Here in Crieff we are lucky to have access to some of Perthshire’s best fishing spots … all within less than an hour’s drive.
Whether that’s a salmon beat in a quiet neighbouring hamlet or a brown trout loch within shouting distance of the town, the landscape is teaming with rivers, from the sprawling Tay which is Scotland’s largest river to the smaller Tummel and Earn which offer fast moving pools for more challenging salmon fishing experiences.
For those who enjoy hillwalking too, there’s plenty of trout fishing destinations in more remote locations throughout the area.
Ian Christie, owner of Perth-based fly-tying company Flybox.co.uk and expert salmon and trout fisher, has rounded up his top three locations in and around Crieff to cast your line. And check out his fly tips at the end of this article …
For a large salmon beat with lots of variety… Kinkell Bridge
Just six miles from the centre of Crieff, Kinkell Bridge is a very large and scenic beat for salmon fishing. It’s two and a half miles in total and has a lot of variation across its expanse. The beat’s upper section is quite flat and still while below the bridge itself, the lower part of the beat is faster with water pools and stream fishing. It’s an unpredictable stretch which makes it fun to take on.
The water at Kinkell Bridge is managed by Ghillie Sandy McIntosh. Salmon fishing here costs £60 per day in September and October and lessons and fishing instruction can be arranged. For more information visit https://www.perthanddistrictanglersassociation.com/index.php/our-fishing/salmon-sea-trout/kinkell-bridge-river-earn
For quality brown trout in shallow water… Drummond Loch
Nestled within the grounds of stunning Drummond Castle Estate, Drummond Loch is an 86-acre loch stocked annually with brown trout ready for the fishing season. As a fairly shallow loch with an abundance of brown trout here from the beginning of the season, Drummond Loch is a great place to secure a catch. Surrounded by stunning natural woodland, it’s a beautiful location to while away a few hours. If you are lucky you might spot one of the ospreys or kites known to frequent the area.
Permits are available from Crieff Visitor Centre and you will be issued with a key to open the gate to the loch. Find your way to Drummond Loch just a few miles outside Crieff on the road to Muthill. Prices for members and non-members are listed on the Crieff Angling Club website, but prices started at £20 per day for non-members. http://www.crieffanglingclub.org.uk/prices.htm
For serene brown trout fishing in the hills… Loch Turret
Loch Turret reservoir is a breath-taking spot to fish for brown trout. What’s striking is that, when standing loch-side you feel as if you’re in the wilderness, days away from civilisation. In reality, Crieff is just minutes away by car. You would struggle to find somewhere more accessible and peaceful to fish than here. Glenturret Distillery, who use water from Loch Turret in their single malt is close by if you want to reward yourself with a dram after making your catches.
Fishing on Loch Turret is free for members of Crieff Angling Club. For non-members, its £6 per day during the season and tickets can be picked up at the nearby Crieff Visitor Centre.
Ian’s fly tip for trout fishing
A dry fly works better in the hillier spots. For example, a dry fly works extremely well at Loch Turret because there’s not much of a feeding subsurface. The trout often rely on flies blowing in off the hillside for feeding so using a dry fly is the top tactic for success.
Ian’s fly tip for salmon fishing
Try a cascade fly. It will catch a lot of fish! Also, try a smaller size 12 fly. Don’t be afraid to use smaller flies on the River Earn when salmon fishing. They are very popular in this area for a reason.