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Thread: Trout fishing in the Hebrides

  1. #1

    Trout fishing in the Hebrides

    As some may be aware my girlfriend owns a cottage on the Isle of Lewis which she lets for self catering holiday accommodation and, well, it is a shame not to head up there when the opportunity presents itself. This year for the first time my parents decided to spend a few days on Lewis staying in Dollag's Cottage and they took some photos of the house with the wild flowers on the croft:



    Having visitors does limit the trout fishing opportunities but even so it gives an excuse to do all the tourist things and my parents really enjoyed their few days and were pleased to manage to see two golden eagles and a white tailed sea eagle in their three days. They were also amazed to sit in the seat at the front of the cottage and have several corncrakes all calling to each other on the croft. After two weeks I'm getting a bit sick of hearing corncrakes!

    Of course we just had to visit Losgaintir beach and it is, without question, a most remarkable place with views out to Amhuinnsuidhe and the North Harris Deer Forest:



    We were visiting during the peak week of the year when the Heb Celt Music Festival fills the tent in Stornoway with over 5,000 people each night. We managed to see the Proclaimers and the Waterboys over two nights with the Proclaimers putting on a good solid set and getting everyone singing along and the Waterboys providing a well crafted set. Even so the beach at Losgaintir could hardly be described as crowded, though it had more people on it than I've ever seen before:



    There hasn't, well up until last night, been any significant rain on Lewis for nearly 4 months now with residents being warned to conserve water and this has had a significant impact on the salmon fishing as the fish just can't get up the rivers. On one estate there are a lot of fish "trapped" in the sea pool which can neither move up nor get back out to sea and they have suspended fishing until they get some water to give the fish some options. This photo was taken of a little river that gets a good run of salmon and as you can see it is basically dry:



    The trout lochs were less badly hit by lack of water but even so you could see that the "tide" had gone out a little on some and water levels were down on normal:



    For me the appeal of Lewis is that there are literally thousands of lochs and it is a wonderful feeling to get up in the morning, spread the maps out on the floor and pick the loch or lochs for the day. Some days I don't walk very far and only fish a few lochs while other days the walk might be a bit further and the most lochs I've ever fished in a day was 11, none of which I'd ever been to before that day. Many lochs even come with a view:



    Despite the lack of water the lochs were actually fishing quite well and while in some spots the trout don't get that big on other lochs the fish are good, dinner sized, fish that provide great sport for a day wandering the moor. While out on the moor I like to make some tea and take my lunch in a sheltered spot and old disused shielings make an ideal place to settle in and take up temporary residence. Some of these old buildings are very ancient indeed and the population used to move out to them in summer. This one by the sheep loch made a good spot to stop:



    This is a photo of preparations for lunch inside the shieling pictured above, although this one is in an advanced state of disrepair some still have a good roof and some are even still in regular use:



    With the moor being so dry I was being careful to light my little stove where there was no chance of causing a fire, and this beach on one loch provided a good safe spot:



    Even with the dry weather there was the occasional shower doing the rounds though I never got wet myself:



    While there might be other places where you can catch bigger trout there is just noting to beat the freedom of wandering the Lewis lochs with the fishing rod in hand while taking in the scenery, enjoying the wildlife and just chilling out knowing that it might have been years since anyone fished the loch you are casting over.



    Alternatively, sometimes it is nice to just step out of the car and throw a leg over the fence to cast on a loch close to the road.

    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  2. #2
    Great to hear about your trip, great place, I'm headlong over on Tuesday for a couple of days .

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by bambislayer View Post
    Great to hear about your trip, great place, I'm headlong over on Tuesday for a couple of days .
    They've had a lot of rain over the last 24 hours, though I don't know if it will be enough to bring the rivers up or if it will just soak into the bog, so if you are fishing for salmon you might stand a chance especially if the rain keeps up. If not it is good fun to go and just watch the fish jumping.

    The trout fishing is usually said to go off in July and August but was still going well last week and others were reporting success as well. I'm more interested in a nice walk and a good day out but even so took some cracking fish for very little effort so it is well worth taking the rod even if that hadn't been the intention.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  4. #4
    What kind of prices does the fushing cost fella,both salmon and troot?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by sako751sg View Post
    What kind of prices does the fushing cost fella,both salmon and troot?
    Almost all of the trout fishing is free - some people say there are 2,000 trout lochs but I don't think it is quite as many as that but there are a LOT to choose from. Take a look at the satellite pictures on Google and you will get the idea, almost all of those lochs you can see are free fishing and part of the fun is in picking one and walking the moor out to it. There are also some very good lochs right by the road if you are not keen to walk, with one I know of producing the occasional double figure trout. In general the trout are mostly small with a 1lb fish considered good but there are places where you can do much better.

    As with anywhere the cost of salmon fishing varies but can be quite reasonable indeed and approaches to the estates can also put you on some very exclusive water but clearly that depends on whether they have guests and if the guests want to fish. There are also day and weekly tickets available on some waters. Some salmon fishing is on the lochs but if there is water than the rivers often fish well, though they tend to be much smaller than in most areas. Good catches are possible with Grimersta holding the record of 333 salmon for one rod week.

    http://www.7south.co.uk/salmon.html

    http://www.7south.co.uk/trout.html
    Last edited by caorach; 23-07-2012 at 09:17. Reason: added the links
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by caorach View Post
    They've had a lot of rain over the last 24 hours, though I don't know if it will be enough to bring the rivers up or if it will just soak into the bog, so if you are fishing for salmon you might stand a chance especially if the rain keeps up. If not it is good fun to go and just watch the fish jumping.

    The trout fishing is usually said to go off in July and August but was still going well last week and others were reporting success as well. I'm more interested in a nice walk and a good day out but even so took some cracking fish for very little effort so it is well worth taking the rod even if that hadn't been the intention.
    Still dry!

    I'm over for work but have fished here many times in the past

    The rivers are all still low. Which will make wellies unnecessary ! I'm doing some peatland surveys.

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