The River Doon starts high up in the Galloway Hills. From these hills several significant tributaries feed Loch Doon, a six mile long loch which has been dammed to form a storage reservoir for the Galloway Hydro Power scheme. The River Doon itself starts below Loch Doon Dam and immediately cascades down through Ness Glen, a spectacular gorge, dropping 130 feet in less than one mile. The river is approximately 40 kilometres long and flows north west close to the town of Dalmellington, through the villages of Patna and Dalrymple before entering the Firth of Clyde just south of Ayr.
Below Ness Glen the gradient drops and the river flows through Bogton Loch followed by several miles of canal-like water although the current is deceptively fast. This part of the river provides a huge amount of holding water. The gradient picks up again at Patna and from there to the sea the Doon flows briskly with a succession of pools and rapids.
Fishing on the Doon
The compensation flow provides a huge advantage to the Doon as the river is at a fishable height at all times. The Doon DSFB can request freshets when required. The guaranteed water flow and the beautiful surroundings, immortalised by Robert Burns in his poem "Banks O'Doon" means that fishing on the Doon is highly sought after.
As with all the Ayrshire rivers the Doon is primarily a summer and autumn salmon fishery, although spring fish, occasionally taken as early as March, are also present. The Doon was once a very productive sea trout fishery but in recent decades catches have collapsed and there is a total catch and release policy in force.
The Doon fishery is managed by the River Doon District Salmon Fishery Board with scientific monitoring and advice provided by the Ayrshire Rivers Trust.