Angling in the Outer Hebrides
Experience world renowned game fishing in some of the finest scenery imaginable with over 7,500 freshwater lochs/lochans in an archipelago stretching 210km. You wont be stuck in looking for your next catch.
The Outer Hebrides are an anglers dream. Game angling throughout the islands offers some of the best summer salmon and trout fishing in Europe, with many opportunities to catch Arctic char, brown trout, sea trout and Atlantic salmon.
Image Courtesy of Gordy Macdonald - Angler at Baleshare, North Uist
Salmon and sea trout are mainly fished for in lochs, however they are also caught in rivers and estuaries when conditions dictate. Lochs on our islands range from barely 40 yards wide to the seven mile Loch Langavat with it's 28 mile of shoreline. Fly fishing is allowed throughout the Outer Hebrides, however, some fisheries allow for spin and bait fishing. The majority of fisheries take bookings by the week for salmon and sea trout, but a percentage of them do offer day tickets if you contact them directly. Wild brown trout fishing in the Outer Hebrides is so readily available that it is unusual to have to book in advance, apart from the machair lochs of North and South Uist.
Sea fishing can also be experienced from the shoreline or one of the many available fishing boat charters. Angling holidays throughout the islands offer some of the most varied and exciting opportunities in the UK. Stay for a week and make your way through Lewis and Harris, to the Uists and Barra.
The Angling Promotion Officer (APO) acts as a focal point for angling tourism in the Outer Hebrides. The APO has represented the Outer Hebrides in supporting Visit Scotland and Fish Pal at both the Scottish and CLA Game Fairs. The APO is also franchise manager for the Fish Hebrides website where virtually all fisheries in the Outer Hebrides are now featured. Any anglers wishing to visit the Hebrides are advised to contact the estate they wish to fish on or check availability through Fish Hebrides. Updates of all the latest catches from throughout the Hebrides can be found here. Trout and Salmon magazine, the main monthly game fishing magazine for the UK and ROI, also feature reports from the Outer Hebrides submitted by the APO.
A survey was carried out in 2000 by M.A James to examine the Economic Value of Game Angling to the Outer Hebrides. He found that about 7,500 game anglers (5% of all visitors) visited the Isles in 1999, and 2300 island residents did osme freshwater fishing. The capital value of Outer Hebrides fisheries was estimated to be around £17m and indirect earnings were valued at around £6m annually. Outer Hebrides freshwater fisheries were found to support at least 260 full tile equivalent jobs, some 3% of the population. For information on what angling means to the economy, you can visit our Salmon page.
Catch and Release
The site includes a Catch and Release competition to raise awareness of the need for sustainable exploitation of fish stocks throughout the islands. Each local fishery and angling club can have their own guidelines on catch and release, however they do not supersede government rules. You can read more here. The Angling Promotion Officer was instrumental in setting up the Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust "Catch & Release" competition in order to raise awareness of the need for sustainable exploitation of fish stocks throughout the islands.
The APO is also the principal point of liaison for the Trust with angling clubs and community groups, and has a particular emphasis on encouraging access, training new anglers and in youth development. The APO assists with and helps organise community events throughout the Outer Hebrides.