Loch Watten

Loch Watten is renowned throughout Britain as one of the foremost lochs for freshwater fly-fishing in the River Wick drainage basin. Boats can be hired in Watten from Oldhall Caravans and Permits are available from Harper’s Fly Fishing in Thurso and Hugo Ross in Wick.

The loch is 2½ miles (4 km) in length and about a half-mile (1 km) wide. Extending to approximately 370 ha (914 acres) but rarely more than 3.7m (12 feet) in depth. Surrounded by fens, marches and wet pastureland, the loch attracts numerous birds (ducks like mallards, wild geese, swans, all sorts of wild fowls such as teals) and is an outstanding biodiversity sanctuary. Loch Watten truly offers loch style fishing at it’s very best and the brown trout get up to very respectable weights with a few trophy fish taken over the season.

Virtually all local lochs contain wild, beautifully marked golden trout within their depths and the fish vary in size from a few ounces to several pounds in weight. More often than not, particularly in the most favoured fishing months of May or June, the visitor will be able to watch fishermen adrift in their boats or bent intently over their rods, plying their fishing lines this way and that over the sparkling waters of Caithness.

The loch is about 8 foot deep max. so most of the sport is top of the water stuff so pack your floating lines or midge tips. Loch style drifting is the only way to fish. The loch even has its own killer fly called the Watten Warrior (don’t leave home without it). Try half hogs on the dropper and a Kate mclaren on the mid with the fly of your choice on the tip.

  • Season: The season is short (May-Sept) which is maybe good given the changeable
  • Species: Brown trout
  • Boats: Dounreay Fly Fishing Association owns 15 boats on 10 loches in Caithness and Sutherland. At present visitors have access to boats on three of these lochs (Watten, Calder and Scarmclate) on payment of a daily fee of £10.00 or a weekly fee of £25.00

Contact, Day tickets and Permit:
Harpers Fly Fishing, Thurso 01847 893179
Or book your fishing online at Hugo Ross Tackle, Wick 01955 604200


Loch Watten
Watten, Thurso
Scotland, UK

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