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The Best Fishing staycations in Scotland

Safe and isolated locations to practice social distancing when fishing

As Scotland emerges from the Covid pandemic, people are looking to escape to the outdoors post – lockdown and enjoy some new found freedom again. Here are my top fishing trips in Scotland, that allow you stay safe, enjoy the open air, marvel in gorgeous scenery and know you are being looked after by a team of guides that understand how to stay safe post Coronavirus (Covid-19)

First of all all of our guides have completed this course by the World Health Organisation, which reassures you that we know how to stay safe, and help you relax and enjoy your fishing in the outdoors, risk free.

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Our team have all completed this course

Salmon Fishing on the River Spey – Safe Isolated, Great for scenery and fresh air

The Spey beats are never crowded and from what we hear, all estates have now got post lockdown procedures in place. Ideal for experts or beginners – Fly Fishing Only.

We usually fish either the Gordon Castle beats, or Ballindalloch Estate. Both have excellent fishing. If you prefer to stay in self catering accommodation there are a wealth of options in Speyside. You can meet the fishing guides at the beat hut every day and we will have all your fishing tackle and waders ready for you. All safe, all sterilised, all good to go.

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Salmon fishing on the River Spey with a Ghillie

These beats look to be set to open tentatively on June 1st and we are now able to take bookings going forward. The River Spey salmon season runs from 11th February to 30th September. To understand the conditions please see this article.

Salmon Fishing River Tay – ideal for bank fishing, experts or beginners (spin casting allowed)

Situated a few miles from the market town of Perth, the lower River Tay will be a great choice for the summer and autumn fishing on the Tay. We fish the Scone Palace beats, and one thing is for sure, there is plenty of open space, fresh air and great scenery.

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The Lower River Tay – overcrowding never an issue

We can meet guests at the hut or if they prefer at the entrance gates of Scone Palace and then follow the guide to the beat from there (10 mins) All the fishing tackle will be set up prior to arrival and waders ready to put on. The rods, waders and tackle will all have been sterilised and handled with rubber gloves. We will maintain good social distancing rules and enjoy a relaxing day in fabulous scenery.

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The superb hut on the Tay at Scone – overlooking the water

Salmon and Trout Fishing River Whiteadder

The Whiteadder is somewhat of a Hidden gem of a salmon and trout river, it is one of the main tributaries of the River Tweed and starts in the Lammermuir Hills, before flowing into the Tweed near Berwick. If conditions are right, this is a brilliant river. To get an idea of the size of the river watch this short video, you can see that after high water the river starts to settle back and clear. Not only can you catch salmon in this river, but excellent there’s also excellent sport for brown trout and sea trout fishing too. Your fishing permit covers all three species. This is not a crowded place and its rare to see another angler when fishing here. The photo below shows it in low water level.

River Whiteadder – Low water

There are no beat huts here, this is wild fishing. Unlike the bigger rivers like the Tay and the Spey, where you can almost drive right to the river, there is a wee bit of walking involved. Occasionally, you can expect to be walking through nettles and undergrowth to reach the best spots, but everything is on the level. A moderate level of fitness is an advantage. The beats are wild in nature and do not have the manicured banks of the Tweed. But the scenery by far makes up for that. Fishing is generally with single hand 10ft 7 weight rods of and 11ft #8 weight switch rod. Fishing on the Whiteadder can also get lively in Autumn as large volumes of fish move into the river for spawning.

Salmon and Trout Fishing River Ericht

If you?re looking for adventure, wild scenery and a great day out, then this narrow spate river is one of the best small salmon rivers in Scotland. The River Ericht is formed from the collaboration of the the rivers Ardle and Blackwater. It runs into the River Isla, and eventually the River Tay. The river passes through some very scenic Perthshire farmland and was once used to power several textile mills in Blairgowrie.

You will not get the manicured banks of the Tay, this is very much scenic wild country, authentic, historic and breathtakingly beautiful. The River Ericht arguably the best spate river on the Tay system, meaning that it requires good water levels to bring the fish through. The fish counter on the river boasts a run of 8000 to 13,000 fish annually. 

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Switch rods for wee spate rivers

Being an upper tributary of the Tay, and therefore relatively narrow, it is an excellent salmon river for single-handed fly rods. A 9 or 10ft #7 weight is perfect or a 10-11ft Switch rod, like the Mackenzie Atlas is ideal. 

Durness and Caithness – Saltwater fly fishing and trout lochs

If you are looking for real solitude, vast open spaces, dramatic light, stunning beaches, gin clear lochs and imperious landscapes, Durness and Caithness tick all the boxes.

We have some truly world class shore fishing marks here, near Sandwood Bay, that offer some of the most awesome shore Pollack fishing in Scotland. You can enjoy freedom, space and lively sport. In addition soak up the majestic scenery and disconnect (to reconnect)

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Shore fishing for sea predators

Further north, in Durness are a group of gin clear freshwater trout lochs sitting on a. limestone fault and offering some of Scotland best trout fishing. I first fished these waters in 1987 and have been traveling north ever since. I’ve spent many holiday up here. The lochs are not easy, but the rewards are high. If you are lucky and hit the water when conditions are right, you have a real chance at specimen fly fishing for wild brown trout. True wild fish, genetically perfect. There is a choice to fish from a boat or the bank in these lochs, or indeed a float tube. I would recommend that post Covid, we avoid boat fishing as it’s very difficult to social distance in a two ro even three man boat, and stick to bank fishing or float tube. We have a stock of excellent breathable Orvis Sonic Waders in all sizes, boots with studs and Float tubes, so leave it all to us, we can help.

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Perfection, a wild brown trout from Durness