In 2018 Fly Water Travel tested the waters of setting up small custom tours of Scotland for couples focusing on special off-the-beaten-path attractions and an array of angling opportunities. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive, and while we were expecting these trips to be once-in-a-lifetime tours, many of our guests immediately re-upped for the following year.
Pete and Sandra Bracken are among our most widely-traveled clients, and they had the following to say. “Sandra and I believe that this trip was one of the best trips we have taken. It may well be the best trip ever for us. We loved our time with Stewart and the beauty of Scotland. Stewart knows Scotland intimately and does his very best to convey his knowledge of and experience with Scotland to his clients.” What’s more, these trips are easy to plan and each one is built to suit the needs, schedule, and interests of the particular group.
At Fly Water Travel few things make us happier than partnering with true professionals that take hospitality and service as seriously as we do. Stewart Collingswood, our partner in Scotland, is that man. He is a professional guide, a professional photographer, a skilled and detailed correspondent, and the consummate host willing to go the extra mile to make sure that everything is as good as it can possibly be.
Planning Your Trip
The process of creating your custom trip to Scotland could not be easier. In a phone conversation we will find out how many are in your group, what your preferred dates of travel are, your party’s physical abilities, how many days the anglers in the group would like to fish, and what special interests your party members have. From that, Stewart will design a draft itinerary for your review. For those electing activities other than fishing, the offerings are robust and varied. Once we dial in the plan, Stewart will set up the reservations and then create the final pricing. Smaller parties of one to three guests will typically be met at the airport by their private driver and guide in a luxury Land Rover Discovery while larger groups will be picked up in one or more new Mercedes touring vans. All state-of-the-art fishing tackle and flies are included so you won’t need to pack any of those items unless you want to.
Stewart’s guests enjoy four distinct types of fishing, often with multiple venues within each type. Because there is so much to do and see, most of our guests spend less than half of their days fishing, but for those that want to fish nearly every day, that is also possible.
Salmon: Scotland is synonymous with the art and lore of fishing Atlantic salmon on the fly. Depending on the time of year and availability, guests can fish the rivers Tweed, Tay, Dee, and Spey. This is a great opportunity to Spey cast with a real ghillie on some of the most famous waters in the world. Most of these waters are open from February through September or October and tend to fish best in late spring and fall.
Trout and Grayling: The options here are far too many to list. Guests can fish for wild browns on countless Highland rivers and streams or select from lochs, many of which are not far from cities of interest. Choose between walk and wade fishing and fishing still waters by boat, depending on interest and physical abilities. Prepared lunches of the very highest quality paired with wines are all part of the package.
Pike Loch: Stewart and his crew have access to an exceptional catch-and-release pike lake near Edinburgh. These fierce predators range from 5 to well over 20 pounds, and guests are welcome to fish for them with fly or conventional tackle. This fishing experience will be for your private party alone and guests will enjoy a fabulous lunch at the loch-side lodge.
Saltwater Pollock: Saltwater pollock is not to be confused with Alaskan pollack. The saltwater pollock of Scotland is a handsome hard-fighting fish well-suited to fly anglers. Fishing can be done from the shore (somewhat physical), but most often is done from a cabin cruiser. Fly fishing with sinking heads is very effective but guests can also choose from a range of conventional methods. Much of this fishing takes place in the Highlands, Berwickshire (near Edinburgh) or on the breathtakingly beautiful island of Skye.
While Stewart and his crew have their origins in sporting pursuits, they are true masters at putting together great tours that expose guests to the real hidden gems of Scotland, from the local pub you might have never found to the freshest fish and chips one could hope for. They have a wide variety of highly vetted accommodations as well, ranging from castles to country manors or historic downtown hotels. Guests can hike, visit churches, historic sites, distilleries, and breweries or dig into culturally-rich cities like Edinburgh.