CLERKLANDS FLY FISHERY
Tucked away at the foot of a hill in a peaceful corner of southern Scotland, lies Clerklands, a four-acre loch that reaches depths of 25 feet in places. The venue is set within the Riddell Estate, which lies about five minutes’ drive from Selkirk and about 10 minutes from Hawick and visitors often comment on the friendly welcome they receive from the owners.
While the lodge is less than a stone’s throw from the adjacent minor road, not even such traffic as there is can detract from the tranquil ambience of this Borders fishery. Rainbow and blue trout, regularly stocked up to double figures, complement a good head of wild brown trout that will challenge more experienced anglers in a small water in which they are likely to have seen most fly patterns under the sun.
Numerous casting platforms make accessing the water easy and a boat can also be hired. This might seem unnecessary for a small water but some anglers feel that fish can sometimes seek haven by the roadside shore, where bank fishing is not possible, so don’t rule it out!
The anglers’ lodge provides shelter from the elements The fishery operates a holiday cottage less than 200 metres from the lake. The single-storey house has two en-suite double bedrooms and under-floor heating.
ADDRESS: Clerklands Loch, Riddell Estate, Melrose, TD6 9JR
CONTACT: 01835 870519 or 07732775845
WEB: Search ‘Clerklands Fly Fishery’ on Facebook
OPEN: Daily 8.30am-dusk
PRICE RANGE: £8-£20, boat hire £6
RIB VALLEY LAKES
There’s something for everyone at Rib Valley, a three-lake complex that offers coarse and fly-fishing. Lying close to the River Rib at Ware, Hertfordshire, the five-acre Millennium Lake caters for up to 30 rods, and is fly-only with 600 trout stocked from 2 to 6lb and depths to 14 feet. Stocking of trout is suspended after the end of May due to higher water temperatures, but commences again in the autumn.
Rib Valley caters for anglers of all ages, ability and experience. Indeed, those wanting to learn fast should join the Rib Valley Fly Fishers Club (annual fee £35 for new members, £30 to renew). Regular events and meetings are held at the small function room close by at Westmill Farm, Three Lakes Restaurant, with many competitions on the lake to practice what you have learned.
Tuition is available at the site and there’s an extensive tackle shop stocking many major brands such as Snowbee. Other facilities include car parking, male, female and disabled toilets. A mix of kill and release tickets are available with reductions for juniors under 16 and club members.
ADDRESS: Westmill Farm, Ware, Hertfordshire SG12 0ES
TEL: 01920 462200
OPEN: All year unless otherwise stated, open from 6am to dusk
PRICE RANGE: Release and kill tickets available from £22 to £35 with concessions
BIGWELL FLY FISHERY
The picturesque Wye Valley provides a scenic backdrop to this spring-and stream-fed venue, which comprises three main pools and a nursery pool.
The Gin Pool is spring-fed and crystal clear. Middle and Lower Pools are spring and stream-fed and are slightly coloured from the stream inflow. The stream introduces wild brown trout to complement the rainbows and some blues that are stocked weekly. Tiger trout are also now stocked (must be returned). A number of larger fish (5lb to 12lb) are stocked although anglers are asked to return any fish over 5lb.
The stream is also available for fishing, but all brown trout must be released. The tranquil setting of this Trout Fisherman Top 100 water is complemented by a well-equipped shop for anglers needing any tackle items.
Food and hot and cold drinks are also available, including assorted sandwiches and an all-day breakfast. Hot beverages are complimentary to anglers. Rod hire is available for £10 per session and the fishery runs a tagged fish competition; entry is £1 and you take the accumulated ‘pot’, should you catch the tagged fish. A handy ‘after work’ ticket is available on Thursdays and Fridays in summer, when £15 covers the period from 5pm to the earlier of dusk or 9pm. The fishery has wheelchair access and disabled facilities.
ADDRESS: Tinman’s Green, Redbrook, Monmouth NP25 4NB
TEL: 01600 772904
OPEN: 7.30am to dusk (winter) or 6pm (summer, save for after work tickets)
PRICE RANGE: £15-£25
SYON PARK FISHERY
Situated in the beautiful 200-acre parkland grounds of Syon House, a seat of the Duke of Northumberland, Syon Park represents a unique opportunity to sample superb trout fly-fishing on a small stillwater, just minutes away from central London.
The six-acre lake and surrounding grounds were originally constructed by Capability Brown in the 1760s, and the lake is regularly stocked with rainbow trout (and brown trout in season) of an average weight of 2lb 8oz up to in excess of 10lb. Syon is also regularly stocked with blues, tigers and sparctics, and will soon be stocked with golden trout. Fish feast on prolific hatches of olives, alders, sedge, buzzers and damsel flies.
Syon offers easily accessible trout fishing for the novice and more experienced angler alike in a beautiful environment on the outskirts of London, just across the Thames from Kew Gardens.
Casting instruction can be booked at the fishery SatNav users should input the postcode TW7 6BB, which will bring them to the Syon Park entrance on the corner of Park Road and Church Street, Old Isleworth.
First-time visitors should call the bailiff on 07956 378138 the day before their visit, to obtain a gate entry code. Just start fishing, and management will issue your membership/entry card and tickets on the bank. The gate entry code changes often, so remember your card for subsequent visits.
ADDRESS: Estate Office, Syon Park, London Road, Brentford, Middlesex TW8 8JF (TW7 6BB for Sat Nav)
TEL: 07956 378138
OPEN: Every day except Christmas Day; 8.30am-dusk. Last entry 6.00pm
PRICE RANGE: £31-£52 (No C&R)
Offering superb views across Lancashire from its seat in the foothills of Pendle, The Rising is a family-orientated fly and coarse fishery covering three acres. Its three ponds offer a wide range of species, including double-figure trout and carp and facilities are aimed not only at all ages and abilities but they are also ideal for the disabled angler, with ample parking and good toilet facilities.
The Hallows is the fisherys purpose-built fly-fishing water, stocked with rainbow, blue, brown, tiger and brook trout, with sparctic trout soon to follow. It has benefited from substantial investment in its filtration system, allowing management to be in full control of water clarity and chemistry, providing the perfect conditions for the trout to thrive.
The Cauldron is a coarse and fly pool and can be booked for matches, while The Broomstick is a coarse water, built to simulate the conditions and setting of a canal.
The fishery café serves hot and cold food, six days a week, from 9am to 5pm, and offers a select menu, all of which can be enjoyed within the café or brought to you at your peg. Also on-site, a tackle shop offers a selection of tackle items and bait.
ADDRESS: Guide Lane, Higham, Burnley, BB12 9BX
CONTACT: 07725 054976 WEB www.therisingfishery.co.uk
EMAIL: via website
OPEN: Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays; 8am-dusk or 8pm if later
PRICE RANGE: £3 per hour (first fish must be taken; additional fish charged at £2.50 per pound). Minimum ticket two hours.