Fishing

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 Honorary Bailiffs on behalf of City of Edinburgh Council; the Bailiffs are volunteers and patrol the river regularly and check permits. The season opens on 1st April and runs until 30th September. Permits are essential to ensure that you know the regulation and comply with these; they are available from a number of outlets (see the list below). Due to a lack of funding the river will not be stocked this year.

NEW RULES FOR 2013

  • 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 Honorary Bailiffs, Police Officers and Fisheries 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 fleis 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, Eels, 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!

To contact the Bailiffs please email:

highbailiff_waterofleith@hotmail.co.uk