Where to find the best fishing in Scotland
This artcicle talks about the best fishing spots in Scotland.
Scotland is blessed with over 30,000 freshwater lochs and hundreds of productive game fishing rivers. The biggest (and best) fishing rivers in Scotland are (by length):
- River Tay 193km (120miles)
- River Spey 172km (107miles)
- River Clyde 171km (106miles)
- River Tweed 156km (97miles)
- River Dee 137km (85miles)
- River Don 132km (82miles)
- River Nith 112km (71miles)
- River Forth 105km (65miles)
- River Findhorn 101km (63miles)
- River Deveron 98km (61miles)
- River Annan 79km (49miles)
In Scotland, the rivers generally flow west into the Atlantic or east into the North Sea. The River Tay is the river currently holding the UK record for Atlantic salmon. Miss Georgina Ballatine’s monster salmon tipped the scales at 64lb. The record has stood since this fantastic capture in 1922.
With all this choice and variety of rivers and fishing in Scotland, how do you find the best fishing spots in Scotland?
The importance of working with a fishing guide
Employing a fishing guide with local knowledge is the quickest way to identify the hot spots. Fishing guides want guests to catch fish. Their livelihood depends on it!
The fishing guides in the Alba team are based all over Scotland and have spent a lifetime of fishing searching out the secret fishing holes and the most productive rivers and lochs.
Finding the best fishing in Scotland is one thing, however how to fish these waters is another. I know a loch in Shetland which holds monster wild brown trout and I have had guests catch some huge specimens over the years. This is a loch you would not fish until twilight and darkness. The trout are easily spooked in the gin clear water, and feed confidently at night.
Then, of course, you need to know what flies to fish. This requires knowledge of the natural food source and also triggers that work according to conditions. Matching the hatch is important, as is knowing how to present the fly.
Choose the right fishing spots for the right time of year
All rivers in Scotland, peak at different times. The intelligence built up on the rivers is based on a combination of data, i.e. historic catch returns, local knowledge, and seasonal changes. In addition, if the wind is strong, our guides will know what beats to fish, to get shelter.
The weather in Scotland when fishing
Weather in Scotland plays a key factor and when guests make an enquiry, we try to find the best fishing for the time of year that they request. As a quick example, mid to late April can be the best time for trout fishing on the River Annan. Whereas, early April can be devastating on the Tweed.
Cold January days can be the best for grayling fishing on the River Tweed. Late May and June are the best fishing on the Highland lochs and the West coast salmon rivers start to produce the best fishing in Scotland for Atlantic salmon.
Brown trout in lochs throughout Scotland get quite sparky and aggressive in Sept, pre-spawning and big specimens can be captured. Each river system and loch has its time. There are too many variables to mention.
Using good fishing tackle is also a way to improve your chances of success.
Alba Game Fishing has invested a great deal of money into ensuring the clients have the best possible chance. We use the most up to date fishing tackle and waders.
We also carry a stock of 45 pairs of breathable chest waders and boots with tungsten studs. This ensures safe wading practice and offers a good foothold on the river bed.
You can also enjoy trout fishing with a wide range of Sage and Orvis Fly Rods on river days with us.
Best Fishing Spots in the Highlands
When based in or around Inverness, or in the North of Scotland, here are some tips.
The Highland hill lochs are not worth targeting until May onwards. The temperature up in these hills is always a few degrees colder and the trout feed heavier when the fly life picks up.
If you are based near Fort William, Glencoe or Inverlochy, some of the bigger lochs are worth targeting. Loch Shiel, Arkaig and Lochs hold some very big xerox trout and are worth fishing in March and April. Of course, you run the risk of hitting bad weather. But if conditions are right, you can expect some outstanding sport.
The Highland rivers fish best in late spring, summers and Autumn months.