Forest Holidays

Fishing in Scotland

Where to go, types of fish and fishing licenses

Forest Holidays

Team Forestipedia | Sharing all the best tips and secrets of the forest

Scotland is home to an abundance of rivers and over 30,000 freshwater lochs, from small lochans like Glencoe Lochan to larger lochs like Loch Lomond.

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With so many rivers and lochs to choose from find out where to go fishing in Scotland and discover exactly what kind of fish are in Scotland. To help you on your way we’ve listed the top 5 places, so grab your fishing rod and let’s go!

Our top 5 places to go fishing in Scotland

1. Loch Lomond

First on our list is Loch Lomond, the largest expanse of freshwater in the UK. It’s situated within its namesake Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, a haven for wildlife with break-taking views. Rated as one of the hardest lochs for pike fishing in Scotland, it has a great reputation for coarse fishing with the largest variety of fish in the area ranging from salmon to sea trout. It’s important to note that Loch Long is also home to powan (white fish), a protected species, and if caught should be quickly returned to the water. Fishing in Loch Lomond is permitted from both boat and bank, but fishing is not allowed on a Sunday. Find out more about fishing permits at Loch Lomond and plan your fishing trip. Loch Lomond is a 20-minute drive from our cabins at Ardgartan Argyll.

Types of fish at Loch Lomond: fish native to the area consist of powan, salmon, pike, and flounder. Fish that have been introduced include: rainbow trout, chub, and ruffe.

Reflections of trees and clouds on Loch Lomond in Scotland.

Scenic view of Loch Lomond in Scotland.

2. Loch Awe

Next on our list is Loch Awe, Scotland’s longest freshwater loch, stretching for 25-miles through highland landscape. It’s situated within Argyll and Bute, offering beautiful views as you travel along the shore. Famous for its wild brown trout, Loch Awe attracts many anglers thanks to its good reputation and 8oz - 3lb fish! A popular destination for fishing in Scotland, Loch Awe is a great option whether you’re a novice or skilled angler. Fishing at Loch Awe is permitted between March and October, find out more about fishing permits at Loch Awe. Loch Awe is a 1-hour drive from our cabins at Ardgartan Argyll.

Types of fish at Loch Awe: expect to see brown trout, rainbow trout, pike, and if you’re lucky, salmon.

Cloudy day at Loch Awe in Scotland.

View of Loch Awe in Scotland.

3. River Goil

The River Goil is situated within Argyll and Bute and flows into one of the main sea lochs in the Firth of Clyde. Thanks to its close connection to the Clyde, the River Goil is an important breeding ground for Atlantic salmon. Fishing in the River Goil is permitted between March and October, however it has been reported that fish are rarely found in the river before mid-May. Fishing is not allowed on a Sunday and permits for fishing in the river are available to purchase at Lochgoilhead post office. River Goil is a 30-minute drive from our cabins at Ardgartan Argyll.

Types of fish at River Goil: if you’re lucky you will see salmon and brown trout.

A small boat sitting on Loch Goil on a calm misty afternoon.

Misty day at Loch Goil in Scotland.

4. Loch Lubnaig

Another place for fishing in Scotland is Loch Lubnaig, situated within Strathyre Forest between the mountains of Ben Ledi and Ben Vorlich, offering a fantastic backdrop to your fishing trip. The loch gets fed from the River Balvig in the north and the River Leny from the south presenting fantastic fishing opportunities for bait, spin, and fly bank anglers. All fish under 10 inches should be returned to the water unharmed and salmon or sea trout catches should be reported to the fishing tackle shop in Callander. You can also purchase your permit at the fishing tackle shop. It’s important to note that fishing for salmon or sea trout is not permitted on a Sunday. Loch Lubnaig is a 10-minute drive from our cabins at Strathyre.

Types of fish at Loch Lubnaig: salmon, sea trout, brown trout, perch, and arctic char.

Loch Lubnaig near Callander in Scotland.

Scenic view of Loch Lubnaig in Scotland.

5. River Balvaig

Last on our list for places to go fishing in Scotland is the River Balvaig, situated within Strathyre and stretching around a mile. Fishing in this river has its rules and regulations in place and fishing for salmon and sea trout is permitted between February and October, except for Sundays. It’s important to note that organic baits should only be used between 1 June and 26 August. For full details and to buy your fishing permit visit the fishing tackle shop in Callander. River Balvaig is a 10-minute drive from our cabins at Strathyre.

Types of fish at River Balvaig: brown trout, sea trout, and salmon swim through this river.

The arches of the stone hump back bridge over the River Balvag at Balquhidder, Scotland.

View of the a bridge across the River Balvaig.

Our locations in Scotland are ideal for your fishing holiday offering breathtaking backdrops and plenty of things to do in between fishing! Stay in our hot tub accommodation at Ardgartan Argyll in Loch Long or make our accommodation at Strathyre your base! Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced enthusiast, our locations are ideally placed for some quality fishing.

Frequently asked questions about fishing in Scotland

What are the types of fish in Scotland?

Scotland’s most iconic species, form an important part of river ecosystems across the country. Northern pike are freshwater fish often found in rivers, lakes, and lochs throughout Scotland. Perch are predatory species and tend to reside in shoals. Atlantic salmon and brown trout are another of Scotland’s popular species, found in an abundance of rivers and lochs. Although not native to Scotland, the rainbow trout can be widely found through the country. All these fish, plus many more, can be found when fishing in Scotland.

Where can I go fishing in Scotland in November?

Scotland is one of the world's top destinations for freshwater fishing, with lots of places to go fishing available across the country throughout the year. Most fishing ends in October, therefore we recommend researching ahead of time.

Do you need a fishing license in Scotland?

A fishing license is not a legal requirement for fishing with a rod and line in Scotland, except from in the Border Esk region. You may require a permit and permission from the landowner or angling club so always check first.

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