The River Annan is open 52 weeks of the year, although as the seasons change different species become more important. In Spring things get going with excellent brown trout fishing. On warm spring days in March and April march browns will hatch and large brown trout will wake up and take them with a gusto. When is April drawing to a close and we enter into May a complete smorgasbord of insects will start to hatch with Olive Uprights and Grannom being of particular importance but other insects will make an appearance and become food for rising fish and swarms of martins and swallows. The brown trout will pack on weight quickly and fish over 5lb are not uncommon.
As we move into June and hopefully warmer weather the brothers and sisters of the brown trout, the sea trout will start arriving on every tide. There are not as many sea trout as there was a few years ago but in low water on warm evenings and nights in June and July there is nothing better than fishing for these silvery tidal wanderers. On the Annan they will often rise at flies alongside their resident brethren but the greatest sport will be had once it gets dark. Fishing at night for sea trout is an evocative experience as every other sense is tuned in as vision becomes impaired. Splashes seem louder and closer, otters will swim past you, often a matter of feet away and every now and then there will be an almighty crash as a sea trout breaches.
Throughout the Spring and early summer months every time it rains a flurry of salmon will enter the river. These very precious early fish seem to be making a comeback and whilst not common more are seen and caught now than for many years. As we move through July and into August though large numbers of these fish will appear in the river strong and fit from there feeding in the North Atlantic. The river will have to be running high for a migration throughout but as long as the water is not to low many will creep into the lower reaches where anglers will try an ambush them. The fish will continue to come throughout September, October and November but with one thing only on their minds, to get to their natal burn or river section and breed. Anglers will try and catch them (and these days generally release them) and otters will be harrying them everywhere. As the leaves drop of the trees and November frosts bite the fish will finally spawn and mostly die. Anglers fishing at this time of year will see carcasses of the recently spawned floating downstream along with others forging on up who have yet to spawn.
In mid November as the salmon fishing season closes a new set of anglers start dusting down their tackle and looking at river flows. These anglers are after the lady of the stream, the grayling. Large shoals of these fish inhabit the river, some growing to impressive sizes. The grayling anglers will be looking into the inky dark depths of the river, perhaps on the creases near the necks of pools and hoping that the next fish is a fish of a lifetime. Confirmed 4lb fish have been caught here in recent years and fish over 3lb are reasonably numerous and regular anglers will normally get one or two a winter.
During the Winter Spring and Summer we run various angler days to gather data on fish stocks, anglers should keep an eye on the news pages for these events as they are a great way of getting to know the river and helping the trust in its work. Alternatively, contact Michael Fearns, our bailiff, for advice on all things fishing.
To book fishing at other times it is simple, just check out www.fishannan.co.uk for more information.