FAFA Linlithgow Loch
Linlithgow Loch is well known to many as the stretch of water that lies beside the very picturesque Linlithgow Palace. Most people don’t realise its also a trout fishery.
Facilities: A Wooden Anglers Lodge is stationed on the South shore of the loch, with a payment facility, seating and tables, I beleive its staffed on a voluntary basis by members of the Forth Area Federation of Anglers. The Fishery is I beleive stocked weekly and has both bank and boat fishing to offer. There are nineteen boats with oars available to hire for either one or two anglers, it can be a busy location so if planning a special visit, best to book ahead. If you need an engine for a boat you need to bring it yourself- electric or up to 5hp.
Size: About half a mile wide at the widest point by almost one mile long
Access Road: None! The Lodge is just off Linlithgow main street but there is no service road leading to it. You can only reach it on foot. For short duration visits (ie to book or drop off kit) you can park outside the Golden Chip and walk down to the Lodge with your gear. However for longer term parking you need to take the opening slighly to the west of this which has the RS McColls paper shop on the corner. If you can get parked here ( a big IF) you can carry your gear along to the boat moorings about 200 yards away. The Fishery also has barrows for moving heavy gear like engines, seats and batteries should you bring one.
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Species: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout and Pike, and other small coarse fish
Contact: 01506 671753
Notable Rules: Fly only- Boobies ARE currently allowed, no fish finders (quite right!) 6 fish bag limit with catch and release allowed for a further 6 fish. Hooks must be debarbed for C&R and no Boobies.
A large and famous stretch of water in Central Scotland, Linlithgow Loch is mainly shallow, depth range to about 10 feet but there is a notable deep hole in front of the lodge area which is down to 30+ feet. Rowing in the main section out front of the lodge is fine but if you intend to explore the further reaches of the water, then an engine would be advisable as its a long haul! Parking is a bit of a pain but there are facilities to help you out assuming you can get parked in the nearby (free) public car park. I am told from friends that algal blooms are not uncommon there and that finding the fish can be tricky on occasions. Oe my limited experience of the place I would say this sounds true, finding the fish was very much a case of listening to the boat keeper, and following the fleet! There was a fairly severe algal bloom in progress on my visit though it did not stop the fish taking!
Successful Flies: Orange Blobs, Yellow Dancer, Cruncher, Diawl Bach.
Overall: Very good fishery, though parking is a problem, not an insurmountable one though to be fair. I am told the algal bloom I experienced is not uncommon there, but while its a bit of a pain if does not seem to put the fish off once you find them! The fishing there seems to favour lure fishing, though nymphs are effective.