Phillip Blair's Scottish Fishing Photos

It is Loch Keartavat on the Isle of Lewis off the north west coast of Scotland. Lewis has one percent of the UK land area and 16 percent of the UK surface water area! I think that says it all. Almost all of the fishing for wild brown trout is free and lochs like Keartavat may not have been fished by anyone but me all last season. If you don't walk you don't get to fish them

This is sunset on Loch Urrahag (Don't even think about how to pronounce it!) on the Isle of Lewis. Urrahag is a rather large loch for Lewis and is situated on the West Side about a mile inland from the Atlantic Ocean. It seems to fish well towards the end of the season.

I don't know if, in these days of C&R, this is acceptable. However here in Ireland or in Scotland it would be. This is a good Urrahag brown trout. During the 1996 season Urrahag produced a fish of over 2 pounds to the fly, however most Lewis fish tend to be in the half to three-quarter pound range. This fish, judging by the rod, is just over 12 inches. The rod is an 11 foot Leeda for a 7 weight and the reel is a Leeda. While this may seem somewhat excessive for such small fish it is necessary to cope with the prevailing conditions.

After my comments about needing a big rod to cope with the conditions I thought to add this photo. The calm, sunny conditions in the other photos are somewhat unusual for Lewis and this photo shows Lewis angler Roddy Martin coping with much more typical conditions. The wind was probably 30 - 40mph with gusts to 50 - 60mph, the highest wind speed on Lewis last year was 194mph so the conditions here are fairly moderate. As you can see a big rod and heavy line is required in order to cast into this wind, as was necessary from this bank, the wave on the loch was about 3 - 4 feet.

This is a general landscape view of Lewis, complete with a prehistoric stone circle. The stone circles are a feature of the Lewis landscape and are well worth visiting. The white buildings are at Gearriadh Na Ahine which is a sporting estate offering some great salmon, sea trout and trout fishing. Gearriadh Na Ahine, and you can see nearly all of it in this photo, warrants a big dot on the map of Lewis giving some indication of just how remote the area is.

Something a bit different. This is the River Nairn at Clava near Inverness. The river gets a resonable run of salmon and sea trout and is largely dependant on a good spate to get the fish moving. I fished it for about 10 years and never saw a brown trout of more than 3 inches, I have also never heard of anyone taking a good brown trout from it.