This review has been updated January 2014. This small still water just off the A80 at Allandale ( near Bonnybridge) seems to be well regarded and visited by a friendly bunch of “regulars”.
Road leading to fishery access is very narrow and would be a pain if you encountered an on coming vehicle in some sections as someone will need to reverse- take care and go slow. The entrance into Burnhouse is bumpy- not as bad as some though and short. Car Park would be a bit nippy if there were a full quota of anglers on site but adequate with sensible parking.
Looks like the road through Allandale is on a main bus route- though from where I am not sure. Probably Falkirk and maybe Kilsyth? You could get the bus to near enough the foot of the single track road and walk to the fishery. Would be about a 20 minutes walk I think. Not the best road to walk along though.
Species: Rainbow, Blue, Brown and Tiger Trout.
Other Species: Carp (in the lochan for weed control and to be returned if caught)
Size: 2.5 acres
There is an anglers bothy which sells a small selection of flies as well as snacks like hot pies, and crisps. Tea and coffee is also provided. There is a shelter near the bothy also. There are some benches around the fishery, but a total lack of bins or anywhere to put rubbish like line cuttings or sweetie wrappers. This is OK if you are responsible but there was evidence of litter being left by some. I would imagine disabled access would be possible from a wide platform near the bothy. UPDATE 2014:Recent upgrades to platforms and paths mean disabled access is pretty much possible all the way round. Well done!
The Lochan is roughly oval and has been formed I beleive by the damming of the Skipperton Burn. As such as well as stock Rainbows and Blue trout, there is a head of wild Brown Trout from the burn.
It is fairly shallow close in on either bank though I beleive there is a steep drop off in the middle which is more reachable from the North bank. I never had too much problems with snagging or weeds though it is noticeably more weedly at the burn end . UPDATE2014 Most, if not all platforms have now been renewed or refurbished and are in good shape.
You can purchase either catch and keep tickets with Catch and Release after you have limited, or a sporting ticket for Catch and Release only.
From listening and chatting to other anglers I don’t know there are any particular hotspots to be aware of though the two platforms before the “corner” of the south bank were commented upon as being places that usually fish well.
It’s not massively deep- I believe its about 18 feet at the dam end with a general depth of about 10 feet in the main body of the loch. Fishing is from both platforms and from the bank. There is a track running up either side of the loch which has recently been levelled, tarred and gravelled and is very good underfoot to access all parts of the water even with a wheel chair. ( UPDATE 2014). The loch does still seem to carry a fair bit colour all year round and can be quite silty looking after a lot of rain however it still fishes well.
The fish though seem well spread out in the loch. There is mantion of a couple of boats being available for anglers, they were not on the water during my visit and to be honest I would imagine they are a bit of a hazard when they are as its not that big a lochan unless you had it to yourself.
I have to say my visits to Burnhouse have been very favourable. I found it to be a very very friendly fishery- with anglers willing to chat about the fishery and other locations they fish. They were also keen to share information on what usually fishes well and what they were using at the time. The chap taking the ticket money ( Gary) was very helpful and even gave me a freebie packet of crisps at lunchtime when I went to buy some off him on one visit. A hot cup of tea or coffee is always on offer for free.
The rules are pretty much standard with the addition of no Boobies, or UV lures.
The fishery also has a very nice rule, again which seems to be supported by the anglers that if you locate a “hotspot” that you should relinquish it after catching 2 fish. This seems very fair and I noticed a lot of movement around the lochan so anglers seem to stay true to the rule.
UPDATE 2014: Most platforms have now been refurbished or in fact are new or replaced. Many no longer have chicken wire and those that do , it’s new and well secured so not a snag hazard. Well done to the fishery for these updates.
I was especially impressed by the Catch and Release policy of the fishery and its one I feel needs to be adopted in more locations. Its up to you if you want to fish Catch and Release or catch and keep. A lot of anglers seems to be on Catch and Release and from what I seen I never seen a single case of mishandling all day.
The lady who appears to be the owner was out and about when I was there aquainting herself both with new and regular visitors and having a chat which I think is nice. I never spoke to her myself I have to add.
The fish I caught were in terrific condition and put up a really good scrap. All were fully finned and hard fighting and everyone commented on this over the day. I am not sure whether they are overwintered or not but they were in great condition. I would love to visit again in warmer weather as I think the top of the water sport must be brilliant. Not a place for a windy day though as its very exposed. Watch also casting on the north bank as the steep embankment behind is prone to catching your line/fly if you try to cast a long way.
Catch and Release Policy:
First class. If you catch a really big fish you are encouraged to return it in return for a free days fishing.
Value For Money:
Excellent- especially being able to purchase a Catch and release sporting ticket.
Very modern though does not seem regularly updated. At this time of writing it was updated in June 2018 and it is now January 2019.
Could do with a web cam on the fishery to show how busy it is.