Fly Fishing Tips, Tactics & Equipment

Scotland is famous for many things, undoubtedly one of these is the changeable Scottish climate. With the ficklety of the weather in mind it is important to come prepared with an assortment of different fly fishing tips and tactics for a variety of water levels. For salmon fishing during the summer and early autumn months, a 13-15ft double-handed fly rod with 8-10 weight fly lines (floating, sink tip or intermediate, and fast sinking line) will equip the angler for most conditions. In lower water conditions lighter equipment such as a single handed, 10ft 6in, 8-9 weight rod, can provide great sport for grilse and sea trout. For brown trout, 5-7 weight, 8-10ft, single-handed rods are recommended.

Most beats now require anglers to wear automatic lifejackets. We can advise whether specific beats provide lifejackets for guests. While wading is relatively easy on most beats, we strongly recommend the use of a wading staff for both comfort and safety.

As a general rule, use smaller flies for lower, clearer and warmer water and use larger, heavier flies for high, coloured and cold water. Famous traditional salmon patterns include; Silver Stoat, Willie Gun, Garry Dog, General Practitioner, Cascade, Ally’s Shrimp and Thunder & Lightening. More recent innovations proving effective include; Sunray Shadow, Monkey and Temple Dog.

For wild brown trout, we normally use a cast of two or three flies of size 12 to 16, wet and dry traditional imitative patterns. Rainbow trout patterns tend to be less traditional, including nymph, buzzer and lure-types. When grayling fishing we almost always use weighted Czech nymphs fished up-stream.

We will provide the most up to date recommendations for size of fly and pattern, according to the prevailing conditions.

The weather in Scotland can be variable to say the least, so be prepared for sun, rain, wind, heat and cold! Every-day essentials for the fisherman include;

  • Chest waders, preferably lightweight and breathable
    Wading boots
    Wading jacket
    Warm clothing
    Clippers or a small pair of scissors for trimming knots
    Forceps for safely removing flies without damaging the fish
  • 5kg-10kg clear monofilament or fluorocarbon leader
    Electrical tape for securing rod joints
    Wader repair kit
    Fly boxes
    Intermediate to fast-sink polyleaders
    Insect repellent

Landing nets are commonly provided by the beats, and we can also provide nets on loan, so it should not be necessary to bring these along. Please note that when salmon fishing, it is customary to tip the ghillie. A sum of £10-20/day is considered appropriate.

Please be aware that sharp objects such as scissors, flies and knives cannot be carried in hand baggage with any airline. Many also prohibit hand carriage of lines. To avoid the risk of confiscation, we strongly advise all guests to pack all fishing tackle in their hold baggage.

At River & Green we promote a policy of Catch and Return, however well-conditioned cock fish may be taken, subject always to the particular restrictions imposed by the rules pertaining to specific rivers and beats. We will advise guests of all such restrictions prior to fishing.

The parasite Gyrodactylus salaris has wiped out salmon stocks on over 20 Norwegian rivers. Although the parasite has not been recorded in the UK, it is absolutely vital that we protect against infection. All guests bringing their own fishing tackle to Scotland MUST take appropriate precautions. Please click here for guidance.

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