THE River Clyde, one of the most famous rivers in the world, is a magnet for anglers, particularly its mid and upper reaches.  Its reputation as a salmon fishery is also recovering.  So a single website catering for the diverse needs of thousands of fishermen who take to its banks each year, is long overdue.

The river is probably better known for the tons of steel that have sailed down it rather than the bars of silver that have swum up it. But all that is changing.

River Clyde Fishing website
2009 mid-Clyde salmon

The great shipbuilding era is long past, but the famous river is experiencing a new angling resurgence born on the back of hard work by the likes of the Clyde River Foundation and the ceaseless efforts of club diehards, particularly in the upper reaches.

True, its Firth and estuary remains largely a sea angling wasteland, but for game and coarse rods the Clyde now hosts over half of the 50 species that inhabit UK freshwaters – a rich and diverse habitat – and its reputation as an up-and-coming salmon fishery is climbing.

These statistics come from the pages of a new website, just launched to help grow and consolidate angling interest in one of Scotland’s best known waterways.

River Clyde Fishing is the brainchild of four former club members from the mid and upper reaches of the river. John Paul Blair, David Reid, David Baxter and Robert Russell have only known each other for less than two years but in just a matter of weeks they have established a rapidly-growing resource for anyone interested in the river and its fishing.

Blair said today: “Our forum has gathered 70 members in less than two months and we expect easily to beat our target of 100 for the first season. We know we still have a lot of work to do, but it was important to make a start.”

The founders, all previously members of clubs like UCAPA, Avon and Lamington, are widely based, from Glasgow to Law in Lanarkshire. Their jobs are equally diverse, a delivery driver, a potato distributor, a quality control manager and a pub manager.

But they all share a belief that with an estimated 5000 angling tickets for the river sold last year, there is a huge reservoir of interest and demand for information. And they correctly identified that the 109-mile Clyde had no single online resource for anglers.

The website offers a short history of fishing on the river, a picture gallery, links to key clubs and an embryonic section on species. But its main focus is the forum and what is claimed to be a unique mini live chat, which look set to become well-bookmarked addresses in years to come.

Like the Clyde fishery, it deserves to succeed.