A unique safari adventure in the UK…
22/04/2024
A unique safari adventure in the UK…
22/04/2024
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Fishing at Bolton Abbey

Sunrise fish with fishermanUp like a lark at one with nature. Fishing early can yield the best results.

Fishing’s always been up there as an excuse to get out and enjoy the outdoors. And that’s no surprise when you consider the activity is now recognised by the NHS as a form of treatment to help those experiencing problems with their mental health and general well-being.

If you’ve ever fished yourself, you’ll know only too well how it can give you those moments of peace, reflection, and even escapism from the typical hurly burly of modern day life. But fishing can also take you to another place that’s filled with adrenaline and excitement, heightened by that sense of exhilaration when you catch the fish of your life or perhaps even your very first. Either way, it’s something you’ll probably never forget.

Whatever your motivation to fish, Bolton Abbey can be that inclusive place for your body, mind and soul.

Set against some of the most picturesque scenery you’re going to find in the Yorkshire Dales, our five mile stretch of the River Wharfe along both banks offers so much variety you’ll literally be spoilt for choice because we’ve got the types of pools and swims to entice any fly angler.

Maybe you’re the intrepid sort wading out into a swim to try out the latest Czech or French Nymphing rig, or you’re the type who likes to keep your feet on the bank, preferring the one technique you’ve used for years but still pays handsome dividends. Or, just maybe, you’re finding your feet if you pardon the pun and you’re relatively new to fly fishing.

Fisherman at Strid Wood

Angler (far right) wading out into the tail end of a deeper pool in Strid Wood

But none of that actually matters because, whoever you are, from the eddies that churn out deep holes, to the smooth runs that drift gently through dense woodland, and the fast runs that swirl, simmer and bubble over an undulating river bed, you’ll find the spot that’s right for you.

It really is the perfect habitat for our stock of diploid trout which means they can still breed once released into their natural environment. Sourced from our waters, they’re known for their hard fighting characteristics, much like the wily wild brown trout which can also be found here.

Fisherman playing decent fish on the River Wharfe at Bolton Abbey.

This strong fish is proving a tough one for this angler to land.

The trout on our stretch usually average 10-12 inches long, providing excellent sport but can grow up to 1 kg. The river is also home to the beautiful grayling with its distinctive dorsal fin. Catch one of these at 1kg, and you’re in specimen territory.

So, the fish are definitely here but you’ll have to be smart to outwit them. And that means trusting your gut instinct as an angler and using your rivercraft to read the water and find the spots where fish might lie.

But you’ve also got to consider fish activity. Are they feeding on the surface, and if they’re not, how deep are they feeding? Is the water temperature affecting the way they behave? Could the amount of sunshine on the water stop them feeding or at least make them more cautious? And, as the Wharfe is a spate river, how would the rising or falling water levels cause them to react?

And of course the one question underpinning them all…what are they feeding on?

Brown trout

A strong and fighting fit brown trout

With all that to take on board, we’ve got a really handy guide on our fishing page and go to Fishing FAQs to find the answers to the kind of questions we’d expect you to ask, from recommended equipment, the flies that work, and what to do if you’re looking for a little support and guidance with your fly fishing. The guide also provides a map of all the named pools across our six beats.

And if you’re thinking, well…there’s bound to be lots of other anglers all jostling for the best spots…think again because we only allow up to be five day tickets to be sold per day, giving you the freedom to roam.

Grayling on the River Wharfe at Bolton Abbey

The immaculate Grayling, affectionately known as the lady of the river.

With so much water to cover, there just isn’t going to be enough time in the day to explore it all. But don’t worry. Maybe that’s a blessing in disguise because if by the time you finish, you come away from this experience, re-connecting with yourself and nature, feeling that a weight has been taken off your mind and catching that memorable fish, wouldn’t you want to come back and do it all over again?

Exactly. Enough said.

To get your angling fix, click here for your day ticket from June 1st.

One of the lower beats on the River WharfeCompletely different from the upper reaches of our stretch, but still intriguing all the same.

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