The South Esk rises high in the Grampian Mountains above the Glen Clova Hotel and drains the wilderness areas of the Glen Doll before winding it’s way to the North Sea at Montrose via Montrose Basin. Salmon are present in the river when the season opens on February 16 but they are slow to pass upstream in low temperatures due to the dam at Kinnaird (near Brechin) and other obstacles further upstream. Once the temperature rises to six degrees C and the water levels are suitable, fresh fish quickly run upstream. The middle reaches usually enjoy their sport around the middle of March.
In a normal year the second week of April will be the arrival of fresh springers in Glen Clova. May is the best month for spring salmon fishing. Given water, grilse can be expected on summer floods from June onwards and later in the season. Some larger salmon arrive until the season closes on October 31.
Our fishing partner Alba Game Fishing can tailor a package suited to your requirements, for more information and prices please see their website:- Alba Game Fishing
Recommended fishing tackle
The river can be easily fished with a single handed rod rated at #7 or #8 or a double handed rod between 12 and 14 feet long. It is a spate river and so it fishes best after a rise in the level, when the river is dropping. A floating line or a light sink tip is sufficient and flies or small tubes in the following patterns are popular: Stoats Tail, Silver Stoats Tail, Munro Killer, Ally’s Shrimp (orange, red or tallow variety), Cascade, Thunder & Lightning and Garry Dog.
Stocked with quality rainbow and brown trout of varying sizes providing great sport for anglers of all abilities. The brown trout season is March 15 to October 6 and all brown trout caught out with the season must be returned unharmed. The loch is Fly Fishing Only.
A natural hill loch in a dramatic setting with plentiful numbers of wild brown trout, smallish in size but feisty. Access is by walking from the hotel.
Prices 2018 – permits available at Glen Clova Hotel – Updated April 2018
1/2 day catch & release £10.00
full day catch and release £20.00
full day (keep 3 fish) £25.00
father & son (keep 4 fish) £30.00
The River South Esk*
£25.00 per rod per day
*Please note that all prices are subject to change, you should call the hotel reception on 01575 550350 if you wish to confirm prices