The River Devon, rises high up on the north eastern slopes of Blairdenon Hill, and curls round the highest of the Ochil Hills to the north of Alloa. Almost all of the water in the Devon comes from these hills which form a dissected plateau about 600m above sea level.
This upland area of rough grazing contains five reservoirs used for drinking water for Fife and compensation water for the Devon. The upper half of the river is contained within the hills and it flows in an easterly direction at first before turning south, then west at Crook of Devon.
A little way downstream is Rumbling Bridge, and below that the Cauldron Linn, which bars fish migration. The river is soon joined by the Gairney Burn and it then flows along the fault line of the Ochil escarpment past Vicar’s Bridge towards Dollar where there is a dam. Modifications were carried out here in 1999 and it is believed that salmon can now negotiate this weir over a wide range of water conditions. The river then continues west passing through pasture land towards the estuary, by-passing Tillicoultry, Alva and Menstrie on the way.
There are substantial areas of good gravels from Alva upstream with long glides and deep pools. There are also a number of fair sized burns running from the Ochils into the Devon along this section. There is a blockage to fish migration on the Alva Burn at the primary school. There are no burns of any consequence from the south side of the river.
As the river passes Alva weed growth becomes more apparent and this is perhaps typical of a slow flowing river that passes through a fertile agricultural area. In the main the weeds are spiked water milfoil, pondweed, and duckweed and these probably die back to some degree during winter. Numbers of good sized trout can usually be seen rising in this weedy section.
At Cambus, just at the head of the tidal reach, there is another dam which posed a problem for migrating fish in the past but the provision of a new fish pass in 1997 now allows access in all water conditions.
The majority of the fishing on the River Devon is leased by the Devon Angling Association. The Association was formed in 1905 and offers approximately 15 miles of the River Devon and also Trout Fishing on the Glenquey Reservoir.
Devon Angling Association Website: http://www.clacksnet.org.uk/hosted/daa/index.htm
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