Fishing in the Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales is home to some of the clearest and best maintained waters in the whole of the UK, making it one of the country’s premier fishing regions.

As well as rivers stocked with trout, the Dales has a number of scenic lakes and reservoirs where some of the finest anglers regularly come to dangle their bait.

It is not just for seasoned fishing enthusiasts, though. Many sites offer tuition for people of all ages so there is no reason not to take up one of the nation’s favourite pastimes in what is quite possibly the UK’s most picturesque region.

Two rivers that are particularly good for fly fishing are the Aire and the Wharfe.

Arguably the best fishing on the Wharfe can found just above Bolton Abbey as it is rich in insect species while the river is filled with wild brown trout. Fishing for trout on the river begins around March and finishes towards the end of September. Grayling can be caught between the middle of June and February.

River Aire isn’t as well known, but it has some really good spots. Between Skipton and Kirkby Malham is possibly the best part, but it is quite challenging and isn’t somewhere that is recommended to those just starting out in fly fishing.

Perhaps the water with the richest fishing history in the Dales is the River Ure. Its premier section for catching is located between the village of Hawes and Ripon. River Skirfare is also good, but it is home only to wild brown trout with no recorded catches of grayling since the early 1980s.

If it is salmon you are wish to catch then you may want to consider the River Wenning. Overlooked by Ingleborough, the river has modest numbers of the fish between March and October.

Malham Tarn is a popular spot for hikers, but it is also great for fishing. The highest lake in England, it has been designated as a Site of Specific Scientific Interest and has been fished for more than 150 years. However, you cannot just turn up and cast your line as fly fishing is permitted by boat only. It has stocks of perch as well as wild brown trout.

Another fine lake can be found around eight miles west of Skipton at Coniston Hall. Open to the public, the hall covers 24 acres and its estate lake has a sizable stock of rainbow and brown trout.

If you are willing to go a little out of the Dales then a great place to fish is Foulridge Reservoir. Located around ten miles east of Skipton, it covers 97.5 acres and has wide range of species, including roach, bream and some simply huge pike.

A good place for teaching children to fish is Kilnsey Trout Farm. There is a lake especially for beginners as well tutors on hand to talk them through the basics.

A fishing rod licence is required for all types of fishing in the Yorkshire Dales. They can be purchased on a single day basis from various sites. Failure to have one can result in a fine of up to £2,000.