Best Fish Catches in Scotland 2023

Best fish catches in Scotland 2023

As we come to the end of our 2023 fishing season it is time to look back at the best fish catches in Scotland in 2023.

There is no question that 2023 was a challenging salmon fishing season for the country. What was the reason behind it? Honestly, no one really knows. The fish were not here in there usual numbers was the feedback from experienced ghillies.
However, despite this, we at Scotia Fishing bucked the trend in 2023 with our best ever return of clients catching Salmon in Scotland!

What’s more impressive is none of our catches came from harling. This is a traditional trolling method form boats used on the River Tay to cover lots of water. Ours are all casting with only a few caught from the lower River Tay on boats!

Best Salmon Catches in Scotland 2023

The best Salmon caught in Scotland in 2023 for Scotia Fishing clients weighed and impressive 21lbs from the Mighty River Tay!


Another couple of memorable Salmon catches by Scotia Fishing clients in 2023 were Scotia regular Mr Finley.


Here he displays  the most perfect example of an Atlantic Salmon you will ever see caught in March! They don’t come much finer than this!

Last but not least! First time spey caster Georgia, all the way from the United States of America holding with joy a deep set hen fish.
Caught from the River Tweed in October, sporting its full spawning livery!

For more information on our guided Salmon fishing trips in Scotland on the River Tay and Tweed please follow the links.

Best Brown Trout Catches in Scotland 2023

 Spring fishing in Scotland is the peak time to catch the big wild brown trout on our rivers. This is the time when the best hatches of up-winged flies occur and with that, the trout will feed heavily.

In March if it is still cool weather we can do well fishing spiders, streamers and euro-nymphing.

Below, Mr Smith all the way from Texas, USA displays an absolute unit from the Mighty River Tay – just look at the size of the head on it!


In late March and early April the bigger Trout are eager. Although the hatches may be only 5-10 mins of March Browns, it is the best time to pick out the bigger rises and fish.

Mr Dorazio managed this beauty during a short lived hatch of March Browns that lasted 10 minutes max – two casts and this fish nailed the famous Jingler off the surface!

For more information on our guided trout fishing trips in Scotland please follow the links. 

Best Grayling Catches in Scotland 2023

One of Scotland’s most under-rated species, Grayling. Scotland offers some of the best Grayling fishing in Europe on our Lowland Freestone rivers! We have the potential to produce 50cm/3lb plus fish. These are not as common as it appears on social media or online platforms however!


Young Erasmus student Ben from the USA had some great fishing with a bunch of Grayling and this 2lb class fish the pick of the lot!

Mr Powers by name, Grayling Powers by nature! This 2lb plus battle scarred male gave an impressive amount of itself!


Mr Lashley knocked it clean out the park with a two day session in a week. On the first day he was fishing off ice on the river edges. The second trip four days later, the temperature had risen from minus -8 to a balmy 10 degrees with no ice anywhere!
On his second day he landed his best fish. This male was literally the daddy of them all!

Follow the link for more information on guided winter grayling fishing in scotland.

Best Pike Catches in Scotland 2023

One of Scotland’s most fun fish to catch on light lures and fly, the Pike or Northern Pike as it is often referred to.
Pike are an exciting quarry during the warmer months in Scotland.
This year we were more river focused but we still managed a few Pike trips!


Anders fished with us for four days targeting Salmon and Pike and managed to tick off both species. This was his best Pike in two days, caught fishing light soft plastic lures- great fun!

For more information on guided Pike Fishing in Scotland follow the links.

So the end of the 2023 fishing season in Scotland concludes – what a year for our clients with some of the best catches in Scotland for Salmon, Trout, Grayling and Pike!

To book your trip for 2024 with Scotia Fishing,  please check out our guided fishing packages in Scotland.

Tight lines for 2024!

Callum Conner
Head Guide & Instructor
Scotia Fishing

Positive fishing season in Scotland 2020

Despite the uncertain times the fishing in Scotland this year post lockdown has been very positive, if not world class at times!

Firstly, it has been immensely encouraging to teach so many newcomers to the sport of fly fishing over the summer. Families, ladies, children, boys & men – I truly hope this continues!

This particular youngster below managed his first ever capture on a fly rod, a solid Rainbow Trout.

This was during a 2 hour lesson with SGAIC instructor & head guide Callum Conner after learning the roll and overhead cast within 30 minutes!

A chunky bow in the net for this young first time fly fisher!

There is no doubt after coming out of Lockdown we had missed the best of the dry fly fishing on our rivers. However, the lack of angling pressure saw us return into a bonanza first few trips as the trout were eager to take just about anything we threw at them!

Panamanian Student Isabelita had an outstanding day with a bunch of big trout and grayling on her first ever fishing trip!!

Panamanian Student Isabelita had an outstanding day with a bunch of big trout and grayling on her first ever fishing trip!!

The Sea Trout fishing has been exceptional on the Tweed. One can only presume the positive effects of net removals etc. On the back of any lift in water levels we were connecting with some very chunky caesars!

I even managed a cast myself at times…

What a fight of this lively bright Sea Trout!

I have observed most of Scotland’s rivers are fishing well this season but most related to us has been the salmon fishing on the River Tay & Tweed. July & August were the best I have witnessed in my time of Salmon fishing on the River Tay.

Our clients done well on the river with the most memorable day being father and son duo Peter & Bertie managing 3 Salmon and 2 Sea Trout – not bad for your first foray into Salmon fishing!

Here is Bertie with his first ever Salmon!

Returning client Derek fished with me five years ago and was great to see him back! After losing his first fish on a spinner right at the net, he changed to the fly and landed this hard fighter!

As we move into Fall/Autumn our attentions will turn to the Upper River Tweed for Atlantic Salmon along with some Pike fishing in the Highlands with lures, fly and dead-baits when the cooler temperatures set in.

A flawless 20lb plus Pike caught a couple of weeks ago by our Head Guide

So safe to say we are looking forward to the colder weather and searching for a few crocs in both species!

As the morning frosts increase it will then be time to target one of our favourite species, Grayling! For anyone it may be of interest we made this short film last winter about Grayling fishing on Scotland’s iconic River Tweed!

Anyone looking for casting tuition and guiding services get in touch – we still have availability for the rest of the season and prospects look good!

Callum Conner

Best Pike Fishing in Scotland Near Edinburgh

Scotia Fishing have access to some of the best Pike fishing in Scotland near Edinburgh!

Edinburgh is a fantastic location to visit in Scotland. The city has all you would ever need as a tourist visiting Scotland. Beautiful architecture, historic streets, palaces, castles, a beach and one of Europe’s best cities for food and drink!

It also benefits from being ideally situated only one hour from beautiful countryside and some of the best Pike fishing!


Best Pike Fishing Guides

Scotland is a bit of a sleeping giant when it comes to Pike fishing. When you think of Scotland, you will likely think of Atlantic Salmon fishing. Scotland is the home of Salmon fly fishing, so we can fully understand this thinking.

However, we feel the Pike is the underdog, If the Salmon is the king, the Pike is the prince!


Our Head Guide Callum Conner is recognised as one of the best pike fishing guides in Scotland.
He’s been a fanatical Pike angler from a young age. Covering the length and breadth of Scotland to amass a wealth of knowledge on Scotland’s best Pike lochs and when it is best to fish these lochs. 

During this time he has built up a respectable record of large 20lb plus Pike captures. He’s also one of only a hand-full of anglers in the country to have caught a wild of Pike of over 40lbs! (image above)

Using this experience we will guide you on carefully chosen venues to suit your experience.


Best Pike Fishing Lochs in Scotland near Edinburgh

Pike fishing in Scotland will take you into some of the most beautiful scenery the country has to offer. Fishing the iconic Scottish glacial lochs with roaring stags and aggressive tail walking Pike to interrupt the tranquility.

The glacial lochs are the ultimate challenge for the visiting Pike angler. Due to their size, local knowledge is paramount to success.

A good guide will use his experience to assess the conditions and how best to fish the loch. This will maximise your chances of success.

The glacial lochs are the best for larger Pike. We recommend booking a minimum of three days to give you the best chance at landing a 2olb plus specimen!

We’re fortunate enough to have come across some lesser known private lochs and have gained privileged access for our clients.

These private lochs have some of the best Pike fishing in Scotland near Edinburgh. Big numbers of hard fighting Pike can be caught here all year round.

These lochs have fewer 20lb plus Pike, but lots of sporting Pike in the 4-10lb class which are outstanding on light gear and fly!


Best Fishing Methods to catch Pike in Scotland

Spring Pike Fishing

In early spring the Pike can be be lethargic until the water warms up. During this period we will fish for Pike with bait (dead-baiting) during the morning session.

After lunch we will try fishing from the boat with lures and flies in shallow to medium depth water. Using a depth finder to locate the drop-offs from shallow bays into deeper water with sinking fly lines. 

Once the water has warmed up and the Pike have spawned by mid to late May we will fly fish from the boat with 9ft #9 fly rods from Loop Tackle and streamer style flies or for spinning anglers we use light lure fishing rods 7ft in length rigged with fixed spool reels, braided mainlines equipped with an array of soft plastic, spinner baits and surface lures from Sakura-Fishing. 

Summer Pike Fishing

Summer pike fishing is our favourite! This time of year we can find the Pike in shallow areas and sometimes sight cast to them with surface lures and surface flies. This is the best way to catch pike in Scotland!

Pike will often bow wave chasing fast stripped flies just subsurface. At this time of year your guide will use the Minn-Kota engine to manoeuvre quietly into position for you to reach the sun-bathing Pike!

Autumn/Fall Pike Fishing

Autumn/Fall see’s us revert back to Spring style tactics for pike fishing. As the water cools so does the Pike’s willingness to chase a bait. This all depends on the climate at the time. It is Scotland – so very hard to predict!

As October approaches the Pike will be slowing down and lure fishing opportunities become restricted to the warmer mid-day before eventually resorting to dead-baiting all day. 

Winter Pike Fishing

We fish for Pike using dead-baits mostly from October to April. This method involves fishing with static baits.

Using a variety of different frozen baits we cast into the loch at various areas using a selection of rods to cover a suitable area. As the baits thaw the scent permeates into the water.

The Pike has a very advanced sense of smell and will sniff out the baits, sometimes very quickly. On its day, this is a very effective method and large catch days are possible.

Has this post wetted your appetite to try some Pike fishing?

Read our reviews on Tripadvisor about pike fishing near Edinburgh.

For more information on Pike fishing trips in Scotland, you can contact us via the “Contact Us” button at the top of the page.

Winter Fly Fishing in Scotland for Grayling

When fall ends and one fishing season ends, it is time to turn my attention to winter fly fishing in Scotland for Grayling.

For me there is no more exciting time of year to be out fly fishing than in winter.

Typical Winter Fly Fishing Scene in Scotland on the River.

As the leaves begin to fall and the frosts become more frequent it is time to dig out the merino wool socks, big thermals, the 10ft #3 weights and the tungsten beaded nymphs!

Grayling are one of Scotland’s best kept secrets. A species you wouldn’t normally associate with Scotland.

You probably think of Trout & Salmon and quite rightly so. For me, the Grayling is the underdog. As a Scotsman this is a characteristic I can certainly identify with! It’s arguably our most consistent wild river species in terms of the quality of fishing – in my humble opinion.

Grayling History

Introduced to the Scottish lowlands in the 1800’s from England as an experiment. Grayling were not an indigenous species but have since flourished.

Since their introduction, they have managed to survive decades of persecution. It was once deemed a pest or nuisance fish, a threat to the Salmon populations for eating eggs.

Thankfully in recent times this attitude has changed and now grayling are very much sought after species in the U.K as angler look to extend their season beyond the traditional trout and salmon season.

Winter Grayling Fly Fishing in Scotland Film

When it comes fly fishing for grayling in winter our head guide Callum Conner has an unmatched passion. He decided to make this film with his friend to encompass what it is all about!

Winter fly fishing in Scotland is certainly not for the faint hearted. Sub-zero temperatures and cold fingers and toes are all part and parcel with the experience! The rewards are very worthwhile for those willing to embrace the cold.

The rewards are very worthwhile for those willing to embrace the cold. You can encounter some of the best winter fly fishing in Scotland within an hours drive of Edinburgh and Glasgow!

To find out more information or book a guided trip please visit our winter package page linked here or get in touch via the contact us button at the top of the screen.