Fishing English reservoirs

For both coarse and game anglers, the vast network of Midland reservoirs offers excellent and varied sport. Encompassing some seven counties, the choice of fishing available is daunting.

The Midlands and North are provided with many reservoirs, controlled by the Anglian, the Yorkshire, the Northumbrian, the Severn-Trent and the North West Water Authorities, and offer excellent fishing. They are all frequently restocked and are available on a day ticket basis.

The Anglian Water Authority controls several reservoirs ranging from the large Rutland Water, 3, acres, to the smaller Toft Newton Reservoir which covers, 40 acres.

The latest venue for anglers, opened in 1977, is the Rutland Water at Empingham, Oakham, Leicestershire. Already the largest man-made water in Western Europe, it is hoped to make it Europe’s premier trout fishery. Horn Mill trout hatchery, on a five acre site, is only two miles away, and makes possible annual restocking with 100,000 fish. This riinr water has I6 1/2 miles of bank fishing and is restocked each year with about 90,000 rainbow and over 20,000 browns. Day tickets are issued at £4.80 (juniors accompanied by an adult, half price), evening tickets £3.20. Motor boats cost £13.70 full day, £7.90 evenings; rowing boats £6.30 full day, £3.70 evenings, and bookings are made at Whitwell fishing lodge open daily at 5.30am, or from the Reservoir Manager. Sixty boats are available, fishing is by fly only, and there is a catch limit of eight fish.

In Cambridgeshire, Grafham Water is at West Perry near Huntingdon, with easy access from the Al. It is a vast water of 1,670 acres well-stocked with brown and rainbow trout, with top catches in 1976 including a fishery record of 12lb 5oz and another giant of 11lb 2oz—and a record total catch for the 1980 season of 56,745 trout.

Grafham season

The season is from May 1 to October 13, and fishing from the banks, motor boats or rowing boats is fly only with a catch limit of eight fish. Day tickets (exclusive of boat hire) are available from the self-service unit at the lodge for £4.80, juniors £2.40. Evening tickets cost £3, motor boats £11.60 full day, £6.30 evening, rowing boats £6.30 full day, £3.70 evening. Season tickets are available from the Water Authority.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir is a landscaped reservoir of 114 acres near Northampton, reached via the A60. Fishing is available from bank and boats throughout the season from April 1 to September 30. Bank tickets cost £2.80 per day, £1.90 evening, juniors £1.40, and are obtainable from the lodge. Boats cost £6.10 day, £3.80 evening. There is a catch limit of eight fish on a full day ticket. The Water Authority also issues season tickets.

Pitsford Reservoir, 739 acres, is near Brixworth, Northampton, and reached via the A508. It is an attractively landscaped water stocked with brown and rainbow trout —again fishing is by fly only with a catch limit of eight fish. Tickets are available at the same price as those for the Ravensthorpe Reservoir.

Also near Northampton is Hollowell Reservoir, offering bank and boat coarse fishing, and with a variety of species inlcuding pike of nearly 30lb. A limited number of day tickets can be bought in advance from Reservoir House.

In Lincolnshire, Newton Toft Reservoir, near Market Rasen, is reached via the A631. It is a man-made concrete reservoir stocked frequently with brown and rainbow trout, and offers bank fishing. The season is from April 9 to October 29, fishing is by fly only, and a catch limt of six fish applies. The water is controlled by the Lincolnshire Division of the Anglian Water Authority and day tickets are issued at a self-service unit. Permit costs: Type A permits £4.80, juniors £2.40. Type B permits £3.20, juniors £1.60.

In Leicestershire, Eyebrook Reservoir, 400 acres, at Caldecott, near Uppingham, is reached via the A43 or the A47. It is stocked with brown and rainbow trout and with all the trout bred and reared in the reservoir’s own hatcheries. Fishing is by fly only, there is no catch limit, and shooting-heads are not allowed. The season extends from April 1 to September 30 and there is fishing from bank and boats. Corby and District Water Company (Nor-thants) controls this water and issues day tickets at £4, juniors £2, evening tickets £2 (after 5pm) (boats £5 per day, £2 after 5pm) available at the reservoir.

Cheshire reservoirs

In Cheshire, Lamaload Reservoir, 70 acres, is controlled by the Prince Albert Angling Society; Vale House Reservoir, 62 acres, and Bottoms Reservoir, 55 acres, by the North West Water Authority. Lamaload Reservoir is east of Macclesfield and reached via the A537 Buxton road. It is landscaped and well-stocked with brown and rainbow trout. A two-fish catch limit applies; fishing is by fly only, and no wading is allowed. The season is from April 1 to October 10, and day tickets (a limited number) are available from R Newton, tackle dealer.

Vale House Reservoir and Bottoms Reservoir are near Stalybridge and reached via the A628 ManchesterSheffield road. They are stocked monthly with brown and rainbow trout, and fishing is by fly, spinning and bait. The season is from March 31 to September 30 and day tickets at £4 (reductions for juniors and OAPs) can be bought at the waterside.

Durham reservoirs

The Northumbrian Water Authority controls several reservoirs around Durham. A group of five moorland reservoirs consisting of Blackton 66 acres, Balderhead 289 acres, Hury 127 acres, Grassholme 140 acres and Salset 275 acres, are reached via the B6277 from Barnard Castle. They hold native brown trout and are stocked with rainbow trout, offering fly and worm bank fishing during the season from March 22 to September 3, with no catch limit.

Cow Green Reservoir, 770 acres, is at Upper Teesdale, also reached via the B6277 from Barnard Castle. Opened in 1971, the reservoir holds native brown trout and offers fishing by fly and worm from March 24 to September 30. Day tickets at £3.50 (juniors and OAPs half price) are issued at the lodge, and season tickets can be obtained from the Water Authority.

Near Consett, Durham, Derwent Reservoir, 1,100 acres, at Edmund-byers, is stocked annually with several thousand brown and rainbow trout and offers fly fishing with a 10-fish catch limit. There is boat and bank fishing from May 1 to October 14 with day tickets at £3.50 (juniors and OAPs half price) issued at the reservoir. Motor boats cost an additional £9.50, rowing boats £6.50 per day. The reservoir is controlled by the Sunderland and South Shields Water Company.

Yorkshire is rich in reservoirs within easy reach of the main towns. Scaling Dam, 120 acres, is controlled by the Northumbrian Water Authority and reached via the A171 from Whitby. Day tickets (juniors and OAPs half price) are issued at the reservoir lodge for fly and worm fishing from April 1 to September 30. The reservoir contains brown trout to 7lb 3oz.

Sheffield’s reservoirs

Yorkshire Water Authority controls a number of reservoirs near Sheffield and Otley. Near Sheffield, Damflask Reservoir, reached via the B6077, 115 acres, and Underbank Reservoir, 103 acres, hold trout and coarse fish, and all legal methods of fishing are allowed. They also hold big roach with a fine fish of Svfclb taken in 1965. The trout season is from April 1 to September 30 and the coarse season from June 16 to March 15. Day tickets at £1.50 half-day 90p, (reduction for juniors) are available from the reservoir attendant’s office.

Scaped water holding brown trout, lies between Underbank and Damflask reservoirs. Fishing is by fly only from the bank, with a catch limit of two fish. Day tickets at £1.50 are issued by the Yorkshire Water Authority for the season April 1 to September 30.

Thruscross, Fewston and Swinsty

Near Otley, there is a group of three reservoirs—Thruscross, a long, narrow reservoir of 360 acres, Fewston and Swinsty. They are all reached via the A59 and hold brown trout. Fishing on Thruscross is by fly only, while at Fewston and Swinsty it is by fly and minnow. There are no boats and the catch limit is four fish. Day tickets cost £2 from self-service units. The season is from April 1 to September 29.

The Bingley Angling club controls Sunnydale Reservoir, three acres, at East Morton near Bingley. The reservoir is annually restocked with brown and rainbow trout, and a brown trout of 6lb 4oz was caught there. Fly and bait fishing are allowed, but no spinning. The catch limit is two fish. Day tickets are available from tackle dealers in Bradford for the season which is from March 25 to September 30.

Bolton reservoirs

The North West Water Authority controls a large group of reservoirs near Bolton in Lancashire, reached via the A6. The Rivington reservoirs, holding trout and coarse fish and totalling 600 acres, comprise Anglezarke, Yarrow, Rake Brook, Upper and Lower Roddlesworth, and Upper and Lower Rivington. Fishing on all the reservoirs is by fly and bait (excluding maggots) and dry fly only on Upper Roddlesworth and Upper Rivington. Day tickets are available from the water authority or from local tackle dealers for the trout season from March 16 to September 30 and the coarse season from June 16 to March 15.

In Leicestershire, Knipton reservoir, said to be 160 years old, offers wsm good fishing for bream, tench and roach, and became famous for pike fishing in 1967 when a 39lb fish was caught. It is situated on the Duke of Rutland’s estate eight miles from Melton Mowbray, reached via the A607. The season is from June 16 to March 15, and day tickets can be obtained from the Estate Office.

Draycote Water

In Warwickshire, Draycote Water, 600 acres, near Rugby, is owned by the Severn-Trent Water Authority (Avon Division) and reached via the A426. It is a landscaped reservoir stocked on a put-and-take basis with several thousand brown and rainbow trout during each season and offering bank and boat fishing from April 17 to October 23. Fishing is by fly only with a catch limit of eight fish. Day tickets cost £5.20 high season (weekdays to May 15 and all weekends), low season £4.80; evenings £3.10 after 4pm, concessionary price £2.50. Rowing boats cost £3.80 (whole day), £2.50 (after 4pm); motor boats £9.50 (full day), £5 (after 4pm). All enquiries about bookings should be made at the lodge.

In Derbyshire the Ladybower Reservoir of 504 acres near Bam-ford, is stocked annually with some 24,000 rainbow and brown trout. Fishing is by fly only from April 10 to October 15 with day tickets, high season £4 (weekdays to June 1 and all weekends), low season £3.60 (from June 2), evening £2.50 (after 4pm). Concessionary permits for juniors and OAPs cost £2. Rowing boats cost £3.80 for a full day, £2.50 after 4pm. Catches are limited to two brace to the end of May, three brace thereafter.

There are many other reservoirs in the Midlands and North, with the fishing rights of many controlled by water authorities or clubs. A useful fishing water can often be tracked down by enquiry at tackle dealers, or by writing to water authorities.

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