Morton Trout Fishery is a man made reservoir just south of the A71 Calders Road, near Mid Calder.
Finding Morton Trout Fishery:
Morton Trout Fishery is very easy to find. Though you might come from east or west I am working on the assumption that most visitors will come along the M8. Exiting at J3 for Livingston and travelling up the expressway to the south end wherever they come from outwith the immediate area. Coming from Livingston head towards Edinburgh on the A71. From the Lizzie Bryce roundabout, take the second exit off the Oakbank Roundabout staying towards Edinburgh on the A71 and in about half a mile you will see a sign pointing south that says Morton. Take this turning and follow the narrow single track road, about 2 miles to the gate of the fishery which lies to the right in some woods. There are signposts on this narrow road.
PS. If you have ever been to Burnhouse Trout Fishery near Allandale you will be excused a sense of Deja Vu as you drive along this road ( at least the lower section), it looks very similar! ( or is that just me?)
Good, narrow twisty road up to the fishery so watch your speed and caution on the bends. Be courteous to traffic in the other direction and seek out a passing place. Once at the fishery the parking is under the trees in the woods though you can take your vehicle to the waters edge for turning or unloading ( there is a metal ramp covering a bit of a hole that clatters as you cross it )
Hard to say, I suspect there are Edinburgh/Livingston buses that use the Calder Road and if you know where to get it to stop (sign for Morton) you might be able to get off there but it would be a fare walk uphill on a narrow road to the fishery. A bette roption might be bus to Livingston or Mid Calder and a short taxi ride.
Contact: 01506 883295 or 07592 577652
Species: Rainbow and Brown trout. I think the Browns are wild fish and are asked to be returned.
Other Species: Unknown
The fishery is 22 acres in size and has obvious man made dam walls on three sides. While it is far from square, it feels like a big square with a check out the side where the lodge is when you are there.
There is a room for eating in ( I suspect bring your own food though there might be soft drinks and snacks available). There is a fishery shop and they have a large selection of flies on offer which are I understand tied by the owner. Fishing is from the bank ( platforms surround the entire loch), or from boats, oars provided, outboards for hire or bring your own. Lifejackets are provided and must be worn at all times. I thought the boat moorings seemed well organised with each boat having a numbered berth and well thought out access to the boats. The use of astroturf underfoot means no snagged lines on chicken wire. I think the casting platforms might have been astro turfed but as I didn’t use them not 100% on that. If so good news- I hate chicken wire footings, that play murder on your fly line when snagged.
Worth a visit, on my visit maybe the conditions were a bit warm after a hot summers day so the fish weren’t in the mood to show themselves but they certainly pulled hard when you contacted one! If you have a wee electric outboard, I recommend taking it, the rowing isn’t itself hard (it’s not a big place overall) but the oars ( on the boat I had ) were a bit of a pain. Noisy ( on their mountings) , heavy and hard to maneuver in to the boat and stow as they are ( understandably) secured to the boat with cords to stop them being lost overboard.
The reservoir being man made is hard to make natural but all things considered its about as good a job as you could hope for. It seems a tidy well run wee place with the shelter of woods on all sides which should help on blustery days high on the hill. The guy who was manning the fishery on my visit was very helpful and gave me useful information on what was catching and roughly where. I think the recommendation to use minimum 8lb line was correct when I was there as I have rarely experienced such hard pulls from fish when contacted. It really was like an electric shock.
Very good, especially on catch and release an angler can have a boat for 8 hours for a mere £20 or thereabouts. I paid £17 for 4 hours evening Catch and Release.
Catch and Release Policy:
Very good, you can have a sporting ( C&R) ticket or revert to C&R once a bag limit is reached but barbless hooks and no boobies.
Dismal and has to be said very poor and badly maintained. They do have a Facebook Page though which seems better attended so might be best to follow this.
I have to say a nice wee fishery for a visit, with hard fighting fish. It was a bit dour on my first visit probably down to the weather more than anything and while there were plenty of shucks littering the water I never seen a lot of fly life and there wasn’t really a rise at any point I could point at.
Pretty good value and I was surprised how quiet it was for a summers evening. If Scots anglers won’t get out on night like this when will they go out? I would take a sinking line of some sort however as it is very deep in places and if you are inclined to pull lures it might be useful, especially from a boat. A sweep line would be best in my opinion if you had one ( I don’t!).