Upper Annandale AA
Want to fish the Annan, Southern Scotland?

Salmon and Brown Trout are catch and release for the foreseeable future

Only 20 miles north of Carlisle - UAAA for Salmon, Sea Trout, specimen Grayling
and seriously BIG wild Brown Trout

Upper Annandale Angling Association has 8 miles of this 35 mile river.

There is plenty of fishing available. We have one 4 mile beat north of Lockerbie (Applegarth Beat) and another 4 mile beat south of Moffat (Upper Beat), mostly both banks.

Brown Trout are ALWAYS catch and release on our water and yes they are that big and that wild. WILD Brownies from 4 to 8 pounds are caught every year on dry fly and nymph, mostly in April, May, and June and on both beats.

By May there are Sea Trout available and in the last couple of years we've had Summer salmon to 20 pounds starting in June and July, even though Annan is typically considered a "back end" river with the main Salmon runs in September, October and November.



The Scottish Government has brought in legislation to help salmon numbers in some rivers. Rivers have been classified as Categories 1, 2, and 3. Categories 1 and 2 may kill some salmon, Category 3 which applies to the Annan and lots of other rivers are entirely catch and release for this year. To be reviewed yearly.

The prohibition on the retention of salmon caught in coastal waters remains in place due to the mixed stock nature of the fishery and limited data on the composition of the catch (this will reviewed in 2018)The high seas net catch which peaked at 12,000 tons on the 70s is down to under 1,500.

Many UK rivers, including the Esk, Eden, Annan and Nith are showing returning salmon numbers to be below their Conservation Limits. Not enough fish returning from the sea to sustain the population.

It looks like the hooks part of the legislation will be roughly this:- Fly anglers after salmon or grilse can fish one hook though the fly can be tied on a single, double or treble hook.
Spinners etc can have a single treble hook.
Bait anglers can have one hook and it must be a single no larger than size 4

Information on the subject is updated on the Scottish Government website here

Government website

Salmon catches

Catches on the whole river dropped from the five year average of 1,500 to 330 in 2014 and 450 in 2015. In 2016 there was light fishing pressure due to the Catch and Release regulations and the catch FOR THE WHOLE RIVER fell to 125 The fact remains that salmon can only breed in fresh water and if we don't send enough young fish back to sea so that at least SOME can return to breed then local extinctions will happen, and soon

Flood picture

This is what I mean when I tell you it's in the fields! This was the view from my house of Woodfoot Bridge at 9am on Wednesday, 30th December, 2015 when it was 8 feet 4 inches up and rising. It later got to over 9 feet, just short of the highest ever 9 feet 6 inches and stayed at that height until dark. The car park never floods, although water crossing the road between the bridge and the farm in the distance gets deeper and faster until only brave people in big tractors can get across


CHECK river height in the mornings before travelling to fish. Feet and inches Usually updated 6pm and 6am ish at this time of year
Annan at Three Waters Meet gauge applies to both beats
Kinnel at Bridgemuir gauge is on the Kinnel tributary and can sometimes be a very different height but only affects the main river below Applegarth beat

Huge wild Brown Trout

Brown Trout are always and entirely catch and release on our water

During April, May and June each year we have seriously BIG wild Brown Trout taking dry flies and nymphs all over the Upper Annan. Fish of 4, 5, 6, 7 pounds and upwards are being caught year after year. The Association introduced total catch and release for Brown Trout some 10 years ago now and since then the numbers of massive fish have kept on increasing. Check out the Big Fish page

2022 Season permits NOW on PayPal.

Reduction to permit prices continues 2022
Under 18's need a permit but fish for free

Permits are available for either Upper or Applegarth beats. They are not interchangeable, except the Winter Grayling permits which cover both beats and Sundays and the New Brown Trout and Grayling summer permits which cover both beats and Sundays
Cheques/Postal Orders to Secretary BUT payable to UAAA

If you wish you can pay for your season permit by PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account to pay by credit or debit card. There is no charge to you for this service. However, this facility is for season permits only. For day permits you need to deal with Fishpal for Grayling Permits and either Fishpal or local shops and businesses for Salmon/Trout permits

Select from Full Salmon Season for all species from 25th February, 2020 to 15th November 2020 and select one beat or both

If you are paying for a permit and need a free permit for an under 18 as well, just enter their name and date of birth in the text box provided by PayPal, where it says "add special instructions to the seller" - I will know its for the same beat(s) and will send it to YOU. If you're buying for a buddy as well as yourself, then again put their name and address in the "Special Instructions" and I will send their permit with yours


All species full season permits from 25th February to 15th November. These remain a considerable bargain if you intend to fish the Annan for more than a few days.
Under 18's must have a permit but fish free.
No Sunday Fishing, except for Brown Trout in season and Grayling with suitable tackle. No Rod Licence required.

First select type of Season Permit from drop down list


Permit holders who submit an accurate and timely catch return will be entered into a draw at the AGM for a free season permit for the following season.

Permits available Locally

Day or week permits from:- Benmar Esso Petrol Station, Moffat,

open 6am to 10pm - on your right as you drive in from Motorway junction 15; Day permits for both our beats on the Annan available 25th February to 15th November

Also from:-
Sports and Trophy Shop, High Street, Lockerbie, (diagonally across from Kings Arms);

A word about Rainbow Trout.

Even catching rainbows can be fun

There are a few fish farms on the Annan system and every now and then one or other will have escapes of Rainbows. When they first escape, 9 inches long and a few hundred in one pool they can be a total pain and may be removed from the river without restriction on numbers. They do eventually spread out and most get eaten by BIG Rainbows or Brown Trout or other predators

A few of these little nuisances survive and flourish in the system and can become big naturalised assets, full finned fighting fish which have been caught to 6 1/2 pounds. There is still no restriction on taking them, but anglers who feel they are an asset to the river usually return such fish

Some people curse rainbows, but not when they are fin perfect and 18 1/2 inches. Upper Beat August 2007, returned, Jim Lees

Annan and Borders Flyfishing Keith Snow is a fishing instructor/guide based in Annan. Can arrange a fishing holiday package with instruction, guiding, tackle and safety equipment or whatever combination you require.

Ghillie Services Scotland wide Service, accompanied fishing holidays, Salmon, Sea Trout and Brown Trout fishing tuition. Click the link, or call 01332 824652, or mobile 07748 002797, or E mail bill@egsscotland.co.uk

Damselflyfishing Sue McNiven - Flyfishing guide and instructor

Reel service and repair

Winter always comes around again, ideal time to have that precious reel serviced.
Here's THE place to send your reels of ALL kinds for overhaul or repair. Reel Value Prices start at £8.50 for a service, and your reel is worth how much??
They also sell fishing tackle, including some unbelievably low prices

Wader Repair

Oh yes and waders - ideal time for them as well. This guy started off repairing divers wet suits and dry suits and now repairs all kinds of waders as well - yes including breathables Diver Dave - even has a collection service organised with Fed Ex for £10 to £15

Dave Dick, Upper Beat, 19th October, 2018. 8 pounds on a Stoats tail

Dave Dick, Upper Beat, 17th October, 2018. Plump Grayling 2 pounds 2 ozs on Olive emerger

Phillip Robson, Upper Beat, 15th September, 2018. BIG brownie on the last day of the trout season

Dave Dick, Upper Beat, 14th September, 2018. Nice Grilse on a Czech nymph. Caught

Dave Dick, Upper Beat, 14th September Czech nymph. Released

Matthew Purser, Upper Beat, 21st August, 2018, Sea Trout 5 pound ish, Silver Stoat

John Bamford, Upper Beat, 17th August, 2018, Brownie caught fishing for Sea Trout at night

Matthew Purser, Upper Beat, 17th August, 2018, Brownie caught fishing for Sea Trout at night

Dave Dick, Upper Beat,21st June, 2018, 21.5 inch Brown, 4 pounds, ghpt

Dave Dick, Upper Beat, Tuesday, 12th July, 2018, 15 inch Grayling, 1 1/2 pounds maybe, big dry Wickhams

Dave Dick, Upper Beat, Thursday, 22nd June, 2018, 20 inch, 3 pounds plus, black Gnat

He's done it again, George Littler, Applegarth Beat, Saturday, 10th June, 2018, Sea Trout this time

Craig Osborne, Applegarth Beat, couple of weeks ago, May, 2018, 5 pounder and a 4 pounder, Olive Nymph and a Deer hair olive. That's a hell of a brace of Brown Trout on any river

Dave Dick 17in 2 pound 3 oz Rainbow on Upper Beat followed by a 17.5 inch 2 pound 4 oz Sea Trout on Applegarth. Both on Silver March Brown on 19th June 2020

15.5in Pothole 270620 blue quill.jpg

Dave Dick 14.5 inch and 17.5 inch Brownies in Upper beat, 4th June, 2020 Both fat as butter. AND another 17 incher on the dry on Saturday 6th June

Neil Alston, 3rd October 2019, 8 and 5 pounds, Upper Beat, Green Highlander

David Wilson, 7th October, 2019, Kirn, 13 pounds and 4 pound Grilse

Neil Alston 10th October, 2019, Upper Beat mostly Fly. Neil has had more than this but the computer or server is acting up, and David Wilson has had some too

Allan Calvert, Lochbrow, Applegarth, 14th October, 2019, 12 lbs on a Cascade

Dave Dick, Upper Beat, 10th July, 2019. 2 pounds 2 ozs, 2 pounds 12 ozs and 2 pounds 11 ozs. All on PT nymph.

Dave Dick, Upper Beat, 9th May, 2019. 18 inches and 20 inches on a black gnat with Hawthorn flies on the water

Dave Dick, Upper Beat, 7th May, 2019. 20 inches on a blue Quill Dry

Colin Latto, Applegarth Beat, Saturday, 20th October, 2018, about 8 pounds, with thanks to "Sandy"

Colin Latto, Applegarth Beat, Saturday, 20th October, 2018, about 12 pounds, with even more thanks to "Sandy"

Secretary, Andy Dickson, Braehead, Woodfoot, Moffat, Dumfriesshire, DG10 9PL. Tel No. 01683 300592.
Mobile 07971 764022
E-mail andy.dickson1@yahoo.co.uk My house overlooks the river so I can tell you height and condition instantly. Phone or E mail for more information.

E &OE. Any errors are mine and no fault of the people or organisations shown on these pages.

Copyright (C) 1999/2020, All rights reserved. Andy Dickson, UAAA
Most recent revision 14th May, 2020


2022 Prospects

A few Rainbow escapees reported on Upper Beat from time to time. Feel free to invite them home for tea!

25th February to 15th November.

Sadly it is still catch and release. Trout/Sea Trout Season starts on 1st April. Brown Trout are catch and release sea trout are not but show restraint

Grayling day permits for each beat are £10 from Fishpal and outlets until 31st March, then its Salmon and trout permits which cover Grayling as well, which are £10 to the 15th of September and then £20 per day to 15th November

If you have no particular interest in chasing the dwindling salmon on most rivers why not try our new Brown Trout and Grayling only summer season permits. £60 covers both beats and Sundays from 1st April to 15th September Please note No worming or spinning on Sundays during salmon season

River conditions

REMEMBER Brown Trout fishing starts on 1st April

Friday, 25th March, 2022
Nice day, not down to low yet; still got a nice sparkle

Recent Catches
This will gradually populate with 2022 fish as more anglers hit the river

AND take pictures And send them to me

David Wilson, 7 pounder Upper beat, Black and gold Devon, Monday 25th October, 2021

David Wilson, 6 pound Grilse Upper beat Allys Cascade dog conehead

6 pound and 14 pound upper beat,Thursday, 21st October, 2021 Neil Alston on a Red Francis

A selection of salmon by Neil Alston, Upper beat on fly, October 2021,and a troot

David Wilson on a Pot bellied pig Upper beat

David Wilson 12 pounder on a Conehead Cascade, Upper beat 11th October, 2021

Andy Banks, Patersons stream, 19th October on a spinner, 36 inches so probable 20 pounder


Dave Dick, Upper Beat, Teal, Blue and Silver 13th August 2021, a nice 2 pounder on the Upper Beat when the water rose briefly

Dave Dick, Applegarth Beat, dark Gold Head Hares Ear wet 16th June 2021, 21 inches, 3 pounds 9 oz

Dave Dick, Applegarth Beat, Olive dry 17th June 2021,1 pound 13 and 1 pound 7

Dave Dick, Upper Beat, couldn't see the other bank for black flies (Hawthorn, Black Gnat??), 29th May 2021, Brown trout at 2 pounds 12 oz and 19 inches caught on a Black Gnat wet and released

Dave Dick, Upper Beat, again lots of grannom, 26th May 2021, Brown trout at 2 pounds 7 oz and 19 inches caught on a Blue quill dry and 1 pound 8 oz and 16 inches on a dry March Brown, all released, one visibly so.

Dave Dick, Upper Beat, couldn't see the other bank for grannom, 25th May 2021, Brown trout at 2 pounds 11 oz and 19 inches caught on a grey Klinkhammer

Adam Harvey-Kelly, Newbie Beat, small pheasant tail nymph, 2 pound Brown trout and 7 pound Salmon, 20th May 2021,

Adam Harvey-Kelly, Applegarth Beat, small Olive Emerger, 25 to 26 inches, 5 or 6 pounds, 13th May 2021,

Matthew Purser, Applegarth Beat,Dark Olive, nice 2 pounder,7th May 2021,

Dave Dick, Upper Beat,Plum on dry, 9th March 2021, 17 inches, 2 lb 1 oz

Dave Dick, Applegarth Beat, dark Olive wet 27th April 2021, 23 1/2 inches, 4 pounds 11 oz

My personal best Two eight pounders and an 18 pounder straight off the tide many years ago. Hooked with 5 casts of an Ally's shrimp. The fly was getting ragged so I foolishly changed it and by the time I was fishing again the run was past

Neil Alston, 14 and 16 pounds, Upper Beat on a Red Francis Tuesday, 8th September, 2020

David Wilson, 10 pounder Allys Shrimp, Woodhead scaur 8th September, 2020

Dave Dick 17 inch Brownie on the dry Upper Beat Tuesday 7th July, 2020

Dave Dick 15.5 inch Trout, Upper beat, 30th June, 2020 on a dry Olive and 16.5 inches on a Kingfisher Butcher in flood 1st July

Dave Dick 15.5 inch Trout, Pothole Upper Beat on a dry Blue Quill, Saturday 27th June, 2020

David Wilson 2 pound Brown and 3 pound Sea Trout Plum and Pothole Upper Beat both on CDC Olive on Saturday, 20th June

Fishingtackle2u Harry Mckee. Belfast Angling Centre and Mckees Angling Centre. Belfast Tackle business, specially useful if you're thinking of heading across the sea - or even if you're not

The last few weeks successful flies

Wickhams fancy, Iron Blue Dun, Yellow May Emerger, Coch y Bondhu, Shuttlecock Olive, Sedge Emerger, and the ever popular Black Gnat, all in sizes 18 or 20 or even heaven help us 22 (If YOU can still thread your cast through the eye of a 22 - enjoy!!) and a 14 red spider - thats better!

and never forget Stonefly, about an inch long - yes I'm serious, 8 longshank and some use 6 longshank

The average size Brown Trout being caught at the moment seems to be around 18 inches which is comfortably over 2 pounds. A 22 incher (4 and a quarter plus) on a size 14 red spider, Upper Beat 24th, and at least one real leviathan has been hooked and lost on Applegarth.

Catch and release

The Association of Salmon Fishery Boards have produced a useful leaflet on Catch and Release Catch and Release It's mostly common sense but there are some useful tips and well worth a look. Obviously aimed at Salmon, the principles apply to all fish


Upper Beat OS map at approx 2 1/2 inches to a mile AND smaller scale motoring map
Applegarth Beat OS map at approx 2 1/2 inches to a mile AND smaller scale motoring map
They are duly licensed and you may print them for your own use. Each will fill an A4 sheet, best to download to your computer and print from there

Of course not all the fish catchers in the river abide by the rules!!!
27 pounds - returned!


New webcam watching the Annan at Hoddom. See the height of the bottom half of Annan for yourself Hoddom Bridge Web Cam

Secretary, Andy Dickson, Braehead, Woodfoot, Moffat, Dumfriesshire, DG10 9PL. Tel No. 01683 300592.
Mobile 07971 764022
E-mail andy.dickson1@yahoo.co.uk My house overlooks the river so I can tell you height and condition instantly. Phone or E mail for more information.

E &OE. Any errors are mine and no fault of the people or organisations shown on these pages.

Copyright (C) 1999/2022, All rights reserved. Andy Dickson, UAAA
Most recent revision 26th June, 2021