The Ayrshire rivers are generally small to medium in size and it is only in the lower River Ayr where a double handed salmon would be considered essential. However many local anglers use smaller double handed rods, in the 12 to 14 foot range, as they do provide better water coverage and control of the fly. Lines to suit, although typically 7-10 weight, are all that are needed with a floating line and a range of polytips to control depth. In high water in the back-end a sinking line will help to get the fly down to the taking depth.
During the summer and in low water single handed rods provide excellent sport and can allow more delicate and accurate presentation.
Regarding flies everyone has their favourites but if there the one colour that is particularly associated with salmon fishing in Ayrshire it is red. Flies such as the Red Ally's Shrimp or a favourite on the Stinchar, the Red Dart, are very popular. There is a number of local patterns and advice should be sought from your beat or in local fishing tackle shops. As the fishing is mainly in the summer and autumn flies tied on small double hooks (8 - 14's) are popular with small 3/4" - 1 1/4 inch tubes used in higher water conditions.
Medium weight spinning rods in the 8-10' range will be adequate to cover the Ayrshire rivers. A range of lures are used locally but the Rapala in its many guises is currently the most fashionable and productive. Gold fluorescent red, Firetiger and black/silver patterned lures in floating or countdown versions and the most popular. However on heavily fished water a change of lure can be effective with Flying C's, Tobies and Mepps still popular and effective.
There are a number of tackle shops in Ayrshire, many of which will be able to supply you with all of the tackle you require. They may also hire a limited selection of items, although it's always best to check your requirements in advance of your visit.
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