As some will be aware my girlfriend rents her cottage on the Isle of Lewis and she lives nearby. I live a sort of transient lifestyle but am sometimes lucky enough to get a week in the cottage to fish, and later in the year perhaps to try for some deer.
This year we spent the first week in July in Inverness enjoying ourselves. We were really impressed with the falconry display at Dunrobbin Castle and had a most enjoyable day out having afternoon tea on the Speyside Railway - it doesn't really go very far but it is lovely to sit drinking tea and chugging along behind the steam train along a little bit of Speyside. We also took a run out to Dores and down to Loch Killin and it is impossible for me to comprehend the number of sika and roe just standing around in the fields in the area. In Ireland, where I do my sika stalking, those deer would be wiped out in a fortnight.
Then it was time to head over to Lewis for a week in the cottage. On the first night I was out on a nearby loch, you can walk to it from the cottage, and I managed to take a few decent fish for lunch the following day. It is so nice to be back out with the trout rod in hand:
For me no trip to Lewis is complete without getting a bit of a walk and reaching out to the more remote trout lochs which might not have been fished in years. By and large the trout on Lewis are not big and a one pound fish is a good fish, however there is a lot of satisfaction in catching your dinner from a remote loch while an eagle keeps a watchful eye, or an otter gives you the evil eye.
I got some good fish for my wanderings but the otter did even better and what is not clear from the photo is that he was on his back eating the trout he'd just caught:
Once more this year the weather on Lewis has been great and there isn't much more water in the rivers than there was when I took this photo in July last year, as a result there weren't many salmon to be had and so it was great to have the trout lochs to fall back on:
On one afternoon I headed out to the sheep loch and made tea it an old disused shieling:
Despite the rather bright conditions there was a reasonable breeze for trout fishing and so I managed to take a few wee trout. I couldn't resist a picture of this one against the colours and plants of the Lewis moor:
As well as the trout fishing there is lots to do on Lewis both for the adults and also for kids, or even big kids like me. One afternoon we took ourselves to one of the stone circles at Callanish after, of course, a feed of cake and tea in the visitors centre. There are quite a few stone circles in the area and they are well worth seeing. Just to the left in the background of this photo is the sea pool of the Garynahine river and although there was no water there were several anglers fishing it as we came past.
This year I didn't have much time for beaches but the area has some of the most spectacular anywhere in the world as this picture taken in July last year, when I was doing the tourist thing with my parents, was taken:
As so many visitors seem to come with at least some intention of watching the wildlife there is now a Hertel and Reuss spotting scope in the cottage for the use of the visitors. Although it is rather old and the draw is a bit on the lose side it still produces decent images at the lower end of its magnification scale with magnifications in the 25 - 40 range seeming to be best.
I know that it is a long way to Lewis and some may not consider it worth the effort to get there but if you are interested in fishing for trout or salmon and especially if you like wild fish in wild places then there is nowhere else to compare. Despite this wild and remote nature there are also lots of other activities for the whole family with lots of places to eat out, an indoor swimming pool in Shawbost School about a mile from the cottage and even ten pin bowling available in Ness. It is also the ideal destination for the kids as they can get out and about and have real adventures just like kids should.