Harray is widely regarded as the jewel in the Orkney trout fishing crown and the most famous fishery. The loch extends to over 2500 acres and features large areas of productive skerries, shallows, bays and points, and with over 14 miles of shoreline it is probably the most popular of Orkney’s wading loch,
especially in the earlier part of the season. As the season progresses and the water temperature increases then the fish move out into deeper, cooler water, when boat fishing comes into its own. The hard fighting Harray trout average is between 10-12ozs. but fish in the 1-2lb range are not that rare. Tactics for fishing Harray are wide and varied and can change very quickly with the trout changing their feeding habits to capitalise on the most prolific food item of that particular day and no two days are the same. The food items most important and most likely to encourage the trout to feed avidly are the chironomid (midge, buzzer), caenis, cowdung, daphnia, olive and snails. Of these, the midge can provide the most spectacular rises of fish and the best chance of the basket of a lifetime. During these periods fish can be taken in large numbers so please show due restraint. While fishing shallow water a floating line is all that’s required and this coupled with a team of flies which suitably match the hatch should ensure good sport. Deep water drifts in high summer for Daphnia feeding fish can provide some tremendous sport once the shoals of fish have been located. A sinking line of some sort can increase your chances, as can some mini-lures in various colours. Finally, a word of warning, On Harray, the very shallow water is not confined to the shorelines, some bays are strewn with skerries which will cause serious damage to both boat and outboard, so give them due respect.
Boat Hire: Stenness Hotel, (01856850449)
Membership of the OTFA is the most active way for the individual angler to support the essential work of conservation and preservation of the trout fishing in Orkney.
For a nominal sum of money, local and visiting anglers may use all the facilities of the association and also ensure the future of some of the best wild trout fishing available.
Have you been to a wild water and want to share the knowledge? We'd be more than happy to recieve information from anyone who wants to write up a water guide.
Or if you just fancy coming out on our next trip, you are more than welcome.