3 Lea Cottages,
130 Main Street,
Phone: 01358 789297
Mobile: 07974006450


Ythan Fishery Regulations

The Ythan Fishery is on the estuary of the River Ythan at the village of Newburgh, 14 miles (22 kms) north-east of Aberdeen and 23 miles (37 kms) south of Peterhead. The fishing is famous for its seatrout, with finnock and fish over 12 lbs present. Salmon may also be taken.

The fishing is reached by road by taking the A92 Aberdeen to Peterhead road. About 11 miles (17 kms) from Aberdeen turn right onto the A975 road towards Collieston and Cruden Bay. Newburgh is approximately three miles (5 kms) along this road. In the village there are two hotels, a post office, shops and an 18 hole golf course. Much of the fishing is within walking distance and in most places one can drive to within a few hundred yards of the water. There are daily flights to Aberdeen Airport at Dyce from Heathrow and other UK airports as well as from Amsterdam, Paris and Stavanger. There is a good rail service to Aberdeen and buses run from Aberdeen Station to Newburgh.

The limits of fishing extend from the sea to about 1 mile above Watekside Bridge and the whole of the water is tidal. At the top of the tide the estuary forms an area of water a quarter of a mile across at its widest point and three miles long; at the bottom of the tide it is more like a river of medium size.

THE SEASON extends from 1 April 2016 to 31 October 2016. Day and season permits will be avail-able from April to October. There are tide tables available and an adjustment is needed to convert these Aberdeen tide times to those of Newburgh which are a quarter to half an hour later. The traditional time for fishing from the bank is from soon after the top of the tide to just beyond the turn of the tide at the bottom; boat fishing frequently begins at half tide on the incoming tide.

The east shore of the estuary is part of the Forvie Nature Reserve, and anglers driving along the track downstream from Waterside Bridge must not take cars further than the Tonely. During the nesting season from about May to July, the greatest care must be taken when fishing in the area since in some cases, particularly with terns eggs will not hatch if birds are kept off their nests for more than a few minutes. In the region of the tern colony at the end of the spinning bank, anglers must take care to keep to the water's edge only - they are not allowed to walk over the dunes or in the marram grass. Applications for permits and enquiries should be made to Mrs A Clarke, 3 Lea Cottages. Main Street. Newburgh telephone Newburgh (01358) 789297.


Anglers must obtain a permit before beginning to fish, otherwise they may be regarded as poaching and liable for prosecution. Permits are not transferable to another person and any alteration to a permit makes it void. Day permits where issued are for the twenty-four hours of the calendar day of which the date is shown on the front face. It is illegal to fish for seatrout and salmon on Sundays in Scotland, and no Sunday fishing is allowed on the Fishery.

Fishing is entirely by traditional methods with fly or spinning line. Fishing with bubble or other float tackle is not allowed, and the use of worm, maggot or other live or dead bait is prohibited. No more than two lures or flies may be used on a line, and fishing with a weight at the end of the cast is not allowed. No hook used may have a gape more than 5/16 inches (8 mm), and the use of any bare or nearly bare hook is strictly prohibited. Lead core or other very heavy fly lines may not be used, and the use of leaded or other heavy flies or lines is prohibited. The use of any line with breaking strain larger than 15 lbs (7kgs) at the cast end is prohibited, and no weight, spoon or lure may exceed 0.9 oz (259) In weight. Excessive jerking of the rod or any other method which may result in fish being foul hooked Is strictly prohibited. No fishing permitted during the hours of darkness under any circumstances.

Anglers may retain a maximum of two sea trout per calendar day but no salmon. It is illegal to retain any finnock, kelts, baggots or any fish shorter in length than 13ins (325mm) All should be carefully returned to the water dead or alive.

The fly fishing section is the whole of the bridge beat as we are now classed as a category 3 river. It is reserved for fly-fishing only from August 1 - October 31. Whether this area is sign-posted or not.

Anglers are not allowed to use their own boats on the fishery without special permission. Boat fishing for the public will only be allowed through hiring a ghillie, and while we are happy to arrange ghillies they are not actually employed by the fishery so the contract will be between ghillie and the individual. A Health and Safety Policy will be provided by the management and it must be signed by all anglers prior to commencing fishing.

A number of River Watchers are authorised to inspect permits, tackle and fish caught, and to advise on fishing methods. They will carry an authorisation which you may request to see if you wish. They are authorised to stop anglers fishing who are suspected of using illegal tackle or methods, or who are not following the regulations.

It is important that returns of fish caught are made regularly. The back of each permit is set out for this purpose. You are requested to hand in, or send by post to Mrs Clarke, the completed return at the end of each day or week of fishing. Failure to do this may result In a refusal to issue you with further permits.

Anglers are requested not to leave litter and to use the car parks provided. Tents, caravans and caravanettes are not permitted in the Fishery.


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Audrey Forbes-Clarke
Telephone/Fax: 01358 789297
Mobile: 07974006450
Email: audrey.forbes@yahoo.co.uk
3 Lea Cottages, 130 Main Street, Newburgh, Ellon.

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