welcome to fish hebrides

Equipment to bring

The tackle requirements for fishing the Outer Hebrides are very similar to what is used for much of today’s trout fisheries. Single handed rods – anything from 9ft up to 11.5ft in length. As a rule, there is no need for double-handed rods as rivers are not wide like the east coast rivers of Scotland. However, in high water and adverse wind conditions a double-handed rod of 12 to 14ft can benefit the angler but rods of this length are rarely needed. Many anglers in the Outer Hebrides use the same rod for all their fishing, typically a 10 foot rod rated for a #7 line. For those who wish to get the most from their tackle and wish to cover every eventuality then the information below is a guide as to what is commonly used.

For salmon fishing most anglers use 10-11foot single-handed rods with #7 – 8, floating or intermediate lines. The choice of leader is usually 10lb BS monofilament but in some conditions 8lb leader can be used – large salmon can be expected so going below 8lb in not recommended. Landing nets are very much up to what the angler is comfortable with, gye-type nets with a knotless mesh are very popular and handy for both boat and bank fishing.

Sea trout are best caught with similar tackle to what you would use for salmon. Leaders can be around 6lb and upwards, but it is worth remembering that both salmon and sea trout are found together in most Hebridean lochs, often in the same lies and run to over 10 lb, so some advice should be sought from fishery managers, ghillies or angling guides to prevent fishing too light a leader.

Brown trout fishing is usually with rods from 9 – 10ft and #5 – 7 lines, again floating or intermediate lines with 5-6lb breaking strain leaders – lighter leaders can be used for calmer conditions.

Flies are often the hardest item to decide upon as most anglers today have more flies than are ever required and are equipped to cover every possible eventuality. Anglers will not need salmon flies except in smaller sizes and even they are not obligatory as here in the Hebrides our traditional trout and sea trout flies also take our salmon. Fly sizes are usually 10 – 12, in some high water or windy conditions size 8 is recommended and in light winds or flat calms, size 14.

A two or three fly cast is the usual method of fishing for trout and a two-fly cast for salmon. A bushy fly or muddler is normally placed on the bob (top dropper) followed by a more streamlined fly below it. 

Flies commonly used throughout the Outer Hebrides are attached as an image above. Local angler and fly tyer, John Maclean can advise and supply visiting anglers with any flies you may require. You can see his beautifully tied flies and contact John via Facebook Messenger at: