River Carron ( Stirlingshire/Falkirk)

The River Carron is a relatively short river, which is sourced in the Touch Hills at the Earlsburn Reservoirs with various small burns joining along its route,and flows down through the Carron Valley past, Dunipace, Denny, Larbert, Falkirk and out to the sea at Grangemouth. Its very much a river in recovery after years of industrial pollution especially around Falkirk where various industries seen the river as  a useful dumping ground for their toxic waste. The river has cleaned up considerably since those bad old days that were as recent as the late 80’s. I recll working on a job at Carron Phoenix and the river looked pretty rancid then. It also takes water in from the Carron Valley Reservoir which is probably more accurately to be considered the direction of the true source of the river prior to the flooding of the valley in the earlier half of the 20th Century.


There are plenty places to get access to the river- some immediately beside the water others are a bit of a traipse across fields ( remember to stick to the verges and avoid crops and close gates behind you!

This handy map shows most of the places I know of to get parked- some are very much use at your own risk. None should be regarded as recommendations official or otherwise.

  • The river now has a small head of Salmon that run as far as the falls at Fankerton and has a head of wild trout but is also stocked by locally grown trout from the nearby Howietoun fishery. Salmon were reintroduced into the river and have now become established running the river every year. While fish may be taken by permitted anglers for the table, catch and release is strongly encouraged. At certain times of year Salmon should all be returned. Similarly Brown Trout are stocked into the river by LASAC but there is now a head of wild fish in the river. Stock fish are marked either by a tattoo of dots under the head, or some have a clipped adipose fin to identify them as introduced fish. Anglers may practice Catch and release or take fish as they wish for trout. A small number of Sea Trout also make it through the river each year.

    It might be stretching it too far to call it an entirely urban river, but certainly while all around can be fields and countryside, you are never far from habitation, the M80 and M876 motorways and the M9 lower down the river.

    The sun sets behind a tree

    Midsummer Sunset on the River Carron

    It is not a large river in size- rarely more than 30-45 feet in width under normal circumstances in the upper stretches, where its wider its also shallower. Fly fishing is preferred but other methods are permissable at different times of the season, in particular for Salmon. Fly fishing for salmon is admittedly not going to be that easy round some of the pools. In early season most of the river is accessible,  however as summer encourages bankside vegetation to flourish, some areas will become challenging both to access and to get enough room to cast. Where a 9 or 9 and a half foot nymph rod may be OK in early season, later on a shorter 7- 8ft rod might be preferable.

    They very top of the river is very much a free stone fast flowing affair but the river slows as it drops down and is pretty slow flowing as it reaches the final few miles out to the Forth estuary. This section also suffers from some pollution issues with low disolved oxygen being a particular issue hampering the run of salmon and sea trout.

    The majority of the river is permitted for fishing by Larbert and Stenhousemuir Angling Club. A lot of clean up work is carried out both by the club and also by the River Carron Fisheries Management Group.

    I have included some shots of various sections of the river and will add to this as it becomes more familiar to myself.

    However there is a video on You Tube by Barry Gibb ( he doesn’t look like a Bee Gee by the way) providing a tour down the named pools of the Carron, and I include it here below, in the hope you find it useful.

    You can download a beat map of the River Carron near here. I am not sure if this is given out with permits or not but it seems to be something many anglers have found useful in the past and I only found a copy in a very old link on a rather unused forum somewhere, yet clearly people still look for this kind of info. The map was created by Roger Geary (see comments below) and the official up to date version of the file (in jpg format)  can be found on the MediaFire platform at this location.

    This file is in JPG  format and is just over 1.2Meg to download.




    1. Stella
      May 27, 2014 @ 21:45

      Ken, The permits we sell through the outlets all have a detailed map of the river and pools on the back of them.


      • unfamous
        May 28, 2014 @ 10:55

        Thanks Stella. Do you have a list of outlets I could add?


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