The River

The River Snizort

In accordance with the new European General Data Protection Regulations which come into force on the 25th May 2018, we would like to draw your attention to our privacy policy which can be accessed on the Permit Prices page of this website.  This details what data we collect and how the data is stored and handled.

The River Snizort is the most celebrated spate river on The Isle of Skye. Three Esses Ltd operates the fishing for nearly the entire length of the river - some eight miles. There are twelve beats on the river running to the sea loch estuary from the flats in the hills. Wild Brown Trout abound throughout the river and are always game to attack anything from a 22 hook to a full grown salmon fly. The Sea Trout have a similar attitude and follow the Salmon all the way up the river and even up the seven foot jump at the Falls ( Beat 9). The Salmon are up and down the river all year round but the big runs go from the end of June or the beginning of July depending on the flood tides, to the end of the season ( starts February 11th - ends October 15th ) and they find their way up the ten miles to the feeder loch (Loch Duagrich) at the head of the Snizort. Their journey can often be broken by the receding spate when they hold in the numerous pools along their route.

We offer fly-casting lessons and guides (the word for a fishing guide in Scotland is "Ghillie ") for your trip.

We operate Catch and Return for salmon and sea trout.



                         SPECIAL OFFER FOR 2018

The Gate House is available for anglers wishing to stay in unabashed comfort not 40 yds from the river at a reduced rate. See the accommodation page.





Dowsett Grilse






Summary for 2017

17th June

After 8 weeks without a spate the rain's started and the salmon are coming in. None brought to the bank yet. We've been catching a good few brown trout and sea trout though. More rain forecast and big tides later this week. Geronimo.


24th June First Salmon to the bank
1st salmon of 2017

Robert MacQueen banks this fresh-in 8lb hen and loses a bigger one in his lunch break. Well done Robert.

A Good Morning for Ian stewart
One of Ian's 5 in a morning

28th July

A personal lifetime best for Ian. One morning brought him five salmon and 9 sea trout to the bank. Congratulations Ian.

Slawomir Kowal's First Ever Salmon
24th August Slawomir's First Ever Salmon

A Good Day for Firsts

24th August

Tony Biddell 14 years old takes his first Snizort salmon at 11 lb followed by another at 6lb. Very well done young man. Polish visitor Slawomir Kowal and friends drive all the way from Poland for their first ever salmon but draw a blank after three days on the river Dee, then come to the Snizort and, ghillied by DD, Slawomir puts his first ever salmon in the book. Congratulations.

25th August

Slawomir's fishing buddy banks his first ever salmon. Congratulations Cezary Poniatowski. Come again.



Another First for Cezary Poniatowski

This is another first salmon ever. The smallest in the book. Small is beautiful.

And another first

7th September

Joe Heine spent two weeks on the big four rivers last year after his first Scottish salmon but sadly didn't get one, so this year he thought he'd try the Highlands. The Snizort delivers a cock fish on the third cast. Photo later.

And another - 29th September

Adam Rainston banks his first salmon ever and will be back again.


30 September - a good day

A good day for the ghillie and the dentist. Dowsett banks four salmon and and Dave Brampton 3 in half a day.

12th October
John Pass Releasing a salmon

John Pass goes home with three salmon in the book. Here's a photo of one being released . Photo kindly provided by wildlife photographer/cameraman Jack Perks.

13th October

Rick Garrard and William Ramsay have a good week on the river. They worked very hard and achieved a total of 13 salmon and 11 sea trout. Many thanks to you both.

14th October

John Howarth breaks his duck and catches his first ever salmon followed by another. Well done John.


15th October

Frustratingly the last day of the season falls on a Sunday (no fishing allowed). A great pity as there's a perfect spate running, the Isle is full of fishermen and women and plenty of fish still coming in. We could have confidently broken into 100 salmon plus but ended up with 96.


Diary for 2018

29th March 

An unusual start to the season. Marine biologist Adam Rainsden goes out and hits a pod of fresh run salmon and manages to bank an 8lb hen. 

15th June

First spate for 7 weeks. Ian Lindsay gets a 3lb sea trout on the evening shift on beat 4. Two more rods yet to report in. 

16th July (DD Day)

The first spate for a month and only the second of the season. Dannie Docherty (DD) gets a grilse at the top and loses two big salmon. Derek Dowsett (DD) manages 3 salmon and a sea trout. Callum Gillies gets a grilse on the evening tide. We need more rain. There are a lot of salmon showing in the loch.

3rd August - Three Firsts

More rain brings some beautiful silver salmon in. Three "first salmon ever" events. Harvey Osborne manages two as does Matthew Gerring and Diana Fernsby gets her first. Congratulations.



Harvey Osborne's First

Harvey's been a sea trout man but decided he'd try for salmon on the Snizort. This is his first ever - a 12lb cock fresh in. He went home with two in the book. Congratulations Harvey.

13 Aug

Jay Lederer comes to Scotland for his first salmon and gets an 8lb hen fresh in on his third cast. Garry Shaw ghillie.

15 Aug

Emily Fraser young novice gets a 7lb hen after enduring three hours of high wind and pouring rain. Photo later. Very well done Emily.

John Marchington The Venerable

16th August.

John Marchington, 91 this year, catches four salmon in an afternoon. Incredible.





We apologise for not having kept the diary for 2018 up to date but we shall be putting notable events onto the site during the closed season. There were a number of "first ever salmon" events and a good selection of notable successes.

Three Esses Ltd

Three Esses Ltd is owned by Derek Dowsett who cast his first fly into the River Spey at the age of 10. The love of Scotland's salmon rivers and fly-fishing started at that moment.
At the beginning of 2005 the company became the owners of the salmon hatchery on the banks of the River Snizort and took a lease on 8 precious miles of the river. Having been silent for four years the hatchery was  brought back to life that winter, when the Salmon re-stocking programme began. With the assistance of some of the Salmon supporters on the island the resident fish are stripped and released. The eggs are hatched and the fry liberated in carefully chosen nurseries along the river.  More Snizort fry ( up to 10,000 a year ) have been released into the river every year since then and so it will continue until our stocks are back to the levels of the early 1990's.

We have caught very respectable numbers from 2005. Record low rainfall in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and 2014  seriously reduced our days on the river and dropped our catch numbers proportionately, but there is little doubt that anglers are witnessing the return of The Isle of Skye spate river as a challenging alternative to mainland rivers.

The catch record for 2005 was nearly four times greater than 2004, making our final numbers 116 Salmon and 88 Sea Trout.

The 2006 season suffered from lack of Skye's usual generous rainfall but still made totals well over the 2004 season.

2007 gave us 193 salmon, and despite poor rainfall in 2008 we still booked 155.

2009 gave us an even drier summer kept the salmon down to just 6 less than 2008 but the sea trout numbers were up by 20 %.

2010 was unseasonably dry but nevertheless we booked another record for Three Esses time on the river - 204 salmon and 89 sea trout.

2011 was the driest since we started here but we still booked 157 salmon.

2012 No - 2012 was even drier but we still booked 108 salmon and 71 sea trout.

2013 No- 2013 and 2014 were drier still but we're still hovering in the high 80's for salmon and high 50's for sea trout.
The Snizort has not made better figures since 1992.
The company mission is to "Save Wild Salmon ". As far as Three Esses is concerned we have engaged in a labour of love - for the fish and the sport and all that goes with it, and we need the support of you anglers who share our belief and true love of the sport.
Come prepared with a single handed 11ft. rod and a two handed 13 footer. The spates on The Snizort are so radical that you need to be ready for anything.
If you're an uninitiated Salmon angler you can hire your rods and equipment from The Ghillie's Office and book casting lessons and a ghillie at the same time. The rates are shown on the "permit prices " page, and are dependent on the time of year you intend to visit.

The Ghillie's Office
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Here's the ghillie's office where many a dram and a fishy tale have passed the lips of Snizort anglers.

Derek Dowsett with a Fine Hen
Derek Dowsett with a Fine Hen

The proud father. At the end of the season we'll be taking eggs from fine specimens such as this to incubate and return until we're happy we have a sustainable stock of wild native salmon.

The Ghillies Office and Hatchery
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In the foreground of the shot are the two incubating tanks capable of holding up to 60,000 eggs each.

Stripping a Salmon hen
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Each winter we make our treck to the spawning grounds along the Snizort where we net the fish and gently remove their eggs and milt. The eggs are then placed in incubation tanks where they are kept in dark and quiet condition until they begin to hatch the following Spring.

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