River Nith, 2021.

Thrasher

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So sorry to here about your dad Stewart, I spent many a time having a natter
with him when he worked in patties, I know he liked fishing at dalswinton,

I'm sure, thinking back, that you fished with my brother &I at dalswinton once.

R I P Stewart.
Yes he did and you are correct I did fish a day with you there. It is a nice stretch of the river.
 

Wee Porters

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Just seen your post Stewart, so sorry to read about your dad passing,
can well mind him at Patties and also fished alongside him on the DGAA.

My thoughts are with you and the family at this sad time.😢
 

CUNNY11111

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I was down at the river on Monday night, I’ve fished the Mid Nithsdale beat for over 30 years.
I see now it has been passed on to the estate.
My heart sank and I was shocked to see the decline in the river banks, the huts were stinking of dampness and litter lying all over the floor and tables. Grass parking areas were 2ft high and needing strimmed as are the banks.
The river was down to its bones, with just a trickle coming out of the Scaur in to the main pool.
I parked down at the Scaur pool saw the river was very low from the bridge earlier so I wasn’t very optimistic to be honest, as the river bed was black with algae and needs a good flush out, to clean the bed and bring fresh fish in.
I fished the pool for a couple of hours, only seeing one fish, well I never saw it, I just heard and saw the splash on the far bank of the pool.
I used to fish this river for years with my old mentor called Wullie Queen, who taught me everything I know about fishing for sea trout, and we used to catch plenty.
Unfortunately Wullie passed away earlier this year, and I was really fishing down memory lane for him.
I never saw one sea trout and in the last six or so times I’ve fished over the summer in the last few years I’ve not caught one.
I’ve had a couple of grayling, but not the last few times.
It really is a shame what has happened to this river amongst others over the last 10/15 years. The estate is taking money whilst not putting anything back and making it unattractive to the fishermen who have fished this river for decades.
it was well run by the previous Midnithsdale Angling club, and it is wry unfortunate they couldn’t afford to keep it.
I will always go back as the memories of the great nights fishing and the laughs my auld friend and I had, will always lure me back.
Wullie would turn over in his grave seeing what has happened to a river beat he once loved.
I won’t give up hope of a good fighting Nith sea trout once again, just the one for auld Wullie on one of his own flies I now have, it really would make my night.
CUNNY.
 

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Wee Porters

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It is indeed a sad state CUNNY, you are right that when the Mid Nithsdale club had it the beat was kept tidy,
banks trimmed, huts painted and cleaned up and roads maintained. Sadly with the fish numbers plummeting
ticket sales fell and it got to the stage that the club were losing money [a lot of money] every season and just
couldn't continue. For example, the rent was £25k, fishing rates circa £15k plus another say £5k for other things
yet ticket sales were down to low £20'k, it was a no brainer.

Don't think it was long after the estate had it back that they wished they didn't, it just doesn't make money. I spoke
to an angler who bought his ticket about 2 weeks ago, his ticket was only number 35. I'd imagine they'd be lucky to
cover the cost of the rates for a season, perhaps that's why they finished up their river manager. Fair play to him,
when he was there he kept the banks trimmed and the roads in good order.

I was speaking to a bloke the other day, he doesn't fish the river now, due entirely to the lack of fish, he can't
understand how or why the beat owners aren't asking the fishery board questions, why is the river performing so
badly? I better stop the noo, just p!ss myself off thinking what it's like now to what it was like back in the late70's
when I started.:(
 

Andrew B

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I wasn't sure whether to post this or not but there are a few on here who know my dad Stewart Cameron particularly the DGAA and Burgh fishers, some of you may even know him from his time in Patties.
Well the sad news is that he died on Saturday, cancer.
He will have fished the Nith and Cairn for well over 60 probably nearer 70 years, seeing the good and bad times on the river, but also over the years fished trout lochs, pike and sea fished.
I will be forever grateful that he started me off fishing at the age of five and taught me how to tie flies.
I dearly hope he is somewhere putting the world to rights with his old fishing mate Con Walker and many of the other senior fishers who have passed.
Stewart Jnr.
I’m so sorry to read this sad news. It is quite amazing how someone over the course of so many years, can become so well known to the actual river itself and it’s many moods? Think of all the knowledge he must have had, and must have passed on to so many?
 

CUNNY11111

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It is indeed a sad state CUNNY, you are right that when the Mid Nithsdale club had it the beat was kept tidy,
banks trimmed, huts painted and cleaned up and roads maintained. Sadly with the fish numbers plummeting
ticket sales fell and it got to the stage that the club were losing money [a lot of money] every season and just
couldn't continue. For example, the rent was £25k, fishing rates circa £15k plus another say £5k for other things
yet ticket sales were down to low £20'k, it was a no brainer.

Don't think it was long after the estate had it back that they wished they didn't, it just doesn't make money. I spoke
to an angler who bought his ticket about 2 weeks ago, his ticket was only number 35. I'd imagine they'd be lucky to
cover the cost of the rates for a season, perhaps that's why they finished up their river manager. Fair play to him,
when he was there he kept the banks trimmed and the roads in good order.

I was speaking to a bloke the other day, he doesn't fish the river now, due entirely to the lack of fish, he can't
understand how or why the beat owners aren't asking the fishery board questions, why is the river performing so
badly? I better stop the noo, just p!ss myself off thinking what it's like now to what it was like back in the late70's
when I started.:(
I am wondering why they aren’t asking the Goverment questions.
We have beats on the Tay, Tweed, etc costing over a thousand or more for a day, and you aren’t guaranteed a fish.
You have to ask why is that, we have rivers set in beautiful surroundings, which are picturesque and up there with the most beautiful looking rivers on the planet, which are nearly devoid of fish.
They should be spending millions of pounds on them like they have in Norway, stripping fish, growing them and restocking them in to the rivers.
The potential for making money from tourists who would come here to fish our rivers if they were full of fish would pay the government back in no time.
We have the core base the rivers the countryside and the glens.
What will it take to wake the government up.
they would rather hand out money to build salmon farms on our coast which is killing everything around it. ☠️
Obviously brown envelopes ££££ getting passed about.
It boils my blood.
 

Andrew B

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I am wondering why they aren’t asking the Goverment questions.
We have beats on the Tay, Tweed, etc costing over a thousand or more for a day, and you aren’t guaranteed a fish.
You have to ask why is that, we have rivers set in beautiful surroundings, which are picturesque and up there with the most beautiful looking rivers on the planet, which are nearly devoid of fish.
They should be spending millions of pounds on them like they have in Norway, stripping fish, growing them and restocking them in to the rivers.
The potential for making money from tourists who would come here to fish our rivers if they were full of fish would pay the government back in no time.
We have the core base the rivers the countryside and the glens.
What will it take to wake the government up.
they would rather hand out money to build salmon farms on our coast which is killing everything around it. ☠️
Obviously brown envelopes ££££ getting passed about.
It boils my blood.
That’s exactly what it is re brown envelopes. There’s just too many things to exploit with salmon, as oppose to a bird reserve say?
 

Sadmanfishing

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I am wondering why they aren’t asking the Goverment questions.
We have beats on the Tay, Tweed, etc costing over a thousand or more for a day, and you aren’t guaranteed a fish.
You have to ask why is that, we have rivers set in beautiful surroundings, which are picturesque and up there with the most beautiful looking rivers on the planet, which are nearly devoid of fish.
They should be spending millions of pounds on them like they have in Norway, stripping fish, growing them and restocking them in to the rivers.
The potential for making money from tourists who would come here to fish our rivers if they were full of fish would pay the government back in no time.
We have the core base the rivers the countryside and the glens.
What will it take to wake the government up.
they would rather hand out money to build salmon farms on our coast which is killing everything around it. ☠️
Obviously brown envelopes ££££ getting passed about.
It boils my blood.
I think the main problem with having hatcheries is environmentalist lobbies and SEPA who have problems with mixing genetic strains. In a river system which has a hatchery, fish from one tributary can not be mixed with another and fry must be returned to where their parents taken from. There is also the an argument that forced selection of cocks and hens which would not have chosen each other. Such a shame the once very successful hatchery on the Nith is limited on the number of fry it can produce because of some graduate environmentalist in a Scottish government quango that has probably never set foot on a river bank and has no knowledge of what our rivers used to be like.
Then again, no matter how many fry the hatchery produces, how many of them end up as breakfast for the hoards of razorbills at the caul ?
 

CUNNY11111

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In Norway they didn’t worry too much about partners.
The fish they breed from that river go back in that river.
I understand what you mean by they would not necessary choose each other as a partner, as you now have me looking at my wife’s crabbitt face and thinking, god I wish I was a fish.
Only kidding 40 years married on the 3d of July.
I don’t know if anyone on here could let me know when the river rises substantially enough for a wee while to let fresh fish in and if there are sea trout in the system in any numbers.
I know the numbers aren’t what they used to be, but it would be good if someone could let me know so I can come up and get a cast at them.
What part of the river would members on here suggest would be the best for fly fishing the Nith at night.
I generally fish the old Mid Nithsdale beat as I know it like the back of my hand.
I have though fished another couple of parts of the river at Sanquhar and I think it was another bit owned by an estate Barjag? I think
Also the castle beat from the bridge down.
I have though had most of my catching success at old Mid Nithsdale.
God I really do miss my auld pal Wullie and the old days spent night fishing at Mid Nithsdale. 🥲
 

Wee Porters

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The river had a small rise today, only 3-4", that'll be the first for over a month.
Decided to head down to near the bottom end of our beat but wasn't up for a late shift
so took the dendrobaena worms and 4lb line. Worked my way down from the New Hole
to the Rock Pool, had a very brief encounter with a sea trout of about 1.5lb in the New Hole
which jumped clear of the water but was soon off.

Seen a few bow waves in the tail end of Scaurfoot and a couple of sea trout came out of the
water, walking back up Scaurfoot there was a tremendous sunset which my camera phone
couldn't do justice to, but here's a pic anyway.

20210625_220132.jpg
 

mows

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The river had a small rise today, only 3-4", that'll be the first for over a month.
Decided to head down to near the bottom end of our beat but wasn't up for a late shift
so took the dendrobaena worms and 4lb line. Worked my way down from the New Hole
to the Rock Pool, had a very brief encounter with a sea trout of about 1.5lb in the New Hole
which jumped clear of the water but was soon off.

Seen a few bow waves in the tail end of Scaurfoot and a couple of sea trout came out of the
water, walking back up Scaurfoot there was a tremendous sunset which my camera phone
couldn't do justice to, but here's a pic anyway.

View attachment 62557
Stunning. Great pic.
 

ian74

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Probably doon the water.
I was speaking to a bloke the other day, he doesn't fish the river now, due entirely to the lack of fish, he can't
understand how or why the beat owners aren't asking the fishery board questions, why is the river performing so
badly? I better stop the noo, just p!ss myself off thinking what it's like now to what it was like back in the late70's
when I started.:(
I’ve just re-read the T&S fishing report for the river Nith!
Seems like it’s all rosy. :oops:
Or saying nowt’s wrong and trying to sell tickets? :unsure:
I’ve never fished it, so am asking as an outsider!
 

salarchaser

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I’ve just re-read the T&S fishing report for the river Nith!
Seems like it’s all rosy. :oops:
Or saying nowt’s wrong and trying to sell tickets? :unsure:
I’ve never fished it, so am asking as an outsider!
Ive fished the Nith for the last 15 years as a visitor, probably 10 to 15 days a year.
It is far from rosy. Pools that showed fish regularly, if not give them up, now flow undisturbed.
You can still hit it right and get a good day when the plannets align but they are very much the exception.
The visible head of fish is a fraction of what it was when I started there. I can only dream of what it was like in years gone by.
It won't stop me getting back this year once we have a drop of water. I have my ticket ready.

There is definitely some poetic licence in many reports.
 

Wee Porters

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I’ve just re-read the T&S fishing report for the river Nith!
Seems like it’s all rosy. :oops:
Or saying nowt’s wrong and trying to sell tickets? :unsure:
I’ve never fished it, so am asking as an outsider!

I would say it's not all rosy.
untitled.png

Sea-trout-chart-1952-2020.jpg

Before anyone says it, yes I know there isn't the same number of anglers on the river nowadays, there's a reason for that though. (y)
 

salarchaser

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I would say it's not all rosy.
View attachment 62632
View attachment 62633
Before anyone says it, yes I know there isn't the same number of anglers on the river nowadays, there's a reason for that though. (y)
It paints a sad picture Tam.

But you're right. Fewer fish means fewer anglers. Fewer anglers, fewer fish. A vicious circle.

When I first started fishing at Sanquhar you had to skip some pools as rods were queueing to fish them. Now its like having a private beat.
On most visits, if I see 2 or 3 other anglers over 2 or 3 days fishing I consider it busy.

When I first fished at Thornhill I saw what seemed 100s of fish running through pools sometimes just past your boots.
At sanquhar you could watch fish enter the tail of a long pool see them show along its length and wait for them at the head. Still might not catch them but you knew your fly was in front of fish.

I had a very good season in 2018 landing 8 salmon in 10 visits and losing a couple more. But the fish I hooked were the only ones I saw.

In other seasons, the highlight of a day might be actually seeing a fish.

The lack of sightings of fish suggests catch totals are not only down to lack of effort.
 

K MacC

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Looking at the graph the salmon collapse started around 2006 spawning cycle, was there any changes in the river at these time? This may have been a treatment plant or pollution incident that has continued to date.
Alternatively was there any changes in the estuary in 2010 onwards that would affect the smolts migrating to sea or 2011 affecting the mature fish returning? This may include aquaculture in the Solway or on the migration route. It's a case of being a detective and eliminating the unlikely causes. Interestingly the Annan and Border Esk may highlight similar changes to back up your conclusion. From my experience the Annan had a similar decline around 2011 (no figures to collaborate) so this may indicate a problem in the estuary or at sea. Data could also come from the Haaf netters.
 
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