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Avon Sea Trout

The Linlithgow Angling Club manages the trout and sea trout fishing on an extensive stretch of the little River Avon in West Lothian. Club members have done a great deal of work since the nineteen eighties to help the river recover from the heavy industrial pollution of earlier years. This lovely little river now boasts a healthy population of brown trout and is seeing increasing runs of migratory fish, particularly sea trout. The club, which has exclusive access to ten miles of fishing on the lower middle river, welcomes applications for membership, which is very reasonably priced at only£26 per year (2008 figure). Having joined the club in 2007, I soon made use of the excellent map provided by the club, in conjunction with the local ordnance survey map, to explore the fishing throughout the length of the beat. There is great variety in the fishing, some pools being easily accessed from riverside paths, while others present more of a challenge but offer truly wild fishing on pools where the equally wild trout rarely see an angler's fly.

River Avon Brown Trout

A Pool on the River Avon

Sea Trout minitube fly

After some heavy rain during the first week in August, I thought I'd spend an afternoon on the club water, the afternoon of the eighth day of the eighth month of 2008. The Chinese people thought it was a propitious day for the opening of the Olympic Games. Perhaps it would prove fortuitous for me, too. On arrival, I found the river running off after a very big flood, but still very dirty. It was a fine day and, by the look of it, the river was likely to continue falling throughout the afternoon. Judging that the river was still a bit high and dirty for the usual small trout flies, I decided to try a more substantial offering, in the form of a simple one inch needle tube fly with a black squirrel hair wing, in the hope of attracting a sea trout. Such a fly had proved most effective earlier in the year on the Spey, so I thought it might be just the job for the Avon sea trout. It proved a good choice, as I finished the afternoon with a lovely sea trout, a fish of nearly two pounds in weight, my first from the river, and, as a bonus, half a dozen lovely wild brownies, all of which were returned to fight another day.

River Avon, Linlithgow

Avon Sea Trout

River Avon at Linlithgow Bridge

My first Avon sea trout


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