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The river can be considered to broadly comprise of three sections:
- Castle Semple Loch to Howwood: primarily coarse fishing interest on this stretch, where roach, perch and pike can be caught in greater numbers. The flow here is more sedate due to the weir above the village of Howwood. Normal game and coarse fishing tactics can be employed.
- Howwood to Linwood: perhaps the most popular stretch for game anglers due to the number riffles, runs, pools and lies which hold wild brown trout and harbour migratory fish after spates from July onwards. Fly, spinning or bait are the preferred methods.
- Linwood to the Gryffe junction: the water below the weir at Linwood is tidal and steadier but subject to the vagaries of the tidal cycle. Though not as heavily fished, it can be productive for all game species. All legal fishing methods can be used