The season for salmon start on the 15th March and ends on the 30th November. Trout fishing begins on the 15th March and ends on 6th October. As elsewhere in Scotland, there is no Sunday fishing for salmon or sea trout and there is currently no close season for coarse fish.
When to fish
Although the Urr cannot be said to have a consistent or established spring run of fish, given favourable conditions, there is always a chance of a fish (both salmon and sea trout) in the early part of the season, particularly on the lower beats.
Sea trout numbers, as elsewhere, have been somewhat fickle in recent years, but it is reasonable to expect to find them making their way up the river from late April onwards. Depending on water conditions, the summer runs of grilse and salmon may be encountered from May onwards, initially in small numbers, but in a wet year each tide is likely to bring fresh fish into the river. Late summer into autumn sees the main runs of fish appearing, often in surprising numbers for a small river. Late autumn, particularly November, when the Urr is one of only four Scottish rivers still open, can produce some very heavy fish (several in excess of 25lbs in 2006) with the prized quarry being one of the fabled "Greybacks", which run into the Solway into November (and beyond!).
Willie Watson returning a 15 lb fish to Castle Pool on the Dalbeattie Angling Association water of the River Urr summer 2011
Where to fish
The angling on the Urr is controlled by two angling associations - Castle Douglas Angling Association (CDAA) and Dalbeattie Angling Association (DAA). The 5 mile CDAA stretch of the Urr tends to be most promising following some rain, which allows fish to access the middle part of the river. There is a number of named pools each with its own character and it is this variety that makes fishing this area particularly enjoyable.
The DAA stretch encompasses the lower part of the river, with the lower Craignair beat being tidal at its bottom end. There are nine named pools on this section. On a higher tide, this beat can fish well as the fish move up with the tide. The DAA also has Firthead slightly further upstream. A pleasant mixture of pools, glides and runs, it provides ideal fly water. Access to this beat is very easy, with a farm access road running its length.