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Trout & Salmon Fishing in Scotland

Here you will find information about trout and salmon fly fishing in Scotland and a few suggestions on where to fish for trout, salmon and sea trout, concentrating on those Scottish rivers and lochs which are open to the average fisherman through the purchase of a season, weekly or day permit - the type of fly fishing waters which I have always fished. 

I list only waters where the fly fishing is predominantly natural i.e. Scottish rivers and lochs containing a wild, indigenous stock of game fish, including brown trout, sea trout, salmon and grayling.  Most are waters I have fished over a number of years. Some are places I have yet to fish. All are accessible at reasonable cost.

On the right of the page you will find a more extensive listing of links to the major salmon and sea trout fishing rivers and trout fishing areas of Scotland. Clicking on these links will take you to pages in our new website Trout and Salmon Fishing  where you will find information on trout and salmon fishing in Scotland and detailed maps of the main Scottish fishing rivers and lochs. In addition to information on where to fish, complementary pages on the new site cover subjects such as fishing weather, salmon recipes, fishing books, fly fishing knots, where to stay, tackle shops, Scottish fishing clubs and associations, trout, salmon and sea trout flies, fishing articles and much more.

See also Sea Trout Fishing

Scottish Rivers

Salmon, Trout, and Sea Trout Fishing in Scotland

River Allan                              PHOTOGRAPH

An excellent small river, passing through Kinbuck and Dunblane, Perthshire on its way to join the Forth below Bridge of Allan. Well managed by the Allan Water Angling Improvement Association, it has good trout fly fishing and, in recent seasons, much improved salmon and sea trout fly fishing. Reliant on rain to bring migratory fish up from the Forth, the main salmon months are August, September and October, with many of the October fish coloured. Sea trout are usually in the upper river by May. Good fly water. Permits available from Stirling Angling Centre. See Allan Water Catch Returns  (Salmon and Sea Trout catch statistics). For information about the fishing and club membership, see:  Allan Water Angling Improvement Association.

River Annan                           PHOTOGRAPH

One of the best salmon and sea trout rivers in the south of Scotland, the river Annan is a spate river flowing southwards for 35 miles past Moffat, Johnstonebridge and Lockerbie before entering the Solway at Annan. A range of fishing is available, including estate, hotel and club waters. All the fishing information you need can be found on the excellent River Annan website.

River Avon

Avon Angling Club has approximately 14 miles of fishing on the River Avon, a major Clyde tributary passing Strathaven, Stonehouse and Larkhall on its way to join the Clyde at Hamilton. Excellent brown trout and grayling fly fishing with improving runs of salmon and sea trout. Annual membership of Avon A.C. available at reasonable rates. Enquiries should be directed to fishing tackle shops in the area.

Border Esk & Liddle           PHOTOGRAPH

The Border Esk is one of the best sea trout rivers in southern Scotland. Much of the available fishing on the Border Esk and Liddle is owned by the Buccleugh Estates and controlled by the Esk and Liddle Fisheries. Best known for its sea trout, the River Esk also has a decent run of salmon in the second half of the season. The Esk and Liddle Angling Club beats include some of the best fly fishing water on the middle Esk and the middle and lower Liddle. Daily, weekly and season permits are available from various local outlets. See the Border Esk and Liddle Angling Club website for more information.

For more information on sea trout fishing in Scotland, visit the following pages:

Sea Trout Fishing - North of Scotland

Sea Trout Fishing - Central Scotland

Sea Trout Fishing - South of Scotland

Sea Trout Fishing - Scottish Islands

sea trout - where to fish

River Carron                     PHOTOGRAPH

Flowing out of Carron Valley Reservoir, itself a good trout fishery, the River Carron enters the Forth at Grangemouth, passing through Denny, Larbert and Stenhousemuir on the way. Well managed by the Larbert and Stenhousemuir Angling Club, the Carron is a much improved small river, having recovered from the pollution of last century. The result is a good stock of wild brown trout and improving runs of salmon and sea trout. Permits available at £9 per day or £50 per season. Permits and fishing information from local tackle shops in the Falkirk/Carronshore/Stenhousemuir area.

River Clyde                      PHOTOGRAPH

The upper river has always been held in high regard as a trout and grayling water. Miles of perfect fly fishing water are controlled by a few fishing clubs, most prominent among them being the United Clyde Angling Protective Association. Permits are available to all at very reasonable rates. As a result of pollution control, since the early nineteen eighties salmon and sea trout have been returning to the lower river and the stocks of migratory fish are improving year by year. Salmon fishing permits are available from the Secretary, U.C.A.P.A., c/o Civic Square Post Office & Newsagent, 39 Civic Square, Motherwell, Lanarkshire ML1 1TP. Trout fishing permits may be purchased from most fishing tackle shops in the Clyde valley.

River Earn                        PHOTOGRAPH

Originating in Loch Earn, the River Earn flows eastwards to join the Tay estuary south of Perth. It is swollen by several tributaries on its way, the most notable being the Water of Ruchill, which is one of the few tributaries  unaffected by either Hydro-electric schemes or water extraction. An attractive medium sized river, the Earn offers trout, grayling, sea trout and salmon fishing throughout its length, some through fishing clubs like those in Crieff, Comrie, Auchterarder and Dunning. Access, however, is far from straightforward, with around 40 riparian owners throughout its length. The Earn has a late salmon run, mainly in September and October. Sea trout are worth pursuing from May onwards, although numbers have declined dramatically in recent seasons. Grayling fishing can be had throughout the river from November to January. Permits for the Crieff AC water are available from Adam Boyd of King Street, Crieff.  Visit the Crieff Angling Club website for more information. 

See  River Earn Monthly Catches (Salmon and Sea Trout catch records)

and  River Earn Yearly Catches    (Salmon and Sea Trout catch records)

River Endrick                   PHOTOGRAPH

The Endrick rises in the Fintry hills then flows for twenty miles westwards via Fintry, Balfron and Killearn and over the "Pots" of Gartness before entering Loch Lomond near Balmaha. At one time one of the premier sea trout fisheries in Scotland, the runs of migratory fish have declined dramatically since the mid eighties. Although some of the best beats are now unfortunately in private hands and inaccessible to the average fisher, much of the river can be fished by members of the Loch Lomond Angling Improvement Association, which is open to all ( subject to a maximum membership limit ) for the price of a yearly subscription. The Association is working hard to reverse the decline in stocks and applications for membership, which includes the fishing on Loch Lomond and the River Leven, should be directed to tackle shops in the Glasgow area.

River Findhorn                   PHOTOGRAPH

With its source high in the Monadhliath Mountains, 60 miles from the outflow at Findhorn on the Moray Firth, the River Findhorn is a most attractive salmon river, with a succession of deep pools and fast runs throughout its length. Up to 1000 salmon will be taken in a season with sea trout mainly in the lower beats.

Drainage schemes for forestry and farming mean that the river rises and falls more quickly than it once did. The gorge section of the river, 200 feet deep in places, continues for twenty miles below Dulsie Bridge, making for difficult fishing in places. There will often be salmon in the gorge from the opening day on 11th February but it might be May before good numbers of salmon run beyond the gorge. The early Findhorn fish of February and March can be large, some over twenty pounds. Grilse arrive by early July and can be taken throughout the river. On the uppermost beats, September tends to be the best month of the season. Rods on the best beats are in high demand and may be difficult to obtain. Salmon fishing, however, is available to the visiting angler at reasonable cost on the four miles of the Forres Angling Association water on the lower river. This is excellent association water. The best months for salmon on the association water are July to September, and June to August for sea trout.


River Kelvin

Clyde tributary flowing from Kelvinhead, near Kilsyth, to Glasgow. Good brown trout fishing and improving runs of salmon and sea trout. The Luggie Water and Glazert Water, which join the Kelvin at Kirkintilloch, are also worth a cast or two. Annual membership of the Kelvin Angling Association available at J. B. Angling, Kirkintilloch for £10. For further information telephone 0141 775 0083.

River Nith                       PHOTOGRAPH

The Nith is the largest of the Solway rivers. It is arguably the most productive and varied of the rivers and offers excellent sport for anglers of all abilities and experience. A variety of salmon and sea trout fishing is available to the visiting angler on day, weekly and season tickets on Estate beats such as Drumlanrig Castle, Barjarg, Blackwood and Dalswinton; Association beats like the Upper Nithsdale Angling Association at Sanquhar, the Mid Nithsdale Angling Association at Thornhill and Dumfries and Galloway Angling Association at Carnsalloch, near Dumfries; Hotel water such as Friars Carse; and Burgh Fishing at Dumfries.

River Spey                      PHOTOGRAPH

The River Spey is world famous for its salmon fishing. The best and most expensive fly fishing is offered through private let but there is also some excellent association and club water available to the visiting angler. The most prominent among the 14 angling clubs and associations on the river are the Strathspey Angling Improvement Association (based in Grantown) and the Abernethy Angling Association (based in Boat of Garten), controlling between them some 13 miles of prime fly fishing on the upper middle river. This includes some of the best summer sea trout fly fishing on the river. Weekly permits are available to anyone with temporary residence in the locality. Though permit prices have increased in recent years, these Associations still offer good value.

River Teith                      PHOTOGRAPH

The best salmon river in the Forth-Teith system and one of the best in Central Scotland. Originating in Loch Venachar, it is joined by the Leny just above Callander to form the Teith proper. From Callander, all the way to its confluence with the Forth just above Stirling, it flows through lovely country via some very sought-after beats providing excellent spring and autumn salmon fly fishing. The most accessible of the beats is the Callander Town water, administered by Stirling District Council. Permits are issued by James Bayne, Main Street, Callander. Downstream from here  other more exclusive and expensive beats include those belonging to the following estates: Gart Estate, Cambusmore Estate, Lanrick Castle, Moray Estates, Blair Drummond Estate and Ochtertyre Estate. The Teith also has a reasonably good run of sea trout.

For more information on salmon fishing in Scotland, visit the following pages:

Salmon Fishing - North of Scotland

Salmon Fishing - Central Scotland

Salmon Fishing - South of Scotland

Salmon Fishing - Scottish Islands

I would also recommend that anyone planning a fishing trip to Scotland should get a copy of Bruce Sandison's excellent book "Rivers & Lochs of Scotland - the angler's complete guide". See panel to the right. 


Scottish Lochs

Loch Trout Fly Fishing in Scotland

Loch Awe

Some 24 miles long and quite narrow, Loch Awe has always been famous for its wild brown trout, both large and small, and in 1996 the British Record was set with a wild brown trout weighing in at 25 lb 6oz. Large trout are regularly caught, mainly by trolling. With many bays varying in size and depth, each with its own particular attraction - shallow, sandy, rocky or reedy - Loch Awe has much to offer the trout angler, whether he prefers fly fishing from a drifting boat or the loch shore, although the imposition of the Protection Order has reduced public access to much of the shoreline. The loch also contains some very large pike. The fishing is controlled by the Loch Awe Improvement Association and permits are available throughout central Scotland and many local outlets.

Assynt Area                             PHOTOGRAPH

Wild brown trout fly fishing on hundreds of lochs in North West Scotland. In the north of the area the fishing is controlled by the North Assynt Crofters Group and in all other areas by the Assynt Angling Group. Weekly permits are available at around £25 from the Tourist Information office in Lochinver. For more information see the Assynt Angling Group website.  

Banton Loch                              PHOTOGRAPH

Feeder reservoir (official name Townhead reservoir) for the Forth and Clyde canal. Contains a good stock of "three to the pound" indigenous brown trout with pounders not uncommon. The loch is well managed by the Kilsyth Fish Protection Association, who supplement the indigenous stock each year with rainbow trout. Accessible to all at very reasonable rates of £4 per day ( under 16 - £2 ) or £10 per season ( under 16 - £6). For Information and permits contact J B Angling, Kirkintilloch, (telephone 0141 775 0083). Permits are also available from G Miller, Greengrocer, Main St., Kilsyth and at the Swan Inn, Banton.

Loch Earn                                 PHOTOGRAPH

Stretching for seven miles between Lochearnhead and St Fillans, Loch Earn has always had a reputation for producing good numbers of moderately sized fish, of say three to the pound. In more recent years, the loch has had a yearly stocking of larger trout, financed by the sale of both day and season permits, which are readily available at St Fillans post office and the many hotels in the vicinity.

Tongue and District

Wild brown trout fishing in the north of Scotland. Fly fishing on a variety of lochs managed by the Tongue and District Angling Club together with sea trout fishing on the Kyle of Tongue, Sutherland. All for £4 per day or £12 per week. Permits available from the Ben Loyal Hotel. Boats are available for hire by the day or week at reasonable rates ( Daily rate £14 per boat plus £6 for engine).

For more information on trout fishing in Scotland, visit the following pages:

Trout Fishing - North of Scotland

Trout Fishing - Central Scotland

Trout Fishing - South of Scotland

Trout Fishing - Scottish Islands

BOOK - Sea Trout Nights



Trout Loch Fishing in Northern Scotland

Forsinard Flyfishers Club

A new fly fishing club with membership open to all. Seasonal membership is very reasonably priced, which covers all bank fishing with no further cost, although fishing sessions must be booked on individual lochs online via the website. The club has 41 lochs available for members to bank fish and boats are available for members on 10 lochs with a minimal charge applying. Fishing is by fly and fly rod only.


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