The start of the Atlantic Salmon fishing season had its difficulties with travel restrictions, weather, and the severe loss of international fly fishers. 

The weather never really improved for most rivers and the lack of rain and constant high temperatures proved to be hard not only on the fishers but also on the Atlantic Salmon.

When the rain did come, it lasted two days at the best and caused unfishable high colored waters, so again, no great help for both fisher and fish. I think climate change is 

showing itself and giving us all a warning that we should take notice of.

Certain rivers have done better than others, with some producing high Salmon numbers and others very low compared to previous years. I have been lucky enough to have been invited to fish some amazing rivers with great Ghillies giving the very best of their knowledge and covered Salmon with every cast but they would not take it at all. So this season has been somewhat a bit of hit and miss depending on where you were actually fishing.

However, it wasn't all dome and glome as some of Atlantic Salmon guests have achieved the ultimate catch on the fly. Every single person who caught a Salmon this year with us was female and it was their first-ever fish of any species on the fly. They just arrived on the river and with some tuition and guidance from our guides, they had a fish on in less than an hour. I have always said that Females make better fishers than males but when it comes to Salmon there is definitely something about the lady fly fishers that attract the Cock Salmon.  

It is the best part of the day when you see one of your guests holding on to a 14ft Loop Salmon rod and talking them through the doe's and don'ts when they get over-excited, you tend to hold your breath while they fight the fish and breath again when you have it netted. 

It is a truly awe-inspiring moment when you see some land their very first Salmon.

 

 

 

 

While we promote Catch and Release or (C&R) in abbreviation, we also have to promote safe unhooking handling and other measures to ensure the best possible outcome for a stressed fish.

When fly fishing for Trout, Pike and Perch we will do our utmost to ensure fish welfare, on the odd occasion this can prove to be testing for both the fisher and the fish as not all techniques will run according to the "Rule Book". There are no such rules when practising catch and release as every fisher will have his own tested methods that suit him or her. Some fishers will go the absolute mile to make sure their fish is as safe as it can be but others feel that just unhooking a fish and putting it back without any care is just called catch and release. 

Because you have released the fish doesn't mean it will survive and the chances are that it will not. Water temperature has a high casualty rate and some fisheries will not allow catch and release when water is above a certain temperature as the lack of oxygen in the water will seriously reflect on the fishes health once released as the fish will have exerted as much energy as it can try to escape the recovery rate will be lower due to the fish not receiving the proper amount of oxygen. 

Handling fish incorrectly with dry hands and without a landing matt for Pike will again have severe effects ob the welfare of the fish. 

Barbed and barbless hooks can make a difference, bringing a fish onto a rocky surface by sliding it through the stones, crabbing and throwing it up the bank, putting pressure on its organs, ripping hooks out without due care and attention will all seriously have a dramatic effect on the welfare of fish. 

Catch and Release is a skill that has to be learnt over many years, having the correct equipment, such as long-nose pliers, snips, wire cutters, landing mats, antiseptic spray, keep nets and knotless rubber landing nets will certainly help fish with a great recovery rate. 

Bringing fish from depths can damage bladders, not giving the fish line but again giving it to much line again will have effects on the fish recovery time and potential problems for the fish.

Handling fish with dry hands for that shot of a lifetime is a death warrant for a fish, actually, any amphibian will have a protective layer over its body to stop any potential disease entering its system.

If you look around there are plenty of websites promoting all of the above to include Sean at ontrackfishing.com who has recently written an article that covers all of above to include saltwater species.

His link is here:https://www.ontrackfishing.com/catch-and-release-fishing/

The 2020 Trout season will hold a few surprises next year for a lucky few. We have been given access to some amazing waters both still and running that are sorrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery you could imagine.

The waters will be mainly Wild Brown Trout with the possibility of hooking into a Ferox Trout, Atlantic Salmon or even a Sea Trout. We have various new options available to get there such as Helicopter or Argo Cat. The helicopter option allows

you to see Scotland from the air and to get the chance to fly through these amazing rugged glens will ceratainly stay with you forever. We can stay overnight and camp beside our Helicopter enabling you to fly fish the epic evening rises 

and watch the sun go down in what only can be described as just amazing. Wild Brown Trout fishing in Scotland does not come any better than this.

The fishing, the Scenery, the Visual aspects and the flight to and from our locations are truely awe inspiring. the whole package and the oppertunity to book this adventure is available  to anyone that wants to

book a fly fishing trip in Scotland that they will never forget. 

Our Guides will even take Float Tubes for you so you can get to those hard to cast to spots. If you want to talk about a Guided fishing Heli Trip in Scotland just give us a call or email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, we are looking into the future of fly fishing for 2020. 
Although we would imagine that the current situation will eventually ease off we expect that there will be reoccurring problems in the future. 
This devastating Virus has already killed thousands of people and will eventually destroy many small, medium and large businesses. This Virus is not limited to an individual or country, it has no rules of engagement or laws to abide and does not require a visa or passport to enter any country. 
How will this affect fly fishing Guides, Ghillies and Privately owned fishing beats?
In a very simple and concise answer, it will create unemployment, collapse of Businesses, a massive downturn in revenue for local villages, cities and towns. 
Fly fishing brings tourism, cash, temporary and fulltime employment. 
Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, Hire Cars, Fuel Stations, Cafe's, Castles and much more. So, as you see it's not just fly fishing, it is everything associated with the sport and the effect on local businesses. 
Ghillies are an important part of Salmon fishing and will make the difference between catching a fish and not catching a fish. Most Ghillies have been the Riverkeeper for many year's and depend on the tips from their daily fishing Guests. Their knowledge of their beats are second to none and will often share their knowledge and fly choice to give the fisher every opportunity to catch that elusive Atlantic Salmon. Every Atlantic Salmon caught will have a value to each beat as most beats are valued mainly on the average numbers of Salmon caught. This season will lower the average numbers and thus lower the value of the beats. 
 
The prospects for 2020 are still uncertain but eventually, we will all see light at the end of the tunnel and get back out on the water. 
I for one have never missed anything so much. the thought of getting back into waders and wading the rivers, lochs and streams in search of that mighty fish is warming to the heart. 
We are living a moment in history that will be recorded in the future. 
Stay indoors and clean your fly lines, tidy your fly box's and look forward to getting back out onto the water.
 
Tight Lines

2019 has seen its highs and lows. The highs have been well received by our Guests and the lows where due to weather and the abnormal amount of rain we received.

Salmon fishing had been hit hard this year with an annual rainfall that whas higher than expected meaning that our catch reports will only show 14 Atlantic Salmon for the year with 6 lost.

Sea Trout has also been hit hard with the high water levels but not as bad as the Salmon. Recorded Sea trout numbers where still low for the year with only 124 to the net.

The highs with the Salmon and Sea Trout are for those lucky few that caught them and managed to celebrate their first Atlantic Salmon in Scotland. 

The Trout had been a rather successful year with many achieving their personal best and the numbers where high at over 3000 caught for the year.

The best of the year so far would be the Pike as we have recorded already over 700 being caught at an average higher than i expected. Several at the 24Lb mark had been caught with lots of low 20's in the mix and well over 200 in the teens. 

Some guests managed to catch their first double figure Pike on the Float tube while others where just happy to catch the everyday Jacks that are very common.

The Perch showed slightly later this year but again we have done well with again over 500 caught on the fly with the biggest weighing at a staggering 4,5Lbs. This was an absolute Belter 

of a fish and i was happier than the Guest to see him land such a fish.

We are now well into the Pike season and i have to admit i am super excited to see what this season brings. My personal goal is to see a Guest catch a 30Lb on the fly from a Float Tube. 

Going by the weights that we have already achieved i do think there is a possiblity that this will happen.

We have a well stablished Trout and Pike syndicate that are working well and providing me with a good account of fish caught. The Pike Syndicate is currently at its limit with one or two Trout rods available.

To generate some winter revenue we have decided to allow the rental of boats at £50 per boat for those that would like to fly fish for Trout. Pike fishing will be purely kept for our Syndicate and Guests.