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) 01290-518130
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 – 01465-841616
Matthew Aspinall, River Watcher – 07948-420905
Matt Cross, River Watcher – 01465-861006

River category

The Scottish Government has designated the Stinchar as a ‘Category 2’ river for 2022. This means that further management action is necessary to reduce exploitation of salmon in our river. Catch and release is strongly recommended.

Code of Practice – 2022

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. All hen fish should be returned throughout the season.
  3. No salmon over 10lbs, or 30 inches in length to be killed.
  4. All salmon and grilse should be released in October.
  5. A maximum of 1 salmon or 1 grilse (subject to provisions 2-4 above) to be killed by any one angler on any one beat for the entire season.
  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. To avoid deep or damaging hooking and injury to fish:
    a) Only one treble hook to be used on Rapala-type spinning lures
    b) Single hooks only to be used on “flying C” lures.
  9. Where appropriate, when unhooking a fish, it should not be removed from the water.

Rod returns
Owners of fishing are required by law to submit accurate annual rod returns. To assist them with this, their anglers must provide the owner with up to date details of monthly catches, fish released, fish retained and daily angling effort.
Bailiffs and water watchers will do everything reasonably practicable to ensure that this Code of Practice is followed.
The Code of Practice is reviewed annually.

Thank you for your co-operation with this important matter

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

Main river

The under-noted beats are located downstream from Pinwherry to the village of Colmonell

  • Almont
  • Dalreoch
  • Bardrochat
  • Kirkhill

For full details and availability please see

Colmonell Angling Club

Day tickets are available on the Colmonell Angling Club stretch of the river for friends of members only.
Contact Gordon Hyslop, Club Treasurer on 07767-332800


About 1.5 miles upstream from Ballantrae lies Kirkholm Farm. Day tickets are available. All legal lures permitted. £40 per rod per day.
William Marshall
Kirkholm Farm
South Ayrshire
KA26 0LH
01465 831737


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 from the estuary upstream. It is sometimes let by the week only with a well-furnished fishing lodge right on the river for two or four rods. This must be pre-booked well in advance. Day tickets are not available on this beat.
Robert Dalrymple
South Ayrshire
KA26 0LW
01465 831418

NEWS! – Pinbraid Trout Fishery near Colmonell is opening on Saturday 2nd April 2022

Season tickets cost £200. For further information, please contact
Pinbraid is a 9 acre loch located high up in the Ayrshire Hills above Colmonell and Girvan. Surrounded by the rolling Ayrshire Hills and a wealth of insect life, this is a venue that should not be missed. Stocked with quality, hard fighting, fully finned Rainbows and Brownies from 2lb well into double figures. Our policy is to regularly stock the loch. Ample parking and toilet facilities all go to enhance the venue. The abundance of insect life in the water as well as that coming off the surrounding hill makes this an excellent top of the water venue during the warmer months.
Access to Pinbraid Fishery is via the hill road from the A77 at Lendalfoot, or from the B734 to Colmonell. Turn up the road, past Garnaburn Sawmill. Postcode KA26 0RX.