Our 2016 Season So Far Update

As I sit down to write this post, I find it hard to believe we are in the middle of May already! The Scottish spring weather has been nothing short of terrible up until recent weeks! Two weeks ago I was fishing in five inches of snow on a hill loch, today we are in 20 degree celsius heats and getting tans!  You certainly don’t come to Scotland for the weather…

Our season so far has been fantastic. We’ve had many clients from all over the globe and most have caught fish in tough conditions with the odd red letter day here and there. The cold spring has definitely halted dry fly sport on our rivers with hatches sporadic and the fish rising sporadically also.
But with the warmer weather we can only see positives for the coming months.

The Grayling fishing earlier this year was nothing short of exceptional! We had numerous big fish for clients and even managed a few ourselves during quiet spells.

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Oh yes, she’s good…

The Chen family from Singapore had a great day in early spring, enduring temperatures more akin to winter, but that didn’t stop the fish feeding and they had a great introduction to fly fishing on the river landing, a few brown trout and grayling on the much talked about Squirmie Wormie…

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All smiles in the cold for this Singaporean family of professional fishers!

Ed from the U.S managed a stunning little Rainbow Trout on the River Tay. Rainbow Trout are not indigenous to Scotland and this was likely an escapee from a nearby trout fishery. By law we had to dispatch this fish,  but it did not go to waste and I enjoyed it for my tea!

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An unusual catch but welcome on a hard day, gave a great account of itself and tasted darn good!

I managed to get out for a few days myself for Trout and managed this beauty at the end of March. I had to take a video on my phone to get a photo – the joys of fishing solo without a skilled photographer/guide…

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Taken on a mobile phone so apologies for poor quality..

Matt from South Africa had a great day’s sport with plenty of Grayling and Trout fishing March Brown’s down and across – everyday is learning day folks!

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Matt with a nice wild river brown.

The Trout dry fly fishing hasn’t really ever kicked of like it did last year. I remember guiding Bud from the U.S in April last year (see below) and the surface activity was unreal! Olive Uprights, March Brown’s and Large Dark Olives had the fish going crazy.

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Dr. Robertson in April 2015 nailing browns left right and centre during a huge fly hatch…

This year so far I can only recall one day similar, when I was guiding James and his father in mid April. We picked up numerous Grayling in the morning on nymphs then in the afternoon the Large Dark Olives started to hatch and the fish came on, big style!

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James had lots of action with fishein in this size bracket on the famous Olive Jingler!

They continued to land over a dozen trout between them – no monsters but all on the dry. A great day’s sport.

The father and son duo also had a great day later in the week fishing for Pike and managed two nice fish, however one slipped out of the weigh sling before we could photograph but we did manage to snap this fella…

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Nice 17lb pike for James on a small soft plastic lure and 7ft spinning rod

 

The Pike fishing in general has been consistently good and living up to our thoughts of them being the most reliable species to fish for here in Scotland. Since April we have been focusing on the Trout rivers allowing the Pike to spawn in peace.

I had a great time with local father and son teaching them how to fly fish on the River Tay. This youngster managed his first ever fish on the fly – you can see his excitement. It is hard to beat watching young anglers catch their first fish on the fly!

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Well done young man!

The Salmon fishing this spring has been slow to start but the Tay has been pretty consistent since April. The low water is making things a little interesting and the fish are running very hard at the minute. The Tummel was bouncing with fish earlier this week with many running up the Salmon Ladder into Loch Faskally.

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Fishing a very low River Earn in Spring…

I have personally managed three days of Salmon fishing and have landed two so far. I had one on the fly from the River Tay last week, with the ghillie releasing before I could get a photo with it! 🙂

And this beauty below at the end of March spinning on a tributary of the River Tay.

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Head Guide Callum Conner with a gracious selfie…

Our guests have hooked three and landed only one so far this spring! Raphael from Quebec had one day of guided fishing with Callum and managed this beauty on his fourth cast then later lost another one in the afternoon.

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Fourth cast, bang… That’s the way to do it!

This gave Raph an unbelievable fight, snagging us up twice. He done really well to land it.

This is just a taster of many jobs we’ve had so far this season.

All fishing prospects for the remainder of May look good, the water temps have finally risen, fly life has increased, the Pike have finished spawning and are now on the feed – big time. The central belt rivers are incredibly low at the minute for this time of year and a splash of rain wouldn’t do us any harm just to top up the levels.

It is now peak season for us and we are out every other day on the water. We are super excited to see what the remainder of spring and the summer fishing has to offer our clients in 2016!

Tight lines!

 

 

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!

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

March and April Guests Fishing in Scotland 2015

The fishing in March & April in Scotland 2015 for Scotia Fishing clients has been particularly productive despite the cold temperatures, let us share with you a few highlights. March was mostly cold with spell of rain to keep the rivers at a good height, but the Salmon just didn’t arrive in numbers and if truth be told, the start of the season was very slow throughout Scotland. The Tay continues to be Scotland’s number one river at present with consistent catches throughout March and April.

In April we saw hotter than average temperatures but it was mostly dry and cold the remainder of the month which did effect the Salmon fishing, especially towards the latter part. We also had snow and lots of hailstones – proper Scottish spring weather!

Unfortunately Ron got washed off the river and we headed to fish a Loch as a backup. The weather was typically early spring like and we endured a rather bizarre few hours of fishing.

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Not a bad day…

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Uh ohh…

And sun, this would repeat itself over the next hour before we decided to opt for shelter

And sun, this would repeat itself over the next hour before we decided to opt for shelter

 

73 year old Ron from USA was a remarkable man, he told me a rather touching story of why he is still working at 73 and I instantly admired his attitude and drive. Due to the horrendous weather we had to move Ron’s day to try avoid the bad weather and managed to get a day Salmon fishing on the Tweed.

Ron had never cast a spey rod before and took to it impressively, within an hour he was throwing some lovely loops like this!

Ron Circle C Cast

There has been a rather cold wind lingering around most of the March & April which has halted back the fly hatches and it has seen sporadic surface activity on the rivers. This is usually the best time of year to catch big trout feeding on early season hatches of Large Dark Olives and March Browns. When they’ve been on it has been very worthwhile with special Trout like this one pictured below making an appearance.

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Proper Wild Brown Trout

Our clients had some great days fishing for Trout & Grayling throughout March & April. American singer & songwriter Chuck Ragan managed to fit in a short day session in between his busy european tour and was rewarded with a few grayling and trout on the River Tay.

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Chuck Ragan with his first ever Grayling

 

Tattoo Artist Ed from New York managed an awesome treble of Grayling over 2 pounds including this one which was pick of the bunch!

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Show the ladies some love…

 

First time fly fisher from England Chris fished with his son in tough, low & clear water conditions but landed a few fish including this pristine 2 pound Grayling!

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Recovering well after spawning..

 

The wildlife on the river banks in Scotland is impressive, with many beautiful birds, otters, minks and now beavers in the Tay system. On Tom’s river day we had Deer roaming along the opposite bank whilst fishing for Trout, making for a special atmosphere. Birthday boy Tom managed 2 great fish over his days with us, including an absolutely stunning example of a river brown trout that had the most awesome blue markings down it’s flanks.

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A chunky river trout

 

Tom also managed this nice Pike on the final day of his trip to seal of a memorable fishing holiday in Scotland.

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Great bunch of lads from Lake Como!

 

 

 

I had a ball with Mr Garrity from the USA who was an ex guide and a good joker. He spent a few days in Scotland fishing for Salmon and Trout with us. The Trout fishing during his time was particularly tough but this fine example of a River Tay Spring Salmon certainly made up for the lack of Trout!

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Camera shy Mr Garrity shows of his prized catch!

 

When the fishing is tough in Scotland, it’s not a bad place to spend the day is it?

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Stunning light on the River Spey #holygrail

 

I even managed to get out fishing myself and fished up on the spectacular River Dee managing a baggot (last year running salmon that hasn’t spawned) under the guidance of good friend of mine and resident ghillie Al Peake. It fought very well and we both were surprised after it surfaced to notice it couldn’t be counted.

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Al throws a nice line at the neck of the pool where I caught my baggot!

 

I managed to land this chunky river brown and lose a Salmon on the Tweed…

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Proper chunky Brown Trout – I was on the receiving end of some great guiding from resident ghillie Scott

 

Then eventually I got my own Salmon account off and running also with this fine example of a Tay Spring Salmon,  nice deep fish and a solid fighter.

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A fine example of the calibre of Spring Salmon the Tay can produce!

 

May is one of the best months of the year for fishing across all Scottish species, the water temperatures are on the rise, the pike and grayling have now spawned, the salmon are running hard and the trees are starting to look more green every day, everything is coming into it’s own. We can’t wait to get amongst the fish with this months clients!

If you are looking to book a fishing trip please get in touch using the contact buttons at the top and bottom of each page.

Tight lines

Callum