With a diverse landscape of lochs, mountains, rivers and forests, the scenic county of Argyll is one of the finest locations for fishing in Scotland. Whether you’re planning to take a short weekend fishing trip, or one of the longer fishing tours, this impressive area delivers endless catch prospects – especially in terms of trout, coarse and salmon fishing. Here are our top ten spots for fishing holidays in Argyll.
Loch Awe Fishing
From March to October, Loch Awe’s 24-mile stretch is a marvellous place for brown trout, char, pike, perch and rainbow fish fishing. With fish numbers in abundance throughout this area, you don’t need to be an experienced angler to enjoy it – with opportunities to take fishing guides or boats alongside a multitude of secluded islands and shore spots. Loch Awe also comes with the added bonus of spectacular views over the famous Kilchurn Castle.
Mackay’s Loch Fishery
If you’re visiting the Oban area (particularly out of season), the Mackay’s Loch Fishery is one of the top locations for fly fishing in Scotland. Alongside its natural stock of native brown trout, this fishery is fully stocked with rainbow trout. Grab your fishing rod and enjoy a boat trip or a day n the shore, surrounded by peaceful Scottish scenery.
Lochan nan Ceardach
Also known as Loch Smiddy, Lochan nan Ceardach is just a short 30-minute drive from Oban or Loch Melfort Hotel. Just up a hill road from Ardmaddy Lodge, this lesser-known spot has a charming through-route over an iron bridge and opens out over glorious island views. Most fish along the shoreline, however, it is possible to take a boat into the centre of the waters in the hopes of bagging rainbow trout.
Flowing through the charming area of Glendaruel, not far from Dunoon, this river offers good chances for salmon and sea trout, winding down a steep gorge into shallow streams, runs and slow deep pools. Focus your efforts on the slower pools and glides for the best catches. It’s worth noting that all fishing in this area is on a catch-and-release basis.
Famous for having the largest freshwater surface area in Britain, and boasting over 30 islands, Loch Lomond offers some of the best game and coarse fishing in Scotland (and the UK!). Fly fishing in this area is particularly good, with fly fishing drifts aplenty. For the best boating locations, head to the launch spots at Balmaha and Balloch (two of the most well know areas for fishing holidays in Argyll).
A fishing trip to the quaint Isle of Mull isn’t complete without some time to the River Bellart. This pretty 10-mile straight is a great stop for sea trout. Whilst there, look out for the interesting curving stone wall. At high tide, it is submerged, but at low tide, it traps a range of fish – an imaginative set-up, built years ago by families relying on fishing to make ends meet.
Loch Nell is a 2-mile loch, known for great catches of arctic charr, sea trout, salmon and brown trout. It’s a pleasant little spot that’s close to most visitor towns and is easily accessible. The loch sports a small island to the south, an enjoyable place to perch whilst you fish.
Google the River Goil, and one of its main attraction listings is fishing! This spot is perfect for getting away and appreciating the tranquil surroundings, especially the shoreline of historic Carrick Castle. Shoals of mackerel are relatively easy to come across from June to October, whilst cod and pollack can be found all year round. This one is an ideal location to cast your rod and unwind.
Loch Fyne – St. Catherines Jetty
This little run-down jetty in the small hamlet of St Catherine’s is a quiet little spot ideal for sea fishing. Shoals of mackerel are common in the summer months and anglers have also been known to come across dogfish, coley, pollack and thornback rays (depending on conditions and times).
The waters are bountiful for pike fishing in Scotland. With 106 acres of land, there’s no doubt that you’ll be able to find a personal spot on the bank-sides to fish from. The pike here are hard fighting, with 30+lbs being recorded. But that’s half the appeal, right? Be careful of weedy snaggy areas – this is a real place to get your back stuck into it.
Kilmelford Hill Lochs
For the ultimate remote and peaceful experience, head to the Kilmelford Hill lochs for wild brown trout fishing. This is a wonderful location if you’re looking to combine your fishing trip with some excellent Scottish countryside walks. If the hill walks aren’t for you, this area also offers up some great sea fishing – with a variety of species up for grabs.
Bonus Location (updated for 2023): The Glenbeg fishing lochs
The waters of the Glenbeg fishing lochs offer an exceptional angling experience, boasting untainted and unparalleled fly fishing opportunities for wild brown trout. These magnificent trout typically range from a quarter pound to impressive specimens exceeding 3 pounds. While certain lochs are conveniently accessible by car, others beckon only to the intrepid angler, requiring a spirit of adventure and willingness to embark on walks lasting an hour or more. The reward for such exploration is often the discovery of secluded, unspoiled fishing locations, providing an atmosphere of tranquillity and solitude.
It is important to note that these fishing spots exclusively cater to fly fishing enthusiasts. Whether employing diminutive dry-flies or a traditional wet-fly setup, anglers can delight in the genuine pleasure of moving between various lochs, indulging in the captivating sport within the confines of this scenic estate. All thirteen lochs are covered by the Glenbeg fishing permit.
Thinking of booking a fishing break in Argyll? Here at The Loch Melfort Hotel, we can help you plan your trip and offer a variety of rooms to come back to relax in after a successful day out. Remember to always ensure you’ve acquired a permit or asked permission before fishing! Our team are always on hand to assist or help with any queries.