Merry Christmas 2015!

Wishing all our clients a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year when it comes!

2015 has been an unbelievable year for Scotia Fishing and myself (Callum Conner) personally. We’ve surpassed all our annual goals and I can only thank our partnering hotels, fishing agents, estates, ghillies, our guides Ken Wood, Lennie Fuller & last but not least Euan Fuller at Scotia Golfing for all their great work. We look forward to working together more in 2016.

2016 is shaping up to be another exciting year with some new exciting partnerships formed and projects developing – I cannot wait to get started!

Big thanks to all our customers for their support and custom – it wouldn’t be possible without you!

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PS – Fishing of late has not been easy. We’ve had some seriously wet weather, our rivers have been in flood for weeks!

I returned from the Sultanate of Oman ( post to come ) after two weeks of saltwater fishing in thirty degree celsius temperatures to be told it had not stopped raining since I left. There has been some biblical floods on our rivers during this time. Lets hope for some frost and drier weather in the coming weeks for a festive fish!

Best wishes!

Scotia Fishing Team

Salmon Fishing Dreams on the River Tay…

What would be classed as Salmon fishing dreams? Salmon Fishing in Scotland? Four Salmon in one day? Absolutely!
In Autumn/Fall in Scotland it’s not unheard of to experience four seasons in one day, but four Salmon in one day? To one angler? It’s almost unheard of in the modern day.
So yes, this was in-fact a scenario that happened to one very fortunate angler fishing with Scotia on the mighty River Tay back in October 2015!

Bill and Allan had driven all the way down from Inverness to come Salmon fishing on the Tay with Head Guide Callum Conner. We manoeuvred their initial date to capitalise on some last minute availability on one of my favourite Salmon beats and one of the most productive on the river. After a long drive, some motivational speech from myself then probably more importantly some caffeine, Bill & Allan and were raring to go!

I gave a quick tackle demo and briefing of where the Salmon would likely lie in this area. Bill and Allan had a few casts while we waited for the ghillie to drop off the other rods on the opposite bank. After half a dozen casts I see Bill with his rod high and arched over, yep, Bill was in…

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Bill’s first ever Atlantic Salmon, the best way to start a day! But that hat though Bill?

After a short fight he’d landed his first ever Atlantic Salmon. It wasn’t the bonniest of Salmon, it had been through the wars but still, it’s a Salmon and he was off the mark! I knew after this Bill’s confidence would be sky high for the remainder of the day and I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be his only today!

Now, the Lower Tay is a big river, even in summer lows which we were experiencing on this day. Sometimes you need to cover the pools from the boat to ensure you fish as much of the river as possible and ultimately heighten your chances of success. So off we went. Anchoring up in one of the most productive back-end Salmon pools of the lower river we had Salmon of all shades and sizes jumping around the boat! This has to be seen to be believed, the Lower River Tay can come alive with Salmon at this time of year. You would be lucky if thirty seconds would pass without a Salmon belly flopping back into the water. For someone that hasn’t experienced this it really helps to get the adrenaline flowing!

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The Lower River Tay – She’s a big’un!

Bill and Allan continued to cover the water well. Every now and then Bill would murmur a few “ooh” & “ahh, that was a hit”. After an hour one finally committed. With the drag from the reel producing some lovely music to our ears we knew we were into something more substantial than the first fish. Carefully edging the boat into the side whilst playing the fish would help us land and photograph the fish, causing the least amount of stress possible.

I had the pleasure of slipping the net under this awesome back-end Hen Salmon, sporting full spawning livery. Unhooking the fish in the net, in the water and after a quick photo she was released back to do her business. We can look forward to meeting her kids in a few years time!

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A thumper for Bill’s second of the day!

While we were on the bank we thought it would be as good a time as any to go cover the top of the beat, which had been left alone by the other anglers all morning so any likely Salmon lying there had not been disturbed yet. With the top run looking very promising I stuck Allan in front of Bill aka “hot rod” to try get him into the fish first. Before I could even wade back out I hear “fish on Cal”. Yup, you guessed it, he’s in again – haha. A few choice words were aired in good jest at Bill as I made my way back to do the honours for him.

This was a sparkling bright sea liced cock Grilse of around 6 pounds that gave a spirited fight with many nerve wracking, head shaking runs close to the net. A quick photograph and back he went! Big hand shakes and congratulations were voiced to Bill who had released his third Salmon before lunch – what a morning!

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A beautiful third Salmon for Bill. This one with sea-lice straight from the ocean!

Three Salmon was the half time score and we retired to the hut for a welcome hearty Scottish themed lunch and a celebratory dram! A quick chat with the other anglers and it was soon apparent that Bill had been the only fortunate angler this morning despite the obscene amount of airborne Salmon seen throughout the beat!

The afternoon session would see us fishing the bottom section of the beat from the left bank. Again, I thought I’d put Bill down behind us in the hope Allan would cover any likely fish first before Hot Rod could work his magic! After a few minutes I had to remind Bill about wading too close to the lies. A quick briefing of the likely resting areas for a running fish on the inside seam of the run and a few casts later resulted in the fourth hook-up of the day.

Another great fight from this chunky little Salmon ( or Grilse – a  1 sea winter Salmon ) and once Bill subdued her I slipped the net under his epic fourth Salmon of the day!

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Salmon number four safely returned to continue its journey.

Another quick photograph and back she went. “Pretty easy this Salmon fishing Bill isn’t it?” I was delighted for Bill, he now owns the Scotia Fishing record for the most Salmon in one day – which is more than my personal record of three and last seasons best of three!

Fishing is funny, Allan had the exact same set up and fishing the same areas as Bill yet never touched anything? I felt for him and I think as anglers we’ve all been there before – sometimes you are just luckier than the others?

Thankfully Bill was better at fishing than he was at selecting his choice of headwear – which was atrocious Bill! 🙂 This became a running joke throughout the day with Bill taunting the other anglers asking if they would like to wear his “lucky” hat.

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Hey son, did I tell you I caught four Salmon today?…

 

This was one of the most memorable trips from 2015 and I was over the moon for Bill, especially given the long commute endured to make this happen.

I emailed Bill recently to sum up him his day for me in a  few words, here was his response:

I spend a good bit of time fishing the coastal and inland waters of Georgia and South Carolina, primarily the Savannah to Charleston area. I’ve been waiting for years to fish Atlantic Salmon in Scotland and Callum Conner provided that opportunity. I caught 4 beautiful fish, 3 before lunch and 1 in the afternoon.

Callum provides the all-round best Salmon fishing experience! Perfect setting and the right equipment for us Americans to experience the Lower Tay. Callum is a congenial host and guide. Listen to him – he knows his fish! He knows his way around the kitchen too. The fish and potato stew was just right – hearty, simple and filling. It was a great way to spend a day fishing with my new son-in-law, since he learned that the ‘old man’ could still out fish him. We call him the son-in-awe now!

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‘The son in awe’ – love it Bill!

Big thanks to my good friend and Ghillie Harry Proud. Not to forget the Salmon gods!

The next client to beat this record will receive a fine bottle of single malt Scotch Whisky courtesy of Scotia Fishing!

“Five Salmon in one day for Scotia Fishing guest” – I do like the sound of that…

For more info Salmon fishing dreams on the River Tay please visit our Salmon fishing in Scotland package or contact us now to enter our enquiry form.

Tight lines!

River Tweed Fishing Guide & SGAIC Fly Fishing Instructor

Looking for a River Tweed fishing guide and fly fishing instructor? Scotia Fishing operate on many of Scotland’s finest rivers including the prestigious River Tweed where head guide Callum Conner (a qualified Scottish Game Angling Instructor) has fished extensively for over a decade. This depth of local knowledge and experience is invaluable when looking for a River Tweed fishing guide.

The world famous River Tweed offers some of the finest fly fishing in Scotland. With specimen Trout, Grayling and historically Scotland’s most prolific Salmon run. It’s no wonder many anglers travel from around the world to fish this majestic river!

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A guest fishes to rising trout under the supervision of River Tweed Fishing Guide Callum Conner

River Tweed Facts

The Tweed’s name comes from the anglicisation of the Gaelic word ‘Tuath’ which means ‘North’.
Tweed clothing (i.e  Tweed caps etc) has born its name from the connection with the River Tweed, many of the rivers resident ghillies still sport the full traditional Tweed attire to this day.

The River Tweed is the 2nd largest river in Scotland and is unique in the fact that it flows through Scotland and England, forming the border between both countries before emptying into the North Sea at Berwick upon Tweed. It meanders its way through a beautiful setting amidst the stunning, historic, Scottish Borders countryside.

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Your River Tweed Fishing Guide knows the best spots to catch salmon, trout & grayling

The Tweed is also unique in that there is no spinning allowed after the 14th of September so it boasts the most fly caught Salmon in Scotland.

It has a total of 13 main tributaries including the bonnie River Teviot, Leader, Whiteadder, Ettrick and River Till, all of which provide good fishing in their own right.

The River Tweed is also the only river in England where a rod license is not required to fish.

River Tweed Species

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Monster Grayling for Swedish guest on the from River Tweed…

The River Tweed Grayling fishing is exceptional, along with its main tributaries it is arguably the finest Grayling fishery in the UK, if not Europe! We have been fortunate to guide our clients to many memorable Tweed system Grayling of specimen proportions, as well as landing them ourselves. Grayling fishing is available throughout the year with peak times being in winter. There is something special about winter Grayling fishing, not even sub zero temperatures will stop them feeding!

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A stunning Middle River Tweed Trout

The Brown Trout fishing on the River Tweed seems to be improving more and more in recent years. In April, May and early June the dry fly fishing can be exceptional and this is the best time of year to target the larger specimens, when you can carefully select and cast at the bigger fish. At this time of year the fish seem to have food on their mind and are a little bit easier to tempt. After this spell the nymph fishing and evening rise comes into its own!

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2nd Salmon of the day for Australian guest Mick on the Middle River Tweed

The River Tweed Salmon fishing is some of the best in Europe. The Tweed has been the most prolific river in Europe for a number of years, 2010 saw a record breaking catch return. Although catches over the past couple seasons haven’t been quite what we’re used to, like many rivers in Scotland this has mainly been down to a lack of rainfall.

The spring Salmon run has seen an increase in recent seasons. Spring is a special time to catch a Salmon, many hardcore Salmon anglers yearn to catch “springers”. Fishing can be purchased at a more affordable price and although Salmon are present in lesser numbers, the fish are often better takers. This mainly mainly due to the colder water temperatures.

The Salmon season on the Tweed is one of the lengthiest in the country, running from 1st February till the 30th of November. Salmon can be caught throughout the season with peak times being April/May & early June and then famous back end Autumn/Fall run September – November.

 

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River Tweed Fishing Guide Callum Conner with a big brown trout from the river about to be returned.

Hiring a River Tweed fishing guide and fly fishing instructor with an in depth knowledge of when and where to fish this iconic Scottish river is paramount to ensuring your best chance of success. Get in touch with us now via the contact us button here and at the top of the page to discuss guided fishing on the River Tweed.

 

Our 2015 Season So Far – Late Summer Update!

Well what a year it’s been so far for Scotia Fishing and our clients! We’ve had many memorable days and some great catches.

Apologies for the lack of updates, we’ve not been able to post as regularly as we’d like. Here’s just a few small snippets of a few of the fishing highlights in 2015 so far!

In early Spring we had some real mixed weather, one week it was warm, one week it was cold and to be honest the whole of Spring was much colder than usual. Not that we were complaining though as the fishing throughout Spring was epic! & Grayling in the latter half (post spawn) were feeding hard and we managed some great catches during this period

First time lady fly fisher Jayne from Australia had never picked up a fishing rod before, never mind a fly fishing rod! That didn’t stop her from landing this cracking 3lb plus Grayling!

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Star pupil Jayne from Australia with a fish of a lifetime for her first ever catch!

Australian guest Joe was a great laugh and although we couldn’t get him into some big Grayling he managed this stunning Trout on the dry fly after 15 minutes of figuring out what he wanted – a special catch.

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Joe wasn’t the only one delighted!

Young Jaco had three specimen Grayling in the one day and also hooked two Salmon by accident! A little superstar angler in the making!

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Little star Jaco from Italy – one of my personal favourite days of the year!

Mats from Sweden managed this stonker at 3lb 4oz in early Summer. The river was gin clear so we had to apply stealth tactics. The New Zealand indicators came into their own during this period and I climbed up trees in order to pick out the fish and avoid spooking them with blind casting – great fun!

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3lb plus grayling – keep em wet…

South African guest Richard managed this superb river brown trout on a waterhen bloa.

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A river Brown Trout in peak condition!

 

My guest Lucas from USA Brian had this outstanding Tay Trout just over 5lb. Here it is displayed using the famous “rock the baby” goal celebration grip…

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Bars of gold…

 

 

The Spring Salmon fishing was excellent in April, May and June so our clients managed to get into some bars of silver on both the River Tweed and Tay.

Mick Duggan managed two in the one day fishing the Tweed with Loop & Sakura endorsed guide Callum Conner.

 

 

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Numero uno…

 

 

No doubts about it, the Australian’s are the luckiest!

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Spring Tweed Chrome…

Mark from Australia managed an epic Salmon on the Middle Tay.

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A beezer as we say…

 

See what I mean now about the Aussies?….

Said from Jordan picked up Spey casting very quickly and had a great time despite not landing any Salmon – his wife however did lose a cracking fish on the Lower Middle Tay.

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The stunning Lower River Tay

 

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The famous Islamouth pool

 

Pike fishing was slow to begin with but did pick up towards the latter half of spring. The fish were late to spawn in our local waters but they didn’t half go on a feeding frenzy soon after this!

Said managed a cracking Pike in the mid teens – caught fishing jerk baits aggressively just sub-surface which is one of the most exciting types of fishing you can do in the UK.

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Proper chunky Scottish Loch Pike fight like demon’s…

Dylan from Down Under managed this nice Pike in amongst a bucket load of fish for their days sport.

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Aussies again….

Ed managed his first ever Pike on a surface fly – the best way to do it! The fish were on these big time for a few weeks and we had some amazing fun fishing poppers during this period.

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Pike hits on the surface – it gets no better!

Ryan & Sao from Dubai had some great sport – Sao had most of the luck though, had to be said Ryan!

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Sao was nailing the Pike all day fishing soft plastics…

I managed to get myself out for a days Pike fly fishing from the float tube on our local loch and managed this only fish of the day at 20lb 3oz – epic battle!

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He aint lost it…

That’s just a little catch up, we’re now hitting peak Salmon season and the back end run is shaping up to be a cracker! Let’s hope for some rain and some more epic days to call in the remainder of the season!

Stay tuned for some interesting news from Scotia Fishing soon…

Tight lines!

Cal