Scotland is internationally famous for the quality of its commercially stocked trout fishing.
The stocked fish are predominately rainbow trout, but there are many wild brown trout waters that supplement their numbers with stocked brown trout. This type of trout fishing is truly world class and not to be missed by any visiting angler.
Rainbow trout are not native to Scotland and in fact they do not even breed naturally in our waters. Their original home is the Pacific coast of North America and they were first introduced to Scotland in 1888. However it has only really been since the late 1960s that they have become widespread and they are now the main quarry species for the Scottish stillwater trout angler.
How to catch them
Most of the main commercially stocked fisheries in Scotland are fly fishing only, but there are a good number that allow bait fishing as well. If you trout fish at home, then your own tackle will probably be perfectly adequate. There are obviously special flies etc which are popular on a specific water, but they are not essential. Many commercially stocked fisheries have a tackle shop on site, which will be able to supply local patterns and local advice is freely given. Actual tactics depend on the time of year and weather conditions and can vary from dry fly and nymph fishing to deep sunk lures. A floating and intermediate fly line will cover the majority of situations.
When to catch them
There is no official close season for rainbow trout in Scotland. Generally speaking the physically larger waters shut down over the winter period but nearly everywhere can be guaranteed to be open from April to the end of September. Many of the smaller fisheries are literally open all year round. In fact late autumn and winter can often provide some of the best fishing at these waters.
Where to catch them
Scotland is extremely well served by commercially stocked waters, with most of the major ones being members of the Association of Scottish Stillwater Fisheries, and they genuinely provide fishing that is second to none, at a very reasonable price. Whilst spread throughout Scotland the majority of commercially stocked waters are to be found in Aberdeenshire and the Central Belt area. The waters themselves vary from large boat fishing venues to smaller lochs and ponds that specialise in specimen trout fishing. Double figure trout are quite common in many of these waters and a trout of four to five pounds in weight would not raise many eyebrows! However it is not all specimen fishing and many waters specifically cater for the novice or junior angler, often with special discounts and the possibility of organising coaching on site.
Find your fishing
To find somewhere to fish on any particular day, go to our find fishing page to search for all types of trout fishing. For just stocked fishing go to our list of stillwater fisheries.
Stocked fisheries often have a tackle shop which will be able to advise on and supply local fly patterns.