Fishing in Caithness

Tight Lines!

Harpsdale Fishery Park Loch St. John's Loch Heilen Dunnet Head Lochs
Thurso River Lesley Crawford Loch Calder Loch Watten
Sea Angling
The Thurso River - Fly Fishing
Thurso River is renowned for its Salmon Fishing.  If you are interested in fishing a beat on Thurso River, contact Thurso Fisheries on: 01847 893134

Photograph courtesy of M Russell.

A recent catch by Mike Russell on Beat 1 of the Thurso River.  Four Salmon in one morning!

Loch Calder
Calder is the main water supply loch for the Thurso area.

Calder is one of the few lochs where bait fishing is allowed.


  • Season - Mar - Oct
  • Permits - Harpers Fly Fishing Services, 57 High St., Thurso.  KW14 5LE.  
    Telephone:  (01847) 893179
  • Limits - Minimum 10"
St. John's Loch - see the site
Access to the loch is very good with a road running down to a parking area, boats and small harbour.

St John's LochFishing is either by boat or from the bank.  Permits are required for both.  This is a shallow loch with a marl bottom and you may find that weed can be a problem.

The loch is managed by the St. John's Angling Association.  They stock the loch from their own hatchery.

  • Season - April to October
  • Limits - Minimum 10"
  • Permits - Northern Sands Hotel, Dunnet
Loch Heilen
This loch is managed by the Loch Heilen Improvement Association.  The loch was stocked in 1995  when 14,500 fingerlings were introduced, they were reared from eggs of fish that were from the loch (to preserve the strain).

Access is easy with a car park at the loch-side.  100 yards from the car park is the boat berthing area.


Loch Watten
This Loch is renowned throughout Britain as one of the foremost lochs for freshwater fly-fishing.  Boats and accommodation can be arranged in Watten from Oldhall Caravans and The Brown Trout Hotel.  

Permits are available from Harper's Fly Fishing in Thurso and Hugo Ross in Wick OR book online with Hugo Ross!

Loch Watten

Dunnet Head Lochs
This is controlled by the Dunnet Head Fishing Club who stock the lochs regularly.

Fry are introduced to ensure that they are "wild" fish.  Fishing is from the bank only and you should be careful in your approach as stealth brings it's own rewards!

  • Season - 1st May - 6th October
  • Limits - Min 10"
  • Permits - Dunnet Head Tea-room on the B855 road at Brough.
Sea Angling
Sea angling is good from most of the shores in this area. 
  • Scrabster, below the lighthouse
  • The beaches at Thurso, Dunnet, Murkle
  • The rocks from all over 

However, you should check out things such as access, tides and weather conditions for all coastal access!

Sea Angling from boats are available from Scrabster Harbour, where World records have been broken for Halibut, Por-beagle Shark and Skate!


Lesley Crawford

Caithness and Sutherland Angling Services - Angling Instructor and Fishing Guide  - writes for Fish and Fly

Askival, Reay, Caithness, KW14 7RE

Email:  Lesley