THE BEATS IN DETAIL
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The Annan is about 35 miles long and most of it is available to the visiting angler. It runs from Moffat in the north to Annan on the Solway coast. It passes by Beattock,Wamphray, Johnstonebridge, Millhousebridge, Lockerbie, Lochmaben, Ecclefechan, Dalton and Brydekirk. Although it runs parallel to the M.74 motorway (which is convenient) most of the river is a mile or two beyond the range of traffic noise. Depending on whereabouts on the river you are fishing and staying you should leave the M.74 at Gretna, Ecclefechan, Lockerbie, Johnstonebridge or Moffat.
Why not leave the motorway one junction early? The B.7076 is the all purpose road running beside the new road. It is one half of the old A.74 dual carriageway so it's nice and straight and ideal for winding down from the pressures of high speed motoring - don't relax too much though - in case you meet another angler going the other way.
Never forget that the Annan is a spate river. This can be a great advantage for a visiting angler. If the river at the lower end is too high for comfortable fishing phone someone at the top end. You may well find that it's already dropping towards ideal fishing height up there. On the other hand if the top end is in spate try the lower half. If the spate hasn't reached there the fishing could be superb - the fish will know it's on its way!
There are 14 angling proprietors on the river ranging through angling clubs, one timeshare, eight or nine estates and farms of varying sizes, with fishing available to visiting anglers.
Cost of Salmon, Sea Trout and Brown Trout fishing ranges from £12 to £35 per day until September when the main Salmon runs arrive.Then from £30 to £60 per day excluding Sundays.(No Sunday fishing in Scotland in rivers which contain migratory fish, but you may fish Lochs and ponds for Brown and Rainbow Trout). On the other hand no rod licence is required in Scotland.
Ideal dates to fish for the different species - BROWN TROUT, April, May, June and July. Four and five pounders are caught every year on dry fly and nymph. SEA TROUT, May, June, July and tapering off in August. SALMON, February, March and April, but only in the bottom third or so of the river and catch and release until 1st June, otherwise September, October, November. Obviously this is very approximate and there are overlaps.
The gamefishing season runs from 25th February to 15th November. The trout season in theory is 15th March to 15th October but many beats shorten this. There are an increasing number of proprietors who also allow fishing for Grayling during the winter months. The lower half of the river contains Chub and some of the tributaries and the group of Lochs surrounding Lochmaben contain other coarse fish including large Bream,Perch and Pike.