2019 Fishing in Scotland Season Review

As the 2019 fishing season in Scotland comes to an end I have to look back with fondness of another great year showcasing fishing in Scotland to clients from across the globe!

Spring Fishing Season 2019

I got our season off and running with my first ever Salmon caught in February from the River Tay! I was having a stressful time and there is no better way to de-stress than to go fishing!

Boom! 8lbs of spring Salmon!

The Spring Salmon season started well with some returning client Richard aka the Salmon slayer managing a fine brace! This was the larger of the two at 14lbs!

Ricky the Salmon Slayer returns!

Local man Bill made the journey south to fish the Tay for the first time and done superb landing this wee springer from one of my favourite pools on the River Tay!

One happy man!

The spring run did suffer later on this season as there seemed to be a smaller than average run. May was unusually tough for us with very few fresh fish entering the system.

The Brown Trout dry fly fishing was at times, sensational! Experienced rods done very well during huge March Brown and Large Dark Olive mayfly hatches. This is the best time of year to fly fish for Wild Brown Trout on our rivers. This presents the opportunity to land fish in excess of 5lbs!

Mr Rehwaldt capitalised on a short but huge March Brown hatch to land this well fed early season brown.

Clara from Malaysia took a day off during a trip to see the Spice Girls and tried fly fishing for the first ever time. She done great matching more than just the hatch!

The Pike fishing picked up after spawning and late May saw us back on the water chasing Scotland’s Apex predator! No leviathans for us during this period but visiting angler managed his first ever Pike on the fly after a few minutes of fishing!

Summer Fishing Season 2019

As the heat increased the trout & grayling fly fishing became a little slower and fishing was predominately nymphs and streamers in higher or coloured waters. Some lovely fish were caught using streamer tactics when conditions dictated.

Maddie smashed it out the park with a number of stunning Tweed Trout on the streamer!

The Grayling would make the odd appearance with some lovely summer specimens on the colder less bright days.

Dr Ian Phillip CBE wanted to rekindle his fond childhood memories of fishing with his father. He must have been looking down guiding him that day as he managed to land his first ever Grayling fishing a stretch of river he used to fish with his father when he was a boy!

The Grilse run arrived on the River Tay and our clients managed some great sport with these on both spinners and fly. Grilse are one sea winter Atlantic Salmon and tend to enter the rivers here in late spring and summer. They are normally very aggressive and good takers!

Mr Summerfield was rewarded for his perseverance!

I managed a couple of days north up on the River Dee for a change of scenery and was rewarded with three Atlantics over the trip with this one the best of the bunch and my biggest for the season.

Caught fishing close in on a big water at Park South

The Tay sea trout put in the odd appearance and seemed to be getting caught at larger than average. Our client managed this chunky sea trout fishing from the boat.

Biggest sea trout I have seen in flesh from the Tay system!

The summer Pike fishing was epic at times on poppers and large jerk baits. Giacomo smashed his personal best with this lean leviathan on the jerk baits!

Fall Fishing Season 2019

As the waters cooled the Pike fishing picked up with this chunky high double being the pick of the bunch for our Dutch party.

The Trout season drew to a close with a few nice fish throughout the year. Trout river fly fishing offers the most challenging and skilful experience here in Scotland.

Look at those markings!

The Grayling fishing picked up and we managed a number of fine specimens including this absolute tank!

The most famous time of year to fish for Atlantic Salmon in Scotland is fall. This is when the largest number of Salmon are in our rivers.

I managed a couple of outings in the River Tweed during this period due to cancellations and was rewarded with this lovely back end fish on the fly from the Upper river. Cleanest I have seen in recent years during this period so high up the system.

Just a man that loves to catch fish!

Ed Sheeran lookalike Tom Allsop done us all proud landing our biggest salmon of the season at 19.5lbs on the Mighty River Tay – what a fish!

That’s how to do it!

Meanwhile, the ladies were absolutely smashing it this year! The lovely Fiona Thomas landing this well proportioned Salmon from the River Tay!

Her first ever fish – way to go Fiona!

The Flordian ladies outdid their husbands with a fine brace of fresh Grilse from the boat too!

We still found a few Sea Trout in amongst the Salmon. Mike from Switzerland landing his first ever on a lure in a big dirty water!

We also landed our first ever Scottish Pink Salmon! These are non-native but do appear every odd year in small numbers. A couple of years ago there were numerous catches throughout Scotland’s salmon rivers. This year – not so many. This one was ready to spawn worryingly – releasing eggs everywhere whilst holding! Also caught among prime spawning gravels. We did try the same area in hope to remove another but to no avail!

What an ugly Salmon!

Winter Fishing Season 2019

Our 19/20 winter campaign is just kicking off but we’ve managed to land some great Pike of late on dead-baits.

The Grayling fishing has been sensational so far with quality over quantity and fish averaging 2lb plus – this is world class fishing! Early winter saw some fantastic results on the river with some beautiful Grays for clients including some firsts!

2019 Fishing Season Summary

No doubt the low spring salmon run affected our overall catches this spring but we still ticked away. Hopefully this small blip was just a one off and we cannot wait for the 2020 springers to arrive! Summer and fall were consistent with some lovely fish caught and plenty of first’s!

The Trout fishing is improving year on year in my opinion. There is no doubt the quality of the fish we have in our rivers. It is the most challenging fishing available here in Scotland from skill level point of view!

Pike continues to be the most consistent species in terms of catches – regardless of the conditions!

The Grayling fishing is improving all the time. It goes in cycles around 7 years they say and at the moment it was at the low end of the cycle meaning numbers are low but the size is up. We notice this immensely with average sizes around 1 1/2 – 2lbs.

2020 is already shaping up to be a busy season. We have some new venues and projects coming soon – stay tuned to the blog for more updates!

Early Spring Scottish Fishing Season Report 2019

The main fishing season is well underway here in Scotland. With a rare day in the office I have decided to update you all on our fishing season so far!

We got our spring Salmon season campaign up and running super early this year. I had a rare day to myself fishing on the River Tay and managed this 8lb bar of silver!

The first client salmon capture was a guest from Germany who landed his fish but unfortunately a mishap meant we never managed a photograph. Next up was David Denne on his bachelor party.

Our Salmon catches are almost on par with last season, we have suffered a little with the low water recently so hoping for some rain soon to freshen up the river again. There has been steady catches all month on the river

Returning guest Richard spent three days last fall on the River Tweed for Salmon in tough conditions, so much so we fished for Trout and Grayling instead and had a great few days.
This year he returned for three days Salmon fishing and managed a fine brace at 8lbs and 13lbs.

Good to see returning clients already this season including my main man Josh from Pennsylvania on his fifth fishing trip with us!

Our Trout season got off to a bang with an absolute pig on the streamer!

Then Mr Rehwaldt had a very respectable Brown on the Jingler during a huge March Brown hatch in early April. The fishing then was insane!

Since then the Trout fishing has been hit and miss with windy conditions often putting the kibosh on the dry fly fishing. When conditions are favourable there has been some incredible hatches and sport to match!

The Grayling season ended in April to allow for spawning. We had a great winter season though with some real lumps! This one below was a new personal best Stevie.

As May progress the water temperatures should rise and fishing should improve particularly for Trout. Salmon runs peak in May for the spring run so things are looking very positive for the next few weeks!

Tight lines!

Callum Conner
Scotia Fishing Head Guide

Two Epic Days Salmon Fishing in Scotland with Scotia Fishing

In 2018 I had the pleasure of guiding this great guy Magnus Linden from Sweden to two epic days of Salmon fishing in Scotland

Not only was Magnus a a true gent, he was a very lucky (key ingredient for Salmon fisherman) and skilled Salmon angler.

His wife bought him a gift to celebrate his 50th birthday Salmon fishing in Scotland with Scotia Fishing.

Salmon Fishing Scotland – A Story of Two Days from Scotia Fishing on Vimeo.

In two days he hooked a total of ten Salmon! Unfortunately he lost five in one day but still an outstanding effort, especially given the tough low water conditions we were faced with on the River Tweed.

On the River Tay Magnus managed to lose five Salmon but still land two including a beautiful silver fish and a proper tartan male in full spawning livery.

Day two, his birthday (of which he shares with my son) we moved to the River Tweed and in low water conditions fished a single hand rod for extra stealth.

First fish fell to a very small Sunray shadow. He also managed a nice Brown Trout just over 5lbs.

Then on the trusty Red Frances Magnus managed to land another two Salmon including the biggest of the trip around 12lbs.

An excellent two days to spend on the river celebrating your birthday and a true example of the quality of Atlantic Salmon fishing available in Scotland on its day!

If you’re interested in Salmon fishing in Scotland please click on the highlighted test to take you to our Salmon package.

Scottish Fishing Season Report 2018

The 2018 Scottish Fishing Season is now over. So firstly I’d like to wish happy new year to all our readers, past clients and future clients fishing with us in 2019.

2018 was a very strange year fishing wise. It was a long winter with as much snow as I can ever remember in my lifetime in and around the Edinburgh area. There is something special about fishing in the snow I must admit. But as a travelling angler we can fully appreciate that, although you don’t come here for the weather, you don’t really want to be out fishing in the snow!

                                  Searching for silver early season…


Spring decided to make an appearance in Mid April it literally went from snowing to temps in the mid-teens over night. T-Shirt weather we call that here in Scotland! We then had months with very little rain which kept the rivers at an all-time low for most of the season from May – late September. That was eventually when we saw a reasonable rise in river levels. The water didn’t last and any left we got was away in almost away again 24 hours on the Tweed.


This cold start certainly affected the fishing with the Trout never really rising until later in April. On a whole the Trout dry fly fishing wasn’t anywhere near as good as the previous year, without doubt due to the weather. May saw some good steady hatches and we had numerous shots at trophy Brown Trout but not many managed to grace our net. They don’t get big being silly that’s for sure!

That said we did manage a few respectable leviathans!

Stefan with a respectable Trout – look at those colours!


Serious Scottish Brown Trout for female angler on fly!

Our Pike fishing season was consistent with reasonable results most days and almost zero blanks. No real monsters but we managed fish to mid-high doubles on both the fly and lures. Winter dead-baiting normally throws up a few of the big girls but no such luck this winter season. One thing we did notice was a slight change in their behaviours this season on our usual loch, with the fish changing where they normally like to feed. I think this was a result of the long winter keeping the smaller stickle backs and minnows in deeper water and entering the shallows until summer.

One of the seasons pike highlights was our Canadian client that landed this Pike on a popper with one of the most aggressive takes from nowhere I have ever seen! Amazing fun!

What do they say about bananas in the boats?

And this gentleman was on the receiving end of a hard time from this angry Pike which took a Sakura bait fished over the top of a weed bed hotspot.

This Pike led Paul on a merry dance around the boat!

The 2018 Salmon fishing season in Scotland will not be remembered as a good one on a whole that is for certain.  The extended drought put water temps sky high and oxygen levels low. The river level on the Tweed and Tay is the lowest I have ever seen it in my life and the lowest ever on the records. This kept the Salmon in the estuaries for longer and very few were running the rivers – particularly the spate rivers.

That being said, we had our best year ever for Salmon catches for our clients!

Luke with the first of our season!

With our first spring Salmon landed in March we managed to tick away with fish every month despite the incredibly tough conditions. Why? I can only put this down to good luck and praying to the Salmon gods on a daily basis!




As perfect as they come!

One of the spring season highlights was returning client Mr Weil aka “lefty” with an absolutely pristine fresh 16 1/2lb Atlantic! A bar of silver!

We also managed to break one of our ducks with woman Salmon anglers. Ingrid managed to land her biggest ever Atlantic Salmon on the River Tay fishing the fly under the guidance of Callum Conner.

A few “yeeha’s” and “whoo hoo’s” were in order!



And another record breaking day was fishing with the Swedish legend – Magnus!  I have to type and tell you this long story of an incredible two days of Salmon fishing we had on the Tay and Tweed.

Day 1:  Magnus was fishing on the Middle Tay on one of thee nicest fly fishing pools and one of my favourites, the “Castle Pool” at Upper Islamouth. A beautiful wad with gravel bottom and steady flow which tails of into a v section with a few boulders just screaming out Salmon lies!


Thankfully number three made it to the net!


Magnus went through the Pool twice in the morning hooking into three fish but only landing one, this pristine fresh fish above taken on a Red Frances after following my advice to change his fly.

After lunch we moved into the “Boxwood Bush” pool – another very productive pool that we’ve done well with clients in the past. Magnus fished down through the normal areas into the tail when the line tightened up – fish on!

This was on for a good few minutes before shaking the hook! A few casts later and we’re in again!

This one managed to stay on and we netted a this angry cock fish displaying full spawning tartan!


An old warrior on the Phatagorva!

Magnus then proceeded to hook another two fish but lost both! Frustrating but still, what an amazing day of action! Next up was the Tweed – could he continue his luck?

I was very open with Magnus about the chances today as the river was desperately low. We opted for single hand tactics and fished a small Sunray.

On walking to the top of the beat I noticed lots of clear gravel patches which to me indicated practice spawning redds. “There is definitely Salmon here my friend!”.

A nice coloured hen to start!

We decided to fish in this area after covering the top two pools with no success and needless to say the Swedish hot rod hooked his first Tweed Salmon sat just off the Croy on the opposite banking!

After lunch, we headed down to the bottom beat. Fishing my favourite pool here we set about with the Sunray with no action until I saw a fish head and tail – they’re here! We changed to the Red Frances and this managed to tempt two coloured fish including this Alpha Male in full spawning livery on the single hand rod – amazing fun!


Proper cock fish in full tartan!


Magnus mentioned this was his best ever two days of fishing having fished for Salmon in Sweden and Norway and has never caught so many.
Even more satisfying  – his wife bought him this trip for his Birthday. These are the kind of touching moments you can experience as a guide and why we do it!

The biggest Salmon of the season went to a complete newcomer to the sport with this big hen fish at 18lbs from the Tay which gave an unreal fight on the Sakura Salmon Spinning rods we had them make especially for us.

18lbs of Tay power!

The Grayling season was another reasonably consistent one. With the fishing going in cycles it has been noted by the Tweed foundation that stocks are lower at the moment but s of 2019, rising again.

This is a common seven year cycle we experience with Grayling ageing and dying off. We have noticed lots of small 4/5 inch yearlings this winter so it bodes well for the next few years!

Jim’s biggest from his two days fishing – what a beauty!

Grayling still featured very regularly in our clients catches with a real mix of sizes from 10oz – 3lb mark. During the height of summer and low water they were affected and catches did understandably suffer during this period. Particularly the bigger Grayling which really do seem to sulk in the warmer conditions. The smaller fish under 1lb will still feed quite heavily.

The Autumn and winter fishing was challenging at times but our clients managed to pick away on the harder days with one or two fish. What we can say is the quality and size at the moment is some of the best I have seen with fish often 2lb class and perfect condition.

Here is Rich who fished the exact same date last year, returning his first of the last of our fish from 2018 – not a bad way to end!


Last trip off the year returning client Rich returns another good fish!

So 2018 season on a whole was a difficult but rewarding one – it is not usually as tough as this but it is challenging fishing. I think that is a fair assessment of the fishing here in Scotland. It is not easy, you have to work for the fish. However the challenge and rewards are huge with exceptional quality of fish to be had if you put the time in.

The 2019 season has got off to a flyer with the Grayling and good to see the tay and Tweed get opening day spring Salmon – I’m very optimistic a good year of fishing in 2019!

Tight lines!