FAQ – Designing Scotland’s best fishing, hunting and golf tours
Here is a selection of commonly asked questions, the answers to which may help you when planning your sporting holiday in Scotland. River & Green have spent years designing Scotland’s best fishing holidays, hunting holidays and golf tours and have dealt with every question imaginable, some of which we have compiled on this page. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact us directly by email or by telephone.
Q Do you charge for preparing detailed holiday proposals?
A No, we trust that prospective clients will recognise the value of our unrivalled experience and expertise in designing your perfect holiday. When collaborating with River & Green, clients can rest assured that they are receiving the very best advice and benefiting from specialist knowledge which is not available from any general holiday company. Should you then confirm your reservation with us, you will receive the highest possible standard of support throughout your time in Scotland.
Q Can we combine activities during our holiday?
A Certainly! This is what sets River & Green apart from other companies. We will arrange exactly what you want to do.
Q Do you provide accommodation?
A Yes, at River & Green we provide complete packages, designed to meet your particular requirements and aspirations. We can provide every aspect of your holiday from the point of arrival in Scotland to departure.
Q Which is the best airport in Scotland to fly into?
A In virtually all cases, Edinburgh will be the best airport. If this is not the case, we will advise you in your proposal.
Q Can you arrange flights?
A No, we’re sorry but we find that the majority of independent travellers prefer to book their flights themselves. This is not a service we offer.
Q I am nervous about driving on the left hand side of the road. Can you provide transport?
A Yes, it is not uncommon for us to provide a car or MPV with a driver. However, it should be noted that the provision of ground transport services does, inevitably add quite significantly to the cost of a holiday. For up to three guests, a car and driver will cost on the order of £250/day, depending on whether the driver needs overnight accommodation and the mileage involved. For groups of up to 7 passengers, the total cost would be on the order of £330/day.
Q Do I need insurance?
A Yes, all visitors should carry Travel Insurance which includes for cancellation cover. Some sporting activities, such as hunting, will require additional cover. Please speak to your insurance provider.
Q How does “tipping” work in Scotland
A The only occasions when tipping is appropriate is when purchasing food in restaurants or when you have received the services of a taxi driver, guide, ghillie, gamekeeper or caddy. You are not expected to tip when purchasing drinks. For taxis, tip 10% of the fare. For guides, ghillies and caddies, about £10-25/day is adequate.
Q When is the best time for fishing in Scotland?
A Different rivers and lakes will fish best at different times of the year. Also the best times will depend on which species of fish you want to catch. In general terms, salmon fishing is available from mid-January until the end of November and the best time is from March until the end of October. For trout fishing the season runs from April until the end of September and the fishing can be consistently good throughout this period. We always recommend the best available fishing.
Q How much does fishing cost in Scotland?
A All fishing for salmon, brown trout and sea trout is private in Scotland. The cost corresponds directly with the average number of fish that are caught during any particular month. For brown trout fishing, expect to pay about £10-25/day. For salmon, the costs vary enormously. It is possible to find good fishing for about £100-150/day. It is also possible to pay £1,000/day for the very best fishing! To fish for sea trout, you normally need a salmon fishing permit, but there are a few places where you can fish for sea trout for perhaps £50/day.
Q I have never fished before; can I receive casting instruction and hired equipment?
A Yes, we employ the services of highly experienced and professionally accredited guides who can provide expert instructions to complete beginners or experienced anglers looking to refine their skills.
Q Is “Catch & Release” the rule in Scotland?
A Not always. We encourage catch and release of salmon, and on many parts of most rivers there are restrictions on when salmon can be taken. Exceptions can occasionally be made. It is normally allowable to keep a few brown trout and perhaps one or two sea trout.
Q I do not fly fish. Is it possible to fish by spinning?
A We can certainly teach you to fly fish, but if you prefer to spin, then this is possible, but only for salmon on some rivers and for pike in lochs. Spinning for trout is very rarely permissible.
Q Do I need a license to fish in Scotland?
A No, but you do need the permission of the owner of the fishing rights. River & Green will make all necessary arrangements.
Q Do I need a license to hunt in Scotland?
A No, but un-licensed hunters will need to be accompanied by a gamekeeper.
Q When is the best time to come to Scotland for hunting?
A Prime time for shooting birds is between the middle of October and the middle of January. Grouse and wood pigeon are available from the 12th August. The best time for red deer stags is August and September and the best time for roe bucks is May to mid August.
Q How much does it cost to hunt in Scotland?
A This is a very difficult question to answer succinctly. In broad terms, it costs about £350/day to shoot “walked-up” and between £500-1,000 to shoot on a “driven” day. You should allow in the region of £700-1,000 for a day of stalking stags and about £400/day for hunting roe bucks. The female deer can be hunted at much lower cost.
Q Can we bring our own rifles or shotguns to Scotland?
A Yes, you can, however you will need River & Green to act as your sponsors and we will need to make an application to Police Scotland for a Visitor Permit. This process requires a minimum of 6 weeks to complete. In support of the application we will need to receive original copies of your hunting or firearms licenses in your country of origin. You will need to be in receipt of your Visitor Permit before being able to arrange transporting your guns on airlines or ferries. Visit this website for more information.
Q Can we bring our own dogs?
A Yes, but this can be quite a complicated process. For bringing over dogs from an EU Member State you will need an EU Pet Passport. Visit this website for more information.
Q Can we hire shotguns or rifles?
A Yes, it is normal for us to provide hired guns. You will also need a Visitor Permit and as for using your own guns, River & Green will need to act as your sponsors in making the application. For this process we need at least 6 week and we will need photocopies (not originals) of your hunting or firearms licenses in your country of origin.
Q What is the dress code for hunting in Scotland?
A In most cases, all-weather hunting gear in subdued, neutral colours, with warm, waterproof boots is perfectly acceptable. We do not wear high-visibility jackets when hunting in Scotland. If you are participating in a more formal day of driven (grouse, pheasant or partridge) shooting, then you would feel more comfortable wearing more traditional tweeds and a tie. Journalist Alistair Robertson has written a very useful guide to traditional field sports in Scotland. Visit his website for more information.
Q Can I keep the meat or have trophies made of what I have shot?
A When shooting birds or hunting deer, what is killed remains the property of the estate. However, trophies can be prepared and meat can be taken, subject to the agreement of the gamekeeper and subject to charge.
Q Can you arrange for us to play the Old Course at St Andrews?
A Sadly, we cannot arrange this. The R&A have prohibited agents from making bookings on behalf of clients. All applications must be made by players directly. Please visit this website for more information on direct booking.
Q Can you arrange golf lessons and hired clubs?
A Yes, this is not a problem. We can arrange every aspect of your golf trip, including caddies, hired clubs, lessons, trolleys, accommodation and transport.
Q Do I need an official handicap to play golf in Scotland?
A Generally, you do not need an official handicap. However, there are a few Championship courses, such as Carnoustie (men:28, ladies:36) and St Andrews, Old Course (men:24, ladies 36) where you must have a valid Handicap Certificate.
Q Is there a dress code to enter some of the more traditional Clubs
A Dress codes are less common than they used to be, but are still the rule in some of the more traditional Club Houses like Muirfield and Elie. Jeans or collarless shirts are never acceptable on any course. We will advise you if dress codes apply at the courses you will be visiting.