Ayrshire is renowned for its beaches, beautiful coastline, golf courses and of course Rabbie Burns. It is also blessed with six principal salmon rivers, each of which has its own character. There are only 37 miles between the mouth of the most southerly river, the Stinchar, and the Irvine and Garnock estuary in North Ayrshire. There can be few areas in Scotland with as wide a range of productive salmon rivers in such close proximity.
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A Typical Stinchar fish caught in 2014
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The queit and pretty river Girvan
The River Doon and Smithstons beat.
he season on the Doon opens on February 11th and closes on 31st October. The first salmon are expected from the fishery in June but the stock builds up in July and successive summer runs bring fresh fish to the beat in increasing numbers to the end of the season. September and October are normally the prime months. However in recent years August has provided excellent sport. The catch of 54 salmon and grilse in 2014 was the best ever recorded August figure for the fishery
The famous river Stinchar
The river valley itself is relatively unspoilt and is one of the most picturesque in the south of Scotland with a succession of fine views. The Stinchar is well known for its spate like nature as the hills surrounding the river are steep. In the past the mouth of the river tended to shift position on a regular basis, although it is much more stable nowadays. The Salmon Fishery Inspector noted this phenomenon in 1887 with the comment that "the Stinchar was remarkable for its shifting mouth". The same report also noted that the Stinchar was also famed for "yielding larger salmon than any river of its size in Scotland".
The county offers some great places to visit. Calzean castle being a favourite, also Golf at Turnbury and Ailsa Craig.