Salmon fishing in Ayrshire

Ayrshire is renowned for its beaches, beautiful coastline, golf courses and of course Rabbie Burns. It is also blessed with six principal salmon rivers, each of which has its own character. There are only 37 miles between the mouth of the most southerly river, the Stinchar, and the Irvine and Garnock estuary in North Ayrshire. There can be few areas in Scotland with as wide a range of productive salmon rivers in such close proximity.

Ayrshire is Scotland's largest lowland county covering a diverse range of landscapes, geology and landuse. The catchments in the north of Ayrshire are more heavily populated and landuse is more intensive. In the south of the county the human population density is much less and the landscape is more upland, with the Southern Upland Fault crossing through the upper reaches of the Doon, Girvan and Stinchar catchments.

Where to fish

Details of fishing available on the website can be found in the availability page (see under Booking fishing in left hand menu). Local rods have their own particular favourite rivers and there is considerable demand for the best fishing. Changing trends in salmon angling means that access to prime fishing has opened up with many beats now operating on a day ticket basis. It is anticipated that the launch of FishAyrshire will increase availability of salmon angling in the county.

River Doon

Middle reaches of the River Doon






River Ayr

River Ayr



When to fish

The Ayrshire rivers are primarily summer and autumn grilse and salmon fisheries, although spring salmon are caught every year. The Girvan and Ayr are generally considered to provide the best opportunity of catching one of these highly prized fish although they can be caught in any of the rivers.

From July onwards the grilse and summer runs are abundant and the fishing after a summer spate can be very productive. The grilse runs over the weirs in Ayr Town centre in a summer spate are quite an attraction. September is normally the most productive month, whilst on the River Doon, Ayr Gold Cup Race week is considered to be the most productive of all.