Behind the busy holiday coast, industrial districts are linked by dark-watered canals, and wide, glistening trout rivers are visited by yearly runs of salmon and sea trout.
Lancashire is a county of remark-able contrasts—of bare moorland and mountain, of rich farmland and extensive industrial areas. In the fishing domain it is also a county of contrasts, catering for excellent salmon, brown and sea trout fishing in rivers and lakes, and some first rate coarse angling in its many pools and canals.
Many people are surprised that Lancashire claims a large part of the Lake District. It includes one shore of Lake Windermere, all of Coniston Water, and the major part of the Duddon Valley.
The southern area encloses the rivers Lune, Ribble, Wyre, Hodder, Rawthey and the Greta, as well as excellent reservoirs such as the Rivington complex, and canals like the Lancaster, Haigh and the Leeds and Liverpool. These all form very important fisheries serving anglers from the great industrial towns.
The Lune is the most northerly of the Lancashire rivers. Named after Lon, the mythological god of health, it rises on Wild Boar Fell near the source of the northwards flowing River Eden. It is a fairly fast flowing river traversing some of our most glorious countryside and having a number of famous fishing tributaries. A first class salmon water, the best fish caught so far weighed over 38lb.
It also has a good late sea trout run with fish to 9 lb, and in its lower reaches is a superb coarse fishery which has yielded a 7lb chub, a 28½lb pike, 834ib bream, 4lb plus perch and a superb roach of 3V4 lb—the best one ever taken from the North of England.
In its upper reaches approximately nine miles of Low Gill are controlled by the Tebay LMS Fishing Club and are available on a week permit.
At Orton, the George Hotel can ar-range fishing as can the Cross Keys and Junction Hotels in Tebay. At Sedbergh, the Sedbergh and District AA controls fishing from below Broadraine Weir to Firbank and weekly permits are available from Lowis’s Ltd, 43 Main Street, Sedbergh. The Association also has excellent brown trout fishing along the rivers Rawthey, Dee and Clough.
Permits can be obtained from the Kings Arms, Kirkby Lonsdale, for a mile of good Lune fishing at Middleton and for another stretch along the River Rawthey. Sea trout to 8lb have been caught here, and the Kirkby and District Angling Associ-ation has a two mile stretch and issues weekly permits (no weekends) for visitors to the district. They can be obtained from The Tackle Box, Kirkby Lonsdale. The Royal Hotel has fishing for guests, and a few miles downstream, day tickets are available for some very good fishing from Whittington Farm. Downstream at Caton, Lancaster and District Angling Association issues day tickets (no weekends) for a mile of fishing, and they can be obtained from Darwen & Gough, Moor Lane, Lancaster (Tel 64913).
The Castle Hotel at Hornby has fishing along the River Claughton for residents, while in the Lancaster area the North West Water Authority controls two highly rated mixed fisheries. For the stretch below Lower Halton Weir they issue four daily salmon and four nightly sea trout permits, and for the fishing between there and Forge (Upper Halton) Weir on the south bank, a similar number. For the Upper beat above Forge Weir, they issue 12 salmon, 15 sea trout, six brown trout and six daily coarse fishing permits which can be obtained from Darwen & Gough, or after 6pm from A Curwen, Greenup Cottage, Hornby Road, Caton, Lancaster. They also issue permits for the North West Water Authority’s Skerton Fishery; six daily for salmon, six nightly for sea trout, and a dozen daily permits for some good coarse fishing with quality chub, roach and most other species.
The River Wyre is an elusive, twisting river. Rising near Whin Brow and the Forest of Bowland, it cuts the Fylde of Lancashire to enter the Irish Sea at Fleetwood. It has a hefty run of sea trout and salmon, good brown trout fishing higher up, and some of the area’s best coarse fishing from Garstang downstream.