River Thurso

Fishing Conditions & Contacts 2024

Fishing Conditions & Contacts 2024


There are twelve beats, with two rods on each, (weeks 11 to 39) each pair of rods move downstream by two beats each day, allowing both Upper and Lower water to be fished in one week. The beats provide a wonderful variety of fishing and whilst much of the river has a fine running character, some beats, particularly lower 3, as well as sections of 6, 7 and 12 are long and deep. These pools are invaluable for the conservation of fish stocks in hot, dry weather conditions and with a good wind to ruffle the water, they can be very productive. The beats vary in length from just under one mile to three and a quarter miles, each having a variety of pools. (see River Overview for detailed beat and pool descriptions.)



  • Fishing is by fair fly only, with a maximum of 2 rods per beat and fishing with bait, prawn, worm, spinner, spoon or any other lure is expressly forbidden. Fishing is from both banks and breast waders are not necessary.

  • It is a prerequisite of fishing on the River Thurso that anglers sign and deliver GYRODACTYLUS SALARIS DECLARATION FORMS to the Fishery Manager (Geordie Doull) upon arrival on their first day at the River and before they commence fishing. Anglers who have not signed and delivered the Declaration will not be permitted to fish.

  • Salmon Conservation – anglers are reminded that under the Salmon Conservation (Scotland) Act 2001, it is illegal to sell salmon and sea trout caught by rod and line. In accordance with the Scottish Government’s statutory catch and release regulations, all salmon caught prior to 1st April must be returned to the River. From 1st April until 15th of June any fish incapable of being safely returned (i.e bleeders) must be handed to either  (Geordie Doull) or any other Ghillie on the day the fish is removed from the River. From 17th June until 5th October, anglers fishing for a week may retain up to two fish, provided they do not exceed 8lbs in weight or 70cm in length. Treble hooks are not to be used at any time during the season and from 1st September until the end of the season (5th October) all hooks must be barbless.

  • Trout fishing can be arranged through either Geordie Doull or Hugo Ross.

  • Ghillies – Ghillie hire is available at an additional cost of £90 a day and can be booked through our fishing coordinator. Booking in advance is advised as there are a limited number of ghillies available.

  • Accommodation – we recommend anglers stay at the Ulbster Arms Hotel, Bridge Street, Halkirk, Caithness, KW12 6XY, phone 01847 831641, email: fishing@ulbsterarmshotel.co.uk for further details.

Geordie Doull (Fishery Manager)

Email: geordie@ulbsterarmshotel.co.uk
Phone: 07734601562

Jessica Dreaves (Fishing Coordinator)

Email: fishing@ulbsterarmshotel.co.uk
Phone: 01847831641

Ulbster Arms Hotel

Email: fishing@ulbsterarmshotel.co.uk
Phone: 01847 831641
Address: Ulbster Arms Hotel, Bridge Street, Halkirk, Caithness, KW12 6XY