Fishing on the Water of Leith from Balerno Bridge to Bonnington is free at the moment but you do need a permit. The fishery is managed by the Fishery Officers on behalf of and in partnership with City of Edinburgh Council; the Officers are volunteers and patrol the river regularly and check permits and offering helpful advice to anglers
The season opens on 1st April and runs until 30th September. Permits are essential to ensure that you know the rules and regulations and comply with these when fishing the river. This helps to maintain the long term sustainability of the fishery. The river is no longer stocked with trout and we rely on anglers to uphold and promote the 'Catch and Return' policy. Other species may be caught which fishing, they should all be returned safely to the river. There is no fishing for any species out-with the season indicated above. Permits are available from a number of outlets (see the list below). The river is no longer stocked.
RULES FOR 2017
- Catch and Release Only; all fish must be returned
- Barbless Hooks to be used at all times
- Permits are non transferable and must be carried at all times and produced on request of Fisheries Officers, CEC Natural Heritage Rangers and Police Officers.
Methods of Fishing
- Balerno to Bogs Bridge in the Dells - Fly Fishing Only
- Bogs Bridge to Leith - fly or bait fishing
- Spinning is Prohibited
- Fixed Line is Prohibited
- Please remove all discarded line and tackle and ALL RUBBISH from the river banks
What type of Fishing can you do?
Fly fishing - for the length of the river we recommend wet flies size 14/18 nymphs with lines of 3lb breaking strain. Dry fly fishing is recommended in summer only
Bait fishing - from Slateford down to West Bowling Green Street bridge in Bonnington only. Maggots or small worms are best, fishing with a 3lb breaking strain and small hook.
What will you catch?
Brown Trout, Grayling, Stone loach, Minnow, 3 Spined Stickleback and Flounder. Please note Salmon and Sea Trout fishing is Not Allowed and that River Lamprey and Bullheads are rare and protected so it is illegal to disturb them.
Find your FREE permit from:
- Post Offices at Junpier Green, Currie, Balerno and Colinton
- Fishing Tackle Shops across the city
- The Water of Leith Visitor Centre
So get a permit, fish safe and enjoy the river!