The salmon fishing season begins on 11th February, making the Bladnoch the earliest opening of the Solway rivers. The salmon season closes on 31st October. Salmon are present from the start of the season, but the river fishes best after some rain. Trout fishing begins on 15th March and ends on 6th October. As elsewhere in Scotland, there is no Sunday fishing for salmon or sea trout but there is currently no close season for coarse fish.
In 2016 the Scottish Government introduced legislation which gave each river a conservation category. For the 2018 season, the River Bladnoch has been designated a category 3 river which requires catch and release of all salmon caught on the Bladnock and Tarf Water.
Spring salmon are taken each year from the start of the season on the lower to mid beats and are truly stunning looking fish! The exhilaration that comes from landing one of these amazing fish has to be experienced to be believed. Most springers are caught on spinners, although fly fishing is also popular. Springers tend to be in the region of 6-8lbs (all salmon across Scotland must be released up to the 1st April).
The Bladnoch has a good run of summer salmon which typically reach up to 15lb and are caught from May onwards. Hard fighting and deep bodied, these fish have their own unique charm. Grilse are present from June onwards but plentiful during July and August, given suitable water conditions. It is in the summer that the Tarf Water comes into its own as the grilse start to move further into the system and fishing the Tarf a few days after a spate can be very successful. Bars of silver tend to be the norm until September when coloured fish start to creep in to the catches.
Towards the back end as grilse start to accumulate in the river, fishing enters a different gear. This is the most productive time for many of the beats on the river, with few anglers leaving the bank disappointed. Fresh run fish are still possible, with many being in the 7-8lb range, but coloured fish do become more common in the catches at this time of year. The salmon season ends on the 31st of October.