Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: UK, Towy, Tweed, Dee, Deveron
A lot depends on what you want to do. In terms of shooting the only driven or walked up game bird shooting will be for grouse for which the season starts on August 12th, partridge & duck don't start until 1st September & pheasants on 1st October.
Driven grouse is eye wateringly expensive (but very good fun, although I've only done this once as a guest of a friend, but I live in hope of another chance). Walked up grouse however is affordable, the bags are much less but early season like this you have a good chance of a decent day & you will get PLENTY OF EXERCISE & enjoy the scenery - you will need to book a day with a mixed team of guns. If you get the chance then shooting grouse over setters or pointers is great fun & can be had at a sensible cost but you usually want 2 guns (shooters) to do this - but again some estates or letting agents may have another single gun looking to pair up for a day.
If your shooting encompasses larger quarry then you could book some red stag stalking at this time of year. Most estates will have an "Estate rifle" you can use & you will be accompanied by an estate stalker who will guide you on to the beast & make sure you don't stray over the boundary & commit armed trespass! Again it ain't cheap but cull animals will usually come in around £350 - £400 each, but expect to pay a lot more if you want a medal head. Again this will usually involve a lot of miles so bring a good pair of boots.
Roe buck stalking may also be available, these are much smaller deer, say 50 lbs in weight, but they are very quiet & alert animals & have cult status among many UK & particularly European visitors. These can be shot on the open hill in many parts of the Highlands but are more usually shot in woodland & involve less physical effort (particularly in the recovery of the carcase), some times being shot fom high seats, but do involve a lot of stealth in the approach.
In terms of fishing, again it depends on what you want to do. Is wading your thing, would you like to fish from the bank or are you happy fishing from a boat with a boatman or gillie (Tweed "gillies" are referred to as boatmen)?
August can mean low & warm water - but no guarantees in the UK, I once had snow in July when fishing the Thurso, so booking a small highland spate river may be more of a risk if you end up being drought'ed off. If you decide to book one of the traditional large rivers, possibly one of the big four, then it comes down to personal preferences & availability.
In mid August the majority of fish on the Dee will be coloured having been in river for some time, there is a fresh run into the lower river but these don't usually come in until a little later, although there are always exceptions to the rule. That said you could still have some good sport so have a look at the beat descriptions & prices + the availability on Fishpal before you discount it, I think that the Dee offers some of the best fly water there is.
The Spey could have grilse run on at this time, but it is harder to get access on this river than the others.
The Tay can be a good bet, it is a very large river so even in low flows there will be a fair drop of water going through, the lower river is a good call - especially as there should be fresh fish entering the river at this time. Beats like Fishponds or Stobhall etc have some availability at present & will certainly produce fish at this time.
The Tweed, think lower river, this will give you a chance of fresh fish as they will enter the river on the tides even in low flows. Look on fish pal, beats like Pedwell or Upper North Wark will give you a good chance of fish at reasonable prices, but note these will involve fishing from the boat, particularly the latter, but the boatman's knowledge of the water is a useful shortcut for the visitor.
Alternatively you go right up North to fish the Thurso on which catches are recovering well now the netting has ceased, but it is a long way up & it is pretty slow moving on much of its' length so you have to "back up" & work the fly on many of the beats.
Once you have refined your timetable & had some initial thoughts then come back to me if you wish to try & refine things a little further.