Yorkshire Waters

Pritts Apprentice

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Joined
Jul 17, 2007
Messages
510
Location
West Yorkshire
Recent fishing on the Wharfe has been excellent, providing your prepared to work hard for the fish. Water height and clarity has been excellent and plenty of hatches of Black Fly and Needle flies over the water. Providing the drift was right, I have had a lot of success on small, size 20# Black parachute patterns, parachute Adams with Krystal Flash tail and traditional Greenwells Glory, tied with a soft Indian cock hackle, so it sits low in the water. Nearly all of my fish were taken off the glides between faster stretches. Fast hooking to hard feeding, angry fish. All though most fish have been small below 7" I have also had the very odd, cracking fish of 18-20". The last one I had was most pink in color, I put that down to eating Signal Cray fish, it sized confirmed it, you don't get that fat on terrestrials alone. A warm, determined upstream breeze and breeze blowing from the West has made for good fishing. I have put in a lot of walking, fishing water that probably doesn't see that much traffic and this has helped secure fish. However there a big risks to this type of fishing! I had a very serious encounter with a bank collapse which could have been much worse for me. Having left rod and net above me I had faced inward, to step down a 2ft step of solid limestone rock, only it wasn't solid but booby trapped. After a millennia, it decided to break in to large chucks as I stepped on it. Down I went with my feet on top of a hugh boulder and a couple of cleaved out limestone blocks following. The first big rock could easily have broken my legs or feet or even trapped me down in the river, luckily only a foot of water was present. My fall on to rock was heavy and has left me black and blue around the rib cage, I feel as if I'd been in a Camden town street fight, against some handy geezers. I got out and shook a bit, but with true British grit, I continued upstream fishing for a couple more hours before succumbing to discomfort and stiffness, plus the fishing were slow.

Funny season for me, I have taken a lot of tumbles on the river bank, never in it thank fully, I have been lucky not to damage too much gear, though I did require a Hardy reel repair to my Bougle, after whacking it in to boulders. I always throw my rod out front, preferably in to water when I am going down...that's is if I get the chance. I had a dodgy trip about 6 weeks ago, falling over boulders in a very low beck and this beck was very remote, probably not fished that much, a quite road bridge was above me, where I might have been spotted if I had hurt myself where I could not move. But it really brings home the dangers of fishing in out of the way places. The very fact they are not fished means that rocks, branches etc, are hazards that have not been moved out of harms way by other fisherman. River & stream fishing can still be a bit of an adventure sport, with a certain degree of risk. Its never worth taking a chance but even so like my bank collapse it can just happen, even on supposedly solid rock. Take Care and stay alert for hidden dangers.
 

matt808

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Joined
Sep 14, 2012
Messages
261
Been a stop start season for me, rivers/becks been either flooded out or too low, but I did have some good days at the start of the season.
Two trips to the Ure at Hawes, one very good with a pb brown with extra water in it, struggled on the main river the second trip with the river much lower. I fancied some other days further afield but didn't get chance.
This season seems to really have flown by?!
 

chess

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
10
My old man (now gone to the great fishing grounds in the sky) used to be a member of the old syndicate and I occasionally fished there with him. It was at that time run by colonel Hawton-Fawkes, the water was stocked with rainbows, some of them good fish. There were also resident browns in there although I never saw anything of any size. It was a testing water back then and we had access to the river Washburn that flowed from the reservoir until it joined the Wharfe. There were many escapee rainbows in the river and it made for good sport.
The local poachers new this and the river was obviously fished by a few that were in the know. The syndicate folded many years ago and it turned into a bit of a free for all with lads turning up chucking spinners here there and everywhere...….
 

jaybeegee

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Sep 25, 2017
Messages
914
Location
Yorkshire
He’s a nice guy , I took him onto the BA stretch on a guest ticket on Thursday . Given the weather , he did very well with a “ high sticking” technique pulling a few very decent fish from the depths . There were fish to be had in the faster water . I had a cracker on a Mary Copperhead , it went like stink , a proper 1lb wild fish , short lined , played ,netted and released, all under the scrutinity of the River Keeper !

Tenneswede mentioned he’d been chatting to anglers at Addingham on Wednesday as well , he was very complimentary about the whole area , sometimes perhaps we forget how lucky we are to fish the Wharfe.
While mulling over the season gone, I thought about Tennesswede and his visit to the dales rivers. Did anyone hear anymore from him?

Brendan
 
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Pritts Apprentice

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Joined
Jul 17, 2007
Messages
510
Location
West Yorkshire
Finally, back on the upper Wharfe. Very quite in the Dale today, hardly a soul about, so social distancing was not a problem. A really lovely spring day, but with a cold north westerly, I was glad of the extra layers and the thermal socks I threw in last minute. Despite the warmth of the sun, the wind made my fingers nip a little. The river is the lowest I have seen it, totally starved of any flow, it’s like fishing a still water. It’s bones are bleached white and for the most part I could wade on the flat bottom river, not just the sides.

I made for a leisurely day, with frequent sojourns to sit and watch the water. It was quite but I watched my first fish move about at 11 am, a good fish, it’s tail was flag waving out of the water, as it grubbed about for nymphs, in a deepish slack. I tried it on the klink and dink and then on a single, biggish pheasant tail nymph fished up and across, all to no avail. I found in the rocks at my feet the nymphs it was chasing, pretty big at about an inch long but too fast for me to catch, a real agile darter. After putting this fish down, I worked upstream fishing spiders then changing to emergers, then to dry then to midge, nothing working. The water was crystal clear, shallow and very cold. I didn’t need Polaroid’s to see the fish, it was like looking through a polished glass pane. There was hatch of fly about midday, seemed a mixture of all sorts, but 2 of the flys I skimmed from the surface were a stunning yellow colour, not yellow Sally’s or sulphur duns, something smaller. Back down the stretch, I found another riser, but I am sure he was much too aware of my presence to take my offerings, despite a stealthy approach, the flash off my rod blank and clear water was making things difficult. Back at the start of the beat around 2:30 pm, warmer air temperature, together with cloud cover led to a few more rises, which had me in with a chance. I offered Griffiths Gnat, this was rebuked so on went the Purple headed Adams. I concentrated and fished with intent, not the slightest interest, until I heard splashing and on turning my back, to see a dog walker, I got a take...but it didn’t stay. Next up, I watched flies fluttering along the water, so, like still water fishing I twitches and pulls the dry and a fish leaps on the fly. Again, I struggle to maintain contact. Retrieving the fly, I notice the hook is slightly blunt, I give it a quick sharpen but it’s miserliness that’s my down fall, I’ve tied more than enough flies in lockdown, I should have tied on a new one than use an old one from seasons passed.

I almost trod on an Oyster catchers, scrape of a nest. It contained 3 eggs, where the mother bird was I could not tell. Usually they make a right din, when I am fishing but the few birds I saw were very quite and unflustered.

There’s a little algae bloom in the river, not too much, it’s not been hot enough despite the lengthy sunshine throughout April. But if it stays warm and dry it’s a sign of what’s to come. We need rain for conditions to improve. However, don’t let the low water put you off, the water is cold and the fish are on the feed, providing it stays warm and there is cloud cover and you are able to remain concealed, fish are there for the catching.

Well I am going to give it a couple more days of warmth before my next foray. The wind and sun today removed my prison parlour, lockdown, pasty, white colour and has replaced in with a warm red glow. Enjoy your fishing.
 

Pritts Apprentice

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Joined
Jul 17, 2007
Messages
510
Location
West Yorkshire
Recent visits over the last couple of weeks to the Wharfe and Aire have prompted low water tactics. I have fished in warm sunshine and light showers. Nothing much too show, other than the odd small fish, despite at lot of effort. I have lost some better fish and one in particular from the Wharfe.

I was prospecting with a traditional hackled black dry fly, with a blue dun hackle fibre wing, tied horizontal to the body. Fishing the fly blind into a tree shaded run under a steep bank, I hooked a fish and watch it slip backwards in clear water to surface and I take my fly. I was standing mid point in a 60m straight stretch of water. Later I found out the fish had been lying deep in a newly scoured out pool at the tail of the next pool up. On hooking the fish it swam quickly and strongly toward this tail of shallow water. I heaved on the rod to ensure the size 14# barbless hook was driven home securely and once the slack line was pulled through my fingers and the last of it on to the reel. I sank my finger tips in to the drain holes of the drum to apply drag. The fished pulled strongly but slowly, trying to drag the 4lb tippet on to the rocks of that shallow tail. I kept my fingers strongly on the reel drum and the little Hardy St George, miserly, clicked out a tooth at a time, imagine Guy Fawkes tortured on that medieval rack in the Tower of London and you get the impression of strain. I wasn’t panicking, even though this was the first decent fish of the season and after such a long winter with little coarse fishing because of the floods. I was enjoying myself and planning how I’d net.

The fish did not rush about but jumped twice and it was big, veryfit, lump, that came crashing down, maybe between 3 and 4lbs in weight. It’s flanks gleamed gold in the strong sunlight. I think I knew this fish from a season earlier, it lived in a shaded, deep pool about 100m above and had given me the run around before, breaking me and leaving me dejected. But, it had obviously dropped back to this new pool to find depth in the unseasonably low water. After realising it could not make it’s escape in to the pool above, it turned and ran full pelt at me, covering 25m in the blink of an eye. It caught me out, going from reel to take the line in hand, while pushing the rod vertical and back to get the line in quickly...I was flustered and panicked as the line went slack. I felt my stomach turn as I thought the hook had slipped from its mouth. But no ! I was lucky, on regaining the line tension, it was still driven home. But now I found the line wrapped a single turn around the top 1/3rd of the rod blank. Blimey, if this thing runs, it’ll break the rod top, was the foremost thought in my mind. Automatically, a quick whip and swirl of the rod and the problem was solved and at that the fish woke up and tore off down stream for the head of the next pool. This was a steeper gradient, rockier and shallower, the reel screamed and I applied maximum hand pressure on the spool drum. I knew if I didn’t act quickly I’d lose this beauty, I gave all the pressure I could and thought of trying to follow the fish down the run. But the boulders surrounding me were too big and slippery to run over and the bank behind much too tree lined. There was to be no re-enactment of me doing a Brad Pitt as in a River Runs through it, where he swims along following his trophy fish. I stood my ground but sure enough the fish was lost in those boulders in the shallow water. It must have given itself a hell of a fright in ruining my day and then it took me 3 days to get over that loss. Fishing great isn’t it.

Looking forward to a fresh of water before I next venture out and it looks like we might get this weekend. There was the odd May fly on the Aire yesterday and I noticed some olive uprights make an appearance. The farmers continue to spread that stinking slurry on the fields, even in this hot weather and where will it end up when the downpours come, where else in the river.
 

york1e

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Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
462
Location
Bedale
Buck Inn fly fishing down stream of Kilgram Bridge on the Ure. Doe's any body have some contact details. The telephone number on the board does not work. I used fish there 40 years ago.
 

york1e

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Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
462
Location
Bedale

Pritts Apprentice

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Joined
Jul 17, 2007
Messages
510
Location
West Yorkshire
Well the fishing the last few weeks has been very variable. I have faired much better on the small Yorkshire becks, now that the water level has risen with the rain since June. Short sessions of an hour to 2 hours have resulted in 5 or 6 small trout to mainly single nymph and tiny parachute dry flies, around size 20. The larger rivers of the Aire and Wharfe have been less productive. I had some medium trout off the Aire together with some nice, young 8” Grayling, caught using nymphs and spider tactics. The Wharfe and Skirfare have been appalling and not much sign of fly life, though water height, temperature and clarity have been perfect, just no fish. The wind has been tricky at times, blowing downstream, but nothing that couldn’t be overcome with the 5 weight rod and line. I think people make it hard work on themselves fishing too light on upland rivers, where it’s often breezy and a wind can spring up from no where a heavy line weight or two, seldom puts the fish down on these fast flowing waters.

As an aside I had a spinning and spooning session for Pike on a slow, canal like stretch of the Aire yesterday. It’s somthing I enjoy, but don’t do enough of, as fly fishing takes precedence at this time of year. Any road it was a good test for how things are fishing. After a 4 hour morning session I had caught now’t, zilch, not even a touch and while the pike can be well spread out, I thought I might have least picked a trout up on the lure. The water seemed devoid of fish and again nothing hatching, no flies at all, very disappointing, though I still enjoyed my day. I spent a lot of time safely, negotiating steep banks over deep water to get in posistion. A particularly fraught business as this part of a once populare Aire appears to get fished very little. The farmer I spoke to, on accessing the river through his yard confirmed this, along with the fact there was a bull in the field, which had knocked about an old cow, that they could hardly get walking. It almost put me off my fishing and despite the fact he said it was friendly and loved being ticked, stroked behind its ears. No thanks me thinks, I’ll give that one a wide birth. Other than the stench of pig manure (it reeks) and the sound of squealing from the barn, as though a pig was being castrated, with a blunt, rusty penknife, it was very pleasant to be out in the countryside

Well I will be giving it another go on the Wharfe soon, have not had an evening session this year, but if it gets warm again, that’s what I will attempt. I just hope we get more fly life, otherwise it’s going to be difficult fishing.
 

Pritts Apprentice

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Joined
Jul 17, 2007
Messages
510
Location
West Yorkshire
A day on the Wharfe, proved fruitless, which I thought it might. That said I really enjoyed my day and fished well. So disappointing to see no fish activity, they are really off it at the moment. There wasn’t a lot of fly on the water, but there were plenty of BWO spinners, dancing up and down over bankside vegetation. I tried the dry and concentrated on the upstream nymph, without any interest from a single fish. It was a day for leisurely Contemplation and frequent sojourns. The cattle and sheep felt the same way, laid down, stretched out and snoozing through late morning in to the afternoon, although the Swifts remained busy over the grassland. Despite the 17 degrees temperature, I felt cool in my thermal top and fly vest, as a fresh breeze was blowing from the North, cooling further over the mist shrouded fells.

Good to see the Dales Way walkers getting back to normal, after the covid outbreak, the ones I spoke to told me the B&bs had opened. The highlight of my day was was watching at close quarters a Roe buck and Doe chasing each other on the bank above where I was fishing. When they finally noticed me they split and went springing through the high grass for the nearest cover. I also enjoyed the delicious pork pie I picked up from the butchers in Steeton. If your ever passing through the Main Street , drop in for a pie , you won’t be disappointed.

The river has shrank away again, so a bit of rain might help and a warmer wind. I’ll give it a few more days before I fish again.
 

jaybeegee

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Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Messages
914
Location
Yorkshire
A day on the Wharfe, proved fruitless, which I thought it might. That said I really enjoyed my day and fished well. So disappointing to see no fish activity, they are really off it at the moment. There wasn’t a lot of fly on the water, but there were plenty of BWO spinners, dancing up and down over bankside vegetation. I tried the dry and concentrated on the upstream nymph, without any interest from a single fish. It was a day for leisurely Contemplation and frequent sojourns. The cattle and sheep felt the same way, laid down, stretched out and snoozing through late morning in to the afternoon, although the Swifts remained busy over the grassland. Despite the 17 degrees temperature, I felt cool in my thermal top and fly vest, as a fresh breeze was blowing from the North, cooling further over the mist shrouded fells.

Good to see the Dales Way walkers getting back to normal, after the covid outbreak, the ones I spoke to told me the B&bs had opened. The highlight of my day was was watching at close quarters a Roe buck and Doe chasing each other on the bank above where I was fishing. When they finally noticed me they split and went springing through the high grass for the nearest cover. I also enjoyed the delicious pork pie I picked up from the butchers in Steeton. If your ever passing through the Main Street , drop in for a pie , you won’t be disappointed.

The river has shrank away again, so a bit of rain might help and a warmer wind. I’ll give it a few more days before I fish again.
Over the last couple of weeks, in fluctuating temperatures and flows, the fish in the Wharfe are taking hard on the river bed. Heavy nymphs in the dubs and pocket water have been picking up trout... not pretty, but needs must. It dawned on me today that I’ve not seen a grayling since we were able to fish again this year; there was a very healthy population of young fish in the middle stretches last year, hope they will show up in the back end.

B
 

sp8

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Joined
Sep 22, 2012
Messages
3
Does anybody know who controls the fishing on the Swale above Keld? I'm thinking of the stretch down from the headwaters to Keld. I know Reeth have fishing further down but it's the upper stretch I'm interested in. Online searching has been to n avail

SP8
 

Pritts Apprentice

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Joined
Jul 17, 2007
Messages
510
Location
West Yorkshire
Better on the Wharfe today. Early doors not much happening, but by early afternoon, with a little more warmth the fish were up in the water, but extremely tetchy. River is falling and quite coloured, stained peat black, as opposed to muddy. Classic wet fly was working today, with the fish supping the fly, rather than taking it strongly, as you get with a fresh. I had 6 but bounced 4 times that number. I started with Klink and Dink, moving to shrimp and nymph, but found the fish quite high, taking emergers just sub surface. I had some success with a purple body, size #16 F fly, then the rest on spiders, snipe and purple most effective, but also a small March brown, which was a good match for some of the small emerging sedge flys.

Water felt quite cold on the feet, not something I suffer from often, but I was only wearing a single pair of wool socks. I needed a pullover and was thankful I donned a fleece, as the cool, downstream wind is still there, after several days in a Northerly direction. Fishing a 4# weight out fit today, which wasn’t too much hard work, with short upstream casts and a lot of my fishing was across and down, so the wind was a help. Farmers are getting too keen on using electric fences, fancy technology harnessing the power of the sun using solar panels and whilst I welcome not having my clothing and waders torn by barb wire, I don’t much relish the the thought of being electrocuted in the river, because a farmer wants to section off an area, so his cattle can drink. Any road there is always another way round :).

Fly life is still reduced but it was good to see a small hatch of sedge this afternoon, cheers the heart. 10 weeks left of the season, so let’s hope things continue to improve.
 

jaybeegee

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Joined
Sep 25, 2017
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914
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Yorkshire
Does anybody know who controls the fishing on the Swale above Keld? I'm thinking of the stretch down from the headwaters to Keld. I know Reeth have fishing further down but it's the upper stretch I'm interested in. Online searching has been to n avail

SP8
Not familiar with the area, but I’d approach the landowner / farmer. If you’re lucky you might just get free access, if not you will probably find out who controls the fishing.

B
 
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george387

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Oct 28, 2009
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1,585
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Bedale North Yorkshire
The fishing up there is a closely guarded secret but a good friend has told me to contact keld lodge in the past, that would be my first point of contact.
 
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