I have been fishing all my life but up until the age of twenty I had only tried coarse fishing for chub, perch, pike and carp in the ponds and rivers around the area where I grew up.
I had been on Mull for a relatively short time before I realised the fishing potential here, having tried some of the streams and lochs around Tobermory and caught some brown trout which they held. Once I had encountered them I fell in love with them: beautiful markings with bright red spots and hard fighting – they never seemed to give up.
Fortunately, I met a lot of the local fishermen and they gave me advice on where to fish and what baits and lures I should try. There was no stopping me now, and within a few years I had fished many of the lochs and rivers of the north of Mull.
I kept a diary, taking note of weather conditions, how much water there was, time of day etc. This was of great help to me and I found myself catching some great fish using the knowledge I had gathered. Often people holidaying on Mull would get talking to people in my local village of Dervaig, asking for information on fishing and my name would come up as somebody they should talk to, as I would be able to point them in the right direction. This was really the start of my becoming a fishing guide.
Sometimes advice is enough but as anyone who has tried fishing will tell you, having the local knowledge on which pool on a river fishes best or which bay in a loch will hold a good fish makes all the difference. So I found myself offering to show one or two people where they should go to make the most of their fishing experience here on Mull, taking them out on a boat on Loch Ba, fishing for salmon, or maybe just walking one of the rivers with them and pointing out the pools and eddies they should run a fly through.
It seemed to work well and I enjoyed seeing people catch fish as much as catching them myself. Quite often I would have somebody with me who had been fishing for years but never caught a salmon or never caught a brown trout over a pound in weight, and to see the elation and joy on their faces was very satisfying: as I know very well, Mull does have some of the best fishing in Scotland.
I have myself caught salmon over 20lb, sea trout over 11lb and many, many brown trout over 6lb, one or two tipping the scales at around 15lb and one of these was on the fly. Superb!
So, if you are thinking of coming to Mull to do some fishing, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I will give you any help I can to try and make your fishing trip to Mull a memorable one.