Stirling Council Fishery – River Forth
Opening with a bang with one of the best angling celebration events in Scotland on the 1st of February every year, the Callander and Forth fishing beats offered by the Stirling Council Fisheries Team are diverse for the anglers. Strong elements of what makes the local communities, and a privilege to fish is the feeling here. Being run by the Stirling Council also means there is an awareness of the fisheries outwith everyday angling circles, and this brings interest from tourism groups, newspapers, businesses and families alike that want to partake, celebrate and share this fishery and everything connected to it.
The Forth beat is the first beat on the system, we get the tide twice a day, and there are silver fish running throughout the season, with sea liced fish caught in the last week in October… every fish in Forth and Teith system has to go through here; and we are located within the shadow of Stirling Castle with easy access off the M9.
Stirling Council: 01786 404040
Located below Stirling Castle, the Stirling Council Fisheries Forth beat has the scenery to rival many beats in Scotland. Throw in good access with the beat situated just of the M9 and 30/40 minute drive from both Glasgow and Edinburgh this is one fishery to try out.
The Forth beat’s upstream march is the confluence of the Teith and Forth near Dobbies Garden Centre. The downstream march and bottom of the fishing on the Forth is at Raploch College on the right bank and the Logie Burn below Cambuskenneth on the left bank.
0.7m on the SEPA gauge for coincidentally ‘Callander’ and ‘Craigforth’ is perfect for both of these beats, A dropping water after a spate is all that is required on the Teith for best results, and steady to low water on the Forth is better suited to hold fish in the pools longer that come up off the tides. The Teith offers a chance of a Springer from as early as the 1st of February, and the Forth generally starts to hook fish from May/June. Sea Trout and Grilse enter the river in May/June also, and the fishing for both species in both beats can be great fun. Fly and spin fishing is permitted, no worm – see rules.
There are pools that perform in Sping, some in Summer and some in Autumn, and again some pools suit a spinner, some are best fished with a fly.
The best time to fish here is Midsummer to October; the Spring is often dismissed by local anglers who head upstream to the Teith – The lowest pool on the Forth beat is tidal and very difficult to time right, therefore the lowest pools to focus on as a start is the Piers, the North bend, Allan Mouth and the Stabbs. These pools are all spinning pools as they are slow, however a lot of fish hold here as they are potentially Allan fish confused or adjusting to the smell of the river. Either bank is fishable with a spinner.
Treeline is the lowest fly pool on the beat and it is fished from the island on the right bank. This is accessible via the track immediately opposite the VOSA station at Craigforth. The Bedshot pool can be fished from either the left or right banks and it makes the trip down to the Treeline worth while. Fly fishing is preferred in the shallow streams of the Bedshot. It holds a number of fish and the middle stream is the most productive. Wading to cover this from either bank is possible, however it seems best from the left bank.
‘The Fast Water’ is a grilse pool/run, a single hander with small flies in July and August is great sport here. Upstream from there is The Trap; left bank only and offering a place to see fish ‘head and tail’ off the tide; spin or fly fish here with anticipation. High Bank is left bank only and it is spinning water.
The Dykes pool was the most productive pool of the country in 2010 with 60 fish in a day. This also made the beat the most productive beat in Scotland. Local anglers nickname it “The Honey Pot”. Fly fishing is preferred here in all heights, spinning is worth a go in high water. On the left bank (inside bend) start opposite the disabled platform staying out of the water completely. The fish run up the edge of the corner from the narrow section below. Fish through the narrows and stop as the bank starts to raise from the river. This is a great place to see running fish and also witness several fish holding in the Bridge Pool above during the Autumn.
The Bridge pool has a footbridge crossing the top of it; this is how anglers access the left bank from the VOSA station.
Above the M9 bridge is The Motorway Bends – best fished from the left bank with a Devon Minnow in September and October. Access to this pool and The Rocks upstream is down the fence line off the Carse of Lecropt road from Bridge of Allan, please respect the farmers access and the road is narrow so pull up appropriately.
Lastly, The Green Bank is an excellent fly pool fished from the right bank. Accessed by parking in the anglers car park at the disabled platforms downstream of Dobbies Garden Centre.
- There is no shortage of any facilities throughout Stirling and Callander.
- Seats, rod racks, platforms, disabled access, and manicured paths all add to the enjoyment of the fishing on both beats.
- Callander, Doune and Stirling surrounds all have many accommodation options.
- There are parking places marked on the map for both beats.
- In Spring, spin anglers should always have a silver Toby or Vision 110 to hand.
- In Autumn use a Devon Minnow especially in the Forth beat.
- Plan to be fishing the tides 2hrs before and after high tide in the Forth beat.
- After a flood, as the river is dropping, this is your best time to fish the Teith.
- There is a magic window for an hour or two prior to a spate in heavy rain before the colour and debris comes down the river, when the salmon fishing can be very exciting.
- The use of a net is expected and appreciated by the fishery for all fish species.
- You will mostly be wading so felt soles are a better choice than rubber due to the slippery rocks of the Teith, however there is a little bit of walking on wet grass and sometimes snow between pools where felt soles are rendered useless. Angler choice.
- A wading stick is essential.
- A dropper is not encouraged in the faster pools due to the sharp rocks and moss which can snag and lose a fish. The gravel lined pools are definitely worth fishing a dropper however.
- Move the fly as much as possible, retrieve with a figure-8, or do “the hoovering”.
- June is the peak month for prime condition Sea Trout, however you can pick up Sea Trout as early as February and right through the season after a good spate or Spring Tide.
- When night fishing for Sea Trout, keep to a bigger fly, #8 minimum, as in May/June there is a chance of a salmon taking. Use 8lb nylon minimum too just in case.
- Early Autumn – strip a sunray on a floating line on a switch rod with 12-14lb nylon
- Intermediate lines have always been more successful than full floating lines in Spring.
- Fluorocarbon is not encouraged, Maxima Ultragreen 18-20lb or Daiwa Sensor 16lb, lighter in Summer.
- Fantastic March Brown hatch for Trout in April/May. Sedges and Mayfly hatches occur frequently on both beats.
- Species fished for: Salmon, Sea Trout, Brown Trout
- There are two beats combined within the one SCF permit. The Teith and The Forth.
- Access: Both beats, however different, are very easily accessed and both have wheelchair access in parts too.
- The beats are managed, they have seats, rod rests, well maintained paths and styles, and the fisheries manager and team work tirelessly on any obstructions, upgrades, help and advice and keeping the fishery beautiful.
- Overall season: 1st February – 31st October
- Trout season 15th March – 6th October
- Fly and Spinning – see rules.
- No Sunday fishing.
- The Teith Beat is 1.4 miles (approx.) best from the North (true left) bank, but fishing is double bank (see the maps).
- The Forth Beat is 4 miles (approx.) with double bank fishing. Approximately, 2 miles is fished (see the maps)
- The beats are let daily, 3 monthly, or annually.
- Fishing by permit only
- Permits outlets: Stirling Council, Angling Active and James Bayne in Callander.
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All permits can be bought online. Permits for Stirling Council Fisheries allow you to fish both the Forth and Teith beat meaning to fisheries for the price of one. You do not need to book separate permits for either fishery.
|Season Adult (22+) 1 tag||£200 (booking fee included)|
|Season Youth (12-21) 1 tag||£15|
|Season Concession||£150 (booking fee included)|
|Season Corporate Rod||£296 (contact Stirling Council Fisheries direct)|
|Three Monthly permits (Feb-Apr/ May-Jul / Aug-Oct)||£100 (booking fee included)|
|Day Permits (Catch & Release)||Adult (22+)||Youth (12-21)|
|1st February – 30th August||£30 (booking fee included)||£5|
|1st September – 31st October||£45 (booking fee included)||£5|