Bangour Trout Fishery is located up in the Bathgate Hills between Dechmont and Linlithgow, just to the east of the prominent radio mast on Cairnpapple Hill.
- Finding Bangour Trout Fishery:
Bangour is hidden in the hills behind Dechmont and you can approach it from Linlithgow heading out the road towards Beecraigs Country Park and then heading for Dechmont, watching for the signs to the fishery, or if coming from the South coming off the M8 at junction 3 head for Dechmont and once in Dechmont take the road signposted to Beecraigs and again watch for the sign to the fishery. There are other ways there via Torphichen and indeed a Sat Nav might take you this way but I reckon in this case you are better relying on your own ability to read signs, as my Sat nav took me to a road that was near the fishery (postcode) but was not the access road or anything like it!
View Bangour Fishery in a larger map
Access road: Good , with plenty parking.
Contact: 01506 811335 or 07711 384308
Species: Rainbow, Blue, Tiger and Brown trout (both wild and stocked). Wild fish under 10″ are asked to be removed, somewhat unusually!
Other Species: Carp: believed to be resident for a long time and not for sport.
Size: 7 Acres
As a water that was originally a public water supply, I think probably a lot of work has been done to remove that man-made feel and make the loch seem as natural as possible. its a very pretty, picturesque little loch. The Dam wall barely intrudes on your consciousness when there and it’s well maintained in appearance.
Anglers fish from wooden casting platforms and there is lots of backcasting space and little to snag on around the fisherman. The fishery only seems to take up around 50% of the total surface area of the loch. Its sort of L shaped and a bridge ( and presumably netting) separates the fishery section from what appears to be a largely wild area beyond. The area beyond the bridge is heavily weeded. The area around the bridge is fairly shallow though there is apparently a deep channel running along there. You do need to take care if using anything other than floating flies in this section as you will pick up weed.
The main basin in front of the anglers lodge is apparently 27 feet deep and seems to be the most popular area for visitors.
The loch is a Troutmasters water and is stocked with fish brought in from elsewhere. The loch is home to some VERY large trout and I am aware of residents over the 20lb mark and certainly seen a fish that I reckon would have to be in this range, in the shallows during my visit.
Facilities: Tea and coffee in the “shop”, a small selection of flies and light tackle is available- monofilament etc. There are instructing staff on hand if you want some lessons ( though book before appearing) and the lodge is comfortable, has a fully equipped kitchen should you wish to make something for yourself on site, and has very clean well-presented toilets. It appears to have some disabled angler facilities too. Overall very clean and tidy as a site.
Personal Opinions: The Bangour Fishery is a pleasant place to pass a days stockie bashing and is well worth a visit. There are around 30 casting platforms to fish from and so you should be able to find a place to get on the water. There are no boats on this water and presumably no place for float tubes should you be so inclined.
I was impressed with how clean and tidy the place was and it seems to get good shelter from the winds which presumably could hit you here at 700feet above sea level, by the trees which fringe the site.
I am not sure what the purpose of the halving of the loch is as there seems to be a large expanse of possibly fishable water that’s off limits but perhaps it’s too shallow, or maybe it’s for future development. What I would have to say is the casting platforms to me seem very close together and I did feel a bit hemmed in at times. I would like to see half as much space again between the stands. I guess its a matter of economics but I would not say it’s an especially cheap water to visit.
The water is fairly shallow at the “bridge” end and you need to take care where you fish or snagging is a problem.
The rules ban Boobies, and personal landing nets. The fishery supplies very large nets for your use. The water has some unusual rules which the visiting angler needs to be aware of. Any small Brown Trout are to be removed, something I would not usually do, but it’s their rules, apparently, it’s to stop the smaller fish “keeping the Rainbows down”, and has been recommended to the fishery by a biologist. You are not allowed to take any “doubles”. The loch is certainly not short of these and if you catch one you MUST release it. I have to say this flies in the face of things I have read recently about the viability of this size of fish once it’s been caught. My understanding was that such big fish rarely recover after being caught and often head to the bottom and turn belly up. I have no idea and personally it does not hugely bother me as they are a pain to get rid of when they are so large anyway- anyone want 20 odd trout steaks? Thought not! If you catch one the practice seems to be to shout for the manager who will come along on a quad bike and assist you with releasing and weighing the fish for Troutmasters purposes.
Value for money: Not bad, a bit more expensive than other waters in the area, with a slightly smaller bag limit at 4 fish and a further C/R limit of 6 fish. However, there is a lot of big fish though since you cannot take them surely they should not count to a bag limit?
Catch and Release Policy: Very Good. Anglers can either buy a C/R ticket from the outset or if fishing on a normal take ticket after catching 4 fish “for the pot” can C/R a further 6 provided they do not remove the fish from the water, don’t handle the fish and use debarbed hooks.
Overall: Taking all things into consideration I would rate Bangour a 4. It is a little more expensive than others in the area ( especially in view of the take restriction on big fish) but it does have some huge fish compared to most places. I suspect a midweek daytime visit may be quite quiet and allow lots of time to explore various areas.