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Balmakewan Fishings

Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire, AB30 1QX


  • The Balmakewan Fishings, The North Esk, Aberdeenshire. A famous beat on one of Scotland’s most prolific rivers.44.04 acres (17.82 hecatres) in total. About 1¼ miles of single bank fishing

  • Eleven named pools with varied fishing. 5 year average across the lower beat of 92 salmon and 21 sea-trout.

  • 2 bedroom fishing lodge.

The North Esk is formed by the meeting of the Water of Mark (from Glen Mark) and the Water of Lee (from Loch Lee). The river is then joined by a number of tributaries including the Water …

The North Esk is formed by the meeting of the Water of Mark (from Glen Mark) and the Water of Lee (from Loch Lee). The river is then joined by a number of tributaries including the Water of Effock, the Water of Tarf, the West Water near Stracathro and the Luther Water which enters the river at the top of the Balmakewan Beat. The upper catchment is pristine moorland and a superb habitat for juvenile salmonids. The river enters the North Sea approximately four miles north of Montrose.

The North Esk is renowned amongst fishers as being one of Scotland’s most productive and consistent rivers. The system has a genuine and strong spring run, there is good summer salmon, grilse and sea-trout fishing together with reliable and productive autumn fishing at the end of the season. The North Esk has also been the beneficiary of two recent and enormously positive developments. Firstly the Esk District Salmon Fishery Board purchased the last remaining active netting station on the river at the end of the 2018 season. This will result in thousands more salmon running the river every summer. Secondly Morphie Dyke, previously a significant barrier to the migration of spring salmon, collapsed in 2015. Ever since multi sea winter spring fish have present in the middle reaches of the North Esk from opening day on 16th Feb.

The season runs from 16th February to the 31st October.

The Fishings in their entirety comprise Balmakewan Lodge which is a modern 2 bedroom bungalow, approximately 1.25 miles of single sided fishing bank and a further 31.65 acres (12.81 hectares) of permanent riverbank grazing.

The Balmakewan Fishings are situated in a tranquil rural setting. There are 11 named pools on the Balmakewan beat including Luther, Stobbs, Lairds Cast, Island and Redbank pools. There is a variety of water to suit both high and low water conditions and the beat has good holding water with fish numbers building steadily through the season. The beat can be fished by up to 4 rods. Whilst Balmakewan is ideally suited to fishing with the fly, spinning is permitted in high water. Access to the beat is taken via a hard-core track that runs from the A90 through Balmakewan Farm steading and on to the Lodge. From there, further tracks provide access to the upper and lower parts of the beat.

5 Year Average Catch Record for Lower Beat:
92 Salmon & Grilse
21 Sea Trout

There are incomplete catch records for the Upper Beat, however we understand that 43 salmon and 3 sea-trout were caught in 2018. The Luther Pool is understood to be one of the most productive pools on Balmakewan.

Balmakewan Lodge is a comfortable and modern bungalow situated at the bottom end of the upper beat, in a slightly elevated position overlooking the river bank. The Lodge is constructed of rendered brick/block under a pitched tile roof and has double glazing throughout with LPG fire and electric heating.

The accommodation comprises:
Dining kitchen, living room, 2 bedrooms, shower room, WC and open plan viewing area overlooking the garden and onto the river.

There are two wooden sheds adjacent to the Lodge and ample parking found to the rear.

The Esk District Salmon Fishery Board is a statutory body tasked with administering the river. The Board’s policies include the protection and improvement of the fishings. Elected representatives of the owners of which the North Esk salmon fishing rights are held provide the core of the membership of the Board.

The rateable value for the Balmakewan Fishings is £1,500 per year effective from 1st April 2017. The Net Annual values for Balmakewan Fishings is as follows; Balmakewan Lodge £1,500 per year, Upper Beat £7,500 per year and Lower Beat £8,500 per year.

The Balmakewan Fishing and Lodge are currently leased to fishing parties on a weekly basis. The beat is very popular, with a high percentage of returning parties, and is currently fully let.

Further details on rents can be made available from the selling agent upon request. The fishing on the Luther Water is currently leased to the local angling club.

AB30 1QX