Single Bank Fishing Scotland - What is the Law?

baca157

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Hi all,

Does someone have a reliable source on what is the exact law in Scotland for single bank fishing? Is fishing permitted only to the middle of the river? What about access? Is it possible to access water from the other bank, wade across and fish from the middle? What about a situation where there is an island on the river?

I was always under the impression that it is access from one bank only and fishing up to the middle.

I have an ongoing argument about this with a friend so need some solid information.

Cheers,
Sebastian
 

iainmortimer

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Hi all,

Does someone have a reliable source on what is the exact law in Scotland for single bank fishing? Is fishing permitted only to the middle of the river? What about access? Is it possible to access water from the other bank, wade across and fish from the middle? What about a situation where there is an island on the river?

I was always under the impression that it is access from one bank only and fishing up to the middle.

I have an ongoing argument about this with a friend so need some solid information.

Cheers,
Sebastian

Frome the ghillies I have salmon fished with, I understand that you should not wade beyond the middle line of the main river and an island doesn't change that. i.e. if the far side of an island is beyond the middle of the river then you can't fish from it. The only time that changes is when ghillies on opposite banks agree to allow wading further across to fish a narrow channel. I have fished a few beats where that has been enabled. I couldn't for sure say whether that is etiquette, common law or statute though.
 

williegunn

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Frome the ghillies I have salmon fished with, I understand that you should not wade beyond the middle line of the main river and an island doesn't change that. i.e. if the far side of an island is beyond the middle of the river then you can't fish from it. The only time that changes is when ghillies on opposite banks agree to allow wading further across to fish a narrow channel. I have fished a few beats where that has been enabled. I couldn't for sure say whether that is etiquette, common law or statute though.
So if the far side of the island is less than half way over the river, median line, can you fish both sides of the island, casting towards your own bank?
 

ohanzee

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Access from the other side is maybe the key point, if it's the only access there would be an understanding maybe but I think legally you would need permission to access a river across anyone's land, in Scottish fishing law this is what the permit gives you.
 

esk

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I used to fish a beat on the Tweed where we used to "fish the NOB." It wasn't a pool or a fly and it stood for "Not Our Bit."

Occasionally, when the water was just right we would be standing in the NOB but most definitely our fly was fishing the WOB ("within our bit.)".

We'd still be asked to move on by those who owned the beat.

Euan.
 

williegunn

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I used to fish a beat on the Tweed where we used to "fish the NOB." It wasn't a pool or a fly and it stood for "Not Our Bit."

Occasionally, when the water was just right we would be standing in the NOB but most definitely our fly was fishing the WOB ("within our bit.)".

We'd still be asked to move on by those who owned the beat.

Euan.
Poaching then?
 

baca157

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Access from the other side is maybe the key point, if it's the only access there would be an understanding maybe but I think legally you would need permission to access a river across anyone's land, in Scottish fishing law this is what the permit gives you.
From what I read online, accessing the water for fishing via someone else land without permission is trespassing so if it’s single bank fishing, you can only enter the water from ‘your’ bank and fish up to the middle...

My problem is that it is all hearsay. I am looking for some solid proof - either an extract from the law or some source which has enough authority.

I found this website but it’s not clear cut about the single bank access and fishing boundary.


Cheers,
Sebastian
 

bobnudd

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From what I read online, accessing the water for fishing via someone else land without permission is trespassing so if it’s single bank fishing, you can only enter the water from ‘your’ bank and fish up to the middle...

My problem is that it is all hearsay. I am looking for some solid proof - either an extract from the law or some source which has enough authority.

I found this website but it’s not clear cut about the single bank access and fishing boundary.


Cheers,
Sebastian
I always thought that was no law of trespass in Scotland
 

williegunn

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There is no trespassing law in Scotland but it seems that fishing is the exception. I may be reading this wrong though.

Cheers,
Sebastian
From a quick Google search.

It is an oft-repeated myth that there are no trespassing laws in Scotland. This is simply not true. Trespass is a civil wrong, called a delict in Scots legal terminology.

The origins of civil trespassing laws in Scotland go back centuries. A court decision from 1791 in the case of Livingstone v Earl of Breadalbane states that “…every man is the proprietor of his grounds, and entitled to the exclusive possession of them… No man can claim a road or passage through another man’s property… without a servitude… for amusement of any kind, however necessary for health…”
 

baca157

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From a quick Google search.

It is an oft-repeated myth that there are no trespassing laws in Scotland. This is simply not true. Trespass is a civil wrong, called a delict in Scots legal terminology.

The origins of civil trespassing laws in Scotland go back centuries. A court decision from 1791 in the case of Livingstone v Earl of Breadalbane states that “…every man is the proprietor of his grounds, and entitled to the exclusive possession of them… No man can claim a road or passage through another man’s property… without a servitude… for amusement of any kind, however necessary for health…”
Thanks Williegunn. I stand corrected then. Where does the “right to roam“ myth come from then?

Cheers,
Sebastian
 

ohanzee

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Thanks Williegunn. I stand corrected then. Where does the “right to roam“ myth come from then?

Cheers,
Sebastian

'The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 (which came into force in 2005) gives everyone rights of access over land and inland water throughout Scotland, subject to specific exclusions set out in the Act'

Lots of places you can't roam...like my garden, unless you have hot pants on and carrying beer :)
 

loxie

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In England you can stand anywhere up to the mid line point and cast as far as you like in any direction, bylaws allowing. You have no right of access unless it's specified.
 

baca157

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No, you should never be casting back towards your own bank.
Why not? Are you able to share the source of this information? Which law states that this is not allowed?

I am not being flippant, btw. I have been trying to find out the exact letter of the law regarding single bank fishing but so far no one has been able to help.

I can find quite a lot online about England and Wales but my understanding is that the laws in Scotland are different.

Cheers,
Sebastian
 

baca157

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In England you can stand anywhere up to the mid line point and cast as far as you like in any direction, bylaws allowing. You have no right of access unless it's specified.
Thanks Loxie but I am interested in what the law is in Scotland, not England.

Cheers,
Sebastian
 

ohanzee

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I'd say check the 'Trout(Scotland) Act 1933' and possibly the 1951 amendments because I don't think there is anything in the 1933 act.

It used to be on the internet complete, can't find the whole thing now.
 

colliedog

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My problem is that it is all hearsay. I am looking for some solid proof - either an extract from the law or some source which has enough authority
This seems to be the normal outcome when this comes up. No one seems to point you to where is it actually defined in law. Boundary issues must go beyond just fishing law. What about the definition middle of the river? Is it the (fixed) midpoint between two banks or the (variable) centre of the flowing mass of water?

In international law, the Rule of Thalweg (I kid you not, look it up, it's not a period of history in Lord of the Rings) is used to define international borders that run along rivers. The Thalweg is the lowest point of the river bed along its course and is used to define the boundary between two states. Quite different from the mid point, and fixed, at least until Mother Nature decides otherwise.

I think until I know for sure I will play safe and avoid quoting the Rule of Thalweg at any irate ghillie opposite.
 
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