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Northern Highlands of Scotland - Fishing, Angling

This huge and unspoilt area has a vast amount of fishing including some of the best salmon and trout rivers and lochs in Scotland, and its varied coastline from the Minch to the North Sea has many marks for the adventuresome sea angler.


Loch Fishing

The north has an abundance of lochs with excellent brown trout, sea trout and salmon fishing, too many to mention by name. From the famous limestone lochs around Durness, renowned for their large and well fed but moody trout to the popular trout lochs of Caithness such as Watten and Calder and literally hundreds in between from Loch Badanloch at the source of the Helmsdale to Loch Naver that feeds the river of that name and all of them alive with trout.

Lochs Hope and Stack have decent runs of salmon and grilse and improving numbers of sea trout. Permits and boats on Stack and many other lochs around the Scourie area some of which provide specimen trout each year are available from Scourie Hotel.

Loch Shin is a huge body of fresh water that contains a healthy population of wild brown trout. Local knowledge is a great benefit to those contemplating a day afloat here and a keen eye to the wind is advisable because the loch can blow up quickly in a squall and an angry Loch Shin is not for the faint hearted!  See the listing for Loch Fishing in Northern Highlands  

River Fishing

In the flow lands of Caithness vast areas of peat produce dark tannin stained rivers that are home to bright silver salmon and sea trout. Helmsdale, Thurso, Halladale, Naver, Borgie and Dionard are the major rivers and there are other smaller but nevertheless productive systems such as Brora, Berriedale, Wick, Forss, Strathy and Hope. The Kyle of Sutherland rivers are wild and beautiful, the Shin, Cassley, Carron and Oykel each capable of providing superb salmon fishing.

At Lochinver, the Inver drains Loch Assynt and the Kirkaig which is characterised by an impassable waterfall and runs of larger than usual salmon for the west coast. There are a large number of small rivers and lochs between Lochinver and Poolewe where the River Ewe enters the sea from Loch Maree and produces good sport with salmon and grilse.

Rainfall is essential to get migratory fish into the systems and provide sport but if the weather is dry there is no need to despair because river estuaries can produce good sport with sea trout in these conditions. See the listing for River Fishing in Northern Highlands


Stillwater fisheries in the north offer stocked brown and rainbow trout fishing, usually in natural lochs set in beautiful scenery. Fishing for rainbows may continue throughout the year - valuable during the winter months when an outing can relieve cabin fever! See the listing for Fisheries in Northern Highlands

Coarse Fishing

The north of Scotland is not well known for coarse fishing but several lochs contain good numbers of pike that can be caught throughout the year. Lochs Tarvie and Achilty hold large pike. See the listing for Coarse Fishing in Northern Highlands

Sea Angling

Ullapool is the main sea angling centre on the west coast. You can cast from the shore along Loch Broom and catch pollack, haddock, mackerel and skate.

On boat fishing trips you may encounter coalfish, cod, conger, haddock, mackerel, plaice, pollack, and whiting. Caithness offers the best fishing on the north and east coasts where bass and flounders are commonly caught by beach casting whilst shark, skate and halibut are sought by boat anglers. See the listings for Sea Angling in Northern Highlands