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Adventure & Sports

Scotland is Europe’s Fishing Mecca

Imagine yourself traveling to a country with more than 31,000 lochs (lakes), 11 major rivers, and 6,160 miles of coastline. You have just pictured yourself in Scotland—it is a fishing paradise. Whether you want to catch Atlantic salmon or go angling for trout, Scotland is a world-class destination, and you can fish all year long.

Discover Highland rivers, idyllic hidden lakes, and the peace of waters. It can also be a contest of strength between two mighty warriors. Ocean fishing includes spray on your face, time spent with friends, and a worthy captain—it is the adventure of a lifetime. Below are some of our favorite spots to drop your line or go fly fishing. Wherever you are, you’ll be surrounded by mystic beauty on a Scotland fishing vacation.

Loch Tummel

Loch Tummel is in Pitlochry, the heart of Scotland, in the county of Perthshire. Drop your line here and you’re likely to catch brown trout, perch, or pike. This loch is often stocked with trout, so it’s a good bet for beginners and those who want a decent chance of landing a fish. This is a quiet spot with bucolic scenery, and the river runs through the town where you can spend several sweet nights.

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond is more than a stop along the Whisky Trail or a cruise to spot the Loch Ness monster. It is the largest freshwater lake in Scotland’s Highlands, just 23 miles from the city of Inverness, gateway to the Highlands. You’ll find guided fishing trips in the loch and also in the nearby rivers of the Clyde Estuary. The native fish species in Loch Lomond include the European eel, Northern pike, Atlantic salmon, Sea trout, Brown trout, and the Arctic Char. Climb to Grant’s Tower at Urquhart Castle for an unforgettable view of the bay and Loch Ness.

Choose a Limestone Loch

Limestone Lochs are rare in Scotland but worth checking out. Find the village of Durness in the northwest tip of Scotland. Surrounding this small town are four limestone lochs. These lochs are Brown trout heaven. Lochs Borralie, Caladail, Croispolm, and Lanlish have crystalline waters, due to limestone filtration. Because the waters are rich territory for foods trout love, the fish are often twice the size of Brown trout in other lochs. You’ll find excellent, local fishing guides.

Consider the Galloway and Borders Area

This is an easy region to explore after you get into Edinburgh. Go to the River Tweed for salmon, and head to the countryside lochs for trout. You can try sea fishing in the Solway Firth, 16 miles from Carlisle, and along the shore of the Isle of Whithorn. There are small lochs in the hills that are filled with trout.

The River Ness

The River Ness is just ten minutes from Inverness. If you’re exploring the Highlands, that city is your base. The Ness covers some of Scotland’s most gorgeous country. It flows from the northern end of Loch Ness then winds northeast to Inverness. It is where the city gets its name; the Scottish Gaelic word Inbhir Nis translates to “Mouth of the Ness.” This is one of the most productive salmon rivers in northern Scotland, with 600 – 700 salmon in a season. There are also Brown trout in the River Ness.

Craufurdland Fishery

This fishery is just 20 miles from Glasgow, making it a perfect day trip. This is a place for fly fishing, and for fly fishing only. Set on the glorious grounds of Craufurdland Estate, the fishery is stocked with Rainbow, Brown, Blue, and Tiger Trout. The estate itself, surrounded by woodlands, is a walk through history. The property first belonged to the Crawfords in the 13th century, and the castle was built in the 16th century. Take a boat, or fish from the bank, then enjoy a drink and dining.

The Big Four Rivers of the East Coast

These rivers include the Tweed, Tay, Spey, and Dee. The Tweed River produces more rod-caught salmon than any other river in Europe. If you are looking for the heart, soul, and spirit of fishing, then you must venture to the northeast. The Tay is the biggest salmon river in Scotland, and the Spey has some of the best fly water in the world. The Dee River runs past ancient castles and royal estates. All are a dream.

We feel the eternal nature of rivers, the peace and the majesty of ancient water, in our bones. A fishing expedition in Scotland is for those who want to sail to the shores where we experience the suspension of everyday life.

When we travel through Scotland, we remember that we are part of the natural world. If you’d love to get out into the countryside, to relax or to fish, ask your Destination Expert to make it happen.