Newton Stewart Fishing Holidays

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The Smithy

Nr Kirkowan, Newton Stewart,
Dumfries and Galloway

Perfect for Fishing Holidays Smithy Cottage is just 6 miles from the thriving Tourist town of Newton Stewart set within an area of outstanding beauty. Recently restored this semi-detached cottage is ideally situated for the fisherman by Spittal Bridge and the riverside. The Cottage enjoys superb River views from most windows, with an attractive garden and large car park.

The Garden leads to the river Bladnoch and the ‘Market Pool’ one of the best on the river offering private fishing situated, this is part of the former estate of Sir Adrian and Lady Dunbar with over 10 miles of privately owned salmon and trout fishing. In addition to Fishing and the general holidaymaker, this is superb countryside for Walking and Mountain Biking Holidays with the Galloway Forest Park on your doorstep. The Dumfries and Galloway region also has 26 Golf courses several are nearby including Southerness, all are attractively situated with many amidst spectacular scenery.

So let this most inspiring part of Scotland go to work on you…breath fresh air, enjoy country walks, watch Buzzards and Eagles glide. Discover the History of Scotland, take a trip to the coast and listen to the crash of the waves, look out to the horizon and see Ireland, England and the Isle of Man, silhouetted against the setting sun.

  • Cottage, Sleeps 4, Semi-Detached, Remote Rural Location, Countryside Views, Fridge / Freezer, Washing / Dryer, Car Parking, TV / DVD, Full Central Heating, Open Fire, Full Self Catering, Well Behaved Pets Welcome, Gardens.

Newton Stewart and the Locality

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The small market town of Newton Stewart on the banks of the River Cree is only 6 miles away with Supermarkets, High street shops, Cafe’s, Restaurants, Pubs and Golf Course. Surrounded by the Galloway hills, Newton Stewart is known as the gateway to the Galloway Forest Park a favourite for hill walkers and mountain bikers alike, with internationally recognised biking trails amidst some of the most spectacular scenery in the south of Scotland.

In the past the town thrived on its cotton and carpet industries, but is now more famous for its salmon and trout fishing on the River Cree. There is an abundance of wildlife, such as red and roe deer in the forest and hills, while wild goats thrive on the rocky slopes. The Birdwatcher will also be delighted with the variety of species and R.S.P.B. reserves.

The Solway is famous for its waders. Sea fishing is very productive with some of the best in Britain in nearby Luce Bay. Rough shooting, wildfowling and stalking can be arranged. Sailing, windsurfing, hill walking, miles of horse riding within the Galloway Forrest Park, curling and bowling can all be enjoyed. Whether it is a holiday for the sporting minded or those just seeking relaxation, we are confident you will have an enjoyable stay and want to return.


The Galloway Forest Park

Newton Stewart is also the Gateway to the fantastic Galloway Forest Park, a huge woodland park of some 300 square miles (780 km2), includes moorland, lochs and from seashore to mountain tops a habitat for a variety of plants. Operated by Forestry Commission Scotland. The park, established in 1947, receives over 800,000 visitors per year. The three visitor centres at Glen Trool, Kirroughtree, and Clatteringshaws receiving around 150,000 each year.

Much of the Galloway Hills lie within the boundaries of the park, where you can enjoy a good peaceful stroll on one of the many woodland trails. There are a total of 27 waymarked forest trails to choose from, there is something for every walker, or if you fancy something a little more strenuous, head out to the hills and climb the Merrick, south Scotland’s highest peak.

You can also rock climb and ice-climb within the park. Within or near the boundaries of the park are several well developed mountain bike tracks, forming part of the 7stanes project. As well as catering for recreation, the park includes economically valuable woodland, producing 500,000 tons of timber per year. For the wildlife fan the park has some of Scotland’s most amazing wildlife – but without the long drive north! Red Squirrels, Otter, Pine Marten, Black Grouse, Golden Eagles, Red Deer and even Nightjar.

The famous dark skies over the forest Park also offer ideal star gazing and there are some fantastic Fishing lochs and rivers here too, all in beautiful surroundings, featuring a variety of fish from Brown Trout to Salmon.

Other activities for the no Fisherman include Canoeing and Mountain biking with some seriously amazing mountain bike trails. From beginner to adrenaline seeker, there is something for everyone. The award winning Cream O’Galloway where children can enjoy the indoor and outdoor adventure playground as well as see around a working dairy farm that produces fantastic ice cream. The Gem Rock museum at Creetown, Kirroughtree visitor centre, which has miles of Forrest walks, and mountain bike trails along with a children’s adventure play area as well as a café for once you’ve worked up an appetite. Plus Wigtown Scotland’s Book town and Kirkcudbright the Artist’s town !

“The sensational Galloway Forest Park…on your doorstep”


Fishing Tackle, Spinning and Worm Fishing

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Due to the nature of both the Cree and Bladnoch being spate rivers it is a good idea to have a spinning/ worm fishing rod for certain water conditions. The river Bladnoch will fish even in very high water (4.5ft water gauge at 40 footer), and the only pools really to fish when the river is so high would be Ash Tree, and Market pool on Mochrum Park and above the weir or next to the Car park at Kirwaugh.

The best spinners for such occasions would be 20 – 28g Toby, 20 g Flying C or some of the deep running Rapalas. This would also be the case on the River Cree with the best high water pools being Castle bank, Slaughter house pool and the tail of the bridge pool. These spinners will also be suitable if the river height is between 2-3 ft, but as the river drops it would be a good idea to have 10- 15g toby’s and flying Cs.

Rapala lures work particularly well on both rivers when the height is between 1- 2.5 ft with 9cm and 11cm floating rapalas taking the most fish. Blue and silver and Black and silver seem to be the best colours, but tiger stripe rapalas and orange can work quite well if the river is about 2ft. It is a good idea to change the hooks on rapalas for something stronger. On the 9 and 11cm raps we use size 6 VMC extra strong and on the 5 and 7 cm raps we use a size 8 VMC extra strong.

If the river drops below 1 ft we still continue to fish rapalas with smaller 5 cm and 7 cm taking a good number of fish even in low warm summer conditions. The advantage of fishing a rapala is that the slower pools which are hard to fish with a fly can be fished and the action of the Lure can provoke a take. When fishing smaller Rapalas though it might be necessary to go down to 10lb line in order to cast them.

Other lures that work well are wooden devons, Tasmanian devils, Mepps and flying buck tails.

I use a 9ft rod (10-40 g casting weight) which I find will cast all of the above lures. The most important aspect to spinning for Salmon is the reel and for this I use a shimano bait- runner well loaded with 12lb Maxima nylon. For the lighter weight lures and worm fishing it is good idea to have another spool with 10lb line, and if you have three spools perhaps some 4 lb line for Sea Trout fishing. Most fixed spool spinning reels in the £30- £50 class will be suitable.

If the water conditions in the summer are very low and other methods are not producing any results it is a good idea to have some lob worms and Brandlings. This method works best on a 9or 10ft rod with 10-12lb maxima well loaded to the brim.

Newton Stewart Fishing Holiday – Accommodation

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Recently restored and modernised the Smithy is ideally situated for the fisherman by Spittal Bridge and the riverside. Superb river views from most windows. Attractive garden and large car park. Space available here for guests fishing from the Coach House and Lodge. Garden leads to river and the ‘Market Pool’ one of the best on the river.

The Entrance Hall enjoys Solid Wood Flooring. Leading to the Lounge with open fire which provides central heating to all rooms. The Lounge has a comfortable leather sofa, colour TV with freeview, DVD Player and CD Player. The lounge has lovely river views over the ‘Mochrum Park’ beat on the Bladnoch.

The Lounge / Kitchen – is a modern fitted ‘Howdens’ kitchen and dining area with solid wood flooring. Cooker, fridge freezer, washing machine, and microwave. All utensils, Pots, Pans and Crockery are provided

The Master Double Bedroom -with views over the garden to river, double bed, television with freeview and wardrobe.

The Twin Bedroom – with two single beds with storage drawers, single wardrobe and radiator.

Basic Scale of Weekly Hire Charges

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March, April, May and June weeks £310

July, August, September, October weeks £390

November, December, January, February weeks £230

Christmas and New Year weeks £395

Special Spring Offer – The Full Weekly Rental rate – get up to 2 salmon rods for the week free.

Hire charges include – this is Full Self Catering (Please Bring your Bedding and Towels) only Duvets and Pillow Cases and Logs for the fire are provided, all Heating and Electricity is by way of £1 coin meter.

Pet Friendly – Yes but sensible Dogs only please. Dogs must be kept on a lead in Mochrum Park and on river bank. Dogs are not allowed on Barness or Palnure Beats.

The Smithy, Nr Kirkowan, Newton Stewart, DG8 0BX – Listed since 2015

For all booking enquiries call us on 01729 851181, send a text to 07885 211787. Payment Options: Payment can be made easily and securely in the booking process. All major credit and debit cards accepted.

Phone lines are open 09:00am to 10:30pm 7 days a week.

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General Booking enquiry – please note this does not constitute a booking



Fly Fishing – Information

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The Bladnoch and Cree are not wide rivers. Their flow however is changeable with rain and as such tackle and tactics must be adopted to suit the various conditions which might be encountered during the course of a week’s fishing.


During the spring it is advisable to use a double handed rod. Although a 14 or 15 ft rod can be used, one 12 to 13 ft is all that is needed. Due to the open nature of all the main pools, Speycasting is not an essential skill. Since the rivers are of medium stature a double taper or Spey profile line with a head length of either 50ft or 60 ft will be adequate for covering all the water. Although shooting heads are not necessary they can still however be put to effective use. For normal water height a full floating line, with a either a neutral density polyleader, or equivalent rated multi- tip will be all that is required. When fishing during the spring with the rivers running at normal flow height, flies of about 1 inch long will do just fine, however shrimp type flies with long tails also do well at this time of the year. There is no need to scrape the bottom, with fast sinking lines or weighted flies, tied on heavy brass or copper tubes. Salmon in the Bladnoch and Cree will come up for a fly, even in the first few weeks of the season. Most modern patterns will take fish, but any flies with a touch of yellow or green, or a combination of both do very well during the first few months of the season. Successful patterns being, Fast Eddie, Yellow Flame Thrower, Yellow Ally’s, Green Highlander, Highland Pig. Even the time and tested Garry Dog with a predominace of yellow in its dressing will take fish. If the river is flowing 1 and 2 ft on the gauge a neutral density line with slow sink polyleader, or equivalent rated multi-tip should be the first choice in order to get the fly down a little. With the rivers flowing such, flies between 1 and 2 inches tied on double or treble hooks, or plastic or aluminium coneheads will work well.


During the summer months when the rivers are flowing at normal height a single handed salmon and sea-trout rod rated 7 to 9, with a floating line, with either a double taper, weight forward, or Spey profile will be the best choice. Flies at this time should also be on the small side, between ½ and 1 inch in length, with a red or orange dressing with some silver tinsel incorporated, or even tied on a silver Salar type hook. Lightly dressed shrimp flies with a few fibres of pearl or silver crystal hair in their tails also do particularly well at this time. Named patterns such as Bladnoch Shrimp, Cascade, Red Devil, Red Flame Thrower, Red Francis, Curry’s Red Shrimp, Keachie Krill, Red Ally’s, Peaty Man, and Orange Ally’s will not go amiss. It is also worth while having a few Pot Bellied Pigs tied in red, and orange in your fly box. If the river is flowing above 1 ft a double handed rod is best. Again a neutral density line with a slow sink polyleader or the likes will be adequate. First choice of flies at this time should be between 1 and 2 inches long, tied in red or orange, or a combination of these colours. Again lightweight tubes with a conehead can also be put to good use during a summer spate. In some of the faster deeper flows a fly tied on a ½ or ¾ copper or brass tubes do well.


During the autumn the same rods and tactics can be employed as you would use during the summer months. The water height determining which. At this time of year though a predominately red fly with a silver body works extremely well. Another thing about Cree and Bladnoch fish at this time of the year is that they quite often seem to prefer a small fly, to a large one, even when there is extra water running.

Fishing Permits

February to June £110 per person per week July to October £140 per person per week

Fantastic Day Trips

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If Fishing, Wildlife, Walking and Mountain Bikes isn’t enough – 30 minutes to the East is the popular tourist town of Kirkcudbright with its Harbour on the Solway Coast is only 6 miles away with all high street shops, Cafe’s, Restaurants, Pubs and Golf Course. This region has always been popular with artists particularly in the late 19th century, many of the many beautiful pictures seen of Scotland are of Kirkudbright. Actually Pronounced kir-coo-bree) the town sits on the banks of the River Dee with a colourful blend of medieval, Georgian and Victorian buildings.

Notable attractions include MacLellan’s Castle is a ruined 16th century tower house by the harbourside and nearby is Broughton House, a smart Georgian townhouse which was once the home of the artist Edward Hornel. The house has some impressive Japanese gardens. Other town attractions include the Tolbooth Art Centre and Harbour Cottage Gallery. There are many independent shops within the town and a supermarket, alongside some great places to eat out.

Rabbie Burns, Kirkudbright harbour and Panorama of the Solway Firth


Dumfries and Galloway

Further to the East lies Scotland’s largest Southern town of Dumfries with a population of around 38,000 sitting close to the Solway Firth near the mouth of the famous River Nith. Dumfries was the county town of the former county of Dumfriesshire. It’s nickname is Queen of the South. In 1186, Dumfries was officially given the rights of a royal burgh. Throughout the first 50 years of its foundation the town was at the forefront of the Scottish Borders until the consolidation of Galloway in 1234. A royal castle, which no longer exists, was built in the 13th century on the site of the present Castledykes Park, and before becoming King of Scots, Robert the Bruce slew the Red Comyn at Greyfriars Kirk in the town in 1306. His uncertainty about the fatality of his stabbing caused one of his followers, Roger de Kirkpatrick, to utter the famous, “I mak siccar” (“I make sure”) and finish the Comyn off.

Dumfries High Street hosts many of the historical, social and commercial centres of the town. During the 1990s, these areas enjoyed various aesthetic recognitions from organisations including Britain in Bloom. The town offers the visitor every facility and attraction desired, with all the usual high street, shops, supermarkets, cafes and banks, along with numerous leisure centres, a swimming pool, cinema and Inter City rail station, with direct servicess to Ayshire and Glasgow in the North and Carlisle, Hexham and the lakes in the South.

Views of Dumfries and the River Nith


The Scottish Borders

And if the Galloway Forest Park isn’t enough you can also reach the Scottish Borders within a couple of Hours. Stretching from the rolling hills and moorland in the west, through gentle valleys to the rich agricultural plains of the east and on to the rocky Berwickshire coastline with its secluded coves and picturesque villages.

You will discover castles, abbeys, stately homes and museums illustrating the exciting and often turbulent history of the area. Celebrations of music, arts and literature, and local food and drink take place throughout the year. June and July are a great time to watch the Common Ridings. In high summer and autumn you can enjoy the attractions of sheep dog trials, Border Games and the Scottish Championship Horse Trials. The Selkirk Vintage Classic and Veteran Vehicle Show in September offers 2 days of pure nostalgia. The area offers excellent opportunities for walking, cycling, playing golf and horse riding. The River Tweed runs through the centre of the Scottish Borders. Fed by its many tributaries, it provides some of the best fishing in the country.

In 1566 Mary Queen of Scots stayed in the town at a house which now tells the story of her tragic life. Up on a hill overlooking the town, Jedburgh Castle Jail is also open to the public as a museum. The town’s red sandstone abbey on the banks of the Jed Water was founded in 1138 by David I and was pillaged and rebuilt many times. Now cared for by Historic Scotland, the abbey is open to visitors all year round and the Visitor Centre portrays its turbulent past.

Winner of the country town prize in Beautiful Scotland in Bloom, Jedburgh offers an attractive setting to follow the town trail, take a riverside walk or browse amongst the shops in the colourful renovated buildings in the Market Place and Canongate. South of the town is the award winning Jedforest Deer and Farm Park. At nearby 16th century Ferniehirst Castle, the grounds and Kerr Information Centre are open to visitors on a limited basis. Near Ancrum to the north lies Monteviot House Gardens on the banks of the river and Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre offering exhibitions and indoor or outdoor activities.

“Views of Jedburgh High street and the Abbey”


Hadrians Wall and Hexham

To the East and within an easy 60 minute drive of is Hadrian’s wall and the old border town of Hexham the largest town in West Northumberland standing on the banks of the River Tyne. It is a very ancient ecclesiastical parish in its own right and there are many ancient spellings variations of the town’s name including Hutoldesham, Hestoldesham, Hextoldesham and Halgutstad. One interpretation is that the names refer to the tributaries to the Tyne which run through the town.

Here you can visit the Benedictine Abbey and church rebuilt in the 12th century. Close to Hexham is the world famous Hadrian’s Wall built in AD122 on the orders of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, and stretched from the East to West coasts of Britain, from Bowness on Solway in the West to Wallsend in the East. It is one of the most remarkable unique Roman monuments in the world.

Today, over 1800 years after its construction, Hadrian’s Wall still offers spectacular remains for examination. When building the Wall, the Romans made use of the rugged landscape of Northumberland for defensive purposes, and the fact that the countryside has changed little since those times helps to transport the visitor back to those far-off days.In its heyday, Hadrian’s Wall was garrisoned by thousands of troops, who watched over the northern horizon from turrets and milecastles placed at regular intervals along the Wall, and lived in a series of more substantial forts at strategic locations. Several of these forts are open to the visitor today, featuring substantial remains and museums and visitor centres of differing sizes and styles, giving an insight into the life lived by a soldier on Rome’s northern frontier. More information

Hexham and Hadrian’s Wall