Trout Fishing in Scotland

Fly Fishing for Wild Brown Trout

An Introduction to Scottish Trout Fishing with maps and information on Scotland's fly fishing lochs and rivers

We will focus here on fly fishing for wild brown trout in Scottish rivers and lochs. Wild brown trout (Salmo trutta) can be found all over Scotland. Indigenous to these islands, brown trout thrive in a whole range of locations, from the smallest burn to the biggest lochs, from the largest rivers of the east and south to the remotest highland lochans of the north west Highlands and Islands. Indeed, there are very few pieces of freshwater in Scotland where you will not find trout. The Scottish trout fisherman and the many visiting anglers are truly spoilt for choice, with almost unlimited opportunities for fly fishing sport on thousands of lochs and streams up and down the country, from Lerwick to Lockerbie, from Stornoway to Stranraer, and often at very little cost, sometimes none at all.

Brown Trout Fishing in Scotland

This site aims to give an introductory guide to the wild brown trout fishing available throughout Scotland, with notes on the main Scottish fishing centres and links to further detailed maps and information on the major trout rivers and lochs. You will find advice on trout fly fishing tackle, flies and tactics and some information on where to stay.

The Scottish Trout Fishing Season

The trout fishing season in Scotland begins on March 15th and ends on October 6th. This is the statutory trout season, outwith which it is illegal (a criminal offence) to fish for brown trout. In addition to the national statutory season, trout fishing may be governed by local bye laws and regulations which may further restrict the length of the trout fishing season. Then there is the question of whether or not it is permissible to fish for trout on the Sabbath. Well, while it is a criminal offence in Scotland to fish for migratory salmonids, i.e. salmon and sea trout, on a Sunday, brown trout are bound by no such statutory prohibition. While trout fishing on a Sunday, along with other similarly dubious pursuits, is frowned upon in some parts as an affront to Christianity, and disallowed in others in the name of conservation, fishing for brown trout on a Sunday does not constitute a criminal offence in Scotland. Indeed, I can think of no pursuit more spiritually uplifting, more restorative to the soul, more environmentally sound or more socially beneficial. If there is a healthier recreation than trout fishing, I have yet to find it.

A Scottish West Highland Trout Loch
 
 

Scottish Trout Fly

Scottish Loch Trout Fly

Flies by  Grays of Kilsyth

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Scottish Brown Trout

Scottish Loch Trout Fishing

Trout Lochs of Scotland

A plump River Avon brown trout

A Wester Ross Trout Loch

A Highland Loch

So we may fish for brown trout in Scotland for a good six months of the year. Some months will , of course, be more favourable, more productive and more comfortable than others. Fly fishing for Scottish trout in March, although character building, can sometimes be more of an ordeal than a pleasure and, although we may face other difficulties in later months (think midgies), trout will be more generally responsive to a well presented fly as the season progresses and those seeking wild brown trout can look forward to excellent sporting prospects on river and loch throughout much of the season.

Where to Fish for Trout in Scotland

We may choose to fish on river or loch, large or small in any of a great variety of splendid locations throughout Scotland. We might cast a team of flies in front of a drifting boat on one of our larger Scottish lochs, such as Loch Tay, Lomond, Ness or Shin; or we might fancy a trek over a west highland moor in search of a remote lochan, which may never have seen an angler's fly in years; we might stalk the specimen trout of the Don, Tummel, Clyde or Tweed; or fish an upstream spider for the quick trout of a highland burn. Whatever our preference, there is some great fishing to be found all over Scotland - north to south, mainland or island.

 

A summary of the trout fishing available on the lochs and rivers of mainland Scotland and the Scottish Islands

When it comes to trout fishing, there is something to suit everyone in Scotland. Whatever the fisherman's preference, there is great sport to be had in most parts of Scotland, either on the mainland or on one of our many islands. In the Northern Counties of Caithness, Sutherland, Inverness and Ross and Cromarty, there are thousands of lochs, all holding wild trout and most accessible at reasonable cost.

South of the Great Glen and north of the industrial central belt lie the Central Highlands, offering a great variety of fishing opportunities, whether it be on the famous Loch Leven, the beautiful lochs of the Trossachs, the wildness of Rannoch Moor, or the grand river fishing on rivers such as Don, Tay, Tummel, Deveron and Spey.

In the Southern Counties from Ayrshire through Galloway to the border counties, he will find fly fishing sport on wild lochs and unrivalled trout river fishing on the Tweed, Clyde and Annan.

Nor should we forget the wonderful fishing available on the Scottish Islands, the splendidly unique sporting experience to be found in the Outer Hebrides - Harris, Lewis, North and South Uist and Benbecula; on Orkney or Shetland; or on the Isles of Mull, Islay, Jura and Skye.

 

Scottish Trout Fishing Maps

The map below shows the main fishing loch and river locations throughout Scotland. Each blue dot links to a page with information on a centre from which the local trout fishing might be explored.

CLICK A DOT

Halkirk Lybster Orkney Shetland Melvich Bettyhill Tongue Altnaharra Durness Rhiconich Scourie Lochinver Assynt Achiltibuie Elphin Ullapool Aultbea Poolewe Gairloch Shieldaig Applecross Lochalsh Arisaig Ardnamurchan Morvern Mull Lewis Harris North Uist South Uist Forsinard Lairg Strathpeffer Loch Ness Glenmoriston Glengarry Fort William River Spey River Don Pitlochry Rannoch Moor Dunkeld River Tay Killin Skye Dalmally Oban Kilmelford Ford Lochgilphead Knappdale Kintyre Jura Islay Callander Aberfoyle Carronbridge The Ochils Loch Leven The Pentlands River Tweed Kirkcudbright Galloway Ayrshire Greenock Cowal Glasgow River Clyde Kinlochewe Trout Fishing in Scotland 

Scottish Trout Fishing Locations are shown by the blue dots

A click on a blue dot will open a page showing maps and information about the trout fishing available at each location

 

Brown Trout Fishing

Having made the all-important decision on where to fish for wild Scottish brown trout, we can then begin to consider the fishing tackle, tactics and flies which might be most successful in outwitting the wild Scottish broonie. I hope that this website will help those planning a trout fishing trip in Scotland, by providing links to information, photographs and maps of some of the major Scottish trout lochs and rivers and a few helpful ideas on pages devoted to tackle, tactics , flies and fly tying, along with articles relating more generally to trout fishing in Scotland.

Scottish Trout Loch

Trout Fly Tying

Scottish Highland Trout Fishing

A view of the loch

Trout Loch Flies

A day on the Loch

     

For further information on Scottish trout fishing locations, tackle, tactics, and flies, see Scottish Trout Fishing

     

Trout Fishing Articles

A short series of articles relating to trout fishing in Scotland, the Scottish lochs and rivers, trout fishing tackle, tactics, flies and fly tying

 

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