Upper Clyde Trout and Grayling Fishing

This page will cover what most people would refer to as the Upper Clyde, from near its source deep in the Borders to around Blantyre, South of Glasgow. Below this the river widens to become the Mid Clyde which while holding Trout and Coarse species, is probably more interest to the angler seeking Salmon and Sea Trout.

To see which sections are covered by Mid Clyde, have a look at this Google Map with the Mid Clyde Pools clearly designated.

The Clyde system is covered by a Protection Order and so you cannot venture onto the river without a permit.

Permits are available for Migratory fish ( Salmon and Sea trout) and non migratory fresh water species.

Salmon and Sea Trout run as far as the Weir at New Lanark which forms a barrier to their further progress, so  its non migratory fishing only above this point

The river is divided up between a number of different angling associations, clubs and bodies.

Rules on methods vary but in general fly, lure and bait fishing are allowed. Bait methods may be restricted ie. I know ledgering is not allowed on UCAPA water.

Depending which section you want to fish you will need to check who runs it, where you can get permits, and what days fishing is allowed, as it varies. None of this is particularly helpful to the angler, and one wonders what’s stopping them running some sort of passport scheme like they have in some systems in England and Wales, so you can go onto any water under a single ticket or block of tickets that you use up.


A better shot of the second fish

The Clyde is home to fantastic Grayling up to Specimen size.

In the upper Clyde above the New Lanark Weir the main target species is Brown Trout. These are a mixture of wild fish and some introduced through controlled stocking by some of the clubs on the river. Grayling are also present on the upper Clyde having been introduced to the river in the 19th Century. The Trout Season is the traditional 15th March to 6th October practiced in most river systems. You can however fish for Grayling and Coarse species all year round though you would be asked to not target these species in the late springtime as its breeding season. It is however not unlawful to fish for them as there are no coarse fish seasonal restriction in Scotland. UCAPA state their Grayling season is 7th October to 14th March but how they could enfoce that is a hard call- to me its a daft rule .

There are Barbel in the river to some considerable size and a few are caught each year in error by salmon anglers amongst others, how they came to be in the river I have no idea, I am sure it would not be allowed now!

While “take” limits are specified by the permit issuers in all cases, as is the practice these days, Catch and Release is strongly encouraged and you should try to use Barbless, debarbed or at most, micro barbed hooks in your fishing. Personal note: Please don’t remove the Grayling in particular, they are totally wild and will not just magically come back if wiped out, they have a hard enough time with the Cormorants on the river in winter.


Associations and Permits

There are five organisations running fishing on the upper Clyde river System.

Some of the sections are non contiguous ie. for instance UCAPA control the very upper reaches of the river, it then becomes Lamington, then UCAPA again, then Hozier  then UCAPA etc. You really need to get a OS map of the area and work out who starts where. For ease of fishing, though not the cheapest, if you plan to fish the river a lot and cover a lot of ground you are probably as well to purchase season tickets for all areas and save having to worry about permits and crossing boundaries! None are especially expensive.


 UCAPA ( United Clyde Angling Protective Association Ltd.)

The biggest body controlling some twenty odd miles of river. Technically I beleive the fishings extend all the way from the Daer Reservoir where the Clyde rises, however due to American Signal Crayfish infestation they are currently restricting the river above what’s known as the Telford Bridge just South of Crawford.

Their water initially extends from here down to their boundary with the Lamington and District Angling Association at the Roberton Water junction. There are a couple of restrictions inside this area so check a permit for full details. This area is entirely freshwater species only and fishing is permitted 7 days a week in season for Trout and other species. When Trout are out of season, you can still fish for Grayling or other coarse species. From the details on their website the full details of their water is as follows- please check their page for up to date info:

It is valid for parts of the Mouse, Douglas Water, Duneaton Water and the River Clyde, with the following exceptions:

  • All waters upstream of Telford Bridge, Crawford.
  • Southwood Farm, Abington.
  • Lamington Association Stretch from Roberton Burn to Thankerton Bridge.
  • Lampits Farm, Carstairs.
  • Hozier Angling Club stretch from Easter Sills Farm, Pettinain, to Kirkfieldbank Bridge.
  • Stonebyres Falls to Stonebyres Bridge (both banks) Power Station Property.
  • Overton Farm, Crossford.
  • Ross Estate, Hamilton.
  • Motherwell Bridge to Bothwell Bridge (both banks) within Strathclyde Country Park.

The upper part above Lamington is fairly easy wading and can run very clear and low if there has been little rain, so you may need to search out the deeper lies.


Lots of information but a wee bit hard to follow and a little dated looking http://www.ucapaltd.co.uk/


Follow this link for permit issuers and this one for permit prices: For 2017 there is no Grayling Season ticket just for this winter. Day tickets are available but much better value is a Clyde Season ticket hich starts on October 7th and runs until March 14th 2019 for £55.


Lamington and District Angling Improvement Association

This club holds the rights for fishing on a nine mile stretch of the river, from  the Bower Pool at Roberton down to the Boat Bridge , Thankerton. Fishing is restricted to the normal Trout Fishing season for Brown Trout, and there is NO SUNDAY FISHING on this section. Grayling permits are issued out of season but they stop Grayling activities through February and March.


A crude but useful map can be found on the club website. This is the same map issued to permit holders and is good enough to cross ref with an OS Map.


Follow this link for rules and permit issuers.


Basic but clear and functional ( there are some broken links) and seems to be updated occasionally. http://www.lamingtonfishing.co.uk

Hozier Angling Association

The great mystery of the Clyde! ( plays theme from the “Twilight Zone”). Who are the Hozier Angling Association as I don’t know anyone who is a member or can say anything about the club. It does not really matter as getting a permit is easy enough and if it lets you go fishing who cares who is behind it all, probably the land owners.

Hozier AA controls a stretch around Lanark which incorporates a fast section known as the Clyde Shoals. The river gets wider here and some sections are quite deep to wade, certainly I found some bits quite hard work if not very dodgy! But its an interesting stretch and well worth a visit.

Hozier section

Hozier section


None that I know of


Buy them (cheaply) at the Hyndford Nursery at the Hyndford Bridge just south of Lanark on the  A73.  Its quite obvious on Google Maps.


You are kidding aren’t you!

Avon Angling Association

Not the actual River Clyde but part of the Clyde river system the Avon enters the Clyde at Hamilton. The fishing is controlled by the Avon Angling Association who provide permits and stock the river over a 14 mile section. Their section contains Brown Trout (Wild and stocked) , Grayling and some Salmon and Sea trout being as it is below New Lanark. I beleive the river gets a good reputation but never having fishe dit myself can’t really tell the reader much more- worth a try though a bit of a run for me.


You can download a map of the Avon Angling Associations water here.


Permits can be purchased online which is cool or from a range of outlets listed on this page.


Avon Angling Association have at least made an effort and their site is clear and reasonably well laid out though the navigation is a bit difficult to spot at first- and they use Comic Sans font which is a terrible idea on the website- you won’t see that if you don’t have this font installed on your computer- think yourself lucky! http://www.theavonanglingclub.co.uk


Upper Avon Angling Association

The Upper Avon Angling Association run the top 8 miles of the Avon, from Craig Bridge  on the B7086, to the source. Bank access varies so again check the permit or club website. The fishing is for Brown Trout and Grayling, with the wild Brown Trout being supplemented by stocking from in house produced genetic river stock. The river is well managed and contains a good head of Brown Trout. You can read more on this section on a page I have now created on the Upper Avon.


Following my initial review UAAA contacted me and have now set up a Google Map with key points of interest marked on the map. Well done chaps! You can see the map on the River Avon  page or on the UAAA website


Permits are £10 per season- yes thats not a typo! Got to be worth it if you live near hand, given a day ticket on UCAPA is £10!


Again following the initial review on this site UAAA have acted very quickly (see the comments on this page) and have fully reviewed and tidied up their menus. Full credit to them thay have a cracking wee site along with a very enthusiastic organisation and are to be warmly commended. This wordpress driven site is packed with information and is by far the best of the bunch and seems to be kept up to date. http://www.upperavonangling.co.uk

It also covers fishing at Glengavel Reservoir which is also run by the club and which gets a very good write up.

All the above information is based on my understanding of the fishings and is both subject to change, error and my interpretation. There are a couple of further resources I would recommend for those interested in Clyde fishing. The River Clyde Fishing website, join the forum, the Anglers Book of the Clyde and Clydestyle Fishing, a tackle shop at Crossford near Larkhall on the Clyde. (closed Mondays). Please mention our site here if communicating with any of the above resources quoted.