Fishing in the Hebrides
Fishing in the Outer Hebrides: My first experience of fishing was on the Isle of Harris, in the Outer Hebrides, many years ago. I was fishing for Pollack off the rocks using spinners. It was great fun, I was amazed at the clarity of the saltwater, I had never witnessed it this clear. I could see the smaller fish swimming below and sometimes a much larger specimen would rise briefly setting my heart pounding. It wasn't long before I felt the tug of my quarry and I was fighting to land the beast, and a beast it was. That was me hooked. I was determined to catch another, and another, and another. The sea, that day was very obliging so most of my catch was returned but I kept a couple of the finer examples for the table and it tasted wonderful.
Yes there is something really special about fishing in the Outer Hebrides, a true game angler's heaven! Surrounded by the wonderful flora and fauna unique to the islands you can enjoy some of the best summer salmon and trout fishing available in Europe. The peace is almost deafening, only broken by the splash of a jumping fish or an otter playing below, allowing you to fully enjoy your fishing. You will find that the brown trout, sea trout & Atlantic salmon are still common in the islands and there are other species worth considerations such as the Arctic char (salvelinus alpinus).
The choice of location for a days freshwater fishing in the Hebrides is wide and varied. Although the Outer Hebrides have only 1.3% of the total land mass of the United Kingdom they have, within them, 15% of the total stillwater. There are over 2,000 fishable freshwater lochs in the Outer Hebrides. Add to this the winding coast with excellent vantage points, the Atlantic ocean and the Minch and it all adds up to an exciting destination for a fishing vacation for any angler;
"For all the lochs on the Isle of Lewis alone, it would take one angler, fishing one loch per day for six days of the season, more than six years to fish them all!" (Eddie Young, 'Trout Fishing in Lewis')
Fish of the Hebrides
As mentioned the Hebrides are abundant in freshwater fish such as slamon, brown trout & sea trout, Arctic char and ferox trout. All can be caught to a reasonable size with several salmon in the region of 20lb+ caught every season, you will be happy to know that salmon in the high teens are not uncommon.
Brown trout of around 1lb or less are the most common. However you will often find brown trout of up to 5lb but I have witnessed trout of ridiculous sizes being caught. These are ferox trout and they can be caught at 10lb+, a friend of mine once caught one that was held at shoulder height and it reached to below his waist, unfortunately I can't remember the weight but it was rather fat! Personally I have found that the best time to fish is at dusk but I usually go sea fishing in the morning and have not often fished the lochs at dawn - which I expect would also produce results. Last year (2006) saw many fish around 4lb being caught and the largest being 8lb.
Sea trout are abundant in the Outer Hebrides with fish regularly being caught in excess of 10lb (14lb trout have been recorded). However it is more common to see sea trout at around 1lb to 2lb. Sea trout can be fished for throughout the day in our rivers, lochs and estuaries. Generally there has been a decline in the number of sea trout for the las couple of years but, in contrast to this trens, South Uist Estates recorded las year as the best since the 1960's.
The rarer Arctic char are occassionally caught and are to be found across most of the islands.
The number of fish caught in the Outer Hebrides in the 2006 season have been recorded as; 2,044 salmon & grilse, 6,493 brown trout and 2,195 sea trout.
You will find more information at: Fishing in Scotland
Over the coming months we will be adding lots more information about fishing in the Hebrides so please call back soon.