From its' Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian heyday as a trout fishery Lochnaw Loch declined through the latter part of the 20th Century as successive owners failed to invest in the estate and the buildings, grounds and loch fell into a sorry state of neglect.

When the current owners took over in 1999 the loch was overgrown and largely inaccessible from the bankside and the trout spawning beds in the 'Breeding Burn' that feeds the loch largely silted up. The resident population of remaining fish were pretty much left to their own devices and aside from the very occasional visit of a guest angler (or poacher!), angling was finished.


With the subsequent assistance of the Galloway Fisheries Trust some remedial work on the spawning beds of the Breeding Burn were conducted to enable any surviving breeding trout in the loch to continue to propagate. In 2009 a large stocking of mixed sex native Galloway Brownies, between 0.5lb and 6lb in weight, took place to supplement the surviving resident population.

However, it did become apparent that the newly introduced stocks quickly assimilated into their new environment and became as tricky to catch as the last remaining original Loch Leven residents and their old Galloway cousins who have remained very elusive. At the same time it became apparent that the loch had also become home to some exceptional quality coarse fish, namely Roach, Perch and Eels.

Whilst hardly fished in recent years the loch has produced multiple catches to the very occasional guest angler of 2lb+ specimen Roach culminating in a fin perfect beauty of 3lb 7.5oz in late August 2011 (on a 4" Fritz double goldhead lure!) It would be interesting to know what weight it would have achieved prior to spawning in the Spring. Several Perch to over 4lb 8oz and Eels to 5lb+ have also been caught. The majority of these captures have come by chance without the employment of any form of pre-baiting or dedicated targeting. On this basis the owners have decided that it would be churlish not to allow coarse anglers to exploit the potential of Lochnaw.

Lochnaw Loch is a small, nearly round flat bottomed loch of approximately 48 acres. It is also reasonably shallow. Over the greater part of the loch the depth is between 4 and 6 feet, with the occasional deeper hole, shelving up to 2 feet on the Eastern and Southern fringes. There is one main island and a number of smaller stony islets and crannogs, some concealed. There are also a number of sheltered bays.


The bottom varies from stone, sand and gravel to heavy silt and weed. The lochshore is characterised by large beds of lilly pads, reed beds and overhanging and sunken trees.

Work is currently being undertaken to improve lochside access and the creation of new natural 'swims' and stalking points without compromising on the wild and 'unmanicured' feel of the loch.

Anglers will have access to a fishing boat and secure boat house if required.

One of the reasons why the coarse fish have done so well in the loch (and perhaps why the trout remain so immune to immitative fly patterns and lures) is the incredible abundance of natural acquatic and invertebrate life that exists here. Multiple fly hatches with the water thick with buzzers and nymphs are a common sight. The loch is also home to huge mussel, shrimp and bloodworm beds as well as large shoals of fry. In short, the fish here really don't have to work too hard for their next meal and are not easily diverted from their natural diet. (This situation, with the loch being so rich in natural nutrients, may well be a legacy of the time when the loch was drained 300 years ago and set aside for grazing for the best part of a century.) Therein lies the challenge for us anglers to try and tempt these fish into our nets. Unusually for a Scottish water there are no pike so the big trout and perch are at the top of the food chain and there are few other predation issues at present.

Due to an incredibly dry Spring in 2011 the loch did suffer an explosion of alien Canadian Pondweed for the first time. Whilst the fish have not suffered the owners are keen to ensure that future fishing is not compromised by its' reappearance.