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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    East Kilbride
    Posts
    284

    Default Lewis/Harris fishing advice

    Hi everyone,

    My Dad and I are considering a holiday to Lewis/Harris. We are looking to do both trout and salmon fishing, if possible. I have the idea in my head of salmon fishing in the lochs from a boat like in the old paul young videos. We would also try some fly fishing in the sea for sea trout if thats possible up that way.
    I am just looking for some advice on maybe places to say, time of years to fish, locations etc.

    Any advice would be really appreciated.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year when it arrives everyone

  2. #2

    Default

    Plenty of options to suit all budgets, check out the fisheries and catches etc on fishpal.

    for trout, there is a great book on the trout lochs of the island. There is loads of free trout fishing, too many lochs to try so the book is a big help. Iíll dig out the name or google/amazon should find it.

    EDIT: Trout fishing in Lewis.

    tactics - salmon: stoats tail, silver stoat, small-ish doubles. If fishing loch style try a bushy fly on the top - bumbles, zulus, muddlers etc. Can be exciting surface action. For trout blue/black zulus, bibios etc but in smaller sizes than for salmon.

    thats the basics but others can add plenty more. Good luck itís a great place to fish
    Last edited by T7; 31-12-2018 at 08:15 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Isle of Lewis
    Posts
    306

    Default

    Eddie Young's book 'Fisher in the West' is ok if you can find it but there's a better 'Where To' by Norman MacCleod, 'Trout Fishing In Lewis' (Eddie did work on the revised edition in the '80s).
    P.M. me if you have trouble sourcing a copy. Although old now, most of the advice on lochs & flies will still hold true (unless smolt cages are now present) and you'll find info on parking, geo-coordinates and ownership, if applicable.

    There is some good brown trout fishing in Harris but the fish are often 5 to a pound and most effort is on migratories. Not my patch so I suggest you phone or email Donnie McIver at the Outer Hebrides Fishery Trust for a chat once you've decided where you're going to be based. He's the 'fishery tourist officer' and I doubt anyone knows the islands' fishing better. If you need a gillie for your Hebridean Drift days talk to Donnie about that, too.

    Salmon & sea trout tend to arrive in numbers in late June/July, also good trout months, but their access to freshwater is often rain-dependant, and so therefore is the sport.
    I'd opt for a mid-July week given the choice but a dry summer can scupper the best laid plans.

    There are lots of options open to you - Steinish Sea Pools are just outside Stornoway and a season ticket will probably be under £40. The Gress is £10 a day and can be good given rain and there's the Stornoway A.A., open to non-residents offering loch & river fishing on the Creed system for under £100 p/a, boats extra. The private estates often have day rods for more money, too, Donnie can help you there.

    Hope that helps get you started. The scope is enormous and only limited by you & your father's fitness levels, really.
    Last edited by Lewis.Chessman; 31-12-2018 at 12:09 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    East Kilbride
    Posts
    284

    Default

    Thanks T7, great advice. I'll check out that book too. Fishing for salmon on lochs would be an entirely new experiece so its great to know some of the tactics.

    Thank you,

    Jamie

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Isle of Lewis
    Posts
    306

    Default

    I highly recommend you pick up some Sidney Spencer books if you're inexperienced in loch fishing for salmon & sea trout from a drifting boat. 'Newly From the Sea' is possibly the best but 'Game Fishing Tactics', 'Ways of Fishing' and 'Salmon & Sea Trout in Wild Places' are all excellent too. Spencer fished at Morsgail in Lewis, knew his game well and wrote about it brilliantly, both descriptively and informatively.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    East Kilbride
    Posts
    284

    Default

    Hi Lewis.chessman, thanks very much for taking the time to give me that advice, it sounds excellent. I will set about trying to get some of they books. Once im more certwin on where wnd when we are staying i will probably contact the fishery tourist officer. Soujds like there is no shortage of places to fish.

    Thanks again,

    Jamie

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Isle of Lewis
    Posts
    1,679

    Default

    Join the Wild Fishing Forum as there are guys on there who come over to the island to fish for trout, and sometimes do well. A couple of local trout fishers are members of that forum, and can offer real time advice. In general, there is good trout fishing to be had, it is just not advertised as much as other destinations.
    Over the last few seasons, the grilse and salmon have arrived pretty much in one go in ate June and the first half of July. Great, if you are visiting then and you get water/wind/cloud.
    But.
    If you visit after July, you need weather conditions to help you, as the vast majority of fish will be stale. You need wind/rain/cloud to get the fish interested.
    The quality and quantity of what we are currently seeing and catching suggests that 2019 will be a good year for sea trout.
    My advice is do not book anything in advance. Day tickets on Barvas, Creed and Garynahine offer at least a good a chance of fish as the overpriced "famous" fisheries, the estuaries north of Stornoway offer cheap, very good, sea trout fishing on day tickets, and if you are here in a heat wave, save your money and go trout fishing. There are boats on the Garynahine lochs, the Creed lochs and the Barvas loch. Ghillies are easy to arrange.

    Oh aye......I have never read a freshwater angling book in my life, preferring to work things out for myself. You will learn more in 5 minutes from a competent local angler or ghillie.

  8. #8

    Default

    One thing I would advise is if you are fishing for salmon/sea trout on a loch. It is worth the extra expense to hire a ghillie. Most anglers can after a bit of experience read a river and instinctively know where to fish. A loch is entirely different. You have a large expanse of water in front of you and without prior knowledge of it you could spend the whole day fishing over entirely useless drifts. Also, if there is a wind and you are not experienced at holding a boat on a drift and rowing back into a stiff breeze/semi gale, your whole day could be ruined. Some days it is worth it even just for the 'craik' as the Irish would say.

  9. #9

    Default whatever you do ,

    or where you go take a midge hat and repellent ,I went to uist ,harris,lewis on the longest day so we could pretty much fish all night ,midges were savage when the wind drops,fishing was epic you wont be dissapointed
    Last edited by skagitmonster; 31-12-2018 at 12:48 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    East Kilbride
    Posts
    284

    Default

    Thanks everyone that all sounds like great advice. I guess its just the way salmon fishing is but it really is difficult hen you are travelling far and having to rely on the weather!

    Not booking in advance is quite a big point i guess, normally we do book salmon fishing in advance but have often lost out because of that. We can normally only really fish on a saturday so it's difficult to wait until last minute. But, if we were on harris/lewis and there was a lot of other options then i guess it makes sense to wait and then choose the best option....

    Skagitmonster, the dreaded midges eh, murder, what did you fish for whilst there?

    thanks all again

    jamie

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