Fishing Conditions & Contacts 2018

River Thurso, Caithness


There are twelve beats, with two rods on each, in Spring (weeks 11 to 23) rods have an opportunity of fishing all beats for a weeks fishing. In the summer (weeks 23 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 (Tim Hawes) 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 17th of June any fish incapable of being safely returned (ie bleeders) must be handed to either the Fishery Manager (Tim Hawes) or the Senior Ghillie (Geordie Doull) on the day the fish is removed from the River. From 18th 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 Tim Hawes or Hugo Ross.

  • Ghillies – from week 11 until 23 the services of a shared ghillie is provided within the Fishing Rents. From week 24 until week 39 if a ghillie is required, there is a charge of £80/day and this can be organised through Tim Hawes.

  • Accommodation - a discounted fishing and hotel package is available for guests who stay at the Ulbster Arms Hotel during their fishing holiday. The package consists of 7 nights hotel bed and breakfast, 5 nights restaurant dinner, 6 days packed lunch and 6 days salmon fishing. For further details on package rates, please contact the Ulbster Arms Hotel.

  • Contacts Tim Hawes (Fishery Manager),
    phone: 07734601562

    Ulbster Arms Hotel, Bridge Street, Halkirk, Caithness, KW12 6XY,
    phone: 01847 831641,

    Hugo Ross Fishing Tackle, Wick,
    phone: 01955 604200,


Rent/Rod/Week (incl VAT), from weeks 11 to 23 a shared ghillie is included within the fishing charge, weeks 24 to 39 excludes a ghillie charge. All prices below exclude Ulbster Arms Hotel charges. Week

WeekNo Date Price (inc VAT)
1 11 Jan to 13 Jan POA
2 15 Jan to 20 Jan POA
3 22 Jan to 27 Jan POA
4 29 Jan to 3 Feb POA
5 5 Feb to 10 Feb POA
6 12 Feb to 17 Feb POA
7 19 Feb to 24 Feb POA
8 26 Feb to 3 Mar POA
9 5 Mar to 10 Mar POA
10 12 Mar to 17 Mar POA
11 19 Mar to 24 Mar
12 26 Mar to 31 Mar
13 2 Apr to 7 Apr
14 9 Apr to 14 Apr
15 16 Apr to 21 Apr
16 23 Apr to 28 Apr
17 30 Apr to 5 May
18 7 May to 12 May
19 14 May to 19 May
20 21 May to 26 May
21 28 May to 2 Jun
22 4 Jun to 09 Jun
23 11 Jun to 16 Jun
24 18 Jun to 23 Jun
25 25 Jun to 30 June
26 2 Jul to 7 Jul
27 09 Jul to 14 Jul
28 16 Jul to 21 Jul
29 23 Jul to 28 Jul
30 30 Jul to 4 Aug
31 6 Aug to 11 Aug
32 13 Aug to 18 Aug
33 20 Aug to 25 Aug
34 27 Aug to 1 Sep
35 3 Sep to 8 Sep
36 10 Sep to 15 Sep
37 17 Sep to 22 Sep
38 24 Sep to 29 Sep
39 1 Oct to 5 Oct
Tim Hawes (Fishery Manager)
Phone: 07734601562
Ulbster Arms Hotel
Phone: 01847 831641