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.

I received a report of an 11lb fish from the Little Pinmore stretch up on the wee Stinchar. It was caught just below the railway viaduct on the 3rd June by Angus McTaggart.
Things are very slow here on the fishing front due to a lack of water. Last Sunday (28th June) we had a localised thunder plump which brought down a very dirty rise of a couple of feet. It cleared overnight but also disappeared as quickly as it arrived. A few rods were out first thing Monday morning and Kirkhill had their first of the season with a fish in the region of 15lbs to Owen Samson.
Up on Dalreoch, Gordon MacDermid of the Ayrshire Rivers Trust got them off the mark with a fish around 9lbs from the Craig. Gordon also lost another fish later in the day in Hare’s Took, but by the afternoon the water had gone.
I was chatting to one of the lobster fishermen out from Ballantrae a few days ago and he tells me they are starting to see a number of fish in the bays along the coast. Hopefully we will get a big spate soon and let them into the river.
Given water, sport can be fantastic during July and August, particularly fishing into the late evening.

On a more worrying note, in early June, 16,000 farmed salmon, each of around 10lbs (4.5kg) in weight escaped from a Marine Harvest sea cage into the Kilbrannan Sound between Arran and the Mull of Kintyre. These fish may end up in Ayrshire’s rivers and the last thing we need is them breeding with our wild salmon.
Anyone catching an escaped fish, please kill it and retain a small amount of flesh and a few scales for genetic analysis. The farmed fish can be identified by evidence of damaged pectoral fins, dorsal fins and tail. These fish are also a slightly different shape to typical wild salmon. Another tell-tale sign is an increased number of scales shed on handling. In such a situation, please let the owner of the beat know and contact the Ayrshire River Trust who will arrange to collect the sample. They can be contacted by calling 01292 737300 or emailing info@ayrshireriverstrust.org.


The first salmon of the season was caught on the 29th May from the Scaur at Knockdolian by myself (Gordon Hyslop) It was late evening just after 9pm, the fish took a Stinchar Flamethrower Tube, it was around 11lbs, a hen fish, no lice but spanking fresh and after a quick photo swam away strongly. I have been out periodically throughout the month and have been encouraged by seeing a few fish. Most have been sea-trout and I landed and released a thumper close on 4lbs on the evening of the 16th. Two salmon have also been reported hooked and lost up on Dalreoch. It is still early days here on Stinchar but if we get the water, I get the feeling we will be in for some decent sport.

Salmon from the Scaur

Salmon from the Scaur

Sea Trout

Sea Trout

The Scottish Government has banned the killing of Salmon by rod and line and nets before April 1st. The law comes into force on Jan 9th 2015.
If a fish is killed accidentally it MUST BE RETURNED TO THE RIVER.
Many district boards are strongly recommending that this law should be extended to July 1st.
Ian Gordon has started a petition to try to encourage ministers to move the ban to July to try to protect the entire spring run.
If you wish to sign the petition, this is the link


At Ballantrae Bridge Robert Redhead’s party caught 9 salmon and four sea trout during the week beginning 6th October including an 18lb cock fish from the Lower Bridge Pool caught by Robert Stock. Following week, water level dropped to low summer height and the Bond party caught 1 grilse and 1 sea trout with Saturday unfishable.
Balnowlart had three for Kenny Gibson, Two for Jim Gruggan best 12lb, One for Hugh Mclatchie and I managed brace myself from the Tig pool just as the light went on the W Gunn, best 8lb
Knockdolian had a good week, landing 36. Swede Kent Hankasson and his 2 friends caught 16 between them. On Sat. 11th he caught an 18lb fish from McCallums. I had two from Dalni and Scaur. John Hall had four from Twins and Bank Wheel. Brian Wilson and Tony Coughlin had three from Twins and Bank Wheel
A. Cowan caught a 7lb on the 9th from McCallums and a 9lb and 7lb from Bank Wheel on the 10th.

Colmonell Club water had a few, Les Howarth had 5 for the week, Craig Hastings had one and Garry Burden also had one.

Kirkhill has had a number of fish, again as in the other beats most have been small and coloured and have been returned. The best fish was one of 11lbs

Dalreoch the Carney Party landed 3 fish, 2 for Dave Carney biggest from the Smiddy wheel at 8lb and Trevor Simpson had a 5lb fish from the Craig. On Almont Johnny Gaff landed 4 fish from the hut pool. Alan Robb also had 2 fish biggest 13lb from the flats. On Wednesday on Dalreoch the Carneys had 5 fish biggest by Dave Carney a 15lb fish from the Hairs took. On Almont Andrew Mc IIwraith had a 6lb fish from the flats. On Bardrochat John Paton had a 6lb fish from the corner pool. On Thursday the carneys had 3 fish on Dalreoch biggest landed by D Mitchell a 17lber from the Hairs Took. At Almont Alan Scott had a 6lb fish from the flats and Jim Hopkins also had 2 fish from the flats, on Friday the carneys had 2 fish D Mitchell with the biggest a 12lb fish from the Battery. On Almont Ian Kemp had 2 fish both around 6lb mark from the flats On Saturday the Carneys had 2 fish biggest a 20lber landed by Alan Box from the Craig. On Almont Jonny Gaff had a fish from the lairds run around 6lb.

On Hallowchapel, Kenny Gibson and Andy Ewing had bought the day at the Ayrshire River Trust auction and managed to land a brace apiece, all in the 5 – 7lb range, one of which was sparkling fresh. The Cree party had 6 on the Thursday and Andrew Cameron and his son had one each on Friday.

Up on the Wee Stinchar, Paul Parker and Douglas Faulds both had fish from Minuntion.

We have 10 days of this season remaining as I write, and a lot of rain is forecast for the week so hopefully if the leaves don’t have the water like pea soup we might get a few in the book yet.

The dry spell finally ended with torrential rain on Friday October 3rd. On the Saturday morning the river was just below 5ft on the gauge on Colmonell Bridge. Farther heavy showers all morning kept it running high and dirty and also full of leaves rendering it unfishable all day.
Sunday, the water had fined down and cleared and looked very good for the coming week.
Monday morning arrived, as did a storm with heavy rain and gales. The river rising to 10ft on the gauge at the bridge. So it was Tuesday morning before anglers finally got to wet a line.
At the end of the day it became clear there was no great run of fish heading upstream. It had been hoped there would be a large number gathered up in the sea, waiting for a lift in water but it looks as if this was not the case.
That said, a reasonable number were encountered throughout the remainder of the week. The downside is most were small and coloured. We did have a few double figured fish and the occasional fresh one.
I will have a more detailed report next week as to who caught what and where. Meantime I can confirm Knockdolian landed 26 fish for the week, Dalreoch had 28 including a 20lb fish on Sat.
Les Howarth had 5 from the Colmonell AC water, Johnny Gaff 4 from Almont, John Hall 4 from Knockdolian and I had 4, Two from Knockdolian and two from Balnowlart.
As I say a more detailed report to follow when I receive individual beat reports.