Guide’s Report 1 - 8 July 2018

Lodge information: Kinloch Lodge, Sutherland, Scotland

Well, with Scotland experiencing an unprecedented period of dry hot weather, convention would tell you that we were staring down the barrel of a disastrous opening week. Not so. True, low water levels and with no rain in sight did mean that Atlantic salmon were not a realistic possibility. There were some stale fish sitting in small pools in the rivers, but we made a conscious decision not to target them. Instead I built a loose itinerary for the week based around making sea-trout our target species, with wild brown trout as our fall back option. This week’s group was comprised of two families from the US, with six rods of varying ability.

After a day of familiarisation with tackle, techniques and location we got down to fly fishing proper.

I built a daily schedule which involved fishing a falling tide at either sunrise or evening, with the intervening periods spent on adventures in the hills chasing wild brown trout or “loch style” fishing on Loch Hope.

Tackle was pretty straight forward with a 10ft 5/6wt covering all bases. The intention was to the keep the fishing very visual, so we fished floating lines, mono leaders and flies that sit high in the water such as muddlers, hackled wets, hitched tubes and sandeel patterns.

The sea trout fishing on the River Hope was the star of the show. With Spring tides of nearly four meters there was a lot of water moving around which brought sea trout well up in to the river. From an hour after the top of the flood tide, we would fish a mile of river and tidal pools all the way down to dead low. Generally the action intensified the lower tide, with the most frantic activity at dead low. Fishing only three rods I had our guests each fish different techniques and flies, but all involved actively moving the flies in some way.

The fishing was astoundingly good, particularly fishing out of the dark into sunrise. Fishing high riding flies perhaps reduces the size of fish you release, but for me the visual aspect of seeing every follow, lunge and take, and people’s reactions, is far more rewarding. At times every cast resulted in some kind of response.

There is something very special about being up and about at sunrise, which at this time of year happens at 4am. The bleary eyes, steaming coffee, trudging through the half dark, unable to shake off the embrace of sleep, the stench, sting and bitter taste of insect repellent slathered over exposed skin. Approaching a silent, glassy river as the tide just begins to ebb. The skies a soft pink, black shadows gradually beginning to reveal river bank. A large fish turning in one of the pools provides that jolting shot of adrenalin and so the session begins.

Over the course of the week, fishing single sessions and resting the river every couple of days, we released well over one hundred sea trout, ranging in size from two to five pounds.

Those daybreak hours fishing what feels like secret sessions, shared with a great team, left everyone with memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.

With rain due in the next few days, this coastline is going to light up with Grilse over the coming weeks I’m sure.

Corin Smith, Wild Rise Guide.

Kinloch Lodge is available for up to 12 guests and a maximum of 8 rods on a half/full week basis. Prices start at £1,575 per person (Three nights full board, three days guided fly fishing, all inc)

For more information: Kinloch Lodge, Sutherland

Our July weeks at Kinloch are now sold out, however, two last minute weeks have opened up in August, which is sure to be even better than July. 5 - 19 Aug 2018. Please get in touch quickly if these are of interest.

We are also now taking bookings for 2019, although we have very limited spaces in left in July.

30 June 2019 - Reserved

28 July 2019 - Reserved

11 Aug 2019 - 8 Rods

25 Aug 2019 - 8 Rods

Contact: +44 7463576892 or

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