Kennet & Avon Canal

Without doubt the finest canal fishery in the British Isles, the Kennet and Avon contains all the major coarse fish species (many well over specimen size) and trout, some of the latter being giants of their kind, too.

This attractive canal, started in the early 18th century and finally completed in 1810, extends 57 miles, linking the Thames at Reading with the Bristol Avon at Bath passing through Newbury, Hungerford, Pewsey, Devizes and Bradford on Avon, part of its route being through the heart of the Vale of Pewsey. Though the last commercial traffic used the water in the 30s, canal preservationists are now actively working to get the entire waterway back in commission for pleasure boating. Whether this will have an effect on the fishing, undisturbed by boats at the moment in many places, remains to be seen.

The quality of the fishing is excellent. There are bream (fish over 10 lb have been taken), chub (to 6 lb), plump dace, roach (many over the specimen weight of 2 lb), carp, tench, and pike (some over 20 lb). The significant addition to the list is barbel making this probably the only canal in Britain to contain this species. The vast majority of the fishing on the canal is association controlled, most of it closely pre-served. This means ticket fishing is not easy to come by and even some of the associations do not encourage membership, Rod Licences: WWA Bath-Wootton Basset; TWA Wootton Basset-Reading