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 firstname.lastname@example.org.