River Clyde

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 both fly, lure and bait fishing is 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.

  • Species

    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.

    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.


    Not very good, very dated. but has some information on the river but is not regularly updated. http://www.ucapaltd.co.uk/


    Follow this link for permit issuers and this one for permit prices: Please note I was unable to purchase a Grayling Season Permit for UCAPA this year (winter 2011-2012)


    None issued or on the website that I am aware of, and for visitors quite difficult to work out some of the resticted area from the permit because it refers to names that are clearly local and not necessarily obvious on a OS Map.

    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.



    1. Alan Scott
      November 13, 2011 @ 20:50

      Thanks for your critique – which is very fair – we are working on a decent map – this is the first website I’ve been involved in & there maybe a bit to much enthusiasm in it.
      What I would like to say is that our Rearing Ponds & Hatchery is a completly unique project & currently no,other Anglimg Clubs we know of run such a facility & you would be welcome to come and visit our set up to view it for yourself.
      We will put a link to your pages on our website.
      Best regards


      • unfamous
        November 13, 2011 @ 21:34

        Hi Alan-
        thanks for dropping by- would love to come and see and also try out the fishing sometime. I can help you with the menu thing on your site- I will email separately, but don’t hold back on the website- enthusiasm is what so many angling sites lack- and yours is one of the best I have seen for a club!
        Keep up the good work.


    2. Alan Scott
      November 19, 2011 @ 17:42

      Hi Kenny
      Site now updated in line with your comments – which we at the UAAA are thankful for – any other comments or ideas gratefully accepted – cheers – Alan


      • unfamous
        November 19, 2011 @ 19:37

        You are very welcome- anything I can do to help or you find you are stuck with just ask- it never hurts! All the very best, will try get down that way sometime over the next season.


        • unfamous
          November 19, 2011 @ 19:43

          I have updated the info on the site here in line with your efforts- top work Alan!


    3. Munro
      December 22, 2011 @ 21:45

      Nice blog, i was also on the Annan last weekend but i never got a fish over a pound. Tight lines for 2012.


    4. Munro
      December 22, 2011 @ 23:24

      You are welcome any time, 6lb minimum breaking strain. 😉


    5. river clyde grayling fishing - Fly Fishing Forums
      January 4, 2012 @ 18:32

      […] fishing Permits are controlled by a number of organisations- you can read about it all here River Clyde | the unfamous fly For the Upper Clyde you can buy permits at a number of outlets for a tenner a day for the Upper […]


    6. Steven McGeechan
      September 5, 2013 @ 21:46

      The Clyde is under rated in my opinion recently over the 2 yrs I have dabbled on various locations of the mid Clyde and have more often than not hooked into a trout or two,half pound to three quarter small maybe but proof the water is running clean and providing healthy stock for future fishing. On my last trip hooked a decent barbel between. Two half pounds may even up to the three pound mark trotting a worm and seeing what I guess to have been five or six pound rainbow leap out the water only three feet away from me. 20quid a season, I will be purchasing one for next season


      • unfamous
        September 5, 2013 @ 22:04

        If you were on mid Clyde more than likely a Grilse than a Rainbow, no?


    7. james
      April 20, 2014 @ 19:08

      hi i just got new permit at strathclyde park can i fish in the river beside strathclyde park


      • unfamous
        April 20, 2014 @ 19:41

        I wouldn’t think so, the River beside Strathclyde Park is the Clyde, I think thats UCAPA water so you would need a one of the various UCAPA permits.


    8. ST52CAM
      April 6, 2016 @ 12:11

      Can anyone tell me any good spots for trout in the Clyde I have tried car stairs and never touched a fish


      • unfamous
        April 6, 2016 @ 12:40

        There are fish all over the river it’s just getting the right method/fly on the day! Sorry your not having luck. Mauldslie, Crossford, Hozier and Abington are all popular spots.


        • Brian Thomas
          May 6, 2016 @ 14:26

          I see you commented on Abington as popular spots on the clyde, I have recently retired and thought of giving Abington a try! I went there for two days (3rd to 4th May 2016) and stayed in the Abington Hotel. I fished it for the two days and never had any luck, Then to my horror on my way back to Glasgow by public transport I struck up a conversations with locals, they told me that fishing this stretch of water is no longer viable due to the fact that the water is infested with the North American Crayfish. This has been documented since early 2000 on the internet and two barriers have been built at a cost of £50.000. I am going to contact South Lanark Council regarding this to find out what the exact situation is regarding the River Clyde in the South Lanark Area.


          • unfamous
            May 6, 2016 @ 15:37

            Someone is winding you up. Someone caught a 4lb Brown at Crawford yesterday, and the Scottish National Fly Fishing League holds its competition on this stretch tomorrow. Plenty fish up there. I have blanked a few times but also had some nice fish. Yeah there are Crayfish but they are through the entire system now. Just need to find the fish and the method.


    9. Brian Thomas
      May 6, 2016 @ 15:46

      Thank’s for your reply, I will give it another go in the next week or two. I take it your talking about the stretch from the Abington bridge up stream toward Crawford. I think I’ll start from Crawford and work my way down next time. Thanks again for the info.


      • unfamous
        May 6, 2016 @ 16:09

        I don’t know the EXACT spot the fish was caught yesterday, it was on the river clyde group on facebook. It stated Crawford. My friends who fish the Clyde a lot more than me fish up there all the time. Another few spots to try are down from Telford Bridge above Crawford, The Monument ( at Abington),( Abington gets very busy lots of people fish there so it’s fairly pressured) Mauldslie Bridge can be good, Crossford, and the Hosier section can be good on its day at this time of year with the Yellow May Duns coming off.( it is hard wading in places around the Clyde Shoals.) Above Telford Bridge towards Elvanfoot I have had less luck there, this is the area where the Crayfish were boxed in for a long time until they spilled out. However I know people that only fish up that way. Its very fishy water but these are clever fish as they see a lot of flies and bugs. Tight lines.


    10. Brian Thomas
      May 6, 2016 @ 17:01

      I’m going to give it a whirl on Monday May 9th. I have a senior citizens UCAPA season permit for Abington, do you know if this is also ok for Crawford. I’ll tie some of Davie McPhail’s patterns for Yellow May and emerger patterns the week-end. Thank you very much.


      • unfamous
        May 6, 2016 @ 18:40

        Yeah should be fine. You can fish all the way up to Daer water I think.There are a few no go spots on some farms that UCAPA dont have the rights though I suspect no one will bother you in the main, just wee bits.


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