River Annan September 2011

The River Annan is an intimate river that throughout most of its length offers fishing for salmon and sea trout of the highest calibre. Almost the entire river is coverable by anyone with moderate ability with many of the beats offering classic fly water.  Depending on the time of year the sea trout fishing at night is an esoteric pleasure that is becoming more and more popular with visitors and all beats allowing 24 hour fishing to accommodate this.  The salmon fishing is primarily an autumn affair with very large fish (in excess of 30lb) being caught most years.

The River Annan rises in the Devil's Beef Tub in the southern uplands, just north of Moffat.  Famous rivers such as the Clyde and the Tweed burst out of the very same hills.  From being a small fast flowing burn it rapidly grows when two substantial tributaries, the Moffat and Evan water, join it at Three Waters Meet.  The river flows in a southerly direction down through Annandale meeting many substantial and varied tributaries on its way to the sea.  The river changes it habit several times on its way south from a brawling upland torrent into a large stately but sedate lowland river in its middle reaches before, once again, it picks up speed as the gradient increases on its final dash for the Solway.

he Annandale landscape is largely a pastoral one with sheep and cattle grazing the dominant land use. Many parts of the river are however separated from this by rich and varied native riparian woodland, which is filled with the heady scents of primroses, blue bells and wild garlic in the spring. The summer landscape is resonant with the barking of roe deer and the birdlike calls of otters. In the autumn the rich and varied tree species put on a dramatic display of yellow, ochre and amber. Red squirrels, which are still common in this part of Scotland, will be regularly seen feeding hard in preparation for the winter ahead.

The varied habitats throughout the river support an astonishing abundance and diversity of fish throughout its length. Whilst the typical Scottish species of salmon and trout are very common they are jostling for position in a fish soup that contains, amongst others, large shoals of grayling, chub and even bream. In all 24 different species of freshwater fish have been found in the river thriving in their own ecological niches.

As a result the fishing can be excellent with the Annan rated as one of the best sea trout rivers in the UK. It also has an increasing annual salmon catch that would put many larger rivers to shame. The largest brown trout caught on the river each year are normally over 5lb. The grayling are commonly caught at weights approaching and over 3lb whilst, although the angling pressure is currently very light, chub over 5lbs are not uncommon. 

Day 2

Ian lands his first grilse at 8lbs (3.63kg)

Day 3 

Landing our third fish...

Day 1

And we see our first grilse at 6lbs (or my calculator tells me 2.72kg for the younger amongst you)



Day 3 

Fish on!  Playing the fish through the rapids.

Day 4 

Seting up for the days fishing...