North Third Fishery

North Third Fishery (updated April 2015)

Please note North Third Trout Fishery, following two years of maintenance work on the dam wall by Scottish water, which resulted in closure of the fishery, it has decided to close down. For the time being the loch no longer operates as a trout fishery. If this changes I will update it here, so please treat the information below as for interest only as the fishery is no longer operational.

North Third is another very close to hand fishery to me. Its arguably almost as close as Swanswater (by road) though I can walk to Swanswater faster. North Third is up a quite narrow road though for driving access.

North Third Early Springtime

North Third Early Springtime

Its a very popular fishery amongst anglers and is quite a large stretch of water.

View North Third Fishery in a larger map

Facilities: Limited, permits are issued from a mostly unmanned container, there is no shop, shelters, or tea/coffee facilities, so bring your own and dress for the location!

Size: 120acres



Entrance to North Third


Access Road: PoorPlenty space to park but very very rough access road- not suitable for low slung cars and really one of the worst access roads to any fishery I can think of, take it slow to avoid damage to your vehicle. I have to ask again- why do fishery owners assume you want to trash your car when visiting their locations!? It does not have to be 3 lane motorway but level and pothole free is not too much to ask is it?

Public Transport: PoorNone- best you could do is hire a taxi from Stirling, the water is about 4 miles from the Bannockburn road and about 6 miles from Stirling City Centre.

Species: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout and Perch

Contact: 07767 831 197

Notable Rules: Fly only- Boobies ARE currently allowed.

North Third late in the season

North Third late in the season: Grim!


North Third is a now disused public water supply reservoir of some 120 acres or therabouts. It allows fishing from the bank and boat. They also have catch and release and a number of season permit options for regulars. A notable feature of North Third is the high bag limits, in general you can take 10 fish on a visit! You would have to be keen on trout and have a big freezer if you were to bag up.

Its not a turn up and fish at any time of the day sort of place, basically there are set start times one in the morning 10:00 to 17:00, and one in the evening in summer, starting at 16:30 and ending at a time equating roughly to dusk depending on the month. So if like me you would struggle to be there at 16:30 of an evening its not much use for a couple of hours fishing on a nice night. You do have to be pretty much set up to fish a long session whatever time suits you.

The fishery opens 15th March through to 17th Ocober, there is no winter fishing. It is stocked with Rainbows but there is a head of wild Brown Trout and the usual Perch resident in the loch. For bank fishing its nearly all done from the west side of the loch where you can work your way along from the boat berthing area right up to the dam wall. There are no designated pegs or platforms. It can be pretty weedy close in so realistically for most areas of bank fishing you need to have a pair of chest waders. There are one or two spots where the bank has direct access to deep water but to be honest if you turned up expecting to fish there, you could be disappointed if others beat you to it. My own experience of the  place, while limited, was that anglers find a spot and stay there for the “shift”.

Boats are also available and to explore the loch you would probably want to hire one. They come with oars, and so I notice quite a few anglers turn up with their own electric outboards. Its a big water so rowing the length of the loch into a head wind might be quite tiring. But its not impossible, it all depends on your desire to move about quickly, I personally prefer the stealthy approach of using oars, so don’t bother with an engine.

You can also if you wish bring your own float tube and prices for this activity are as for bank fishing.

Personal Opinion

I have  fished North Third a few times and I have to say my initial impressions were not good. Partly due to the weather on the day- it was pretty grim, and partly due to the behaviour of other anglers. On my visit there were a number of anglers who I would guess are regulars. Their fishing tactics were at best unsporting and at worst possibly illegal. The tactic being employed was to cast a sinking line in with a short leader and a booby on the end and simply leave it. They even set up rod rests with sticks from the branches of a tree. I think I seen them cast about 6 times all day and they caught about 6 fish between standing chatting and drinking tea. I am really not sure where the fly fishing is in this. From my point of view the disappointing thing was the lack of anyone policing the venue. I suspect this is the norm as I doubt these anglers would have stood fishing as they did if they thought there was any risk of being challenged.

Also there were a number of anglers with spinning rods secreted below the bank, sometimes in the water. Whether they were bait fishing for trout or Perch as was suggested by one when I asked him, I cannot say but I have my own thought on the matter.

My more recent visit though was much more favourable and I have to say if you can get there for the 16:30-22:30 shift, its really quite a bargain, at £18 foa one rod boat ( and you can take a junior angler long for free) with a 10 bag imit for the boat, out in a boat its a very pleasant fishery, the boats are clean tidy and well maintained and George the owner is a very helpful chap.

If bank fishing you have to have waders, there is an awful lot of weed near the shore and you will neither reach the clear water or have a hassle free visit if you try to cast from the bank in my opinion. There is a spot about two thirds along the west bank where there is  sort of promintory with trees behind, this area offered direct access to deep water and had little or no weed. Beyond this you get close to the dam wall where you can wade quite far out and I would guess deep water lies beyond.

Value for money: GoodExcellent, lack of facilities and inflexible start times marks against but potentially good angling I suspect, with huge bag limit.

Catch and Release Policy: ExcellentExcellent: a catch and release permit is an option and is also available if you bag up

Website:AverageOK, modern and informative but not regularly updated as far as I can see and no catch reports or archives.This really could do with improvement, at leats a weekly catch report.

Overall: AverageI originally rated North Third a three but have now updated it to a 4, value for money alone boosts it enormously, and the boats are very well maintained, with excellent customer care.  The access road is worthy of deducting a half a star for though- and the behaviour of other anglers on an earler visit crowned it for me. More diligence in policing the fishery is required in my view.



  1. Malcolm
    February 22, 2012 @ 09:32

    I fish North Third whenever I can and it is my favourite fishery in the area. I always Bank Fish, and in my years fishing I have never seen anyone using the semi-illegal methods mentioned. I try to avoid busy periods and I never feel crowed. As we know in Scotland the weather can be variable, but that’s how it goes. As for bag I have never reached the 10 limit, but I guess that’s down to me! The real plus in the environment with stunning views. 9/10


    • unfamous
      February 22, 2012 @ 10:07

      Yeah its a nice Fishery- I went two times last season and fished from a boat both times. I narrowly missed a blank on my first outing catching a fish right at the end of my session and I felt did OK considering the conditions on my second outing there considering it was cold. Was unlucky not to get more- one came off right at the end- on the last day of the season. Luckiest fish in the loch I reckon. Its probably a place I would fish more often- as its no distance from me here, but the session times tend to put me off as getting the most out an evening session means being there for 16:30 which is no good with a normal day job. Never had any luck on a dry fly there though I have to say even when the conditions would suggest otherwise- like you say- must be down to me. Thanks for your comments.


  2. Malcolm
    February 23, 2012 @ 14:10

    Yes, I agree, for some reason Dry fly is rarely productive; however going deep is equally not always a solution. My best days are usually fishing a nymph just sub surface with a floating line, adjusting the depth with the leader length and retrieve rate. Weed can be a problem in the mid-season. The best fishing is usually in the margins where the fish feed on bussers and other invertebrates. I never do will in lures, but other people use them with success. I tend to be a bit of a traditionalist, using traditional Scottish patterns.


    • unfamous
      February 23, 2012 @ 14:22

      Interesting observations. On the last day of the season it was very cold and fish were hiding but just below the surface was where I picked up fish, or in the shallower end down toward the weedy corner area opposite the boat moorings. But like you say most anglers seem to use Lures, which while I will do it, I don’t prefer it, I really love my dry fly. I have picked up fish on the back edge between the dam and the big island on wets and nymphs, but they are usually smaller browns. Do you wade in the summer- I wondered if it was productive if the water was warmer. George suggested to me the fish head for the deep area in from the dam when it heats up- certainly seems very deep when I run a Di7 through it last year.


  3. Malcolm
    April 30, 2012 @ 10:46

    Unfortunately the fishery is closed for the 20012/13 session due to works on the dam causing the water levels to be drastically reduced . I for one hope that it will reopen soon


    • unfamous
      April 30, 2012 @ 14:28

      Yeah that’s sort of correct. As I understand it, the loch is closed for 2012 Season and in fact, as far as I can see the work is not yet started as the water levels still look normal. George must be spitting feathers! I don’t believe at this point in time that the fishery will be closed in 2013. Keep an eye on the North Third Website for up to date information. Link on this site in the fisheries sidebar block.


  4. Chris Graham
    August 30, 2012 @ 12:59

    I started my fishing adventurs at North Third and find it a great place to fish. George even gave me a free lesson and its my favourite place to fish. I love fishing from the boat and have had a few sucesses over the visits last year. I really do hope they open for 2013.


    • unfamous
      August 30, 2012 @ 18:54

      I see no reason why it should not open unless the mtce work takes longer than anticipated. George must be spitting feathers. I have not been up for a few weeks but beleive they were getting ready to start the works. George could’ve had 2/3rds of the season open.


  5. Malcolm
    October 25, 2014 @ 13:42

    Sadly it appears that the Fishery is closed for good and that George has retired. As far as I am aware he has not found anyone to take it on.


    • unfamous
      October 25, 2014 @ 14:03

      Was he trying to find anyone to take it on? Never heard it was for sale?


  6. Malcolm
    October 25, 2014 @ 14:43

    I don’t know but I am surprised that he is allowing it to close. I don’t move in the circles that would know!


    • unfamous
      October 25, 2014 @ 16:04

      Likewise but usually when a well known fishery is up for sale it’s up for a while so you find out. I only live ten minutes away and never seen a sign up or heard any mention. Plus the time to start looking for a buyer was maybe in the summer while he was maybe thinking what to do. Would struggle to sell it now as he has put all the boats and engines up for sale.


  7. Bad news in local fisheries: River Devon and North Coulter (updated 7/8/11) - the unfamous fly
    January 4, 2016 @ 21:17

    […] North Third Fishery […]


  8. Archie Muir
    March 5, 2018 @ 22:11

    Was a beautiful fishery fished it every sunday for 8 years sadly missed had many great days there


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