"There is no place in the world like Scotland for fly fishing vacations"
For fly fishing vacations, Scotland is in a class of its own. The country is renowned the world over for its salmon and trout rivers in particular. But fly fishing vacations that take in one or more Scottish lochs add that little extra to your fishing holiday experience.
I don't know about you, but I can almost feel that tell-tale weight on the line, and smell the biting freshness of the Scottish air around me when I just picture myself standing with rod in hand, the clear, fresh water before me, and the whizz of the reel resounding in my ears.
There are fish everywhere in this country, it seems. Just last week my family and I were taking some visitors from abroad to the mighty ruin of Threave Castle, the old Black Douglas stronghold built in 1369 on an island in the Dee River in Galloway – you have to ring a bell and the boatman comes to take you across the water. The river was teeming with fish, all around the castle they were jumping every couple of minutes!
Closer to home, as you drive along a back road next to the River Bladnoch (whose clear waters are one of the main ingredients of Bladnoch Whisky), every few miles you see a sign such as "Beat 2", referring to the salmon fishing areas.
And often when you see property for sale in Scotland, there is a reference to the fishing rights that go with it, in some cases just the fishing rights themselves are for sale!
This is a country that is fishing mad, making it the ideal destination for fly fishing vacations. And there are shops and services catering to the needs of fly fishing enthusiasts all over the place. Our little town has one called "Hooks 'n' Looks" (the "looks" part refers to photographic supplies). Actually the shop and the house it is in are up for sale, so if you're interested....
For fly fishing vacations, Dumfries and Galloway in the southwest offers excellent rivers such as the Annan, the Nith, the Urr, the Dee, the Fleet, the Cree, the Bladnoch and the Luce. Lakes such as Loch Ken are also excellent for coarse fishing (e.g. pike).
Further east is the famous River Tweed, directly to the north are the Doon and the upper reaches of the Clyde.
And that's just the very south of Scotland – wait till you get up north!
Fantastic Spots for Fly Fishing
Actually, as with just about everything else in Scotland, the fishing rivers in the north are more well known – because that's what the promotion tends to concentrate on.
But regardless of that, there are some fantastic spots for fly fishing vacations up north of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
You only need to think of the quiet majestic waters of Loch Lomond, or the famous "whisky" rivers of the Tay, Dee (yes, another Dee) and Spey.
I personally have a soft spot for the River Ness that flows out of Loch Ness and through the charming town (actually officially a city now) of Inverness to the sea.
It's been a while since I've visited Scotland's youngest city, but I still recall watching the anglers standing almost in mid-stream, fly fishing right in the middle of Inverness!
Plan the trip yourself or get an expert to do it for you
As I mentioned, there is a whole Scottish culture and industry that caters to fly fishing vacations – at the other end of the road I live in there is even a country hotel that specialises in trips for anglers and hunters.
You will also find a number of specialised tour operators that can arrange a fly fishing trip for you. But it is of course possible to put together your own fly fishing vacation.
On these pages I will endeavour to provide you with some more detailed information to help prepare fly fishing vacations yourself, if that is what you prefer.
I'll also point you in the direction of specialists who do nothing but arrange fly fishing vacations in Scotland, if you feel you'd rather have a local expert take you by the hand.
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