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Why fish the Far North

Historically, salmon fishing has been renowned in Scotland, but don’t forget we also have wonderful trout fly fishing in rivers, lochs and ponds, along with grayling angling and to a lesser extent but with some great specimens, FishPal also cater for coarse anglers too.  Take a look at the Fisheries list in the menu to see the fisheries and beats which show their beats off with any availability shown, or do a *search (Book fishing) for Salmon, sea trout, brown trout or grayling. Catches, river reports and river levels are also available in the menu as well as tackle advice and fishing regulations.

Fishing in the far north of Scotland starts very early on in the year. The earliest seasons include the River Carron in Easter Ross, the Helmsdale, the Kyle Rivers and the Thurso which all open on 11 January. The latest rivers close on 31st October and include the Carron Wester Ross, Dionard and Wick.

The fishing on the rivers of the far north is generally best afer some rain when a spate will bring fish into the rivers in numbers. The fishing picks up as the season progresses with July onwards providing the best of the sport.

The rivers can all be fished with single-handed rods although some anglers do prefer longer double-handed rods which can provide greater control of the fly.




About the rivers

Northern Rivers

Scotland's far north faces the Pentland Firth and stretches from Cape Wrath in the west to John O'Groats in the east. The rivers here are mostly spate rivers and salmon and sea trout are the main species fished for. When rivers are low, and the salmon slow to take, there are plenty of trout lochs to try and also some good sea trout lochs, notably Loch Hope. In addition there is some excellent sea fishing.

The main fishing areas below are listed from west to east. Click the names for more details on each.

Borgie - one of the most attractive of all the highland streams. It flows into Torrisdale Bay, two miles west of the Navar.

Naver - One of the North's best salmon rivers, but very difficult to get onto.

Halladale - The Halladale is about 15 miles long and rises just to the north east of Kinbrace. It is a spate river and fishing is mostly for salmon although there are some trout lochs within the catchment. After a lean time in the 1980s the river now averages about 600 salmon a year.

Forss - The Forss river catchment is over twenty miles long, lying between those of the Thurso and the Halladale Rivers in Caithness and Sutherland respectively. The Forss is a typical spate river which fishes well in the nine-inch to twenty-four inch range.

Thurso - The Thurso River is all in one ownership and recently has been averaging over 800 fish a year. It offers 25 miles of salmon fishing divided into 12 rotating two-rod beats. It is among the best salmon rivers in the north of Scotland. During its lengthy season, from 11th January to 5th October, fish can be caught in every month, but the best fishing is had from March to October, with the larger catches occurring from July to the end of the season.

Other Rivers & Lochs include the Dionard, Polla, Strathmore, Loch Hope, Kinloch and Strathy.


Eastern Rivers

This page covers the rivers on the east coast of the far north of Scotland from John O'Groats down to the Cromarty Firth. Rivers are listed from north to south. Click the names for more details on each.

Wick - The largest river on the East side of Caithness, it drains the flow country.

Helmsdale - A well known salmon river and greatly helped by being able to control the outflow of water from its head lochs.

Brora - An excellent spring river flowing through Loch Brora into the sea by the village of Brora.

Other rivers in this area - These include Berridale.

Western Rivers

Skeabost on The Isle of Skye. The River Snizort is the premier Salmon river on The Isle of Skye and the Sonas Group own nearly 8 miles of the fishing, made up from 12 beats of quality highland spate river. The Skeabost Hotel is perfectly situated with the lower 2 beats being within the hotel grounds.