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Fishing techniques for highlands lakes and streams

Fishing techniques for highlands lakes and streams

Postby Poupinette333 » Sun May 04, 2014 2:42 pm

Hello everyone,

After reading lots of your discussions, here I am asking my first question.

We (4 French guys, 30-ish years old) are planning a 6 days hiking and wild camping in the highlands between Ullapool and Kinlochewe im late may and we are wondering about the possibility for us to fish and eventually catch one or two trouts to accomodate our dinner.

I am the only one with a (very little) experience in fishing and we would only bring one rod and some spinnerbaits / swimbaits.
We don't have fly fishing equipment and don't plan on investing for the moment.

Do you know if we can catch something in the Highlands with spinnerbaits and basic swimbaits?

I read that permits are required to fish on most lakes and streams. How (and where?) can we get such permits as we would only be walking from lake to lake?

Your answers will help us decide wether we take our fishing gear with us or not. This is not the top priority for our trip but we think it could add some fun if by any chance we manage to catch one or two trouts out there :wink:
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Re: Fishing techniques for highlands lakes and streams

Postby bydand_loon » Sun May 04, 2014 4:30 pm

Ideally on the little hill lochs, flyfishing is the way to go and great fun, all you need for 6 days would be a liitle cheap 6,7 or 8 foot packable (telescopic or a 3 or 4 piece) rod (rated 4 or 5) a very basic cheap reel, a floating fly line (rated to match the rod), a 25 yd spool of 3 or 4lb nylon and a dozen or so of little (12s or 14s) black flies. All that can be obtained for about 30 quid. That outfit would work on most of the waters up there. Put a couple of droppers on and 2 or 3 wee troot at a time is often the case.

If I was spinning it would have to be a very very small mepps, id be more inclined towards worm or maggot on small hooks under a small float though, there is a strange scottish method of fishing with flies, but using a spinning outfit and bubble float (sometimes tipped with a maggot), ive never used it so dont know how effective it is

Permits for wild trout are often very cheap, sometimes free (no rod licence req up here), they quite often cover large areas, little shops or pubs are common points of sale/information, prior googling would also probably square all that away as well
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Re: Fishing techniques for highlands lakes and streams

Postby basscadet » Tue May 06, 2014 10:46 am

If you are away wild camping, there is no problem with taking a trout for your dinner.. I wouldn't worry about permits in remote places. Places you need permits for, should have signs saying so.. ;)

As for the tackle, I use spinners by choice for catching trout in rivers, look below waterfalls/fast sections of river for a pool, with a nice quiet water/shady bit at the side, and cast near it.. This tactic has always worked for me..
Lochs/lochans I have had less success with a spinner, and would recommend using worms. You never know what you are going to pull out of a loch though.. I seem to catch pikes or eels, and I cant even face touching an eel, so thats unfortunate :lol:
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Re: Fishing techniques for highlands lakes and streams

Postby Benjaminnevis » Tue May 06, 2014 1:42 pm

I would agree with bydand loon. a cheap 3 peice 8-9ft fly rod reel line etc and a few wet flys would be your best chance as you do not need to be a expert caster fishing wet flys just cast out and pull the line back in slow with you hand.

You could probably pick up the gear you need 2nd hand on ebay. watch a few fly fishing clips on youtube and your sorted.
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Re: Fishing techniques for highlands lakes and streams

Postby mgmt! » Wed May 07, 2014 6:06 pm

if your not going to buy a fly fishing kit, use the smallest mepps spinners you have, buy a 1 to 2 inch clear bubble float and a couple of small black spider flies and a small muddler fly. half fill the bubble float with water and tie on to the end of your line, then tie in two droppers , one 3 feet one 6 feet from the bubble float, tie the spider nearest the bubble and the muddler nearest to you. cast out the bubble and reel in very slowly, you will feel the take and will need to strike to set the hook. as with all hill loch fishing it works best when there is a ripple or small wave. good luck.
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Re: Fishing techniques for highlands lakes and streams

Postby Poupinette333 » Wed May 07, 2014 7:39 pm

Good evening,

Fist of, thank you all for your feedback. I now better understand the ins and outs of highlands trout fishing.

Concerning permits and autorizations, we will probably check if the owner is around and ask him the permission but if we camp in the wild close to a lake with no house around, we will probably fish anyway and stop if we catch 1 good sized trout.

It seems that fly fishing is the way to go and even though I would love to learn how to do fly fishing, I don't want to invest even 30 pounds for something I am not sure I will use again later.
So we will use my small rod and a basic float with worms on the hook and maybe we will also try with spinners.
@mgmt: thanks for sharing your technique on how to do fly fishing without proper fly fishing equipment. I will see if I can get some flies and a bubble float for few quids and give it a try.

Thanks again and if anyone else also wants to share his thoughts, I would be delighted to read what you have to say.
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Re: Fishing techniques for highlands lakes and streams

Postby rogasb » Thu May 08, 2014 7:52 pm

Have a look at
Filter out the Americanisms and stop at any tackle shop in Scotland to ask for a selection of loch flies.
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Re: Fishing techniques for highlands lakes and streams

Postby Stu101 » Fri May 09, 2014 1:10 pm

Look out for smaller spinners called "flick spoons" - these are essentially just a hook with two small spinners attached. Trout love them, and I have found more effective than meep type spoons.

Something like this, but more modern !

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-fishi ... 0837246148
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Re: Fishing techniques for highlands lakes and streams

Postby Caberfeidh » Fri May 09, 2014 3:00 pm

Rappelez-vous, il faut vingt-trois muscles pour froncer les sourcils, mais seulement six pour tirer la goupille d'une grenade à main ... :D
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Re: Fishing techniques for highlands lakes and streams

Postby BoyVertiginous » Fri May 09, 2014 3:17 pm

Here's a link to a basic yet informative website for the AAG. http://www.assyntangling.co.uk/ The fishing is inexpensive and buying a permit(s) helps to protect the fishing in the area, e.g. no levy on migratory fish.

You'll see there are some lochs that cannot be fished from the bank or fished on a Sunday, luckily there are plenty of others to choose from and boats for hire on many so, this should not be a problem.

Are you driving? If so and if you're going to be away from your vehicle for more than a night at a time, leave details.

Have a great time and hope the fish are biting (if using the fly, small dark ones such as pennel, zulu, kate mclaren, etc.).

Do let us know how you get on.
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Re: Fishing techniques for highlands lakes and streams

Postby Poupinette333 » Fri May 09, 2014 4:27 pm

@rogasb & @stu101 : thanks for your inputs. I will keep looking around and see if I can get some of these fishing equipments here (in the Netherlands where I currently live).

@Caberfeidh : Je ne compte pas pêcher à la grenade... on n'arriverait pas à manger tout le poisson à nous 4 :shock: !

@BoyVertiginous : as i said in the first message, we are not going in your area and we will be out of the car for 6 days. We are not looking for trout fishing, just willing to spend a nice week in the wild and maybe catch a trout or two to share around the campfire.
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Re: Fishing techniques for highlands lakes and streams

Postby CharlesT » Fri May 09, 2014 4:55 pm

A long time ago when I was a lad I used to help myself to one or two of Lord Sefton's trout by trotting a brambling down the quick flowing swims on the upper Lune - very cheap tackle (an old wet fly rod and reel long past its best, a few yards of mono and small lead weight) - worked a treat. :lol: Somehow I later became a rather law-abiding citizen. :D
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Re: Fishing techniques for highlands lakes and streams

Postby Poupinette333 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:44 pm

Hi everyone!

I forgot to give you my feedback on our fishing during this late may hike (walk report yet to come).

So we decided to take just our gear for this trip. We didn't buy any fly fishing rod or other accessories. So we only had a small basic rod + small weights and 2-3 spinners (silver and gold).

We tried about an hour fishing in a stream but got nothing. Then, on another day, we had some time next to a lake and there, I catched a nice trout after only 3 tries! We ate it and it was delicious.
The day after, we tried again for about 30 minutes and... we catched an other one and it was also delicious.

That's it! As you can see, it was not a "fishing trip" or anything like it. We were just happy to ba able to catch our own food and taste a little bit of Scotland other than Haggis (which I also quite liked!).

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