Brown Trout Fishing

The Northern Highlands offers some of the best wild brown trout fishing in Europe, with many anglers returning year after year to fish its pristine waters. Brown trout have been here since the end of the Ice Age, and there is hardly a piece of fresh water where they are not present.

The best trout fishing in the region is usually found in our lochs, where the feeding is generally richer than in our rivers. Trout fishing on rivers is also harder to find, as most rivers are fished primarily for Atlantic salmon when they are running.

The interactive maps on this site show the locations of the main wild brown trout lochs in the area, as well as some rivers that offer trout fishing. For most fisheries there is basic information on ownership and species and, where available, permit information and links to other online resources.

The written content in each section provides more detailed information on selected lochs or groups of lochs controlled by estates or angling clubs.

There are also a few legacy web pages on individual fisheries that are not shown on the main menus, but are linked to from the relevant fishing area page.

Selected Trout Fishing Areas in the Northern Highlands

Licences, Permits & Methods
The legal season for wild brown trout fishing in the UK runs from 15th March to 6th October, but most trout lochs and rivers in the Northern Highlands do not open until April, and in some cases the beginning of May. There is no close season for stocked rainbow trout fisheries which may be open earlier or later in the year.

There is no requirement in Scotland to have a rod licence to fish, however anglers must have permission, and in some cases it is a criminal offence to fish without it, so please ensure that you buy a permit from the appropriate source before you start fishing.

Brown trout being netted Highland Gold

Salmon and sea trout fishing is not permitted on Sundays anywhere in Scotland. Although trout fishing is legally permitted, many trout lochs and most rivers in the Highlands are closed on Sundays.

On most lochs and rivers, fly fishing is the traditional and only method permitted for wild brown trout fishing, as it is best suited to modern angling conservation practices. That said, spinning is permitted on some of the larger lochs. Tackle shops will often be able to advise you as to where spinning and bait fishing are allowed locally.

If you are planning a North Coast 500 road trip and want to combine some trout fishing with sightseeing, you are in for a treat. The NC500 route passes through some of the best wild brown trout fishing country in Europe, particularly in North & West Sutherland.

Trout Fishing Excursions
TroutQuest has private arrangements for wild brown trout fishing on several trout lochs & rivers locally, but we can also take visiting anglers trout fishing nearby in Strathconon and South-East Sutherland on lochs controlled by various local angling clubs and estates.