Here's Journalist Nigel Duncan Interviewing Head bailiff Jim McComb for Edinburgh Local Radio. Nigel asks Jim about the 2018 season and what Malleny Angling are doing to make things better in 2019. Jim tells us about poor fishing conditions in 2018 due to weather and water levels and goes on to explain our new price structure for 2019. In case you missed it: £20 all day 3 fish; 15 all day C+R; 15 evening 2 fish; £10 evening C+R. Nigel and Jim agree that this will encourage anglers to visit after work. They go on to discuss how its hoped this will encourage anglers to bring a junior (u16) along as one is included for each paying adult.

The picture was taken during the dry and low water summer of 2018. 

This year we'll try to publish a few vital statistics for the fishery through the season.

An easy one is the water level. Both Harlaw and Threipmuir have depth gauges. In the picture you can see the depth markings. 0 on the gauge marks the reservoir being full, the 1 above that would be the reservoir in overflow. Each number below the 0 is, I think, the number of feet down from full. So 8 is 8 feet down and 9 indicates even less water in the reservoir. We limit fishing on the Harlaw dam wall when the scale is about 5 as if it gets any higher (lower number) then back casts extend across the busy footpath. As the level drops it gets hard to read the scale, but in the picture its somewhere like 24 or 25 feet down. However, the reservoir bottoms out at over 60 feet deep.

Just to add to the confusion, Threipmuir is actually full and over flowing when the depth gauge is on 2 (2 feet down).

You can see the latest depth readings on the right of the page (or down below on a mobile). Live readings for water level can also be seen on the Harlaw Hydro website.

Turbidity, or on not Turbidity

We hope to be able to add a few more important measures as the season goes on. Turbidity, or water clarity is important to fly fishers. Water temperature should be easy to measure and maybe the approximate numbers of fish being caught. Keep an eye on the website for the latest information.

We're happy to announce our new day permit prices for 2019.

In 2018 we had to increase our day permit price to £25 to cover the rising cost of our stock. Every year the cost of fish goes up, and we had kept prices level for sometime, but in 2018 we finally had to increase our fee.

In 2019 we still need to cover our costs, but we now have a more flexible way to do that and also reduce our basic day permit price. With a view to making fly fishing more accessible to existing and new anglers we are introducing the following permits, please note the same season applies (Apr-Oct or Sep for brownies):

  • Full day, £20, 3 fish.

    As before 8am to 11pm (or 1 hour after dusk, whichever is earlier), but now for a reduced price of £20. To balance the books the catch limit is now 3 fish (instead of 4).
  • Full day, £15, catch and release.

    A new permit to make fishing more affordable for those who do not wish to take fish. 8am to 11pm (or 1 hour after dusk, whichever is earlier) for £15. 
  • Evening, £15, 2 fish.

    A new permit. Fish in the evenings in May, June, July and August from 5pm. You can take 2 fish.
  • Evening, £10, catch and release.

    Our cheapest permit! Fish in the evenings in May, June, July and August from 5pm. You can't take any fish. 

If you take an under 16 for free, they now share your catch limit. Previously they had a catch limit of 2.

We look forwards to seeing you in 2019. We hope you can join us for a cast and maybe introduce someone new to the sport!

Questions? Answers...

We've got some interesting developments for the 2019 trout season at Harlaw and Threipmuir, with the planned introduction of catch and release and evening permits, plus some other permit revisions.

We want to enable people to fish and encouraging a wider range of anglers into the sport and to the fishery. One of the main obstacles people are facing at the moment is cost. Its also one thing that we can relatively easily do something about. Unfortunately the cost of fishing has increased over the last few seasons, fuel costs, the cost of our stock, insurance and operating costs have all increased and look set to continue to rise. As a non-profit relying on volunteers for our club organisation and bailiffing needs its been difficult to offer different types of permits without the administration becoming too onerous. There is little we can do about the cost of our stocked fish, but we can charge differently for anglers who wish to return their catch.

In 2019 we are introducing a catch and release permit and an evening permit. There will be new terms and conditions around the limits of our 'take' permits and restrictions on when a evening permit can be purchased. I'll share this, and pricing information, over the next few weeks as plans are formalised and finalised. We hope that you will join us in 2019, we open on the 1st of April.

A frosty morning, this week at Harlaw.


In 2018 C&B News reported on the major improvement of the safety of the popular path round Harlaw Reservoir and linking to Threipmuir Reservoir. The project widened and railed a previously narrow bridge to make it safer for all users, in particular for people in wheelchairs and young children. A plaque is now displayed acknowledging the support and financial donations of the local organisations and individuals that made the improvements possible.

Representatives of these organisations - Balerno Ramblers, Currie and Balerno District Round Table, Friends of the Pentlands, Malleny Angling Association and the Pentland Hills Regional Park are pictured beside the plaque on the bridge shortly before Christmas.

Photos by Roger Jonathan, Balerno Ramblers