Fishing in Scotland – June Round Up

Fishing in Scotland with Scotia Fishing in June was a lot more productive than May. We managed to get more settled weather, albeit very dry. This improved the fishing at the beginning of the month and our clients enjoyed some good sport Trout fishing and Pike fishing in Scotland during some beautiful un-Scottish like sunny weather! The Salmon fishing in Scotland has been a little more tricky with low water conditions, both the Tay and Tweed have suffered a little with small runs of fish. Hopefully we endure a bit of rain soon to encourage more fish into the systems.


Our favourite shot of the month was definitely the action shots!

The end of May into June I had an amazing two week experience doing the photography for a Scottish fly fishing film up in the beautiful West Coast of Scotland. I saw some amazing things,  beautiful scenery, met some wonderful fishing folks from around the globe and made some new friends.


Thanks to the lovely Canadian fly fishing girl Paula Shearer for the present – I havent opened it yet!

So while I was still snap happy in the Highlands Lennie was looking after Graham from Australia, Graham had booked two days with us in June to try Trout fishing in Scotland. After enquiring Graham opted for a day on the river for Trout & Grayling and a day on the Loch for big Trout. The first day was on the Loch with Lennie, after some brief conversation Graham mentioned he has worked in Tasmania in the past for well known fly casting instructor and guide Peter Hayes, the pressure was on!


Graham, deep in concentration…

This is a Loch Scotia Fishing guides know well and if you can put out a well presented dry fly and be patient there is often a reward of some seriously nice Brown Trout – but they’re not easy! Graham was more than caable of achieving this and after some advice from Lennie on fly choice, tactics and where the fish would be Graham went about working the Loch methodically. 

It wasn’t long before they were connecting with some lovely brown trout up to 1lb, they lost count of these in the end! This was interrupted by a few larger specimens up to 4lb (estimated) including this stonking Brown below that was stalked with a dry fly in the margins after they spotted him cruising. 


A stunning Brown Trout taken on the dry fly

This was one of four Brown Trout over and around the 2lb mark, coupled with the stacks of smaller Trout up to 1lb this was an outstanding days fishing for Graham – I don’t think he realised how good he had got it! The second day I would be looking after Graham after my return from the midge infested waters of the Scottish Highlands! We were on the river chasing a possible Grayling and some wild Brown Trout. We had some heavy showers during the night and upon arrival at the venue the river was carrying a little colour, from experience this section of river can usually lose this colour within a couple of hours and we decided to stay and fish on. The water wasn’t too dirty that we couldn’t catch fish but it certainly wouldn’t have made it any easier!


Graham nymphing the far side in some special light!

I set Graham up with some heavy bugs that we would fish hard on the deck, this method usually produces in coloured water. We fished a number of pools which we normally manage a few Grayling out of but had no such luck! We stopped for lunch and drove into the local town centre to get a nice coffee and a cake and re think our tactics.  After the caffeine induced break we returned to the water with fresh optimism and fished the dry fly for half an hour to see if we could tempt anything to the surface before changing to wet flies fished down and across.


A bit of a difference from two days before, Graham saw the funny side!

The latter proved particularly effective and the last couple of hours provided many small Trout to Graham fishing this new method for him. Both Lennie and I thoroughly enjoyed guiding Graham and he enjoyed his time with Scotia Fishing, he kindly gave us a quick testimonial which you can see below. 


Scotia Fishing Review – Trout Fly Fishing in Scotland from Scotia Fishing on Vimeo.

Next up was returning client Stuart who had been out Pike fly fishing in Scotland with us earlier in the year. He was returning to fish an evening session on my local Pike water. Conditions were reasonable, there was a strong breeze as we started out but this would die off after a while. We headed to a usual banker mark and it didn’t take long for Stuart to hook into his first Pike of the night on his second cast! We fished a few more locations picking up another few jacks before concentrating for the last hour of light in an area we have done well in the past.


Stuart casts in the fading hours of day light

We changed fly also onto a Sparkler to show a bit more of a silhouette on the water and hopefully tempt up the bigger Pike of which are famous on this venue. We did manage to get a biggest Pike of the night, right at last knockings which gave a good account for itself before I chinned him for Stuart, a quick photo in the dark and back he went! Well done to Stuart for his efforts on the night!


Seeing Pike tail walking like this in front of you is spectacular!

Lennie and I managed to get out that week for Trout and Perch, I fished with modern LRF (ultra light) lure fishing tackle from my float tube while Lennie was out with his Tenkara rod to see what he could manage! This was the first time I had actually fished with a Tenkara rod, I knew a bit about them from working in the fishing tackle industry but had never had the pleasure of using one! It really simplifies fly fishing and is just awesome fun. I’m not going to lie, this ancient Japanese art out-fished the modern Japanese method! It was very effective, especially for the Perch, arguably one of our most beautifully marked species found fishing in Scotland.


A wee Perch caught on Tenkara equipment

We also managed to sneak in a short rock fishing trip for Wrasse, which produced this colourful wee guy below..



A lovely wee Rockcook Wrasse


Our next trip was with jovial father and son from Texas who opted to try Pike fly and lure fishing in Scotland. I took them to one of my favourite venues which doesn’t produce big numbers of Pike but the average size is around the 12lb mark, they are tremendous fun on light lure and fly tackle.


Double twist and back flip with a splashy entrance, 5 points..

Fishing from the boat we tried a few spots at first that normally produce Pike for me to no avail, hmm. The day was starting to turn very hot (at least for us Scottish fishing guides) and it was only 10:30 am. We were in the middle of  mini heat wave across the country and it had been like this for a couple of days. I have often found Pike in very shallow water in such conditions, sun bathing. We moved into fishing water only 2ft deep and it wasn’t long before Brian hooked one, however this one threw the hook only yards away from the boat – dam!  It was a good fish also. Hudson was next into a fish and he managed to land his first ever Pike and a good one it was too, approaching mid double figures. 


Not a bad introduction Pike fishing!

We concentrated in this shallower water for the rest of the day and Brian managed to hook another fish which came of also, this was a real shame as it fought like a bit of a whacker! It was a shame as I couldn’t get Brian into another fish, I felt as gutted as he did I’ll bet. My clients fish are my fish and I hate when we lose them, especially when they are special fish. Fishing is like that sometimes though,  it can really bite you in the butt at times. They had a great day still and I thoroughly enjoyed their company, advice and humour throughout the day! Thanks for the cap guys!

Next up was travelling man Scott from USA who was touring Europe and decided to give us a call to try Salmon fishing in Scotland while he was visiting Edinburgh! Our venue was the River Tay and conditions were tough, Scott knew that but it was possibly his only chance he may get to try Atlantic Salmon fishing in Scotland so we had to go with the flow. I thought it would be best to cover as much ground as possible so we set up a spinning rod and would cover the water thoroughly in the morning then in the afternoon fish with the fly then head back to the spinner for the last couple of hours to cover more ground.


The River Tay in all its glory!

Scott deserved a fish in the morning for his efforts, he covered that water like a demon! We only saw one follow from a Trout and headed for lunch back at the hut. I set up the Loop Cross S1 while Scott finished his lunch before giving him a Spey casting crash course! 


Scott admires the Cross S1 and Opti Megaloop – what acombo!

Scott picked up the double Spey in no time after some qualified instruction – we say it often but time spent with qualified instructors is well worth it. Scott fished the Fireshot pool with the fly then went back to the lure for the last couple of hours, I stayed back a bit with Scott in the hope it would come good when we returned to fish the Black Craigs Pool but the Salmon evaded us!  Scott was a great guy, really into his fishing and loved the Loop tackle – my kind of guy! 


Scotty lines up a double spey!

I was back out the following day with two more clients from the USA who were visiting a friend for a wedding and decided to sneak in a days fishing before heading south for the big day! It was interesting morning, the guys had been out sampling the Edinburgh night-life and one guy in particular was a little jaded, nothing some caffeine wouldn’t sort out! We opted for some Trout fishing close to Edinburgh and fished one of the local reservoirs in the Pentlands for Rainbow Trout. We set up to fish static dry fly and it wan’t long before we were getting rises. It took the guys a little bit of time to adjust to the strike as they were used to hitting them a lot quicker back home. Eventually they got the technique sorted and began lifting more steadily into the fish and managed to land a nice Rainbow, quickly followed by a very energetic blue!


Deets into a hard fighting Rainbow!

Both guys managed to get a few fish with several lost and missed fish throughout the day, it was a good days sport by anyone’s standard with the average size of Trout being 2lb and fighting like demons! David even managed to land his biggest Trout he has ever caught which was awesome for us that he achieved this feat with Scotia fishing while fishing in Scotland! Another great day, some fish caught, some great stories and laughs.

Lennie and I managed to get out together for a cast on one of Scotland’s most iconic Lochs fishing for their famous Wild Brown Trout. We fished it even though it’s really not fishing at present with the high water temperatures we had recently but Lennie the Trout guru managed to snare this well fed Trout stripping wet flies on a fast sinking line! 


The feeding is very rich on this loch and the Trout are hard to tempt but often worth persevering for.

Lennie and I also done a recce for a job we have coming up in the beginning of July. We hit a secluded loch up near Invernesshire which has some great wild brown trout fishing. Conditions in the morning were perfect and we were into Trout instantly pulling wets, with the typical Highland loch stamp of fish averaging 8-10 oz or ” two to the pound” as we say in Scotland. 


A typical bonnie “Highland Troot”

These provided awesome sport and what these fish lack in size they often make up for in beauty. In the afternoon the sun came out and the wind picked up making conditions a bit more difficult but we still managed a few before we headed of back down the road!

The last Thursday of the month I was looking after my guest from Australia who was looking to learn to fly fish on a river in Scotland. We picked a nice productive stretch of river fairly close to his location that has good wading and good numbers of Trout & Grayling. John picked up the casting very quickly and after an hour of intense tuition I was very satisfied we could go after the Trout. 


Fish on!

We started off fishing wets down and across and were into small Trout and Salmon Parr almost instantly! These can often be hard to get past when they are feeding so voraciously and we had big numbers of them in the morning. After a caffeine induced lunch we headed up to fish the faster deeper runs in an attempt to connect with something a little bit bigger. This time of year can be very hard during the day unless their is a substantial hatch on, now is the time of year when evenings really come into their own and we’d recommend this if possible.  John fished the deeper pools hard and a few more smaller Trout but couldn’t tempt a Grayling which are proving tricky just now having finished spawning. Another great day and great to see a first time fly fisher catching a few fish – well done John!


The stunning bridge pool

Last trip of June I was out with another John, this time from the USA. He was visiting on work plans and contacted us to organise a trip river fishing fro Trout and possibly Grayling, which were a species on his “to do” list. River conditions at present are tough with low water making the fish easily spooked. The Grayling should have recently stopped spawning and feeding hard but seem to be hard to come by at present. We were on a new river and it has very healthy stocks of Grayling so John and I were optimistic. 


John makes his way in for lunch

We set up to fish French Nymph style and the  first pool we arrived to I gave John a quick demonstration before he got stuck in. It wasn’t long before he started to get the hang of it and was connecting with some small Brown Trout. We lost a Grayling on the way in before deciding to move upstream to the next pool. 

This pool was a lot bigger with more water to cover and we managed to hook into a couple of fish (which looked like Grayling) with them coming off before we could slip the net under them. John carried on and finally got his reward when he landed his first ever Grayling!


John’s first ever Grayling!

This was followed by an absolute beast of a Grayling…


An achievement in itself! haha

I think I was a lot more excited to see this than John was, I have seen very few Grayling this size, in fact, this is definitely the smallest! It’s a good healthy sign for the river also. We fished on moving to another pool which holds a lot of Grayling, one I have done very well from in the past. We managed lots more small Trout up to 6/7 inches fishing upstream nymphs and spiders down and across. Well done to John for soldiering on , it was a great effort considering the current conditions – maybe see you in the fall for Salmon!

July is shaping up to be an interesting month for Scotia Fishing. I think it could be a good month for Salmon if we can get a little bit of rain to encourage the Grilse run, that said, there are big numbers of Sea Trout in our rivers at present to keep us entertained, it seems to be a good year for them all over Scotland! 

Stay tuned for our fishing in Scotland July round up next month!

Tight lines!

Callum & Lennie


Fishing in Scotland – May Round Up

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!


Fishing in Scotland Under a Moody Sky

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. 


Walter tames a hard fighting Trout on the fly!

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.


The Thompson family and Lennie!


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!


Bruce’s bonus!

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!


A lovely Tweed Trout taken on a 5 inch long Monkey!


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.


Lennie gives some pointers

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.



Haggis, on a roll, on a stick – Scottish cuisine at its finest!

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.


Toby with his first ever rod caught fish!

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 loads the Loop Cross S1 9′ #9 deeply.

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’s first Pike on the fly!


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!


The dots you see are flies!!

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. 


A nice wild brown trout

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?


Can you tell what other sport they play? 🙂

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!


Old meets new!

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!


A bonnie Tweed brown trout

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. 


Fish on!

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?


It’s that pose again!

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!

Tight lines

Callum & Lennie