2018 wrap up

Today is the first day in December, so a quick apology for not getting an update earlier!

The season closed on 31st October on a spectacularly beautiful day which I spent fishing at Rackmill and the Haugh, without so much as a tug; but the scenery was amazing

Bryan Anderson caught 2 salmon on the closing day, while the first reported salmon was caught and returned by Graham Halliday on the 25th October at the pool at Muckhart Mill using a size 1 copper mepps. Graham measured the fish at 72 cm which puts in the 6.5 – 7.0lb range and obviously pretty fresh.

 Inevitably as soon as the season closed the rains came and more salmon were seen coming into the river. As far as I know, only five salmon and seven sea trout were caught and returned this season, which is a disappointment. It was probably inevitable with very dry summer emptying the Ochils reservoirs and particularly Castlehill, meant much of the early autumn rain stayed in the Ochils in sharp contrast to the state of the river this weekend! The final weeks of the tout season saw some very large brown trout being caught.

The season closed at Glenquey on the 6th October.  During  September and October 52  catch returns were left in the box, showing a total haul of 205 fish being caught with a total weight of 108lb [mean 3.9 fish/visit at mean weight of 0.52lb] including a few fish around 2lb.

The work parties are carry on their work and will be looking this winter to tackle:

  • Clearing access to the Alva Burn to allow full access to this important spawning burn for trout and salmon
  • Keeping the fish passes at Dollar clear of debris
  • Endeavour to clear blockages and improve access in the Devon Gorge which is a major undertaking in a remote location.
  • Re-establish the path on the south side of Glenquey (including building a new burn crossing) and continue clearing scrub on the north bank


You may have seen various press articles confirming that Fish Legal had been successful on our behalf, in an action against Scottish Water relating to the release of Sulphuric Acid into the Fossoway section of the River Devon in 2012


This was an appeal against an earlier Sherriff judgement in favour of Scottish Water; rather than return to the Sherriff Court Scottish Water agreed a settlement of £15,000. I am not going to describe the legal arguments but if you are interested the judgement can be read here:


The Devon Angling Association AGM will take place on Tuesday 15th January 2019 at the Royal Arms, Tillicoultry. All members are welcome!

The good news is that it is only 103 more days before the start of the 2019 season 🙂

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Nearly seasons end

The Brown Trout season comes to a close next Saturday. It hasn’t been a classic season on the Devon with really tough conditions generated by the prolonged summer drought and Scottish Water abstraction in the Ochils reservoir resulting in consistently low water until  Castlehill finally overtopped about a week ago. Anecdotal information suggests that the river is stuffed with wee fish (trout/salmon fry and parr) this season boding well for future seasons. Despite the tough conditions, anglers prepared to approach pools carefully have been rewarded with decent fish caught by a variety of methods including spinning with very small Mepps, trotting worms and casting upstream nymphs.

I have heard various reports of Sea Trout clearing the weir at Cambus on the higher tides and Salmon seen splashing at various locations. There are no reports yet of a Sea Trout and Salmon catches on the river; indeed I fished from The Haugh to Taits Tomb last Saturday and never saw a thing (including even a rising trout). Scenery was awesome though :

Here is preying for rain!

Glenquey has fished well throughout August despite the blazing conditions. A Mr Cairns from Kinross was drawn from the catch returns and receives a free day permit for Glenquey. In August 48 anglers submitted catch returns recording 241 trout caught (estimated mean weight 0.6lb and catching 5.0 trout per visit)

The work parties have been busy clearing paths and after the first storms of the autumn will now begin the task of clearing fallen lumber from the river and spawning burns. Both I and the DAA wouldn’t be happier if we could  wave a cheerie bye-bye to invasive plant species along the Devon catchment (Japanese Knotweed,  Himalayan Balsam and, god forbid, Giant Knotweed)  ………….. but just occasionally you happen upon an alien species that gladdens your heart

A wee cheeky Sunflower on a shingle bank with flood debris and Himalayan Balsam as neighbours!

Enjoy the last few days of the trout season on the river and at Glenquey……. Salmon anglers prey for rain!


Posted in DAA News, Glenquey fishing, Glenquey journal, River fishing, River journal

August 2018 update

The prolonged drought may be coming to an end (hopefully) but the river remains steadfastly at a very low level. Castlehill Reservoir has a huge, mostly negative, impact on the river but at these times the compensation flow keeps the river in reasonable condition. It will take a lot of rain to get a meaningful clearing spate, hopefully in time for the salmon run.

Despite a couple of poor salmon seasons the river appears to be stuffed with salmon and trout parr. I spent a pleasant evening on Saturday fishing dry flies downstream of Rackmill.

I managed to loose two decent fish, frustrating but the multitude of parr attacking the fly more than made up for it. I was catching salmon and trout parr in equal numbers!

The thin water has made fishing challenging but there is a reputable report of a fish of 4 to 5lb been caught on the river.

Up at Glenquey the water levels have dropped significantly opening up access to most of the north bank (ironically not long after the work party had spent time clearing up the shrubbery). Caution should be taken crossing the second burn along for the dam.

In June Glenquey had 41 visitors submitting catch returns reporting 269 fish being caught to a total weight of 133lb [6.56 fish/return at mean weight 0.5lbs]. In July 49 visitors submitted returns reporting 166 fish being caught to a total weight of 84lb [3.38 fish/return at mean weight 0.5lbs]. The June raffled permit went to an angler from Falkirk and July’s to an angler from Dollar. Please remember returned catch returns go into a monthly raffle for a free permit!

Various works have been done by the work parties, particularly the endless toil of clearing vegetation to keep access to the river open. A couple of the committee have also been busy kick sampling to identify the state of health of the invertebrate population. This is a tool which will be used to investigate potential problems on the river for example if the ochre entering the river from Mine Treatment at Vicars Bridge is impacting invertebrates. First surveys above and below Vicars Bridge were very encouraging (Stonefly nymphs, damsels, midge, caddis , leaches and freshwater shrimp were identified.

A serious outbreak of Giant Hogweed has been identified near the river and has been reported to SEPA, SHN and Clackmannanshire Council. Please watch out for any emergent plants anywhere on the river or surroundings particularly in Menstrie to Alva area; if you spot a stand avoid all contact and get in touch with the DAA (and SEPA, SHN and Clackmannanshire Council). We are extremely anxious to avoid this nasty pernicious plant taking hold on the river

Hazards associated with Giant Hogweed http://www.nonnativespecies.org/?pageid=152

Guide to identifying Giant Hogweed http://www.nonnativespecies.org/downloadDocument.cfm?id=30

The DAA was delighted to receive a donation of £1000 from EPIC [Enabling Projects in Clackmannanshire] which is ring-fenced. Half the sum will allow the DAA to now support two local primary school with the ‘Fish in the Classroom’ project  and the other is to be used for equipment for clearing paths and accesses along the river corridor. We are extremely grateful for the support of EPIC.

Hopefully by the time the next update arrives the river will be full of water, hungry trout getting full ready for spawning and maybe even some Salmon!


Posted in DAA News, Glenquey journal, River journal | 1 Comment

A823 Dunfermline – Gleneagles road closed at Rumbling Bridge from 20th August 2018

Please note that if you are heading to the River or Glenquey that the A823 will be closed at Rumbling Bridge from the 20th August for a period of 2 weeks.

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A823 Closed at Castlehill Reservoir – roadworks and access to Glenquey

Early in the Spring we were told that there would the A823 would be closed around Castlehill Reservoir for Scottish Water works. This work will commence 2nd July 2018 but will now be undertaken with a lane closure and traffic lights.

UPDATE:           19th June 2018 16:45

Good news! A823 has now reopened, with one lane remaining closed and traffic controlled by traffic lights

UPDATE:           18th June 2018 22:50


A823 is now closed (no surprise, quite apart from the pipework the burst has destroyed  the full width of the pavement over about 15m) ……. I think Glenquey should still be accessible from the south but I would recommend a dry run before buying a permit!

UPDATE:           18th June 2018 20:10

I came down Glendevon at 18.45 this evening and there has been a pipe burst north of the layby at Castlehill Reservoir resulting in significant damage to the carriageway . I wouldn’t be surprised if access to the A823 may be restricted tomorrow for repairs (you should be able to reach Glenquey from the South)


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DAA update June 2018

The now traditional spring draught continues with Saturday’s minor spate having little impact on river levels. The fishing on the river hasn’t been impossible but stealth and care is required not spook fish. Despite the difficult conditions some nice fish have been caught ……… but we really could do with a good clearing spate!

Glenquey has been delivering some superb fishing, to quote Cailean Moore’s comment on the welcome page:

I had a brilliant day on the loch with 34 fish including four double hook ups and a triple hook up. A few big fish with one about 3lb and dropped one at around 4lb. There was an all day hatch of Lake Olives keeping the fish occupied and they were hammering my Greenwells Spider and winged wet Lake Olive, with a black spider with a silver tungsten bead on the point, fished on a long 20ft leader on a floating line including a 5ft Airflo intermediate poly leader. I cast it in, tweaked it back half a dozen times with a wee pause between the retrieve.

During May completed returns showed that 46 members 24 visitors caught 206 trout for 101 lb. The winner of the free day’s fishing was Malcolm Reid from Saline. Consensus seems that is a huge amount of fly life including olives, alder fly, sedges etc. about and that smaller flies (size 16-18 or smaller nymphs and spiders) were more likely to be successful?

The spring newsletter from the Fisheries Trust celebrates their new title Forth Rivers Trust and includes an article about the change in name http://www.fishforth.co.uk/rfft/the-river-forth-fisheries-trust-is-changing/ and of particularly interest to DAA members an article about access improvements to the Dollar Burn http://www.fishforth.co.uk/rfft/an-emerging-success-story-on-the-dollar-burn/

Posted in DAA News, Glenquey fishing, Glenquey journal, River Devon miscellaneous, River fishing | 3 Comments

Glenquey – Missing rod tip

Cailean Moore posted on the welcome page:

Would everyone who fishes Glenquay keep their eyes peeled for a rod top section. My friend lost his top section for his Sage fly rod. If you find it please contact me and I’ll collect it.
Please, help me return the lost rod section to it’s owner.

If you come across please get in touch with Cailean directly (easy to find on Facebook as he runs the excellent Upstream Nymph facebook group) or contact the DAA directly:



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