Western Isles - Fishing, Angling Holidays in the Hebrides
A true wilderness landscape that appears to contain more water than land, islands where the angler is spoilt for choice, lochs, small rivers and of course an immense coastline. On one side lies the Atlantic and on the other the prolific waters of the Minch.
There are two distinct types of lochs on the islands, machair lochs and hill lochs. Machair lochs lie close to the sea and may even be tidal to some extent. The water is clear and enriched by decomposing sea shells. Insect and plant life is prolific and the trout wax fat and strong. Hill lochs are often tannin stained from the peat, the fish are lively and prolific but they do not reach the size of their relatives in the machair. April, May and June are the best months for the machair lochs. Later in the year weed can become a problem but by then the hill lochs will be fishing at their best and there are hundreds to choose from. It is doubtful if some of these lochs are fished more than once or twice a year so for the angler prepared to walk over the moors, these islands are an unspoilt paradise. From mid summer onwards sea trout and salmon enter any of the accessible lochs and provide exciting sport. See the listing for Loch Fishing in Western Isles
Rivers on the islands are generally short and small. They require some rainfall to lift the levels and entice the migratory fish upstream to the lochs where most of the fishing is done. Stornoway Angling Association manage the River Creed, a lovely stream that winds its way from Loch an Ois via Loch a’ Chlachain to the tide near Stornoway. It fishes best after a spate in August or September and bright flies such as Ally’s Shrimp or Cascade seem to do best in the dark water. Another great favourite with the local anglers is the Black Muddler so don’t be without some. See the listing for River Fishing in Western Isles.
The choices are bewildering there is just so much water around the islands. Advice is however at hand and visiting anglers are advised to talk to Stornoway Sea Angling Club about the various marks and tide conditions. Species regularly caught include pollack, saithe, haddock, dogfish, whiting and rays. There are some big common skate around the shores and a catch and release tagging scheme is in operation for this species. Bait is easily found around the beaches and rocks at low tide. See the listing for Sea Angling in Western Isles.