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Blue Banks

For the Salmon, Sea Trout and Brown Trout angler – Season and day rods available through the week Monday – Saturday. A Season rod allows you to fish Monday – Saturday throughout the season and it also provides you two day permits each season which you can give to friends and family. A gorgeous beat with fish in it and visible. Sea Trout fishing here is great fun, and there are plenty of Trout sipping away on the thick hatches the Teith occasionally gets.

 

Located near angling active, the river Teith’s Blue Banks beat is a must try for the Salmon and Sea Trout angler.

T. Black

The Blue Banks is an incredible beat, it has a lot of good water and it’s the lowest beat on the river except for the Stirling Council water below on the Forth meaning that fish off the tide slow up here in the many deeper pools.

C. Somerville

Permit Outlets
  • Blair Drummond Estate 

Location

The Blue Banks beat is the lowest beat on the River Teith. The Teith meets the River Forth at Craigforth near Angling Active and Dobbies Garden Centre on the A84. To access the beat you are required to park at the old ruin called ‘Heathershot’ (see map) on the North bank which is accessible via the Carse of Lecropt Road which comes off at a junction near the church on the Bridge of Allan/Keir road (A9).

Boundaries

The Upper march(boundary) of the Blue Banks beat is marked with signage which extends from Ochtertyre down. The lower march is the confluence with the River Forth.

The Fishing

The fishing on the Blue Banks beat of the River Teith has historically been known as a prolific stretch river. Desalinating fish off the tide, a few resident fish in the deeper pools, and some lovely water for the fly and spinner.

By reputation, the beat can be productive water from July on, as long as the water is not too high, and if there are grilse about. The Spring fish seem to bolt through if there is high water. However in Spring, Springers are caught in the Upper Teith before the Lower Teith every year, but they have to swim through the Blue Banks to get there. Timing is key to the Blue Banks success prior to July and that is why it pays to have a syndicate rod with the option of a day rod when conditions align. Sea Trout fishing in the evenings can be very good on the Blue Banks especially in the slower pools with undercut banks on the far sides and large structures created by logs.

From the Upper March to Earns Pool

The Upper March (Ochtertyre) is accessed by walking upstream along the river from the carpark. You will find a reasonably well used path along the edge of the field that crosses a low lying fence and a bridge across a ditch. A little further and in the trees are signs for the beats. Take the downstream path to the river and the marker signs on both banks indicate the start of the fishing. This run at the top is fast but can hold fish on the far side under the branches. The gravel is easily waded down. Don’t wade too far downstream as you need to push back against the current and out the way you came. The little island may be a way out, however it is thick clay like mud and it is easy to get stuck. In low water it can pay to cross at the beach below the Blue Bank Pool (the big bend nearest the car park) and fish the bottom of this run. Fish hold on top of the gravel bar upstream for the viewpoint as you meet the river from the car. There are a few snags here so be careful. The Blue Bank Pool is difficult to fish from the left bank, however some anglers manage to find a place to drop down the high bank. The outside bend is very deep and full of logs. Best fished from the inside bend.

As the river shallows and straightens out of the Blue Banks Pool, this is a great spot for Sea Trout. Access this via the path that takes you through the bushes and trees downstream of the car access. You will come to a gravel beach and walk upstream and fish from the bank above the gravel beach. No need to go in the water here.

The next tight left bend can hold fish at the top, middle and bottom of the corner, Grilse will sit in the faster streamy water at the neck. The water on the inside of the bend is very deep at the tail, so be careful not to slide down the gravel bar. A lifejacket is recommended and a pair of polarized glasses to see the drop off.

The river shifts from bank to bank and speeds up below this bend into a pool that has now filled in and moved to the far bank. A spinning pool at best. The Earns pool above the style is fishable again by spinner in high water, possibly fly in lower conditions.

From the Earns to the Confluence

This section of the river becomes very slow and difficult to work a fly effectively amongst the logs. The pool at the style is excellent fly water with easy gravel under foot. It will provide great Sea Trout fishing as the river below has huge logs and structure which Sea Trout will sit in during the day and creep upstream from at night. The rest of the beat is spinning water due to the speed and unmanaged bank vegetation and slump/poached banks. The section at Angling Active’s casting area on the right bank can provide sport as it starts to speed up again as the river narrows before the confluence.

Further Information

Facilities

  • Having one of Scotland’s biggest and best tackle stores right on the beat is handy for a few flies/lures and know how. See https://www.anglingactive.co.uk
  • There is a great cafe in Dobbies Garden Centre at the confluence on the right bank and next door to Angling Active.
  • Bridge of Allan has excellent bakeries, cafes, hotels, B&B’s etc for those wishing to stay on the left bank nearer the parking for the beat.
  • The parking is limited to Heathershot ruin only

Top Tips

  • Please always shut any gates and respect the farmer and livestock.
  • A stick is recommended for those not sure on their feet not due to large or difficult wading, but there are some fast descending gravel bars.
  • Before and just after a spate, fish the Teith for the period before it colours on the rise, and the longer period as it drops.
  • The tides, especially in June/July onwards can bring in pods of Grilse. Be ready and do your research on when the tide is and when the biggest tides are. The river is tidal to the motorway bridge just below the confluence.
  • The Solstice is always a good time to go fishing for Grilse, on any river.
  • Use a sink tip on a floating line in most water conditions.
  • The river clears quickly further upstream; Blue Banks being a lower beat, can take a little longer to clear, but it is nearly always clearer than the Forth. Hence, if the Forth is dirty, the fish will have pushed up into the Angling Active stretch or up past the Earns and into the top of the Blue Bank Pool.
  • Prepare to fish for Sea Trout from June onwards. Trout, Sea Trout and Salmon can all be caught, but Salmon are the main target, Sea Trout are your next best chance.
  • Opt to fish a dropper to improve your chances of a hook up.
  • Fluorocarbon is not generally recommended by locals on the Teith. Maxima Ultragreen of Daiwa Sensor nylon.
  • Dry flies and emergers are a great option in the slower farmland areas downstream for Brown Trout.
  • Swinging wee traditional wets is very popular for Trout and Sea Trout anglers.
  • Muddlers skated across a ripple can reveal some great fish in often strange places.
  • The use of a landing net is appreciated by the estate for all species including Salmon for best and ‘least possible harm’ practices – see this video about handling a salmon filmed on the Blue Banks beat in 2019: https://youtu.be/MRDEoWUq30U
  • You will mostly be on the banks so rubber soles are a better choice than felt due to slippery wet grass and muddy tracks. Under the water is mostly pea gravel so there is no need for felt soles.

Equipment seasonally

  • A 13-14ft double hander covers the Spring and Autumn fishing, and a switch rod during the Summer is good fun. A 9ft 7/8# single handed rod is great too in the Summer and for Sea Trout. Trout fly fishing can be good in the evenings during a hatch and a #4-5 rod is more than adequate if a larger Sea Trout takes by accident.
  • 10-14lb nylon will cover most of the Summer/Autumn. Up the nylon to 18-20lb in the Spring.
  • A fast sink tip is prefered if the water is dropping-off after a spate.
  • Fish a dropper with the tail fly smaller than the bob.
  • A spinning rod is a good option for the lower part of the beat, some lures are not permitted.
  • Fly recommendations for Trout are Greenwells Glory, Black Spider, and a selection of nymphs and dries as small as #16, 18, 22 caenis. Blue and black streamers work on all Teith catchment rivers for Trout.
  • Salmon flies on the Teith include a Yellow Monkey tube, weighted in heavier water, bigger in coloured water. Snaeldas, Editors, Willie Gunns all on weighted tubes in the Spring. Flame Throwers, Cascades and Stoats Tails, submerged Sunrays in Summer. Francis, Snaeldas, anything with feelers, blacks and purples.
  • Always carry and use a net for C&R purposes.

Factfile

  • Species fished for: Salmon, Sea Trout, Brown Trout
  • Fly and spin only, with restrictions on lures you can use, see rules on permit. Flying C banned.
  • Access: Easy to Medium difficulty. Most of the beat is farmland and requires fairly easy walking.
  • Some ground is rough but there is usually flattened grass and easy access through the bushes.
  • Most of the inside bends are easy gravel to wade, if wading is required at all.
  • Overall season: 1st February – 31st October
  • Trout season 15th March – 6th October
  • No Sunday fishing.
  • 8 miles (approx.) of fishing in total
  • Double bank fishing
  • Fishing by permit

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Permits

 

Permit Type Cost
Season Permit (Mon – Sat) (max 18 season permits) £250 (+booking fee) + 2 free day permits for friends and family on Blue Banks
Day Permits (max 2 rods per day) £30  (+booking fee)

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