Smithston is fished as three beats, each taking two rods on a rotational basis. The arrangement offers productive water to each rod irrespective of the beat being fished.
A conservation code is in place in order to protect and enhance stocks. In the 2005 season, 59% of the total salmon and grilse catch was returned to the river. The upper
and middle beats operate a recommended fly-only policy. Spinning is only permitted on these beats when the river is at or above 1'3" on the gauge or exceptionally, at the
discretion of the ghillie. Prawning and shrimping are strictly forbidden. All hen fish must be returned up to 31 May and during October. All sea trout have to be returned
throughout the season.
Categories for 2017
For the category 1 rivers there will be strict limits in place when it comes to keeping a fish, anglers should check with the beats in advance of fishing and abide by the code of conduct at all times.
For the River Ayr, there will also be strict limits in place and anglers should check with the beat in advance of fishing.
For the River Irvine it will be strict catch and release only.