Finavon Castle Water Salmon and Sea Trout Fishing on the River South Esk in Scotland

The Steps

Immediately downstream of Tollmuir Pool is a series of short, artificial runs, aptly called the Steps, each one dropping as it does, slightly lower than the last. In low water this stretch, all fished from the south bank, can produce grilse and the odd salmon but can be especially good for sea trout, especially at dusk and dawn.

This is a high energy part of the river with a steep gradient, and in low water the lively current, tumbling over rocks, provides much needed oxygen for salmon and sea trout under stress from high water temperatures and low oxygen. It also provides opportunities for the stealthy angler to winkle out a grilse or sea trout from the bubbly 'soda water' below the rocky caulds, behind the single stones, under the shaded leafy patches and in the little pots and scours in the gravel. In places there is depth, even sufficient to hold a salmon, but plenty for a low lying grilse or sea trout. This is pocket water fishing, and success in the Steps requires good reading of the water as well as stealth and a willingness to be adaptable on the part of the angler.

Do not attempt to go near the Steps in high water.

Steps marks the beginning of the only single bank section of Finavon Castle Water’s fishing, so please don't cross to the far bank (N) anywhere downstream of Tollmuir Pool. The agreement we have with the proprietors on the North bank at this point guarantees that nobody will be fishing these pools from the other side, but please do not wade any further than mid-stream while fishing the Steps.