Fishing in Scotland in May was a funny affair! Unsettled conditions made most fishing pretty challenging, particularly Pike and Salmon. My first outing in May was personal for Trout on the River Tay and I really struggled to get past the smaller fish into anything of any size! Dries, nymphs, spiders, wets and even a smallish streamer could only produce fish to about 5/6 ounces – all good fun though!
Walter Thompson all the way from the United States was our first client in May, looking for a fly fishing in Scotland experience, after a few emails we decided to fish for Trout and have a few casts for Pike whilst we were there. Fishing conditions weren’t great – bright sunshine and strong winds are never easy – we even had trouble getting the boat launched at first! Deciding on Pike first we tried the usual hotspots but found it tough due to the strong winds. We started targeting some Trout in a sheltered bay. Fishing the washing line method with a FAB and two buzzers it wasn’t long till we started connecting with hard fighting Rainbow’s and Blues. Walter was amazed at the power of these fish with the second fish stripping him to the backing on the first run! We ended the day with three Trout and lost another three! Walter was a gem of a man to spend the day with and left us some lovely comments after his trip.
Our second trip saw Lennie and Callum out for Trout on one of the most stunning beats on the River Tay guiding the lovely Thompson family of nine – all first time fly fishers! After a short safety brief and some tuition we hit the river and started almost instantly hooking small Trout swinging wets.
Pat was first of the mark and finished the day as top rod with four Trout – not bad for a beginner! Everyone had caught a fish bar the lovely Kate so I decided to stay back a bit whilst the rest packed away and we covered some new water. Within five minutes she had landed her first ever fish on the fly #result. Biggest fish of the day went to Bruce – with the obligatory Fishponds Salmon cushion pose!
Lennie and I had an awesome time guiding the Thompson family and judging by the review they left us on Facebook they loved it too! Hope to see them again in the near future!
I managed to get a day out on the Tweed for Salmon, fishing the gorgeous Dryburgh beat with Fin. Conditions were good with fish showing in the Bridge Pool. I managed to catch a lovely wee Trout first cast on a Monkey but the elusive Salmon evaded me! Still not a bad place to spend a day!
Next up was Father and Son from London who booked a fly fishing in Scotland Trout fishing day on a lovely secluded Loch to themselves! Michael and Toby were first time fly fishers and Toby aged 7 had always wanted to fish in Scotland and booked a trip with us to help fulfil his dream of catching a Scottish Trout on the fly! (No pressure on us then). Due to the nature of the road a 4×4 is required to reach this Loch, Lennie had kindly offered to come along and help out with transport, tuition and lunch on the day.
After an hours tuition from both Lennie and I we got the boys out on the boat and started to cover the water in search of some bonnie troots! It took a while but we eventually got some interest fishing buzzers and blobs. Toby was first into a fish and out of sheer excitement and surprise the hard fighting Trout broke him. This became a regular occurrence as the boys tried to get to grips with keeping enough tension in the line to prevent the barbless hooks from working loose but not too much that the line would give way.
I felt for the boys losing the fish, when I’m guiding, my clients fish are my fish and I hurt as much as they do, feel every part of the fight and . I had faith though and it was rewarded in the last hour as Toby managed to finally land his first ever fish a lovely Rainbow on the fly after an epic fight that saw our #6 fly rods bend like nothing I’ve seen before as he pulled with both hands and leaned back with both feet on the hull for extra purchase.
I don’t think I have ever seen an angler as ecstatic as Toby was when I slipped the net under his Trout. ” I done it, I can’t believe it” High fives all round and we took this one for the pot which he tells me was lovely! He’s already planning a second trip, this time for a few days – I can’t wait! As a guide, these are the moments that make us do this, it was a special moment!
Click here to read Toby’s review of Scotia Fishing.
Next up saw me guiding Ken Muhvich from the United States, he contacted us looking to fly fish for Pike having never caught one before he had his heart set on a decent Pike on the fly! Conditions looked ideal on the day, as perfect as I could have asked for in all honesty. As lunchtime approached with no Pike we decided to try fishing the deeper areas of the Loch but still could not find a Pike willing to feed. I don’t know what was wrong but the other boats were struggling fishing baits and spinners so I knew it wasn’t something we were doing wrong.
Ken was great, he is a recent newcomer to fly fishing but travels a lot due to his work commitments and I listened with envy to some of the locations he has fished. He understood it was just one of those tough days. Whilst we came back to shore I noticed a small Pike shoot out from the boats. I asked Ken if he was interested in staying back for a while till the remaining boats had came in and have a cast for this Pike that could save us a skunk! Ken duly obliged – much to my delight as I hate being skunked! We stayed back about an hour and within three casts connected with this welcome little Jack Pike!
Ken was really happy to get his first ever Pike on the fly and appreciated our efforts. For me this is all part and parcel of being a guide and what sets us apart from our competitors, we finished the day on areal high with that small but welcome Pike. Looking forward to hooking up with Ken in the future when he’s back in Scotland on work duties!
With a day free, Lennie and I decided to do some river fishing for Wild Brown Trout on the river Tummel for a couple of hours. The river was in good shape and it wasn’t long before Lennie had a lovely wee brown fishing a streamer down and across. The hatches of Grannom coming of the water at times was unbelievable, literally the whole air was swarming with them yet there were no Trout rising? Bizarre! We fished on for a couple of hours fishing new pools but could only manage takes and I lost a fish just as I was bringing it to hand. It was still a great couple of hours fishing on a stunning stretch of river.
Lennie was then out for pleasure himself shortly after and managed two lovely browns one at 3lb which he commented on being the fattest wild Brown Trout he has ever seen and also a nice 5lb Brown on the dry – some folk have all the luck huh?
Next trip saw me out with first time fly fishers, the lovely Trick couple from Canada! Rhancha contacted me looking to try a day fly fishing in Scotland on a river at first but we decided to fish a scenic venue for Trout in the Trossachs only a 40 minute drive from the city of Glasgow. After a 30 minute casting lesson we headed out onto the lake. Fishing dries we found a quiet bay and some rising Trout gorging on mayflies! The guys were first timers so it took a while to get used to covering the rising fish but eventually we managed to land one after losing the first couple. Rhancha was next to land a Trout after losing a couple through slack line and the leader breaking as the fish tore of! They ended the day on one fish each and lost six with four on the dry fly. It was a pleasure to guide for them and they kindly gave us a video testimonial for Scotia Fishing.
The following day saw me head up to Dinnet to meet and stay with top lads the Peake Brothers, fellow Loop Pro Team members. They had kindly invited me up for a cast on the much sought after Dinnet beat on the Dee. It’s probably the most picturesque beat I have ever seen. It was a big learning curve for me on the fishing front, fishing shallow super clear water, some of the finest fly water I have ever seen. Alistair being the great ghillie that he is, had to kindly borrow me some smaller flies and showed me the pools. The next day saw us out for Pike on the float tubes but I’m not so sure there are any Pike left in that Loch! No fish were had but great time with the lads and hope to catch up again with them soon!
As I headed off to the Highlands for 12 days to do a photography job for a Scottish Fly Fishing Film, Lennie and good friend Fin looked after Scotia Fishing proceedings. Fin was looking after the Corbin family from the United States. Fin is a great guide and knows the River Tweed well and done well to put Arney and D onto some fish. Arney managed to hook a lovely conditioned Tweed Brown Trout on the upstream dry fly. Another successful Scotia Fishing day and big thanks to Fin for helping out. Hope to see you guys back fly fishing in Scotland again in the near future!
Next trip saw Lennie look after the Fair family from the United States . All three were beginners looking to sample a half days fly fishing in Scotland for trout. After some SGAIC qualified casting tuition from Lennie the family were fishing within an hour and didn’t take long to start connecting with fish, all on the dry fly I may add! The girls done particularly well, out fishing the men, nothing new there! The group finished the morning with three fish landed and at least double that lost. Another successful Scotia Fishing day.
Last trip in May was Bret from the United States who wanted to experience Salmon fishing in Scotland. Top Ghillie and SGAIC Salmon Instructor Iain Kirk gave Bret a Spey casting masterclass then Lennie took over for the day. Bret managed to hook a fish later that day but lost it quickly, must not have a good hook hold, bugger! He had a great time and is planning a return trip with his other half who is apparently the better fisher! Competition?
That was our round up of fishing in Scotland during May. June looks to be a good month and started with some cracking fish being landed – stay tuned!
Callum & Lennie