While planning for this vacation I had hoped to find a way to kayak or fly fish. Once the kayak idea evaporated due to scheduling and logistics I started looking into fly fishing. How cool would it be to say I fly fished in Scotland! I didn’t even need to catch anything. I spent hours looking at options and saw that the only way to fly fish in Scotland was to pay a guide several hundred pounds. I killed the idea early on as being an over the top, selfish expenditure. That kind of money, just for me alone to fish was too much.
I was sick for the month prior to our vacation and in the final days before our vacation, I made a Carpe Diem decision. I would commit the money, go experience my possibly once in a lifetime Scottish fishing day. A small present to myself. The hubby decided to have some “me” time at the apartment for the day.
Day Three- 0530 Fly Fishing
The pheasant was awake and waiting for me as I walked out the door. I waited for my ride to the fly fishing hole. These are some pictures the hubby got later.
Fly Fishing with “You Fish Scotland”
I booked my fly fishing day with You Fish Scotland, a fly fishing guide based in Inverness. I booked with them because they had a female fishing guide. I had seen the reviews online from other customers, this guide service came very highly rated.
The cost of fly fishing in Scotland runs about the same price for most all of the fishing guides I researched. For around 300 pounds you get picked up at your lodging, transported to the fishing location, provided all the equipment, and fed a meal then returned to your lodging at the end of the day.
I had my new LLBean fly rod with me and I wanted to catch a fish on it. I brought it along in hopes I could get some tips or possibly get the “new rod stink” off my rod by catching a fish with it.
Jen (one of the fishing guides), picked me up along with another female fly fisher who was from Canada.
I was already excited about fishing the entire day and could hardly contain myself on our ride to the fishing location. I thought it was cool just to speak English about fishing with some like minded women. This common bond of fishing I don’t get living in The Netherlands, or for that fact rarely in my home state of Minnesota.
Wes joined us later at the Loch with a group of Americans from California.
The weather drizzled rain from the overcast sky as we geared up at our remote Loch location. A small log cabin tucked alongside a small Loch had all the comforts and equipment to start the day. Wes, shared the fact that he had built the cabin himself and picked this location because the fishing was excellent. This isolated location tucked in the trees reminded me of the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota.
I had sent a picture of my first rainbow trout to Wes when I registered the week before ( I am sure he laughed at the size of my small Minnesota rainbow trout) and he replied he could almost guarantee a larger rainbow when I fished with them.
“Sure” I thought. I would just be happy to catch anything at all. I have seen hundreds of fish pictures in my days and people never (except for me) seem to show all the small ones they catch.
We all started fishing. One person in the group of Americans caught the first fish within 15 minutes of fishing. I watched from where I stood as a huge mouth came out of the water struggling against the line.
“What a huge fish!” I thought. “Maybe beginner’s luck.” as I continued to carefully watch my line. I caught a tree, and several rocks in my initial attempts that morning.
Jen gave me tips with my fly rod casting. I always have issues with my wrist and fly presentation (this is not new news to me).
About an hour (maybe it was longer as I lost track of time just enjoying being out fishing) into my fishing day, Wes came to my assistance. He told me where to stand out of sight of the fish. He could see them in the water right off my fly.
“If you can see the fish, they can see you. Just take two steps back.” he instructed.
I did and it wasn’t a minute before I hooked and landed the biggest rainbow trout I have ever seen!
It was time for breakfast. Wes and Jen provided plenty of hot Scottish breakfast food for us. I really liked the potato scones with eggs. I am not a fan of haggis but tried it again. Yup, still not a fan!
When we returned to the water after breakfast, Wes worked with me on my casting skills. He gave me some tips to practice with my new fly rod. He showed me what my new equipment was capable of doing with a beautifully arced cast taking out all the line to the backing. Talking about how to watch the tip, make the fly rod do the work, and energy transfer to the line as he walked me through the artful process. Then he handed my fly rod back over to me to fish.
I worked the shoreline, less artful than Wes but still getting the line and fly on the water. It wasn’t very long before a fish found my fly to be tempting enough to eat. Jen coached me through the process of reeling it in. I let the hooked trout run with the line several times before it tired (my arm was tired too) and I landed it safely in the net that Jen held. I had caught my second rainbow trout of the day! It was even bigger than the first!
We released everything we caught.
The location was breathtaking beautiful. The fishing wonderful. Jen and Wes (the You Fish Scotland guides) were helpful, professional and down to earth. The company of the other people fishing was comfortable, friendly and relaxed. I enjoyed my peaceful day on the water.
Now I can say, I have not only fished in Scotland, but actually caught huge rainbow trout in Scottish waters!
Meanwhile at the Apartment-
The hubby enjoyed his day of solitary peace and quiet (at least until I got back with all my fish stories) taking some pictures. Here are a couple of his shots.
Next blog: Loch Ness
Have you fished someplace special? Caught a larger than normal fish? Seen some wildlife on your travels? Please share those experiences with us in our comments section below.
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