Where to fish
Almost the entire river Luce is used exclusively by syndicate groups who let the fishing from Stair Estates and hence some parts of the system are not generally available to visiting anglers. However, there are three beats on the lower river that are available to rent from Stair Estates (see Beat Descriptions or Prices/Availability). This water is easily accessible and is excellent fly water. Day tickets are also available on the Cross Water from Stranraer and District Salmon Angling Association
Piltanton Burn access to fishing on the Piltanton Burn is through the Dunragit Angling Club (DAC). The club mainly fish off the tide in the lower part of the burn. The DAC is happy to provide local knowledge to visiting anglers.
The River Bladnoch can be thought of as three sections in terms of salmon angling. The lower river encompasses the beats between Kirwaugh (see Beat Descriptions) and Torhousekie, the middle river takes in Mochrum Park (see Beat Descriptions) to the Junction (including Clugston Estate fishing, see Beat Descriptions) and the upper river includes fishing around Barhoise Dam and the Tarf Water.
In low water conditions, fishing tends to be focused on the lower beats particularly when fish are hovering on the head of the tide, which extends to Kirwaugh. Due to the River Bladnoch's gentle gradient, there are good holding pools distributed throughout and the days following a spate can reveal salmon and grilse throughout the system.
Beats are well managed, with maintained banksides and there is generally little need to wade. Middle river beats fish well throughout the year, with springers, summer salmon and grilse regularly taken. As the year progresses, upper beats tend to become more consistently productive although even these beats can hold spring salmon from April onwards.
The Cree and Minnoch waters can be thought of as three sections in terms of salmon and grilse angling. The lower river takes in the tidal sections and Palnure Burn to the Ghyll Pool. The middle river extends from the Suspension Bridge to the Junction Pool where the river splits into the Water of Minnoch and High Cree. The Water of Minnoch alone is generally considered to be the upper river in terms of salmon angling, with the High Cree tending to be more popular for brown trout.
Salmon and grilse generally have free reign of the Cree system after July. As with all spate systems, a good fall of rain will be required to get fish truly moving throughout the system. There are, however, also a number of good holding pools in the Cree and low water does not necessarily mean that angling activity will cease! During dry spells, fishing tends to be concentrated on the lower river and especially the tidal pools. Spring tides can provide means for fish to move from the tidal sections into the water through Newton Stewart, which can make for productive angling in this area. In higher water conditions, fish will be found throughout the system.
Fishing on the Water of Fleet
The river is well known for its sea trout although salmon can also be caught when water conditions are right. The sea trout can be large in size, with fish over 10lb in weight having been caught in September. As the river is a spate river, it fishes best for salmon after a good fall of rain although sea trout fishing can be productive even on a smallish rise.
Salmon tend to enter the river quite late in comparison to the other Galloway rivers and may be large in size, with individuals of 18lb having been taken. It is not unusual for anglers fishing during the back end to catch several salmon in one day. Brown trout are present in many of the spawning burns, with larger trout available on the main stem of the river. Access is generally easy, with well maintained styles and obvious car parking facilities.
For salmon and sea trout fishing, it is mainly the lower river Dee below Glenlochar that is most productive. There have been a few reports of salmon having been caught in Loch Ken by anglers fishing for pike but this is not thought to be a usual scenario!
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.