Cow Green Reservoir

juncopartner

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Jul 24, 2012
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Well I was planning to walk up to Small Water Tarn above Haweswater Saturday gone and do some wild camping/fishing, but the forecast up there with the wind chill factor was -11!!!! So I thought I might have another visit to Cow Green on Sunday thinking it may not be as bad. I called up to Tunstall Saturday evening to get a rough idea of what it would be like on Cow Green needless to say I ended up staying in!!!!

Will it ever be warm again!!! I'm starting to get desperate for some wild fishing. The rucksacks been packed for weeks, I've been postponing visits to the Lakes for 3 weeks now, should have had 3 Upland tarns crossed of the list by now as well as selset and Balderhead, only one visit to Cow Green so far and 2 hours sat in the car waiting for the gale force winds to ease on Haweswater which just got stronger (useless met office forecast!!!!)
 
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Apr 1, 2012
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I fished Cow Green on the Bank Holiday Monday from midday. There was a stiff south westerly which made the north shore very difficult but I worked my way round onto the South side and by late afternoon the wind had dropped and the fells came alive with insects in the evening sunshine.

Managed three decent fish but all on bibio dropper, black muddler point and fished on an intermediate just subsurface. Although I did fish the muddler deep alot hoping for one of those bullhead munching monsters!

Was really lucky with the weather, its been a cold, windy and fustrating start to the season so lets hope for an improvement

Three weeks before I had been up at Selset with not even a tweek to show for my efforts.

Juncopartner I'ed be very interested to know how your lakeland wild fishing/camping goes. Have you ever fished Buttermere?
 

juncopartner

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grid reference - I was up there the same day, but didn't really have enough time to walk round to the south side, got there a bit too late!!!

Can't help you with Buttermere but I fished Crummock water last year, stopped at the campsite in Buttermere itself, nice site and cheap, highly recommended, 2 pubs very very close by.

Buttermere looked a bit too busy with families dogs etc so I walked down from the campsite to the west shore of Crummock Water and fished that, caught one very small perch!!! Weather conditions started from a flat calm sunny morning to very high winds and lashing down. Apparently its best to go down to the other end and fish there but you will need to pay to park in a NT car park, thougt I'd save the money!!! Lots of fish rising out in the middle of the Lake but according to the locals these would probably be Char. Had a very pleasent evening on the lakeside though next to where the river flows in from Buttermere waiting for an evening rise with half a dozen bottles of Old Speckled Hen, the rise never happened though.

If your interested in the tarns (assuming your travelling from the NE). I'd recommend Small Water tarn, if you park your car (free) at the end of Haweswater its about 1 hour or less to walk up to it, excellent little fishery, you can if you get up there early enough you contour round to Blea iWater n the afternoon and fish that as well and still have time to fish Haweswater all in the same day!! Blea Water though has very steep sides so fly fishing is very limited, I've just got a light spinning rod to try sometime.

But the best one is Styhead tarn, longer walk involved but well worth it, in my opinion its the best place I've ever fished. Best to camp out though so you can fish the evening and you've also got Sprinkling Tarn a short walk away.
 

guest70

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grid reference - I was up there the same day, but didn't really have enough time to walk round to the south side, got there a bit too late!!!

Can't help you with Buttermere but I fished Crummock water last year, stopped at the campsite in Buttermere itself, nice site and cheap, highly recommended, 2 pubs very very close by.

Buttermere looked a bit too busy with families dogs etc so I walked down from the campsite to the west shore of Crummock Water and fished that, caught one very small perch!!! Weather conditions started from a flat calm sunny morning to very high winds and lashing down. Apparently its best to go down to the other end and fish there but you will need to pay to park in a NT car park, thougt I'd save the money!!! Lots of fish rising out in the middle of the Lake but according to the locals these would probably be Char. Had a very pleasent evening on the lakeside though next to where the river flows in from Buttermere waiting for an evening rise with half a dozen bottles of Old Speckled Hen, the rise never happened though.

If your interested in the tarns (assuming your travelling from the NE). I'd recommend Small Water tarn, if you park your car (free) at the end of Haweswater its about 1 hour or less to walk up to it, excellent little fishery, you can if you get up there early enough you contour round to Blea iWater n the afternoon and fish that as well and still have time to fish Haweswater all in the same day!! Blea Water though has very steep sides so fly fishing is very limited, I've just got a light spinning rod to try sometime.

But the best one is Styhead tarn, longer walk involved but well worth it, in my opinion its the best place I've ever fished. Best to camp out though so you can fish the evening and you've also got Sprinkling Tarn a short walk away.

Did you catch at Styhead? Of all the LL tarns I've fished, I wouldn't have put it near the top of the list......

M
 
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Juncopartner yours must have been the last car at Cow Green when I left.

Thanks for the advice on the Lake District and the tarns as I've been toying with the idea of some fishing/camping......mind you after half a dozen bottles of Old Speckled Hen I would have definitley missed the rise!
 

splodge100

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After half a dozen bottles of speckled hen , a rise would certainlybe missing !!
 

juncopartner

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Jul 24, 2012
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North Country Angler - Caught quite a few on Styhead maybe a dozen, nothing big, best probably half a pound. I rate it not because of the fishing, although thats part of it. Its just a great place to fish even if you don't catch, nice flat dry area for camping, not to exposed and great scenery.

Grid reference - yes it was me, I was in the lower car park, I was going to pull up next to you on the higher car park on the way out but by the time I packed up you'd already gone.
 

juncopartner

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North Country Angler - Caught quite a few on Styhead maybe a dozen, nothing big, best probably half a pound. I rate it not because of the fishing, although thats part of it. Its just a great place to fish even if you don't catch, nice flat dry area for camping, not to exposed and great scenery.

Grid reference - yes it was me, I was in the lower car park, I was going to pull up next to you on the higher car park on the way out but by the time I packed up you'd already gone.
 

grayson

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Jul 13, 2007
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The Big Cow today- very warm and millions of tiny black buzzers hatching. Sport slow though - 4 fish, three of them in a very small area where one of the becks comes in on N side, Best fish 11"which I was very pleased with. One on dry fly which worked instantly - would have fished on but knackered and by then had sprained an ankle falling down a gully....But- 600 acres to myself and a lovely day out. I am not the only person to dream of fishing this place from a boat loch style I bet.
 

jada0406

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Jan 27, 2010
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Penrith, Cumbria
Well done, Grayson, not just on catching a few trout; but also a 'well done' for picking a day when the weather permitted you to fish there. :) Re drifting the 'Big Cow' in a friendly wind; heaven, if we could only do it.

And to Junco I would say that Styhead is far from being the best of the high fell tarns. It has three feeder streams, is more fertile than Sprinkling Tarn (which drains into Styhead), but the average weight of Sprinkling trout is better than that of Styhead. Too many tiddlers in Styhead, because of the better spawning facilities.
Sprinkling Tarn trout have no inlet stream to use, just the outlet, so there are fewer fish up there --BUT it has, or had, good shoals of minnows.
If you want a good tarn to try, go for Blea Tarn, on Armboth Fell, above Watendlath Tarn. More weed than most of the high tarns, even has lilies, plenty of good minnow shoals, and perch, especially round the back where the lilies grow. Also a cracking inlet stream. My best fish -- and they are not generally easy to catch BTW -- 12oz and about 15oz. Best I know of --one of 1.5lb and a 2lb specimen. The latter was caught quite a while back by Stan Edmondson, who had the fish farm up Seathwaite valley. You would pass the family farm on the way to Styhead. Cheers TC
 

dunsmuir

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Dec 18, 2012
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Hi everyone. has anyone on here ever fished Balderhead? If so, how do you rate it compared to Cow Green? I tried it a couple of times last season but it seemed a bit dour, although I've heard other reports saying it can be good.
 

lochbois

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I fish Balderhead and have to say fish wise the two reservoirs are the same.
Ive fished both reservoirs and when the fish are on you simply cant go wrong.
When they are no fish feeding you would be saying this place needs stocking.
The North Shore is the flattest bank to fish and if you are fly fishing you fish on the move.
The South side is Steeper and care should be taken when fishing the bank.
I wear walking boots or wellies its dangerous to wade these wild waters and if you are wadeing you have probably scarred all the fish in front of you.
Bibios, Kates,peter Ross and i like the Teal and Black.
Ive always found the floating line fished in the traditional loch style and in the wind lanes to be best.
Muddlers fished through the waves will see fish splashing at your fly.
You will see loads of fish attacking your fly and that rolly polly retrive works well.
If you like 10-12 inch wild browns Balderhead ,Selset,and Cow-Green is full of them fish and ive seen bigger. You can spin and use worm. Also its a great place to teach young people to catch fish because two young people can fish free on an adults ticket aslong as they have a licence.
I was told about 30 years ago now that i should not worry about takeing a few fish for my supper that were just touching 9-10 inch because they needed culling. That was from the baliff at the time who is now retired but still fishes these wild reservoirs.
For £10 its a lovely walk on the wild side ,remember these fish have never seen a trout pellet and very rarely see an angler.:thumbs::)
 

juncopartner

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I fished Balderhead for the first time last year, for some strange reason I had never got round to it, and yet I have been going up to Selset and Cow Green off and on for nearly 30 years!!! Did a full circuit of the reservoir as I do on the other two, but won't be doing it again, very difficult steep banks/walls near a stream inlet to negotiate on the north bank near the top end and some steep banks on the north side. I will just walk so far up and work my way back next time.

Managed 10 fish on first visit, same tactics/flies as the other two.

Rather than rolly polly I was backing up with each cast, probably works just as well, but you cover more of the water quicker so at least you get to cover most of the water if your going round the full reservoir

Jada - I did not say styhead was the best tarn in the lakes, it was the best I have been to so far, I could hardly comment on places I have been to as yet and like I said its not just about the size of the fish!!!
 
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North Country Angler - Caught quite a few on Styhead maybe a dozen, nothing big, best probably half a pound. I rate it not because of the fishing, although thats part of it. Its just a great place to fish even if you don't catch, nice flat dry area for camping, not to exposed and great scenery.

Grid reference - yes it was me, I was in the lower car park, I was going to pull up next to you on the higher car park on the way out but by the time I packed up you'd already gone.

Hope to meet up next time juncopartner.

Last year I had a look up to Balderhead, not to fish, just a bit of a recon, crossed the dam to the south shore, fish rising to daddies blown onto the water but the deep feeder stream valley right next to the dam head which would need a long treck round put me off. That was confirmed by an angler I spoke with at Selset and he mentioned some difficult obstacles on the north shore, as you found.

Think I will stick with Cow Green and Selset weather depending.
 

juncopartner

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Jul 24, 2012
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Well I feel a trip up to Cow Green this weekend, camping out on a tarn up the lakes looks to be too cold yet again!!! Looks like I won't be trying out my new Wild Country tent!!!

Should be quite a contrast though, been trying to catch a salmon (unsuccesfully)all week on the tidal Ouse!!!

Grid Reference - Best idea for Balderhead is to park near the dam and walk up either bank you fancy and start fishing back down when your not happy with the terrain, thats what I'll be doing in future.
 
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dunsmuir

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Dec 18, 2012
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Thanks for all that about Balderhead - basically sounds like the fish are there, but some of the banks are dodgy. Certainly the steep parts of the southern shore are pretty grim. On the other hand you can park up right near to where you're going to fish and avoid the two mile trek that's usually part of the Cow Green experience - although that adds to the fun if you feel up to it!
 

juncopartner

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Payed Cow Green a visit yesterday 26/05/13, did the full circuit of the reservoir, clockwise for the first time. Crossing the Tees at the top is relatively easy, last year the levels were quite high and you had to walk quite a way up if you weren't wearing waders. Water levels are high, just below the overflow.

Started fishing from the dam along the south bank, best method was to fish the flies very quickly with a size 10 Zulu on the top dropper taking most of the fish. Landed 27 fish between two of us. Lost a very good fish that took the point fly (copper head hares ear nymph), probably about a pound and a half, unfortunately a half pounder decided to take the bob fly while I was trying to land it!!!!! Most fish were hooked very close to the bank just on the edge of the ripple.

There were lots of Daddies on the south bank which were taking to the air as you walked through any long grass and landing on the water, so if you are fishing with someone else follow behind them as it brought a few fish up.

Best method on north bank was to fish into the bays as these were acting as funnels for any food due to the prevailing wind, most fish been taken only a foot or two from the bank right where the feeder streams run in the bays.

While we were walking back to the car park, we were discussing the size of the fish as the average size seems bigger than last year. We had quite a few around the pound mark and most were in half to three quarter mark. Just wondering if anyone else was thinking the same?
 
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Fished Cow Green the day before on the 25th , reservoir as full as I have seen it and the going very soft underfoot after all the heavy rain, the weather itself bright with a very light breeze picking up into the evening.

Didn’t have as a prolific day as juncopartner but I have to agree that the fish hooked up with and landed are bigger on average this season mostly in the 10 to 13ins bracket.

There were a lot of Daddies on the fells but only saw minimal surface activity, probably as the light breeze wasn’t carrying many onto the water, although my best fish, the 13ins fell to a cdc Bibio Hopper on the ripple edge

The others fell to black Muddler and Bibio, although the takes under the rod tip were hooked and lost in an incident as I jumped every time!

The most successful areas for me have been the deeper waters at the north west end of the reservoir rather than the bays.
 

nwl

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May 15, 2010
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Weekending: 26/05/13
Number of anglers - week 3
Number of trout taken - week 2
Number of trout returned - week 31
Total number of trout caught - week 33
Rod average - week 11
Best trout - week 12 oz
Total number of anglers to date 10
Total number of fish caught to date 60
Largest trout of the season so far 12 oz
Seasonal rod average 6

Fishery Headline: Season finally begins for real!

A great week on all Wild Brown Trout waters as at last fish really began to feed vigorously. Phil Dixon had an exceptional evening on Tuesday releasing 26 fish at Cow Green as the trout were rising along the whole length of the lodge bank taking small Black Buzzers. Phil took nearly all of his fish on a dry Bibio Hopper. Selset and Balderhead also saw plenty of action with surface feeding fish and Peter Gardner made the most of good weather on Saturday, catching 22 well conditioned wild brown trout up to 1lb in weight at Balderhead, all on a small Black Hoppers fished close in. With the good weather looking likely to stay with us for a while these wild venues should continue to fish very well in the coming weeks.

Important information for anglers - Honesty box payments unavailable

Until further notice anglers are advised to purchase their permits for Cow Green at Grassholme reservoir. Anglers can call on if on route or purchase a permit in advance with a debit or credit card by telephone on 01833 641121. Thank you for your cooperation.

Best flies: Black Pennell, Black Hopper, Black Spider, Kate McLaren

Best baits: lob worm on a stick float

Best areas: Keep mobile fishing the points, bays and inlets

Rangers office: 01833 641121

Ranger:

Andrew Scott
 
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Apr 1, 2012
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Back again to Cow Green on Friday(31st), water levels still high, brisk westerly across the reservoir.

Managed to bank three decent size fish and several small to medium, most fell to black/red snatcher with white cheeks or the ever popular black muddler.

No major hatch, the daddies seem to be fewer in number and again few rises spotted, although I did at one point seem to be on the flight path for some very large and curious hornets.

The fish all fighting fit and in good condition.
 

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