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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
We also managed to sneak in a short rock fishing trip for Wrasse, which produced this colourful wee guy below..
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
This was followed by an absolute beast of a Grayling…
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!
Callum & Lennie