Salmon and Trout Fishing in the Highlands
The North Highlands is the premier fly fishing region in the UK and Links House is ideally located, close to some of the most productive salmon rivers in the Highlands. Fishing for wild Atlantic salmon on a picturesque Highland river is an authentic Scottish sporting activity, and one of the great fishing experiences any angler can have.
The area also offers some of the best wild brown trout fishing in Europe, generally to be found in the myriad of lochs (lakes) here, rather than in rivers, which provide richer feeding. Loch-style fishing for trout also has a long tradition, practised since mid-Victorian times.
There are numerous excellent trout lochs that can be fished in a variety of stunning scenery within an hour’s drive of Dornoch. There is also some river fishing for trout, though it is harder to find as most rivers are fished primarily for Atlantic salmon.
Our various fishing experiences at Links House are organised through our Director of Fishing, Roger Dowsett. Roger gave up his career in 2001 to focus on his main passion in life – fly fishing. He is now a GAIC-qualified fly fishing instructor and guide and runs TroutQuest and SalmonQuest, offering guided salmon and trout fly fishing experiences and excursions across the North Highlands.
Please see below for our core fly fishing experiences.
Salmon & Trout Fishing
Fly Fishing Experiences for Novices
For guests who would like to try fly fishing for trout for the first time, we can offer half day fly fishing instruction experiences with a GAIC-qualified fly fishing instructor at the nearby Dornoch Lochans or other local venues.
For the more adventurous wanting a deeper insight into fly fishing and to see some wilder Highland landscapes, we offer full day experiences that combine 2-3 hours of formal instruction, with an excursion to a loch or river for the remainder of the day, to fish for wild brown trout.
Guided Trout Fishing Trips
For guests with some previous fly fishing experience, we offer a variety of half and full day guided fly fishing excursions to local lochs (lakes) and rivers. From April-July we can offer trout fishing on the River Alness, but the best trout fishing in the Highlands tends to be on the lochs. We can arrange loch fishing by boat on Loch Eye or Migdale, both within 25 minutes of Links House.
In addition to our local lochs we can offer several more trout fishing excursions further afield including some very special hill lochs in Inverness-shire, where advanced fly fishers can try for a trophy wild brown trout.
Salmon Fishing Experiences for Novices
If you would like to try salmon fishing during your stay with us, we can offer a half day introduction on a private beat of the picturesque River Alness. Our SalmonQuest guides will introduce you to the tackle and teach you basic fly casting and fishing tactics. Very soon you will be fishing for the ‘king of fish’ – the Atlantic salmon – while you continue to learn about the river and the salmon’s natural history and life cycle.
Guided Salmon Fishing Trips
Fly fishing for Atlantic salmon is an authentic Scottish sporting experience, and there is nowhere better to try it than in the Northern Highlands. SalmonQuest offers day and half day guided salmon fishing on the exclusive beats of the picturesque River Alness, located 25 miles south of Links House. Salmon fishing is available Monday to Saturday from mid-April until late October.
In addition to the River Alness, subject to availability, we may also be able to offer you fishing on one of the other renowned rivers locally, which include the Conon, Beauly, Ness, Cassley, Carron & Shin. Early booking is advised.
If you’ve time, consider a full day trip as it will dramatically improve your chance to catch an Atlantic salmon, one of the most prized catches in angling.
The Highland Salmon Experience
The Highland Salmon Experience is a unique day out combining an introduction to salmon fishing with a local tour through the stunning scenery of South East Sutherland and Easter Ross. We start with the tour which sets the context, relating the natural history of the Atlantic salmon and its cultural and historical importance to the Highlands. Among the highlights is a visit to Shin Falls, where salmon can often be seen attempting to leap the waterfall. The afternoon session comprises a ‘hands-on’ introduction to salmon fishing on the beautiful River Alness.
For the less active, or those with less time, we also offer the half day tour without the fishing component.
EXCLUSIVE FISHING WEEKS
River Oykel Short Breaks
For 3 weeks each season Links House has exclusive access to a beat on the Lower River Oykel. We are pleased to offer a selection of unique short breaks to fish this renowned river, based around these 3 day blocks of fishing:
- Mon 15th - Wed 17th & Thurs 18th - Sat 20th April 2019
- Mon 3rd - Wed 5th & Thurs 6th - Sat 8th June 2019
- Mon 2nd – Wed 4th & Thurs 5th – Sat 7th September 2019
Your transport to and from the River Oykel and picnic lunches can also be arranged by the team at Links House.
For further information on our 4-night and 7-night packages, please call us on +44 (0)1862 810279.
WHERE DO WE FISH
Links House at Royal Dornoch
Award winning luxury accommodation & fine dining with the charm, grace and elegance of the world's finest small hotels, adjacent to the 1st tee at Royal Dornoch Golf Club
Access to the Links House Proprietor lower beats below the Oykel Bridge Hotel in April, June and September.
Lower beats below Shin Falls in spring and upper beats best from July to late September.
Access to beats below the power station on Loch Achonachie between April and late September.
Access to beats between Glencalvie and Ardgay from April to late September.
Access to the Novar Beats between April and late October.
Limited availability on the Altyre Estate beats of the Lower Findhorn from April to late September.