Tinto Trout Fishing

High above Lanarkshire, fly anglers hone their skills on the two unique wild and stocked trout lochs nestled on Tinto Hill, the ‘Hill of Fire’.

Book Fishing

Tinto offers choices very few fly fisheries can.

Should you go for the wild Brownies in a heathery hill-loch, or pristine stocked Rainbows and Blues that really pull in the other? The choice is yours at Tinto. 

Anglers are often speechless at the views as far as Ben Lomond, and the ‘Hill of Fire’ sunsets are really worth waiting for, but it’s hard to look up when the fishing can be so intense. Hearing the curlews, cuckoos, woodpeckers and the odd grouse constantly reminds you to appreciate the finer things in life, when frantically tying on your next offering as the fish are on the boil in the gentle ripple. The spring fed pristine lochs of ‘Lyoch’ sitting at 960ft above sea-level, and ‘Cleugh’ at 1020ft are home to nothing short of remarkable trout. The clear untouched water, which was once the local water supply, is thought to be the reason for their condition. Tinto trout are not always easy to catch, and the formula can vary from one hour to the next with the exposed setting, however the rewards when you do crack the code and hook up, are second to none – They fight like lions and they are fin perfect.


Fly fishing at Tinto

Both lochs have a dam wall on the North-West side and then are lined naturally otherwise. Due to the exposed location it is worth packing the car with every bit of tackle you might regret leaving at home. Also, bring many layers of clothing, it can be lovely one minute with sun bursting, Scotch mist and a gentle breeze, and then quite the opposite the next. An East wind can be very challenging at Tinto, but it also brings the bigger fish in Loch Lyoch to the stripped lure.

100% catch and release policy.

100% fly only – no bait fishing.


Loch Cleuch – ‘Top’ loch

Cleuch is a almost 100ft higher in altitude than Lyoch, and once you’ve made the heart thumping walk up the hill, like all hill lochs should be accessed, you are rewarded with a heather lined slice of the Highlands, in Lanarkshire, and an even more remarkable view than down the hill. The fishing here is back to basics, loch style for wild brownies. Matching the hatch is inevitably the only way to fish here, so plan your day around the conditions, and when you think a hatch might take place. There is nothing better than a couple of wild Brownies smashing your fly in a hatch whilst stalking the banks of Cleugh. The dam wall is again the easiest place to fish from, but you feel a little exposed on it, so get down into the heather on the right, or below the skyline to the left where it is high banked.

Loch Lyoch – ‘Bottom’ loch

Lyoch is the lower altitude loch which is just up from the homestead, self catering cottages, fishery office, fishing hut, and the car park. Lyoch is trickle stocked with the highest quality Rainbow and Blue Trout which are sourced and quarantined before release. The loch also has a head of wild Browns too, some ranging from 3-5lb caught annually, and PB’s (personal bests) have been caught up to 9lb 8oz, a shock for many an angler. If you head up the left side of the outflow from the homestead, you are met with a stand of Scots Pines lining the loch which set the tone immediately. The bank is a little higher here, but a back cast is easy enough. A sheltered spot if the wind is from the East. Heading further round the corner you come into the shallower reeded bank with a few willows overhanging the edges. This is a fantastic spot for ambush dries awaiting cruising fish. As you come back around toward the start of the dam wall, it all opens up beyond the two burn inlets and along the wall itself. Here you can really throw a long line with your lures or buzzers, or carry on stalking the edges. It is hard to describe the fishing here because it is so changeable, but every day there is a moment, be it just half an hour once or several times a day, or all morning/evening, when the fish are in the mood. Each fish is a genuine prize to any angler, but if you like a good fight, the Blues are so much fun! All fly methods are successful, but by far the most exciting fishing on Tinto is either with classic wets or matching the hatch. 

Rods on stand

“Whatever the conditions are on one loch, you can bet there’s something else happening on the other one. It’s difficult not to wonder if you’re on the right loch, until bang, you’re in!”

Rods on stand
Rods on stand

Fly equipment

As mentioned before, bring every bit of fly tackle for trout you own and leave it in the car, just in case. You may prefer to bring waders because wellies can be restrictive in certain areas for access and stalking some of the shallower areas too. A net is mandatory for best practice C&R to maintain the already fabulous conditioned fish.

Lyoch – If you plan on just fishing the ‘Bottom loch’, then a 9ft or 10ft #5, #6, #7, or even #8 whatever you have, is fine. A floating line obviously for the dries. The conditions will dictate what fishes when, and very little tackle would be considered wrong to bring. Most importantly though, fish with thin and strong (6lb minimum) tippet. Tinto fish have great eyesight on top of the clear water, and they will try to burst you off when peeling away your backing. Lures work, and black traditional wets, but having plenty of dries to suit the season will be your best bet. Think about having Daddies, Heather Beetle/fly, Hoppers, Bibios, F-Flies, Muddlers and the likes.

Cleugh – An 8ft #3 up to 9ft #5 is ample here, with a floating line, tips, or a midge tip. The same selection of flies work, but with the addition of Black Spiders, and generally everything a little smaller in size.

We only allow wading to knee depth and no wading on Cleugh. Fish come right in to the edge so there is no need to wade past the knee.



“It’s not a spinning beat, and it’s not a killing beat any more either - I am humbled by the quality of fly anglers that have followed me to Balmakewan.” - Mike Young, Ghillie

Discover Tinto Trout Fishery

Tinto Trout Fishery

Loch Lyoch Cottage

Thankerton, Biggar, Lanarkshire

ML12 6NH

Tinto Cottages

Ideal for a fishing getaway, there are two self-catering cottages within the homestead courtyard at Tinto Fishery. Both are available from 2 nights up to two week lets and are a great escape from the hustle and bustle in this exceptional part of the countryside. 

Bed linen and towels are provided along with kitchen facilities and utensils. The cottages are booked below in conjunction with your fishing, or separately via Airbnb and Tripadvisor.

Angler with fish

Wren Cottage

2 guests · 1 bedroom · 2 beds · 1 bathroom

The smaller of the two cottages, Wren, sleeps two people in a twin room. It has an ensuite with shower, and an open-plan kitchen/lounge. A nice place to reminisce about the one that got away, and plan the early start. An additional sofa bed is in the lounge.

Symon Jacobsen

Dipper Cottage

4 guests · 2 bedrooms · 4 beds · 1 bathroom

This slightly larger cottage offers an equally cosy place for the family to stay. It has its own private deck for a great place to have a barbeque. There is a twin room, and a bunk room, so this is ideal for a young family of 3 to 4 people, or 2 anglers that prefer separate rooms.

WONDERFUL HOSTESS 2 miles off the main road, perfect solitude and tranquility in beautiful surroundings. The cottage is lovely but very basic. Nearest shops are a good many miles from base and you will need to drive everywhere. Not suited to people wanting to visit tourist attractions, no gift shops in 20 mile radius. Perfect for walking and fishing holidays.
Syed a
Syed a
It was superb We spent our short holiday in dipper cottage . Its beautifull, amazing and mesmerizing place to stay n relax. Nice n friendly hosts. A really well equipped cottage with peaceful atmosphere . We loved our stay and would definitly come to stay again.
Calm and Peaceful A lovely cottage in a quiet area, ideal for walking, hill climbing and lake fishing We were welcomed by a very friendly hostess who offered a lot of advice on the available opportunities to spend time with family
Peaceful weekend We were hoping for a peaceful weekend and found it in Dipper Cottage at the foot of Tinto Hill just outside Lanark. A comfortable, clean cottage and a warm and friendly hostess on site. The location was beautiful and we hope to return.
Tranquil and friendly Just returned from a weekend stay at Dipper Cottage. Friendly host and a beautiful, peaceful location handy for Lanark, Biggar and the surrounding area. Lovely setting beneath Tinto Hill with a tranquil reservoir a short walk from the cottage.
James G
James G
Excellent Just spent a week here. Well equipped and comfortable accommodation. Tranquil and remote location well off the beaten track. Wonderful for trout fishermen but equally for anyone wanting peace and quiet in a very beautiful area of south Lanarkshire. Plenty to do and see nearby. Beware the Scottish weather and look out for the potholes on the approach road, particularly the immediate approach.


A little history


Clydesdales & Waltzing Matilda 

Loch Lyoch farm is the birthplace of the original Clydesdale horse. The farm was also owned by the Paterson family, who emigrated to Australia in the mid-19th century – Paterson’s eldest son Banjo was named after one of his dad’s Clydesdale horses. Banjo became a poet and songwriter who penned Australia’s unofficial national anthem Waltzing Matilda.

Top Flies

Tinto Trout Fishery is 100% fly only.

Patterns that do well are:

  • Various Hoppers and Daddy Long legs
  • Sedge patterns
  • Muddlers
  • Bibio
  • Various Buzzers
  • Heather fly
  • Alexandria
  • Soldier Palmer
  • Partridge and orange
  • Blae and Black
  • Ace of spades
  • F flies
  • Back flies in general

    “The top-of-the-water sport can be fantastic and if you happen to be there on a balmy summer’s evening when sedge are on the water, then you may encounter some large and aggressive wild fish.”

    Finlay Wilson, Trout & Salmon magazine


    Is the fishery open all year?

    Tinto fishery is open all year, 7 days a week for Rainbow and Blue Trout in the bottom loch (Loch Lyoch). The Brown Trout season is inclusive of the 15th March to 6th October and this is when the top loch (Loch Cleugh) is open.

    Can I take a fish for the pot?

    Tinto Trout Fishery is 100% catch and release. 

    Do you offer an evening only permit?

    Yes, day rods and evening permits are available seperately, however eveing permits are only available from the 14th May to 31st August. See booking calendar below.

    Do you offer a season permit?

    Yes, season permits are available and can be purchased by contacting us.

    Why are the fish such good quality?

    From day one the ethos behind Tinto trout fishery was for quality fishing not quantity.

    The lochs are kept very natural and litter is not tolerated, we want you to enjoy your fishing as we would like to enjoy it if we were fishing ourselves.

    Due to the lochs having such a natural habitat and the abundance of natural food in the lochs the angler needs to “match the hatch”  when fishing.

    These fish are very wise and they do not give themselves up easily but when they do the rewards are great.

    Browns in the 3lb to 5lb mark caught each season.  (Best Brown 9lbs 8oz.) 

    In the interest of conservation all brown trout are to be returned to the water.

    Is there boat & float tube fishing?

    No boat fishing, however float tubing is a fantastic way to fish our lochs.

    What facilities are in the hut?

    Tea, coffee, heat, power, and a loo.

    Is it fly fishing only?

    Yes, Tinto Trout Fishery is 100% fly only.

    Can I bring my family and friends to stay in the cottages?

    Yes, you are encouraged to. The cottages are perfectly set up for a young family of up to four. A party of up to six people, or eight at a squeeze, is possible. 

    What is included in the cottages, and booking terms?

    Prices includes: Electricity, Bed Linen & Towels.

    Arrival & Departure Times: Arrival 4.P.M. Departure 10.A.M

    Booking payment 100% for minimum length stays, see booking calendar. For longer stays a 25% deposit and the balance is payable on arrival. Contact us to book longer stays.

    Cancellation: Less than 4 weeks prior to your specified dates, anything paid will be retained if we are unable to re-let the property.

    (You may opt to change your dates up to 6 months ahead carrying forward your deposit.)

    Are there any shops locally?

    Yes, Carmichael Farm Shop and Tinto Tea Rooms are only 2 miles away. Abbington General Store is a 10min drive, and there are plenty of options a little further afield in Lanark and Biggar only 15 minutes drive away.

    What are the local surroundings like?

    The immediate locale is hillside farmland overlooking Lanarkshire. A mostly untouched landscape of late, however steeped in a rich history worth getting to know. Locally, there are the Falls of Clyde and New Lanark world heritage site. 

    How do I get to Tinto Trout Fishery?

    Head to Thankerton on the A73, and turn in at the Tinto Hill Tearoom. Follow the single track road for 2.2 miles and take the left fork. Head to the end of this track and you are at the fishery.

    Is there wifi?

    Sorry not at the moment. EE 4g signal is available. 

    Can I bring my dogs?

    No dogs. We are located next to a working farm. No dogs in our accommodation either, sorry. 

    Can I stay in the cottage and not fish?

    Yes – the cottages are regularly used by non anglers visiting the area.

    What is the vehicle access like?

    All cars can access Tinto Fishing’s car park. Walking only from there.

    What is the fishing like on the upper River Clyde next to Tinto?

    Exceptional. We are approx. 3 miles from the river and stock permits.

    The beauty of having a fishing holiday with us gives you the security that if the weather changes and you cannot fish the river, you can always continue fishing at the fishery.

    The River Clyde is only 5 minutes away from Tinto, and the United Clyde Angling Protective Association (UCAPA) is known for one of the best wild river trout destinations in Scotland. Migratory species can be fished for downstream too and is very popular. Head to http://www.ucapaltd.com to learn more. 

    Exclusive Offers – Get in touch

    Annual membership

    Annual membership – take a full year (365 days) of fishing on Tinto for £250 – March 15th to March 14th. Contact us for more information. 

    Self catering permit discounts

    Book one of our cottages for a week long stay for reduced cost fishing permits. Book this by email or telephone.


    Availability & booking

    £20 catch & release only

    All fishing is booked as a day rod, with the addition of evening rods in Summer (14th May to 31st August only). Advanced booking only.

    Fly only!

    Recent photos from the fishery

    Huge thanks goes to Fin Wilson & Euan Myles for some of the quotes and images on this website. Legends!

    Get in touch

    To sign up to occasional availability emails, learn more about season permits, or any other enquiries, please let us know here:

    Email: info@tintotroutfishery.co.uk