What We Do

River StincharThe River Stinchar District Salmon Fishery Board manages the protection, enhancement and conservation of the Atlantic salmon and sea trout stocks in the River Stinchar. We also have a duty to ensure the general protection and enhancement of the fishery. See About Us

Salmon Fishing

14 pounderThe River Stinchar is one of the most productive salmon fishing rivers in Ayrshire and has some excellent fly fishing water. This site provides useful information for the fisherman, with descriptions of the beats, contact details and advice on where to stay. See Fishing Guide.

River Catchment

returningThe river is 54 kilometers long, and rises in Shallochhill, in the Carrick Forrest, then runs through the beautiful Stinchar valley and the villages of Barr, Pinwherry, Colmonell and into the sea at Ballantrae. It has two main tributaries, the Duisk and the Assel. See The River.

River Stinchar report, week ending 17th August 2014
The season so far on Stinchar has been a non-event really. It seems so long ago, Les Howarth got us off the mark with his fish on May 8th then again on the 20th.
Since then we had an incident of fish dying in the river. A few were noticed above Colmonell towards the end of July during the hot weather, and by Fri the 25th there were many fish dead. Hundreds of Parr, numerous Whittling, mature Sea-Trout and a few Salmon.
SEPA were informed along with the biologists from Ayrshire Rivers Trust and they were in attendance on Friday and Saturday to try to establish the cause. As it happened at the weekend, no water samples were taken until the Monday as they wouldn’t have been analysed until then and the samples from Friday would not be of any use by Monday. So much for their emergency procedures!
The findings were oxygen deprivation due to the hot weather. Water temperature was 23 degrees on the Friday when SEPA arrived. The report is on the Ayrshire Rivers Trust web site if anyone wishes to read it. I would have liked to have had the water sampled straight away as it rained all day on the Sunday no doubt cooling and introducing some fresh water to the sample to be analysed.
I also find it very strange that only the section from the middle of the Dalreoch beat down to the bottom of Knockdolian seemed to be the area affected. I would have thought it would have been the whole of the system, if indeed this was the problem. One thing is for sure, the river has lost valuable stock, both for the present and the future.
On to the fishing now, and currently things are very slow. We had two feet of water on Monday August 4th and a few fish were encountered, mostly coloured.
Robert Dalrymple landed a small Grilse struggling to be 4lbs at Ballantrae, Almont & Dalreoch had 3 between them and one small grilse at Hallowchapel.
Week beginning 11th we had good water all week and catches didn’t really improve greatly.
Ballantrae had 4, Balnowlart 2, Knockdolian 2, Bardrochat, Dalreoch and Almont 10 between the three beats, Hallowchapel 2, Minuntion 1 and Knockeen 1.
A poor return for the time of year. What’s gone wrong? Where do I start!
Firstly (and this is only my opinion). It is really only the first spell of water we have had and it has been heavily peat stained with lots of “froth” on the surface (like sweetheart stout) the fish never really want to play in these conditions. Many anglers on the lower river are convinced there are very few fish about. This would appear to be the case as I have fished most evenings and have still to see a splash never mind get a pull. However I think it is still early days to be declaring the disaster many of the prophets of doom have already succumbed to. There is no doubt in my mind we no longer get the runs of fish seen in the past and the last few years seem to have dipped considerably.
I recently attended one of the round table meetings organised by the Wild Fisheries Review chaired by Andrew Thin (retired chairman of SNH). I suggest you Google the above and read their monthly bulletins and see what they are proposing for the future of our sport. I also suggest you write to him with your concerns for the migratory fish or rather the lack of them before they start introducing their national levy (rod license) and also a local levy which no doubt can only push up the already expensive Salmon fishing. One thing which really concerns me is the abolition of the district salmon fishery boards. Love them or loath them, no one is going to convince me a “local” fishery organisation made up of a number of people who have probably never even heard of the river Stinchar is going to improve anything on the fishing front for our river.
Hope to be wearing my happy face by the next report


We now have installed a new marker on Colmonell bridge – one which can be read from the camera. I contacted Glyn Howells from Farsons during the winter with the view to zooming in to be able to see the gauge clearly without the imposing scale in the view.

Glyn informed me the only way to achieve this, would be to change the lens on the camera. This he kindly did mid April. So, ladies and gentlemen, have a look and please add a comment and let me know what you think.

The honour of landing the first fish of the season goes to Les Howarth. Les was spinning midway down the Duchat on Colmonell Club water
on the morning of May 8th when he hooked and landed a sea-liced fish around 6lbs. The fish was quickly returned and sent on its way. Well done Les!! It is a pity he did not think to collect a couple of scales to allow a scale reading. We can only assume it was a small 2SW fish as it is highly unlikely to be a grilse this early. It will be probably 2 months yet before we start to see them arriving.

A good number of rods were out on Sat 10th but after overnight rain the river crept up all day which is not ideal conditions.

It will be interesting to see what’s about if the water holds to the start of the week


Board Meeting

The next meeting of the River Stinchar DSFB will take place on the 14th of May, 2014 at Colmonell Hall, Colmonell on 14th May, 2014 at 5.30pm.

This meeting is open to the Public although only Board Members may contribute.


Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the River Stinchar DSFB will take place on the 14th of May 2014 at Colmonell Hall, Colmonell on 14th May, 2014 at 6.30pm.

This meeting is open to the Public.


Public Meeting

The Public Meeting of the River Stinchar DSFB will take place on the 14th of May, 2014 at Colmonell Hall, Colmonell on 14th May 2014 at 7.30pm.

The season ended on the 31st October on Stinchar, and like last season, for the majority of the beats, most were pleased to see the end. I found it quite amusing on the last day as I drove to work over Colmonell Bridge. No cars to be seen, all the desperadoes who are usually there at first light had had enough, even with the water sitting at 3ft and free of leaves.
It has been a poor season compared to recent years. Some thought last year was poor, but the total was in keeping with the ten year average. This one is going to be well down.
The lower beats really suffered, the normally prolific Ballantrae Bridge and Balnowlart beats had a terrible season as did Kirkholm. Knockdolian were 50 fish down on last year, although to be fair, the period they had their full complement of rods, conditions were not ideal. The rest of the season it was very lightly fished. That said they had some very big fish and some anglers had some good sport.
Andrew Cowan was on Dalni and Scaur on Monday 21st October and landed four fish all in double figures. He also lost a very strong fish after 20 minutes when it headed off downstream; it straightened his hook as he tried to turn it.
I fished the same beat on the last Saturday and landed a good double figure cock fish, then witnessed a run of fresh Grilse coming into Dalni and indeed managed to land one which was around 5lbs and was carrying sea lice.
The Club Water at Colmonell fared no better regarding numbers but did have one huge fish in the mid to high twenties caught just below the bridge by George Grimmison while fishing on a day ticket. This is a great bit of water which fishes very well in high water.
Upstream of the Bridge to the conflux of the Duisk and Stinchar was undoubtedly the place to be this season as Kirkhill, Bardrochat, Dalreoch, Almont and Hallowchapel all returned pretty much their usual average. However this is the part of the river which is certainly well fished with three of these beats operating syndicates.
On the Wee Stinchar catches were nothing like last season. Roger Pirrie had a great time on Laggansarroch last year but failed to land a single fish this season. His only action was on the last week when he lost a big fish in the Colonel’s Pool after 15 minutes.
Minuntion had a few, but finished with half of last season’s total.
Overall, this year’s season saw a decent run of big fish between May and July and indeed some of these early fish when caught were slightly coloured which suggests they may have entered the river as early as late March or April.
We then had a fairly good summer which resulted in angling coming to a standstill right up until the beginning of September. There was a reasonable number of fish caught during the next couple of weeks, but after that it was hard going apart from the odd day. It just seemed as if we were fishing over residents with very few fresh fish coming through.
Through the winter we will get a better idea of the number of fish in the system when we head out to catch up fish for the hatchery, weather permitting. We will also get the final count for this season’s returns, although I can never understand why it takes so long to produce the figures.
Thanks again to all the guys who kindly provide the information to enable me to provide these reports.
Hope you all winter well and have an enjoyable festive season.

Ross with his first from Mathews photo 129_0605_zps43d1c3dc.jpg

Ross McCulloch returning a fish on Knockdolian’s Matthews Wheel.

george grimmison fish mid 20s returned Colmonell AC water photo fish_zpse17ee246.jpg

George Grimmison with his big fish from Colmonell Club Water