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 (with catches regularly made in the opening week) 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.
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 8-10lb. To assist in
the maintenance of the Bladnoch springer population, catch and release is
strongly encouraged by the BDSFB throughout the system. Furthermore, to
encourage anglers fishing for spring salmon to return them, the Galloway
Fisheries Trust (in association with the BDSFB and Uniq Prepared Foods) will
provide a side of smoked salmon to every angler who returns a salmon before
the 1st of June and provides a scale sample. For further details of this
scheme, please visit www.gallowayfisheriestrust.org.
A spring salmon caught from the Forty Footer Pool on the main Bladnoch.
The Bladnoch has a good run of summer salmon which typically reach up to
10lb. Hard fighting and deep bodied, these fish have their own unique
charm. The main fishing during the summer months tends to be for grilse
which are present from June onwards but plentiful during July and August,
given suitable water conditions. It is in the summer that the Tarff Water comes into its own as the grilse start to move further into the system and
fishing the Tarff 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.
A grilse being landed on the Mochrum Park beat.
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 BDSFB rules state that no hen fish are to be killed during October and
all coloured hen fish caught in October should be donated to the Galloway
Fisheries Trust for use as broodstock in the hatchery or released. The salmon season
ends on the 31st of October.