Trout fishing can essentially be broken down into two types of fishing, fishing for wild brown trout in rivers, lochs and lakes and fishing for stocked trout in still waters.
Wild trout fishing
In late spring and early summer there is challenging dry fly fishing, mainly concentrated in more sedate lowland rivers which support rich feeding. The fish here are 'educated' and demanding, requiring skill and precision casting to present an upstream dry fly or the traditional wet fly cast across and down.
There is also a wealth of small river fishing including the upper reaches of the big lowland systems; here the riffles and glides support large numbers of less discriminating trout, allowing good bags to be taken.
At the other end of the trout spectrum there are boundless opportunities for loch or lake fishing within UK, Ireland and Iceland. If consider that Scotland alone has approximately 35,000 lochs and lochans, there fishing to be found to suit all preferences.
Brown trout fishing in the Outer Hebrides.
Essentially what this means is that wherever you are it is likely that you will be able to access some form of fishing. Once you have has decided on a location, then it makes every sense to carry out as much research (obtaining leaflets and other literature on the fishing in the particular locality) before arrival to help make the most of the trip; the internet is an excellent source of information with increasing availability on FishPal.
When fishing the fly from the bank on lochs, it is desirable to keep moving in order to cover as much water as possible. A boat is really an aid to achieving this. Traditional loch-style fishing from a boat, casting and retrieving a team of two or three wet flies on a steady drift (if necessary slowed down by the use of a drogue), is the most popular method. Other tactics also have their merits. One of the most visually exciting is dapping - bouncing a large bushy fly on the surface by means of a section of very light silk-floss line fished on a long rod. In addition dry fly and nymph fishing (the latter fished on an intermediate line) have their place.
Wild trout fishing for brown trout is bounded by close seasons normally starting in mid-March and finishing by early October. Each area of will have slight variations on these dates so best to check in advance of your visit.
Stocked trout fishing
The UK and Ireland are internationally famous for the quality of their 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 underestimated by visiting anglers.
Most of the main commercially stocked fisheries are fly fishing only, but there are a good number that allow bait fishing as well. 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.
There is no official close season for rainbow trout. 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, depending on the weather. In fact late autumn and winter can often provide some of the best fishing at these waters.
The fisheries themselves can vary from large boat fishing venues running to thousands of acres to smaller fisheries 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 eyebrow. 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.
Methods of fishing
Fishing is now by rod and line, mostly from the river bank but also occasionally on larger rivers, lakes and lochs from boats. Most fishing is done using flies although more rarely bait can be used on some occasions.
Find out more
Need advice - See the relevant pages in our 'Advice' menu or again you can find more detailed pages in the relevant river or country pages.