Freshwater Fishing

A few of the lochs & rivers in Argyll:

Isle of Islay
Isle of Mull
Kilmelford Hill Lochs
Loch Awe
Loch Nell
Loch Scammadale
Loch Tralaig
Loch Tromlee

Setting out on a hill loch expedition armed with fly rod and reel, box of flies, map and a compass with a view to fishing as many of the blue dots on the map as you can is one of the most satisfying ways to catch a wild brown trout. If you're prepared to put in the legwork there are some cracking wild trout to be caught that barely see a fisherman from one season to the next.

Scottish hill lochs are generally regarded as black, peaty waters that contain small trout. Many Argyll hill lochs contain trout that weigh 'three to the pound'. Free rising, hard fighting, cracking little brownies that you never tire of catching. Whilst this may be the case for many lochs there are exceptions to the rule. In some lochs there are brown trout well over 5lb waiting to be caught, so remember to take a camera and net!

Anglers should always be aware that the hills can be a dangerous place to be caught out on. Always plan your trips with inclement weather in mind and dress/pack appropriately.

The book Trout and Salmon Rivers and Lochs of Scotland by Bruce Sandison lists nearly all rivers and lochs in Scotland and is a handy guide if you are fishing new waters.

The Scottish brown trout season runs from the 15th of March until the 6th of October.

Unfortunately, Argyll is not noted for its river fishing. In past years the rivers Awe and Orchy produced salmon of 50lbs and more, the Awe being arguably one of the best salmon rivers in Scotland before the hydro electric scheme was constructed on Loch Awe in the 1960s. Sadly fish of this size appear no more. Sea trout numbers have also declined with the passage of time.

We, however, believe that the picture isn't as bleak as some may think. Whilst it is certainly true that the size of salmon in the river systems are smaller today, the fact is they are still running. Sea trout are also present in numbers and there is good sport to be had from both species. Heavy rain is one of the key ingredients to successful river fishing in Argyll. The rivers are, in the main, small spate streams. It takes prolonged rain to tempt the fish into the rivers. Shortly after rain stops, it's time to go fishing! Spate streams run off quickly and the window of opportunity can easily be missed so time your trip carefully.