THE OUTER Hebrides offers an almost unimaginable wealth of angling opportunities for visiting fishermen, with some of the best summer salmon and trout fishing to be found anywhere in the country. Lying just off the north-west coast of Scotland, the Outer Hebrides is a chain of islands that ranges from Lewis in the north to Barra in the south via Harris, the Uists and Benbecula.
Although the salmon season officially opens in February, it is not until June that fishing really begins – this is a deliberate attempt to allow the precious spring-running fish to reach their redds unmolested. Fortunately, the summer and autumn runs of both salmon and sea-trout more than make up for this comparatively late start to proceedings with fish of 20lb or more being caught in most years. Come autumn, fresh salmon and sea-trout are still entering the rivers and lochs, with loch fishing for both species particularly popular. Autumn is also a beautiful time of year to be out among the island scenery. The salmon season comes to a close between the beginning and end of October, depending on the individual fishery.
Sea-trout fishing in the Outer Hebrides usually takes place during the day, either from a boat on one of the many lochs or in the rivers and estuaries. Hebridean rivers are spate rivers and so tide and rainfall play a big role in dictating the runs. The best of the fishing occurs from June onwards, becoming most abundant in the lochs during autumn.
Imagine drifting on one of the uniquely beautiful machair lochs with a golden eagle soaring overhead, catching wild brown trout and perhaps even one of the elusive Arctic char that can also be found throughout the archipelago. Although Hebridean trout are typically of the 10oz variety, there are frequent catches of much larger specimens up to 5lb, not to mention the impressive ferox trout that may be encountered. This is wild, unspoilt fishing in a truly remarkable landscape.
Enjoy some truly wild fishing in the Western Isles.