The River

The Stinchar has its headwaters in the Carrick Forest to the north of the Galloway Forest Park, and only one kilometre from the source of the river Girvan. It has a main drainage course of 54 kilometres and from its source initially flows north before turning south westward through Barr, Pinwherry and Colmonell to enter the sea at Ballantrae. The river has a catchment area of 253 square kilometres, which includes the main tributaries of the Muck Water, the River Duisk, the Water of Tig and the Assel.

The Stinchar is one of the most productive of the Ayrshire salmon rivers and it has some excellent fly water. The Stinchar is a typical west coast spate river – fishing is at its best in a falling water immediately after a summer or autumn spate.

Fishing Season

Salmon & sea trout season:
25th February to 31st October


Brown trout season:
15th March to 6th October

Aims of the Board

The general duties of the Board as set out in the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003 are to implement measures to achieve the undernoted aims:-

  • Protecting and improving the fisheries within its district
  • Increasing salmon
  • Running a restocking programme in selected areas where low numbers of parr and salmon are identified.
  • Encouraging responsible angling

The River Stinchar DSFB works to raise the profile of the economic, cultural and environmental importance of the River Stinchar to the local area, both among residents and visiting anglers.

The Board represents the interests of the River Stinchar at regional and national forums.

Board Members

Johnny Warrender (Chairman)
Richard Wellesley
Robert Dalrymple
Gordon Hyslop
Roger Pirrie
Matthew Aspinall


Stuart Brabbs (Ayrshire Rivers Trust) 01292-737300
Austin M. Thomson (Clerk)

River Bailiffs and River Watchers

All fishing activities are policed by a network of qualified Bailiffs and River Watchers.
Tom Lothian, Head Bailiff – 07366-505009
Douglas Faulds, Bailiff – 01465-861006
Matthew Aspinall, River Watcher – 07948-420905
Matt Cross, River Watcher – 01465-861006

River category

The Scottish Government has designated the River Stinchar as ‘Category 1’ which is the top category amongst salmon rivers.

Code of Practice – 2019

Riparian owners and owners of farmland that border the main stem of the river and its tributaries are expected to assist the Board in its statutory obligations. Bailiffs and water watchers will ensure that the under-noted, recommended Code of Practice is followed.

  1. No salmon to be killed before 1st July.
  2. No salmon over 10lbs, or 30 inches in length to be killed.
  3. A maximum of 2 salmon or 2 grilse to be killed on the entire river by any one angler throughout the season.
  4. All hen fish should be returned throughout the season.
  5. All salmon and grilse should be released in October.
  6. All sea trout and whitling must be released throughout the season.
  7. No worm fishing in October unless barbless or circle hooks are used.
  8. No multiple (treble hook x 2) lures to be used when spinning.
  9. Where appropriate, when unhooking a fish, it should not be removed from the water.
  10. To ensure accurate end of season rod returns, all salmon or grilse kept or released must be reported to fishery owners, as soon as possible.
  11. All kept and returned fish and ‘nil’ catches must be included in annual catch returns.

The Code of Practice is reviewed annually.

Fishing News and Catches

For the latest catches, news and views, visit:
Stinchar Fishing Facebook page

For up to date river levels at Colmonell on the River Stinchar visit:
Farson Digital Watercams

The Fishings

Upper Stinchar

Good fishing can be obtained on the Upper Stinchar for 8 miles above the village of Barr and beyond. Much of it is owned and managed by the local farmers, so if you are seeking fishing permits, then please ask the local landowner.

Wee Stinchar

This stretch of river extends downstream from the village of Barr to the confluence of the Duisk and the Stinchar at Pinwherry.


Strictly fly only on 3 beats. Syndicated fishing with occasional day rods.
Douglas Faulds
Benan Farm
South Ayrshire
KA26 0TG
01465 841616


500 yards of river at Pinwherry. Day tickets are available. All legal lures permitted. £35 per rod per day. Phone for current river conditions.
Tom Lothian
1 Main Street
South Ayrshire
KA26 0NA
01465 831277

Main river


See Dalreoch Sporting Estate


See Dalreoch Sporting Estate


See Dalreoch Sporting Estate


A short stretch of single bank fishing in Colmonell. Season tickets and occasional day tickets available at £40 per rod per day including lunch. Disabled access.
Gilbert Browne


About 1.5 miles upstream from Ballantrae lies Kirkholm Farm. Day tickets are available. All legal lures permitted. £15 to £30 per rod per day.
Please note, no bookings are being taken for the 2020 season because of the Covid19 pandemic.
William Marshall
Kirkholm Farm
South Ayrshire
KA26 0LH
01465 831520


The Knockdolian Estate water is double bank fishing for salmon and sea trout.  Strictly fly only
Prices from £35-£70 per rod per day. 
Knockdolian Estate
South Ayrshire
KA26 0LB
01465 881237


Both banks at the mouth of the River Stinchar at Ballantrae. This stretch includes the tidal pools and extends from the estuary upstream for approximately 1 mile. Strictly fly only. Usually let by the week only, with a modernised, comfortably furnished fishing lodge.
Robert Dalrymple
South Ayrshire
KA26 0LW
01465 831418

Pinbraid Trout Fishery – A Troutmaster Water

The fishery is temporarily closed
A 9 acre loch full of good fighting rainbow trout up to around 20lb and some good brown trout.
On site there is a great little cafe serving hot and cold drinks and food, toilets.
Boat and rod hire is available and fishing lessons can also be arranged.
Follow the hill road from Lendalfoot to Colmonell, or from Colmonell turn up the road past Garnaburn Sawmill.
Post code: KA26 0RX