As a Brown Trout river, the Nith does not raise any eyebrows although there are good catches of Trout to be made by the dedicated angler. The River Nith, of course, is better known for its excellent Salmon and Sea Trout fishing but its wild Brown Trout provide an interesting alternative and vary in size, usually between the ¾lb and 2lbs mark.
The upper reaches of the Nith, the Scaur Water and River Cairn are probably the best areas within the catchment for Trout but they can be found across all beats. The Cairn, in particular, challenges the keen Trout fisherman with its shady, wooded stretches and Brownies of 3lbs have been known there.
While Nith beats do not offer specific Trout tickets, catches can be made while fishing on a Salmon or Sea Trout ticket within the Brown Trout season which is, legally from 15th March to 6th October, but more often between 1st April to 30th September on the Nith.
For those interested in the Brown Trout, wet flies such as Greenwell's Glory, Snipe & Purple and March Brown are usually used in the spring with hook sizes 12-14. Towards the summer, dry flies like Blue Hen & Yellow, Dark Partridge & Yellow and again the Greenwell's Glory are preferred while later in the season, fish will gorge on smaller flies such as olives, iron blues and sedges. Tackle should be light.
Grayling fishing on the Nith
Grayling were first introduced to the Clyde from Derbyshire in 1855, and in subsequent years to other Scottish rivers including the Nith. The Nith has good stocks of free-rising grayling which run to around two pounds though larger specimens are occasionally taken. Being a back-end river, the best time to attempt catching these fine fish is over the winter months.
The species is now becoming widely valued as a sporting game fish and, while eating is enjoyed by some, a catch and release policy is preferred in order to conserve stocks. Barbless hooks are advised when fish are to be returned to the river.
How to catch them
Wet fly and deep nymph tactics are more suited to catching grayling as the year progresses. Float fishing comes into its own in the winter, when wee red worms, maggots and sweetcorn are popular baits. Salmon and Trout spawn during the winter so wading must be done with care (not permitted on some beats - see individual fisheries) so as not to disturb their redds.
Grayling fishing is only available on some of the River Nith Beats and can be booked here by searching for Wild trout and Grayling in the Find Fishing link: