21 OCTOBER 2020


Hi Everyone.
With the Brown Trout season closed on our waters, the seatrout close season fast approaching and the salmon close season imminent in November – maybe a time for reflection and planning or amending our Club business before the next season is upon us.
A very difficult year for many of us. Covid; Staying Home; Working from home; not working; moving forward – or whatever it is we’ve all had to deal with individually throughout the past season – I truly hope that all our members benefit from the fishing facilities that we share and hope the support we have for our fellow members makes us a stronger club as we move forward.
My particular thanks to two of our committee members, Graeme & Davie, who have made and installed a new seat on the riverbank between Holmes Bridge and Cemetery pools. I know several members also keeping an eye on other improvements and taking on a few tasks. More improvements will continue once we have a “new normal”.
Sighting and catching farmed Salmon also featured recently on our fishery – and the October edition of Trout & Salmon showed a picture of Eric Greenwood with one of his catches which also prompted a short article. We have published elsewhere what to do with these escapee salmon once caught and properly identified. The accepted procedure is “chap, wrap, sample scales & photo”. There have also been several Rainbow Trout (escapees) caught.
We have been advised NOT to include capture of farmed salmon or rainbow trout in our club catch returns to Marine Scotland, but it would be helpful, for our own information, to know how many there have been.
Our Club Members’ catch returns should show all the necessary information – BUT NOTE SEPARATELY ANY FARMED SALMON or RAINBOW TROUT CATCHES, do not include them in your total returns.
Our Community centre address cannot be used for returns as we have no access at present, BUT returns could be handed in to ALYSONS FLOWERS, 8-10 Bank Street, Irvine KA12 0AD or Email with the full information before 30th November.
We may also need to think of alternative plans for our AGM due early December.
Tight Lines one and all for the remainder of the season. Please enjoy and keep in touch.
Best regards
Bill Giddings President

25 August 2020

Hi Everyone.  I trust we are all well and managing to stay clear of coughs and fevers. 

Many of us have now had the pleasure of fishing and reports of Trout and Salmon caught (and released) on DAC stretches are encouraging. We’ve also had another report of a Rainbow Trout being caught on R. Irvine and, should there be any others, these to be despatched humanely.

Your committee are still working away in the background and some are attempting maintenance tasks on paths and steps.

I have copied details of another worrying Salmon Farm escape – this time too close for comfort being just off the coast of Mull of Kintyre.  Keep your eyes peeled and report any unusual sightings.

The Salmon farm cages, containing about 550,000 salmon, broke free of its moorings in Storm Ellen around 20 August 2020.

The farm owner Mowi said it had temporarily secured the 10 pens at the North Carradale farm, near Campbeltown, after its seabed anchors became dislodged.

The firm said there are no reports of escapees at this stage.

Pictures taken using a drone suggest that three of the pens at the Argyll farm have been damaged. It has been recorded as “highly likely” that the integrity of the nets will have been “significantly compromised”.

Watchdog Marine Scotland were informed and Mowi said it would conduct a full investigation.

Andrew Graham-Stewart, director of Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland, said: “It is highly likely that, free of their moorings, the integrity of the nets holding the salmon will have been significantly compromised, thus allowing the fish to escape  The consequences of such a large number of mature farmed salmon of Norwegian origin escaping into the environment were potentially very serious”.

He added: “They are likely to run into the rivers of Argyll, the Firth of Clyde and Ayrshire in great numbers and, by spawning and breeding with wild Scottish salmon, severely impact the genetic integrity of our depleted native salmon populations.”

We have spoken directly with Ayrshire Rivers Trust (Struan Candlish) who have noted that farmed fish are identifiable because of deformed or shortened features such as their fins, gill covers and snouts. Their skin pigmentation can be heavier with more spots than are usual on wild salmon.

Anglers catching what are obvious farmed salmon are asked to report directly to ART and supply as much information as possible.  Where & when caught, a photograph, scale sample and, if possible, skin tissue (DNA).  It is recommended that the fish is despatched humanely but DO NOT EAT THE SALMON – as it may have been treated with chemicals – or vaccinated – as a matter of course during the production stage.  

Ayrshire Rivers Trust, Donald Hendrie Building, Auchincruive, Ayr KA6 5HW.   01292 737300       

ART will put together a response from the Ayrshire DSFB’s (District Salmon Fishery Board) and other rivers on behalf of Ayrshire Anglers in due course. 

Best regards

Bill Giddings (

03 JULY 2020
Well, the last few weeks have certainly been unprecedented and very challenging for us all.
TODAY, Friday 3rd July, marks the day that many of our members who live further than 5 miles away from our glorious fishing, can now travel to the water.
We have had remarkable success in providing our Digital Permits scheme over the past 2 months and my personal thanks go to those committee members who devised and worked through the system on behalf of us all.
Happily, our usual local retail outlets are now open and permits are available from Alyson’s Flowers and Bert’s Tackle shop.
Currently our secretary is seeking detail of companies or insured individuals who have tools and could undertake grass cutting to assist us in riverbank maintenance fairly soon. Please let us know of any contacts you may have. Email:
We have had reports of lovely Brown Trout being caught throughout our waters and, recently, sightings of Salmon in our favourite pools. Let’s see some photos.
Finally, and following an absence since March, I am today & tomorrow, about to experience the sheer joy of fishing our Rivers Irvine and Annick and would encourage ALL our members to do the same. Please say “hello”
when you see me (or any fellow member) – but maintain social distancing and follow all the government rules and guidelines.
All my very best wishes.
Tight lines.

Best regards. BILL GIDDINGS (

25 May 2020 – NEW DIGITAL PERMIT – COVID – 19

There are particular constitutional difficulties in linking an outside payment platform direct to the Club’s accounts. We have arranged a way to circumvent the problem to enable prospective members to purchase their memberships prior to easing of the lockdown on Thursday 28th May and prior to the usual outlets reopening.

Once operational again, Alyson’s Flowers and Bert’s Tackle shop should be the main port of call for Permits to fish etc.

The management committee have arranged for a Temporary Digital Permit to be made available. This can be purchased through a link on an email and will be operated through our Webmaster’s business Paypal account. We have confirmed with Cliff that ONLY season permits for Adults and Juniors will be available in this way, and that fees will be the same as the outlets would have been following the usual sale nights at Townend Centre. Fees are Adult age 16 to 17 years £15.00 Adults aged 18 years and over £35.00. Juniors age between 10 and 15 years £5.00, Juniors under 10 years FREE and Senior Citizens £15.00.

No day tickets meantime until the opening of our usual outlets.

The procedure is as follows:

  1. Send an email to requesting a temporary permit and NAME THE INDIVIDUAL AND FULL ADDRESS required. There could be more than one individual – but name each name and address separately.
  2. You will receive a reply to your email confirming the cost and giving a payment link to Cliff’s Paypal account and a reference to use when making payment.
  3. Once your payment is made and confirmed to us you will also receive confirmation and email copies of the permits requested or immediate use. Original hard copies will then be posted to you.
  4. The digital permit can either be shown on a smartphone or printed should you need to display your legal written permission to fish.

Please remember that Social Distancing is still required and we still follow the guidelines issued by the Scottish Government.

Please stay safe and healthy during these unprecedented times.

Best regards. BILL GIDDINGS (

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s