The River Luce is the region's most westerly river system. With its sweeping, clearly defined pools lined with broadleaved trees, it is one of the most picturesque of the Solway rivers and is regarded as being pristine in terms of its salmon and sea trout fishing. Like the other Galloway rivers, the Luce is a spate river that fishes best during and after a good fall of rain.
The Luce is fed from two Waters which originate in the Ayrshire moors - the Main Water of Luce and the Cross Water of Luce. The two Waters meet at the village of New Luce, 6 miles north of the sea. From here, the river gently flows through farmland and broadleaved woodland before entering the sea at Luce Bay.
Management of the river
The river is managed by the River Luce District Salmon Fishery Board (LDSFB) with scientific advice provided by the Galloway Fisheries Trust (GFT). The GFT works on the Solway rivers situated on the Scottish side of the Firth - the Border Esk, Annan, Urr, Kirkcudbrightshire Dee, Fleet, Cree, Bladnoch and Luce. The Luce was one of the four founding rivers of the GFT and has been a member since 1989. The GFT's aim is to restore and maintain aquatic biodiversity in Galloway by means of practical, responsible and sustainable approaches to land, water and fishery management, based on sound science, for the benefit of the community as a whole. There is an ongoing programme of habitat enhancement works and stocking with salmon on the river. For further information on the Galloway Fisheries Trust, please click here.
The Lower Luce, seen through Glenluce Viaduct
Fishing on the Luce
Salmon have always been part of the Luce's history. Historically a sweep netting station was present at Stairhaven. In days gone by there was more of maritime flavour to the area with a harbour for small vessels being present on the outskirts of Glenluce.
The Luce is owned and managed mostly by Stair Estate. The river is renowned for its good numbers of salmon and sea trout which, at the right times of year are in abundance. Until recently the river has been fished entirely by syndicate members but now the estate is offering day permits on some of the best fly water. please note that these lower river beats are strictly fly only.
The river is well managed, with carefully maintained banksides and bridges providing double bank access. Car parking facilities are provided, with stiles over fences for easy access.
Also of note within the same geographical area is the Piltanton Burn, famed for its sea trout. The burn is not part of the Luce catchment but also enters the sea at Luce Bay, only a short distance from the Luce. Although its banksides are covered with lush vegetation, the local angling club works hard to ensure that anglers are able to fish throughout the summer. For a small watercourse, the burn supports a surprising number of sea trout every year, some of considerable size.