River South Esk, Angus fishing for trout and salmon

 
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Trout and salmon fishing in Scotland

Ally lands a sea trout on KAC beat

River South Esk

This river system rises high in the Grampian Mountains and drains some two hundred and forty five square miles of Angus, from the wilderness areas of Glen Doll to its final destination, the North Sea at Montrose via Montrose Basin. Salmon are present in the lowest reaches of the river when the season opens. The middle reaches usually enjoy their first sport around the middle of March and the second week of April will see the arrival of fresh springers in Glen Clova. May is the best month for spring salmon fishing. Given water, grilse can be expected on summer floods from June onwards and later in the season fresh fish continue to arrive in the lower beats until the close. South Esk is best known for its runs of sea trout. Some years fair numbers of sea trout lie into its pools and provide night fly fishing. Kirriemuir Angling Club offer fishing on several miles of the most beautiful parts of the upper river in Glen Clova.

Kirriemuir Angling Club (KAC) salmon and sea trout fishing in Glen Clova

Kirriemuir AC water on River Sout Esk
The Mill Pool on the Kirriemuir AC beat of the South Esk

An extensive beat that is virtually all double bank fishing about 5 miles in length from Crossbog Farm at the bottom of Glen Clova to Braeminzion Farm a mile or so above the Gella Bridge. The portion of river through the top of Glen Clova is mainly slow and meandering, punctuated by just a few faster pools. In the slower stretches the salmon find sanctuary in deep corners where in low water a tiny plastic tube fly may just temp them to react. The lower part of the beat from Gella Bridge downstream is mainly fast broken water with a number of well defined holding pools that offer interesting fishing for salmon and sea trout. Fishing on the Club's water is by fly only throughout the season and at all water heights. Recommended flies, Ally's Shrimp, Cascade, Dunkeld, Stoats Tail, Silver Stoats Tail and a selection of small plastic tube flies. In the spring larger tubes such as Willie Gunn, Black & Yellow and Black & Orange are favourites. Barbless single or double hooks must be used (trebles are not allowed).

The conservation rules are that no salmon or sea trout should be killed until 1st May. After that date anglers are expected to release their first sea trout each day but they may if necessary retain their second one i.e. they may if necessary retain sea trout 2, 4, 6 etc. thereafter.

Kirriemuir Angling Club (KAC) was founded in 1919 and has fished the River South Esk in Glen Clova for since then. The water is leased from Airlie Estates and fishing is permitted from both banks for Salmon, Grilse and Sea Trout from 16 February to 31 October. No fishing is permitted on a Sunday.

During the 2012 season 88 salmon/grilse were caught and 114 sea trout, combined total 202. These numbers are very respectable compared to many more prestigious and considerably more expensive beats on the South and North Esks. Some regulars say that the 2012 sea trout total would have been much higher but for the succession of spates that moved the trout upstream and out of the main holding areas. One of the most beautiful and interesting beats on the river.

Elly Poll on KAC water
October on the Elly Pool, Kirriemuir AC beat of the River South Esk

The member subscription fees for 2014 season are as follows;

  • Adult members £150
  • OAP £130 (to qualify you must been a member for 10 years or over)
  • Students £55
  • Juniors £10

The Club offers members of the public the opportunity to purchase Day Permits, Weekly Permits or Full Membership.

Day permits (£20) and weekly permits (£100) are now available from:
Thistle Newsagent,
48 High St,
Kirriemuir, tel. 01575 572530.

To join KAC or obtain visitors permits contact the secretary of Kirriemuir Angling Club,
Ross D. Watson, 2 Angusdale, Main Rd, Westmuir, Kirriemuir, DD8 5LP. Phone 01575 574597 or  email. ross.watson1@btinternet.com

Fishing at Clova Hotel

Clova Hotel trout, salmon and sea trout fishing in Glen Clova

The Clova Estate beats of the River South Esk extend upstream from the Kirriemuir AC water for around nine miles. The river is small and easily fished with a single handed rod. It fishes best after rain when the level is dropping and fresh fish have arrived. This is a particularly beautiful part of Angus and if the salmon fishing is dour due to the lack of rain there is wild brown trout fishing in Loch Brandy and fishing for stocked rainbow trout in the hotel's new loch, Loch Heath. Clova Hotel website is www.clovahotel.com and you can e-mail them for bookings and information.

Booking

Any private fishing described may be booked by e-mail giving me a note of the dates and number of rods required, subject to availability. A deposit will be requested to confirm the booking. Deposits will be forfeited in the event of cancellation, unless the fishing can be successfully re-let. Guides/ghillies may be provided. Fly casting and trout, sea trout and salmon fishing instruction of any type can be arranged.

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