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Angus boasts a variety of trout fisheries from remote hill lochs with stocks of native brown trout in spectacular scenery to well managed rainbow trout fisheries.

The hill lochs are in Glen Clova with information available from local hotels and tackle shops. An interesting loch is Loch Lee at the top of Glen Esk. Boats can be hired from Dalhousie Estates and not only are there stocks of native brown trout but also charr.

There is a number of well-managed fisheries featuring stocked brown and rainbow trout. These cater for the young and experienced angler alike, providing professional instruction and tackle hire.

Some of the tributaries of the main rivers provide trout fishing such as the River Isla, Kerbet Water and Lunan.

Fishing for trout Finavon castle.

The season

The brown trout fishing season is from 15th March to 6th October, although many proprietors and associations don't start until 1st April. Anglers should check out the arrangements for the particular sections of water they wish to fish.

Trout anglers should also be aware that this is a salmon river. The salmon season runs from 11th February to 31st October.

When to fish for trout

As a keen river fly fisher you will have no difficulty in starting on the very first day and the best quality fishing could be said to extend from the beginning of the season through to the end of June when there can often be a rather dramatic falling away of activity. In the first two months you should expect to catch the very best of trout, fish around 2-2.5lbs in excellent condition, gleaming silver in the early sunshine.

A good day could produce a mixed bag of fish, not uncommon at this time of year. Starting at 10am, fish downstream in a cold westerly and by midday, when the temperature has risen a degree or so, keep an eye out for the occasional rise. This is your chance to fish dry upstream or wet flies up and across, increasing your chances of success. These are the moments all anglers cherish. Casting to a steadily feeding brown trout brings out the hunter in us all. Early in the season any rise often stops about 4pm with most activity between noon and 3pm. Large hatches of March brown and dark olives are not so frequent as they may have been in former years, nevertheless there are still reasonable hatches on the right day.

As the season progresses, fishing time can extend from 9am until 6pm and into the evening from June onwards. These upper areas are devoid of fish until late May when occasional warmer spate water brings the better fish upstream. The upper reaches have a character more reminiscent of a good Highland burn with plenty of small fish but don't be surprised to come across the occasional 1.5lb trout. This is primarily dry fly country because the fish are more easily spooked.

Late June to August can be rather dour on the majority of the river, although keen anglers can try their luck in the evening. September and October can see a revival of activity spurred on by more frequent spates and ,migrating trout fattening up before the close season. Try daddy longlegs dry or similar imitations to attract the bigger fish.


Other Fishing

Sea fishing

Angus offers a variety of sea angling opportunities to satisfy the aspirations of the most demanding anglers. The scenery is spectacular and matched by the chance of landing a variety of species together with huge cod. The main season for cod is the winter and the area fishes best in strong on shore winds or the immediate aftermath of a storm. This brings large cod close inshore to feed during the winter months.

Under these conditions, good catches are possible from Arbroath Harbour wall. For the more adventurous angler, the rock marks from Arbroath north to Montrose can offer spectacular catches. Try low water marks like Mary Anne, the Stappers and the Deil's Heid then switch to the likes of the Garret and Dickmonts. High water marks at Windyhills are good for cod in double figures at nights.

Victoria Park at Arbroath offers extensive kelp beds and tremendous summer cod sport during low water. Big conger are also possible but the resident crab population often devours baits before the eels get a chance!

Auchmithie beach is a popular location with cod well into double figures regularly caught during high water. Rocks north of Auchmithie and marks at Rumness and Wrasse bay should offer excellent daylight fishing for cod. Rumness is best over low tide while Wrasse bay fishes well throughout the flood.



Further north, Ethie Haven is fishable in all winds, and long casting can result in large cod. Low water here favours codling. The Lion rock at the north end of Lunan bay is ideal for codling and dabs from the mixed ground. Boddin point brick kilns is a shallow water mark offering codling up to 6 pounds during daylight. Elephant Rock, Black Rock, the Fishtown gulley and the Dyke marks at Usan offer real chances of big cod over 20 pounds.

For juvenile sea anglers, the inner harbour is safe together with Arbroath esplanade. The latter, in the vicinity of Balis, is probably the most famous winter cod mark in the Arbroath area. Further south is the Elliot beach. These provide an opportunity to catch a variety of species such as coalfish, flounder sea bass and recently turbot.

It should be noted that many of the rocky marks are difficult to access with step paths at best. Particular care should be taken when parking on narrow country roads such that access for agricultural vehicles and local people are not disrupted. There have been many examples of inconsiderate sea anglers destroying verges and blocking access. Litter should always be taken back and disposed of properly.

In the summer, Arbroath boat charters approach their seasonal best with large numbers of cod to double figure. Wrasse, coalfish, ling and Pollack are likely but are usually reported as incidentals. Lures carrying lug and mussel are best with orange a popular colour.

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