The four best salmon rivers in Scotland – a sporting challenge
We offer guided salmon fishing trips on the River Tay, River Spey, River Tweed and River Dee. These rivers are known in Scotland as “The Big 4 Rivers” Scotland has a rich heritage and wealth of choice when it comes to fishing for Atlantic Salmon, however these are rivers that any self respecting salmon angler should not miss.
This fly fishing package gives you and opportunity to fish all four rivers, and enjoy being guided by salmon fishing experts, who will help you learn or fine tune your Spey Casting techniques, and enjoy fantastic hospitality and accommodation. This is one of the great sporting challenges in Scotland, and a worthy addition to the angling “Bucket List”.
Fishing permit prices on these rivers vary week to week, so to obtain an accurate proposal, please include your fishing dates for each river in your enquiry.
Day one – Salmon Fishing River Tweed
The first challenge is to fish the mighty river Tweed. This river is located south of Edinburgh and is 97 miles long. Depending on the time of your planned vacation and the conditions, we will select a beat of the river that offers the best chance. Hence prices vary greatly throughout the season. The season on the Tweed runs from 1st February to 30th November.
Three of our guides live and breathe the Tweed, so you will learn to read the river and the best techniques for salmon fishing on the Tweed from real Scottish expert fishing guides.
Day two – River Tay Salmon Fishing
The River Tay is Scotland’s largest salmon river and the catchment area stretches over to the West Coast. The Tay is 117 miles long and home to the current biggest salmon caught in the UK. Weighing in at 64lbs and caught by Miss Georgina Ballantine in 1922, in the Boatpool in Glendelvine after a 105 minute battle. There have been many huge fish since and its not unusual to see large salmon of 30lb plus being caught each season. The Tay is a big river, both in terms of length (117 miles) and in width, so having a professional guide is essential, one who knows the salmon lies and the best flies to use for the Tay at each point in the season
What order should you take the 4 rivers?
The River Tay is easy to get to from both Edinburgh and Glasgow, so we suggest starting your trip with The Tweed, then Tay, Dee and Spey in that order
Day three – Salmon fishing on the River Spey
Your third river is salmon fishing on the River Spey. Winding its way through the Spey valley past famous distilleries like Glenfarclas and the Macallan, the iconic and magical Spey offer some of the best salmon fly fishing waters in Scotland. Rich in fishing heritage and tradition, the Spey is the home of Spey Casting techniques, though to have originated on the Wester Elchies and Gordon Castle beats of the River Spey in the mid 1800’s. The techniques for fishing the Spey vary throughout the year and having a professional guide is invaluable to optimize your chances of success. The beats we use vary greatly in price and are spread throughout the middle and lower end of the system.
Day four – The River Dee, Salmon Fishing
The final river is the wonderful sporting challenge is the mighty River Dee in Aberdeenshire. This river flows from the hills above Total Deeside, towards Aberdeen, where it meets the North Sea.
The Dee is a superb salmon river, offering great variety of fly fishing water and stunning scenery. The best way to catch a salmon on the River Dee, comes down to careful selection of the correct beats according to the time of season you choose to fish. Our fishing guides live and work on the River Dee daily and understand the best flies, techniques and where the salmon lie in different water levels.
All of our fly fishing trips in Scotland trips include:
- Salmon Fishing permits on carefully chosen beats
- Transport to /from your hotel
- Professional dedicated SGAIC and Orvis Endorsed guides
- 15 years experience as a guiding outfitter, and most guides over 30 years experience fishing these rivers
- Premium fishing tackle provided – 14ft or 15ft Scott Mackenzie Fly rods and selection of fly lines
- Photographs of the day by Fishing guide, using compact camera or iPhone – link emailed to Dropbox
- Premium Orvis Wading Jackets, Orvis breathable Waders and boot with tungsten studs, spare sunglasses, auto inflate life vests
- Specialist Box of salmon flies, hand tied by Alba Guides 20 of the best salmon flies for the River Tay, Tweed, Spey and Dee (that work) £80.00
Travel and Logistics
Your choice on the timing of how you want to approach this challenge is entirely up to you. Fishing 4 days on the trot is a physical marathon and likely to wear you out. Our advice would be to mix the fishing with restful touring days. Our mixed fishing and touring vacations work well with this, as they would allow you some rest in between.
We use quality vehicles and I would always advise you to check with any company if they have “Hire and Reward” insurance in place (most don’t) if an accident occurs when transporting guests as part of a package this insurance os the only cover that keeps you covered. We have it in place for this type of tour and the vehicle would either be a Land Rover Discover HSE or Volvo XC90. We use Mercedes V-Class people carriers for larger groups.
There are many great hotels and self catering accommodation option available. We have 15 years experience in reliable booking of your hotel arrangements. Please take a look at our Accommodation Page