Fishing

 

The Borve Lodge Estate Fisheries lie amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the Western Isles.  The streams flow through rugged mountainous terrain and journey just a few kilometres down to the west coast and its famous white sandy beaches.  Most of these streams provide excellent spawning for salmon and sea-trout and they flow in and out of numerous small lochs that provide the venues for targeting the returning adult fish.

The Estate’s main sea-trout and salmon fishery is centred on the two lower lochs on the Laxdale River.  Located at the head of Luskentyre Estuary, Loch Fincastle covers approximately 3 hectares lying just above sea-level and is only separated from the sea at high tides by the dam wall.  Loch Fincastle provides the cream of the sport in the early season, with fresh run sea-trout and grilse normally arriving from late June to early July.  Loch Fincastle has two boats, and being small and shallow it is easy to cover and to framiliarise yourself with the best lies.  Loch Fincastle and the nearby sea-pools are also very fishable from the bank.

During summer spates, salmon and sea-trout travel a mile further upstream to lie in Loch Laxdale which is slightly smaller than Fincastle. Loch Laxdale is reputed to be the smallest natural Salmon loch in the world. Just a few hundred yards downstream of Loch Laxdale is the ‘Old Pool’ which at times can be very productive, especially for Salmon. Loch Laxdale has one boat which is essential for covering the best areas as this water is surrounded by flowering lilies and weed beds.  As the season progresses the salmon accumulate in Loch Laxdale and during the latter half of the season the fishing in Loch Laxdale can be very productive.

Like most West Coast systems, the salmon and sea-trout in the Laxdale River average about 5lbs and 1.5lbs respectively.  In recent years a number of salmon over 14lbs have been caught. The record salmon is 16lb 2oz and the record sea-trout is 13lb. The salmon catches have remained steady over the years, but unfortunately the system has had a succession of below average sea trout years and as with other fisheries in the area last year was particularly bad.  The Estate has invested heavily in an effort to improve the fishery in recent years and hopefully the sea trout numbers will bounce back.  Meanwhile anglers are asked to play their part by returning all sea trout caught.

Roadside access throughout, good facilities and ease of locating fish all make this an excellent fishery for visiting anglers, especially for those who can only manage a short break and who don’t have time to become familiar with  the larger systems.

The Estate can provide Ghillies by request and for those who are new to fishing Hebridean style then they are highly recommended. Rates for Ghillies are £100 per day per boat with any gratuities extra.

Laxdale Loch is one of the smallest salmon fisheries in Britain, but bountiful for talented anglers

Loch Laxdale is one of the smallest salmon fisheries in Britain, but bountiful for talented anglers

After a few summer spates, the majority of the large sea-trout entering the Laxdale River travel further up beyond Loch Laxdale to Loch na h-Aibhne Garbh and Loch Bearasta Mor.  These upper lochs provide good opportunites for targeting wild brown trout and some of these big sea-trout.  One of these lochs, Loch Bearasta Mor, has a boat available. The Estate also has similar fishing available on three other minor migratory systems,  the Luskentyre System, the Borve System and the Carron System, amounting to a further nine lochs offering bank fishing for wild brown trout with the chance of sea-trout later in the season.  These lochs are rarely fished, booking in advance is not normally necessary and permits are available directly from the Estate Manager. Laxdale Cottage overlooks Loch Laxdale and is the perfect retreat for angling visitors.  This Cottage is now available for self-catering guests.

Special Offer: Have a Go at Fly Fishing

Borve Lodge Estate is delighted to be able to offer fly fishing tuition and introductory days for our visiting guests. Fly fishing provides an amazing opportunity to relax and enjoy the wonderful wild scenery of Harris during your stay with us. Whether you are a novice angler, or have never cast a line before, our experienced estate team can tailor a package to meet your requirements and ability. The excitement when a fish takes your fly will have you hooked for life and what better way to spend one or two days of your holiday here at Borve Lodge Estate than on the river bank or loch in pursuit of a wild Salmon, Sea Trout or Brown Trout. If you are lucky enough to land a Salmon we will even show you how to prepare it so that you can take it home for your supper!

casting6

Budding anglers on Loch Fincastle

A half-day package includes all permits, the provision of all fly fishing tackle (but not clothing or boots and waders), and will introduce you to the basics of fly casting and presentation. We will discuss fly fishing tackle and show you how to set up all of your equipment and discuss the water conditions and weather and how they may affect your approach. You will fish from bank and boat and we will introduce you to the etiquette that governs both these styles of fishing. The playing, landing, unhooking and care of caught fish will be covered in fine detail along with how to successfully release the fish back into the wild as part of our ‘catch and release’ programme.

A half day introductory package (per person) which starts at 9:00am and finishes at 1:30pm starts at £120 with full day packages starting at £200, inclusive of a light luncheon.

General Conditions

  • There are normally two rods on the Laxdale System available for visitors.  These can be booked via www.fishhebrides.com or directly through the Estate Manager.
  • It is important to note that the Estate always reserves the right for one rod on their fisheries.
  • Permits are issued in respect of one person only (unless otherwise stated) but do not give that person exclusive rights on any loch.

    Loch Laxdale on the Borve Lodge Estate

    Permits should be carried at all times while fishing.

  • All lochs with salmon and /or sea trout are FLY FISHING ONLY unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Estate.
  • Any legal angling method can be used on certain brown trout lochs. Anglers should make themselves familiar with which lochs these are.
  • ALL Salmon & Sea Trout fishing is currently catch and release only. Fish may only be kept with the specific prior authority of the Estate Manager.
  • Anglers are requested to measure (or estimate) the length of returned fish. There are conversion charts in the fishing hut that allow you to estimate the fish’s weight from its length.
  • At the end of each visit, all catch details must be reported to the Estate, either by entering them into the Game Fishing Log Book which is kept at the Fincastle fishing hut, or by contacting the Estate Manager.
  • All anglers MUST wear a suitable lifejacket at all times when using boats and should avoid standing up while on the water. Lifejackets are available in the fishing hut.
  • Dogs are allowed but must be under full control or on a lead at all times. Owners must clean up after their dogs.
  • At Loch Fincastle, please use the lower road to turn and park. The river watchers (who work at night) live in the small hut and anglers are requested to respect their need for non-disturbance and sleep during the day.

Tackle

Traditional loch style fishing is really the name of the game when it comes to game fishing in Harris. The trout tend to be plentiful (although in most cases small) and by necessity they are opportunistic feeders. The trout are rarely fixated on a single fly and it’s really all about effectively covering as much water as possible presenting something reasonably lifelike in the hope of covering a feeding fish. That’s not to say the fish won’t tend to favour a specific fly on your cast, but most traditional wet and dry flies should produce results.

Loch Fincastle's exit point into the Sea Pool

Loch Fincastle exits into the Sea Pool

Salmon and Sea Trout are fished for in the same way from boats although success can be had from the banks and in the river system.

Modern lightweight rods from 9’ to 10’ in length will cover every aspect of fishing on Harris that you are likely to encounter. As a general rule a DT floating line will accommodate all your needs in anything from 4 weight to 9 weight in floating or intermediate will suffice.

Modern fluorocarbon leaders with a breaking strain of 8lbs are recommended to be used as large fish very often present themselves in the migratory fish lochs and rivers.

FLIES

Many traditional flies will be effective on the Borve Lodge Estate Fisheries. The selection below is based on historic catch information that has been recorded in the estate’s game register since 1937. They are by no means in any order.

  • Generally single and double hooks in sizes 12 to 8 would be recommended fished in traditional loch style manner with one or two droppers.
  • Black Muddler, Silver Muddler, Pearly Muddler, Orange Muddler
  • Invicta, Silver Invicta, Claret Bumble, Golden Olive Bumble, Kate McClaren, Zulu, Blue Zulu, Claret Dabbler, Golden Olive Dabbler, Orange Dabbler, Bibio, Clan Chief
  • Peter Ross, Dunkeld, Butcher, Kingfisher Butcher, Teal Blue & Silver, Black Pennel, Goats Toe, Alexandra, Medicine
  • Hairy Mary, Ally’s Shrimp, Copper Ally’s Shrimp, Yellow Ally’s Shrimp, Stoats Tail, Silver Stoat, Cascade, General Practitioner, Garry Dog, Elver Fly, Stewart Shrimp

Schedule of Fees

 

Beat

Grid Reference

Ticket Price

(Per rod per day)

Details

Quarry Species

Loch Fincastle & Fincastle Seapool

NG093972

£60.00

per day

Boat or Bank

Fly Only

Salmon &Sea Trout
Loch Laxdale, River & Old Pool

NG109963

£60.00

per day

Boat or Bank

Fly Only

Salmon &Sea Trout
Luskentyre Seapool

NG0973977

£60.00

per day

Bank Only

Salmon &Sea Trout
Loch na h-Aibhne

NG118957

£10.00

per day

Bank Only

Brown Trout(Occasional Sea Trout)
Loch Bearesta Mor

NG124952

£10.00

per day

Bank Only

Brown Trout(Occasional Sea Trout)
Loch Borve

NG040950

£10.00

per day

Bank Only

Fly Only

Brown Trout(Occasional Sea Trout)
Loch a’Bealach

NG096952

£10.00

per day

Bank Only

Brown Trout(Occasional Sea Trout)
Luskentyre Lochs

NG072990

£10.00

per day

Bank Only

Brown Trout(Occasional Sea Trout)
Brown Trout Lochs

Various

£10.00

per day

Bank Only

Brown Trout

 

 

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