• Danny Docherty

Salmon Fishing On The Isle of Skye

Fishing for Atlantic Salmon is considered to be the pinnacle of game angling in Scotland.

It takes patience, perseverance and sometimes a slice of luck to be in with a chance of catching "the King of fish" - though it is an experience that will never be forgotten.

Salmon fishing Isle of Skye
Local angler and PAA Chairman Ian Stewart with a fine hen Salmon from beat 6

The main Salmon river on the Isle of Skye is the famous river Snizort which flows from Loch Duagrich in the Struan hills, to the estuary of Loch Snizort at the Skeabost House Hotel.

I work as the permanent full-time Ghillie on the Snizort for the current owners.

The river Snizort is around 8 miles long and it has various points at which Salmon and Sea Trout stop along their way as a spate recedes after heavy rainfall. The Snizort is a typical Highland spate river and it is completely dependant on rainfall to create the right fishing conditions.

Salmon fishing Isle of Skye
Robert’s fish from beat 12 which fell to a monkey pattern

Although the season begins on February 11th, the Salmon and Sea Trout usually arrive around mid June and the end of the season is on the 15th October.

There are 12 beats along the length of the river and each section has its own unique characteristics.

From the long gliding corners in the middle section known locally as "the Flats", to the remote upper beats that require a good walk in, it really does have some truly fantastic fly water throughout it length.

The river is not wide and it can be covered with a 9ft or 10ft single handed rod. If there is a good spate and perhaps a bit windy, an 11ft or 12ft small double handed or switch rod would suffice.

Wading is generally not needed on the river, though there are a couple of areas where wading can help improve the position and the angle of your cast to cover certain "lies" properly.

Wading can be dangerous, only wade where you know it is safe and if you require assistance I can show you the correct wading lines. I would always advise the use of a wading stick and buoyancy aid.

Salmon fishing Isle of Skye
Myself with a lovely sea liced Salmon from beat 4

Here is some other important information on the fishery to be aware of:

1: There is a 100% catch and release policy for all species.

2: It is by fly fishing only.

3: Treble hooks are not allowed (only double or single hook sets).

4: Fishing beats are allocated by myself and anglers should adhere to the rotations.

5: If sharing a beat, the correct etiquette is to take a step down-stream after each cast.

6: Please note the there is no fishing on a Sunday.

River Snizort
Beat 4 facing towards the Skeabost cemetery

The peak of the fishing is generally from August through until the end of the season in October. You may have to consider booking in advance for this time period to ensure you get the dates that suit.

An important note for clients that book me as their guide for Salmon fishing in advance:

Given the nature of a spate river being dependant on heavy rainfall, if the conditions do not suit on the day that we are due to fish generally I would offer you the option of fishing on the Lochs as an alternative. This way we can still fish regardless of a low water height on the river.

For all booking enquires or if you have any questions, then please contact me for more information.

Tight Lines.

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