North Coulter Reservoir is another man-made loch very close to where I live, literally 10 minutes away, on the road over to Carron Bridge and Carron Valley. Locally its referred to as the “Couter”, as is often the case with the name Coulter in Scotland, the L is omitted.

The water is a functioning reservoir owned by Scottish Water but the long-standing fishing lease belongs to LASAC, the Larbert and Stenhousemuir Angling Club. Non members only have a couple of ways to fish it, get friendly with a member and get invited along as a guest ( either free or paying), or join the waiting list for club membership.

North Coulter at sunset

A panoramic view of sunset and moon rise at North Coulter

A third option exists whereby the club has an annual competition against another local AC and you could potentially get on the water by that means! Bit of a long shot though I would suggest.

The water is what I would class as medium-large sized, in the region of 200 acres I would guess and is home to stocked and wild fish.

Finding North Coulter:

North Coulter is up in the hills behind Stirling and North Third Reservoir. If you are up around Earls Hill and look towards North Third then look to the right you will see it is perched on a flat open hilltop higher than North Third itself. The road there is fairly narrow in places depending where you come from, but really its easy enough to find. Once there the gate is locked with a high security lock to which members only have knowledge of the access code.

The track from the road into the boathouse is not tarmac’d but is easy to traverse in most vehicles.

Access road: Good- but requires member to provide access.

Public Transport: None, while you could get there in a taxi its pointless unless you are meeting a member. Probably best to get a lift from the member giving you access.

Contact: secretary AT replace the AT with the @ symbol and remove spaces

Species: Brown trout (both wild and stocked) Wild fish are asked to be returned where possible.

Other Species: Perch and Pike

Size: Approximately 200 acres


A boat by the jetty

One of the well maintained boats at the boat jetty of North Coulter Reservoir

The loch may be fished from either the bank or by boat. Very well maintained boats are provided for members use and are boarded by means of a floating jetty system. Only two boats are ever tied up at a time and members need to make sure that there is always at least one boat available for following on anglers at all times, until of course the last boat is taken into use.  The spare boats are tied up to mooring buoys off the jetty. The boathouse provides storage for boat gear, landing nets ( please use club nets when fishing the loch to prevent cross contamination from other fisheries) and a warm shelter when the weather gets bad or too cold to bear! Bank fishing can be done from the dam or structures around the loch as well as by careful wading though beware it can be deep in places or very weedy near some of the shores. If you plan on exploring by foot, wear stout wading  or walking boots as its a fair distance over some quite tricky ground in places.


Map of Coulter

Fishing location map of North Coulter Reservoir

Personal Opinions:

The loch is quite a daunting stretch of water and can be very challenging despite being very well stocked throughout the season. It can fish its head off on good days but equally can be insurmountably dour. This tends to be the nature of Brown Trout waters generally and Coulter is no exception. There is little shelter at the loch so its best not to bother even going if the trees are moving at “normal” ground level, as it will be blowing a gale up there! The facilities, for a club water are first class and very good value. I strongly recommend if you are at all interested in the offering LASAC have, of getting your name down on the membership list. You won’t regret it.

The only hassle with the loch is the mooring arrangement for the boats. If you are fortunate to turn up and no other boats are out, its not an issue, but if one boat is in use, you then need to get out to the spare boats, recover one to the jetty, tie it up securely side on, before you can really get your own boat prepared. If the wind is against you  ( especially blowing off the jetty, it can be a nightmare). To use a boat you are highly recommended to have access to preferably an electric outboard but a petrol one would do also. Having said that I do understand why it operates as it does and really its a small price to pay. DO allow time for boat maneuvering on any visit though, its not  a place to turn up expecting to fish from the boat for an hour, it might take you 45 minutes just to get the boats sorted out, and then if its been raining you might also need to pump a boat out! Fish in the loch are generally in the 3/4 to a pound class though a few bigger residents might always surprise the angler. Traditional loch style wet flies, buzzers and dries seem to do best, and small is good.

Value for moneyVery good,  membership of the club entitles you to fish the loch OR the River Carron any time during the normal Brown Trout season ( 15th March -6th October), and at time of writing cost was £70 annually plus a one-off joining fee of I think £25. Anglers can also target Salmon on the Carron.

Catch and Release Policy: Good Excellent. Catch and Release  is allowed on both loch and river.

Website: The club website is pretty poor and without going into detail about the arrangements of the website, the best thing to do for information is contact the ever helpful Stella Baird the club secretary at secretary AT replace the AT with the @ symbol and remove spaces

Overall: Very GoodGreat wee club with two great waters to fish, the loch and the river. The loch is particularly well organised and stocked though is somewhat exposed to the elements.