and fish famous water such as the Rivers Borgie and Helmsdale, Spey, South Esk, North Esk, Ericht, Tummel, Lyon, Tilt, and Lochs like Lomond, Awe, Fyne and Eck and many others in Angus, Perthshire. Also the excellent Isle of Harris Obbe Fishing. The best in fly fishing for wild salmon, sea trout and wild brown trout in the Western Isles.
Scotland has the finest fishing in the United Kingdom
Learn the secrets of successful fly fishing in the Scottish Highlands, enjoy guided trips, based around a self-catering holiday and fly fish throughout Scotland for rainbow trout, brown, trout, grayling, salmon and pike. You even learn how to tie some of the World’s most acclaimed salmon flies invented by Ally Gowans, Ally’s Shrimp, Cascade and several others.
If you get chance check out the limestone lochs around Cape Wrath and Sutherland – the clarity of the water and beauty of the fish is a sight to behold.
Fishing opportunities in this part of Scotland (Caithness and Sutherland) are bountiful. On the west and north coasts you will find an abundance of short spate rivers and a multitude of lochs. As with most spate rivers you need to be in the right place at the right time to catch the runs of fish many of which begin in late summer so consult with the venue to make sure you get the best of the sport. Runs can be prolific. Nor should you ignore the east coast rivers. These are longer and tend to have more consistent runs and a slightly better stamp of salmon. Many are well managed with considerable efforts being made to improve runs. Fishing opportunities in this part of Scotland (Caithness and Sutherland) are bountiful. On the west and north coasts you will find an abundance of short spate rivers and a multitude of lochs. As with most spate rivers you need to be in the right place at the right time to catch the runs of fish many of which begin in late summer so consult with the venue to make sure you get the best of the sport. Runs can be prolific. Nor should you ignore the east coast rivers. These are longer and tend to have more consistent runs and a slightly better stamp of salmon.
The efforts of the west coast fisheries trusts are now starting to return the sport to the halcyon days. Many of these rivers are justifiably famous for their sea trout. Lochs like Hope, Stack, Maree and Dionard have reputations which stretch way back and specimen sea trout are still caught today This is an exceptional area for brown trout. There are simply thousands of hill lochs many of which are remote and virtually un-fished. If you are walking into such loch without a guide do touch base with the local estate. Not only will you thus avoid stalkers, but it is advisable for your own safety – this can be a wild place for the unwary.
Scotland’s Fishing Laws
Unlike other countries (including England and Wales) Scotland has no State licencing system for fishing. It is however a criminal offence to fish for salmon without legal right or written permission and generally it is a civil offence to fish for other fishes. Details of the most significant statutes that apply are given below. Much of this information was derived from “The Law of Game, Salmon & Freshwater Fishing in Scotland” by Stanley Scott Robinson*. It is not be taken as a definitive description of the laws. Relevant Acts should instead be consulted * The Law of Game, Salmon & Freshwater Fishing in Scotland. Stanley Scott Robinson. Published by Butterworths and the Law Society of Scotland, 1990
The Scottish Fishing season and Permits
Scottish Salmon fishing permits are available for all Northern scottish Rivers from late January / early February and run up to the end of September mid October from just £5 per day / £20 per 7 days.
Permits are easily available within all the local areas to fish all these Lochs and rivers – Brown trout fishing permits from as little as £6 a day..
Salmon fishing permits from as little as £20 pounds a day. Permit free Loch Fishing for Pike and Brown Trout is available at Loch Awe Log Cabins
The Brown Trout Season is from the 15th of March until the 6th of October. Coarse fishing, Sea fishing and Rainbow Trout fishing are permitted all year round and no national rod licence is required in Scotland.
Of all kinds are readily available from most local Inns and fishing tackle shops throughout Scotland. Please contact The Association of Salmon Fishery Boards for exact details.
The Northern Highlands
href=”#2cent”>Central West and North Highlands
For River and Sea Fishing Sea View Log Cabins – Maryhill, near Buckie, Moray Coast – sleeps 4 and up to 6. Two scandinavian Pine Log Cabins situated within working farm land, surrounded by Idyllic Scottish countryside. Offering a remote feel yet close to the Moray Firth’s Finest Beaches and picture postcard villages. at 600 feet above Sea Level the Log Cabins enjoy magnificent Sea Views over the Moray Firth and Highlands of Scotland. Sorry no Pets from £330 P/W
For the Rivers Helmsdale, Brora and Shin Self Catering Northern Highlands – Navidale, North East Coast, Sea View Cottage. Luxury former croft cottage in the Northern Highlands, Remote, Detached, with Conservatory, Outdoor Hot Tub (with supplement) Jacuzzi bathroom and Mini Sauna, Full Central Heating, Open fire and WiFi. With enclosed garden and easily accessible by car, or public transport even in the winter. Offering spectacular elevated Sea and Mountain its remote hideaway location making it ideal for Night sky watching and the Northern Lights. Centrally placed this cottage forms the perfect base for exploring all the Northern Highlands including the Black Isle, Loch Ness Caithness and an Orkney day trip. Sleeps 6, Pets Welcome, from £435 P/W
For the Rivers Watten, Wick and Thurso Self Catering Dunnet Head – Dunnet Head, Caithness, Far North Cottage sleeps 6. This unique detached former Croft Cottage is the furthest North Detached Cottage on the Scottish mainland, enjoying spectacular open views of the Pentland firth, Scapa flow and Orkney Isles. Far North enjoys many luxuries including optional extra private Hot Tub Hot Tub (with supplement) en-suite master bedroom, with 2 person Spa bathroom and Sauna and additional family Spa Bathroom. The sitting area enjoys a cosy Log Fire leading to the Conservatory which enjoys 180 degree panoramic land and seascape views. This remote location is perfect for night sky watching, the chance to see the Northern Lights and the local wildlife up to 42 species of wild birds have been seen in the gardens. In addition the Cottage has Full Electric heating and free WiFi All 3 bedrooms have TV / DVD. This cottage forms the perfect base for exploring Caithness, Sutherland, the North Coast, Cape Wrath and Orkney. Pets Welcome, From £425 P/W
For Fresh Water River and Loch Fishing Loch Ness Log Cabins – Glen Urquhart, Drumnadrochit, Loch Ness, sleeps 2 and 4. Luxury 5 star Log Cabins with spectacular views across lush countryside in Glen Urquhart, Loch Ness and set in the heart of the spectacular Scottish Highlands, close to world famous Loch Ness and within easy reach of a whole host of attractions, activities and amenities. Pets Welcome, 2 night breaks from £140
For Fresh Water River and Loch Fishing Loch Ness Glamping Pods Lodges – Glen Urquhart, Drumnadrochit, Loch Ness, Something Very Different ! These cool Glamping Pods by the river Enrick close to Loch Ness are perfect for those seeking the total outdoors experience without the fear of the very changeable Scottish Highland weather on a very low budget. A choice of seven hand built Glamping Pods in a wooded glade by the river Enrick, sleeping 1, 2, 3 and 5 – from just £12 Per Person Per Night.
For Fresh Water River and Loch Fishing Lochside Holiday Accommodation Scotland – Loch Ericht, Perthshire, An Tochailt Lodge by the Shores of Loch Ericht sleeps 8 people, This magical romantic castle enjoys a superb loch side location ideal for winter and summer self catering holidays in Scotland. An Tochailt Lodge is set in the grandeur of the Grampian mountains with vast inspirational views all round. Approached from Dalwhinnie by a private drive along the lochside, Pets Welcome, From £1400 P/W
Dumfries and the Scottish Borders
For River Fishing Newton Stewart Holiday Cottage – The Coach House provides quality self catering for up to 8 people in 4 bedrooms. Set in its own grounds adjacent to the private parkland of Mochrum Park. two minute walk through the park takes you to the middle of the Fishing Beat. This property is restored and modernised to a very high standard and is ideal for the whole family. Double glazed and carpeted throughout, night storage heaters. Pets Welcome !