Woodburn Trout Fishery is located at the foot of the Campsie Fells, at the site of a now defunct reservoir. It lies just above Antermony Loch to the West of Kilsyth.
- Finding Woodburn Trout Fishery:
The fishery is relatively straightforward to find being well signposted from the main Kilsyth to Milton of Campsie road ( the A891 off the A803). The track up though is quite long and weaves it’s way up the hill. Its fairly rough but perfectly accessible in a standard family car provided you take your time. There are signs all the way up, so just keep following them! There is a yard with parked lorries and trailers about half way up and it sort of felt like maybe I had gone wrong after I passed the yard entrance- but keep going- it’s fine!
Access road: fair , with reasonable parking at the fishery. I was informed the fishery owners intend to improve the access road as they are developing the site to incorporate holiday lodges.
Public Transport: Not sure but if you can get a bus to the Antermony Road, perhaps there is a Kilsyth to Milton of Campsie service, it would be a long walk to the fishery. A taxi might be a better bet.
Contact: 01360 313086 or 07888 758709
Species: Rainbow, Blue and Brown trout (I think both wild and stocked).
Other Species: Unknown
Size: 12 Acres
The fishery is a fairly oval shaped reservoir, with few obvious features. Lying in the lee of the Campsie Hills as it does but for its size , it is very reminiscent of Harviestoun fishery that lies in the shadow of the Ochils. Harviestoun is about a quarter the size though. The water is very clear, not peaty, and there is an abundance of weed especially at the end nearest the lodge along the dam wall to the boom. Beyond there it’s a lot less weedy. I was informed the fishery is in the process of purchasing equipment to allow removal of excess weed, though clearly the weed provides bountiful natural feeding for the fish. Towards the far end of the dam wall are a series of casting platforms, and there are some on the north side nearer the lodge also. The rest of the fishery has concrete butresses that protrude from the dam and provide a stance from where to fish, though note the bank is steep here and getting fish in and out is easier with a long handled net.
Facilities: Tea and coffee in the “shop”, a small selection of flies is available along with tackle for hire. The lodge is warm and modern and it looks like at busier times than I was visiting on, that hot pies etc. might be available too. There were two rowing boats moored on the loch and these can be used for an extra £5. There are picnic tables around the loch and a couple of shelters should conditions turn inclement. There is also a small bait pond which is in a more sheltered position below the main loch. I was told that on especially wild days if no bait anglers are about fly fishing is allowed there to get out the wind.
Personal Opinions: Woodburn Fishery is a fairly featureless and exposed fishery, so if heading there best make sure you have suitable clothing, as the weather can change quite rapidly and I would imagine on a windy day, it might be very exposed. However plan your trip accordingly and from my own experience, you are assured of a grand day out fishing for the exceptionally hard fighting rainbows and other stocked fish. The fishery despite the weather at the time of writing ( very very wet) has somehow managed not to become a muddy quagmire around it’s banks, the grass was all neatly shorn and fine underfoot. Though few fish showed on my visit the top of the water sport was exceptional.
The dam wall was a two edged sword for fishing. On one hand it affords some height above the water which aids distance casting and you can if like me, you have a tackle bag that doubles as a seat, fish seated perfectly comfortably. But when netting fish or more importantly releasing them back it’s very difficult at the steeper locations to get access to the water. Keeping the fish in the water while you unhook them really isn’t any sort of option at all.
Value for money: Good, pretty standard prices with C&R after reaching a bag limit on a take ticket. C&R is available also. £5 for a boat is about standard in my experience.
Catch and Release Policy: Very Good. Anglers can either buy a C/R ticket from the outset or if fishing on a take ticket and hitting a limit bag. On C&R anglers must use barbless of debarbed flies and limit the time the fish is out the water. At the higher pegs keeping them in while unhooking is close to if not totally impossible.
Website: Modern and links to fB but is not kept upto date with fishing reports. The News page is utterly blank!
Overall: Taking all things into consideration I would rate Woodburn a high 4. Great fighting fish, clean and tidy fishery and good value for money, with pretty good facilities. The height of the pegs at the deeper side can make life a wee bit tricky but I don’t view this as any sort of easily remedied problem for the management as it’s just the way the dam was built. As long as you are careful – maybe wear wellies in case you get a wet foot releasing fish back, its fine. Being a reservoir of the type it is, it is a bit featureless. I believe some tree planting has been done and it’s expected it will take several years before these provide any sort of shelter but nonetheless its thinking ahead. The fish were amongst the strongest I have ever encountered anywhere! Worth a visit.