Angling: Fewston’s catches live up to expectations

No need for long casting at Fewston as the new fish move to the margins.

No need for long casting at Fewston as the new fish move to the margins.

0
Have your say

Despite unpredictable early-season weather conditions, last week’s hopes and predictions for Yorkshire Water’s Washburn Valley Fisheries at Fewston all came good this week with some excellent catches reported.

With the first of the year’s stock fish settling in things were easier, but you are always aware that these are big, wild waters where subtle changes can make a big difference.

No fancy gear is needed with most of the regulars using the standard 9ft or 10ft rods with a weight forward 7/8 line, long leader and a flurocarbon tippet of about 4lb, though, as wind strengths changed, I watched those in the know switch to intermediate and sinkers to bank that extra bonus fish.

Best method on the day was fishing deep on a slow, even retrieve with any nymph pattern fly/lure.

Of the 22 returns, a total of 116 fish were caught, giving Fewston a 5.3 average. As expected, most fish were rainbows though a good few blues made an appearance. The best fish of the week fell to a Mr John Passelow, who banked a perfect rainbow of 4lb 3oz which fell to a sparkling tadpole.

The brownies of Thruscross seem to be sitting deep at the moment, probably waiting for things to warm up.

Low water temperatures are also affecting Swinsty, with its coarse fish still shoaled up in deeper water and reluctant to spread out. It’s a case of if you can find them, a few bites will follow. Best weight of the week weighed in at 27lb which was mostly roach with an odd skimmer that all fell to groundbait feeder and maggot at 35 turns.

Lower down the valley, the long forgotten Lindley Wood compensation reservoir looks to have been rescued by forward-thinking officials of Mirfield AC, who, through determined negotiations with the Fawkes Estate managers, have secured the fishing rights for its members.

Water levels rise and fall on this water and, over the past months, working parties have been busy cleaning banks after the winter’s high levels.

A small hard-parking area has also being secured, making for short walks – always good for older anglers.

I was lucky enough to have been one of those involved in the first test fishing of the reservoir over the past couple of seasons and can honestly say that some of the sessions were brilliant. As usual the first bite was always the hardest to come by, but, after the first, a bite-a-chuck would nearly always follow with the fish following the feed to only metres from the bank.

The fishery is untapped and has huge potential. Roach seem to be the predominant species with the odd skimmer, perch and, surprisingly for a reservoir, chub and dace were caught regularly.

Lindley was last fished as a trout-syndicate water over a decade ago; if you fancy being at the start of something virtually unexplored, the price of the membership is a snip and even if you cant catch anything the scenery is stunning!

Kippax Park will be running its open matches every Tuesday and Saturday this coming season.

The lakes have recently been restocked with stamp carp and F1s.

For anyone fancying a good match with good company, the details are in the match diary.

MATCH DIARY

Saturday

Viking Saturday Open: Hawk pond, 30 pegs, £16 , contact 01405 860764.

Lex’s Legacy ‘Pride of the Isle’, Lindholme Lakes Big Bash: June 1, contact 01427 875555/01427 872905.

Kippax Park: 27 pegs, tickets £20, contact 07967000746.

Feeder Master Qualifier, River Aire, Beal: contact Angling Trust 0115 906 1301.

Poppleton Saturday Open: pools, £15, draw cafe 10am, contact Roger 01904737279.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscar’s, draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Moorfields Farm: 54 pegs, tickets £160, contact 07710817150.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Birkwood Farm: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01132 80609.

Viking, Hawk Pond: 30 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01405 860764.

Tollerton Ponds: Open Match all ages, (Kingfisher 20 pegs, Coot 18 pegs, Heron 32 pegs), contact 01347 838115.

Sunday

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Oak Tree Leisure: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01347 810686.

Leeds DASA: Moor Monkton Pools, contact 07967000746.

Poppleton Sunday Open: 50 pegs, draw 11am Cafe, contact 07425 146677.

Monday

Woodlands over-50s: 30 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01845 520110.

Langwith Lakes over-60s: 30 pegs, tickets £10, contact 01904 431874.

Tollerton Ponds over-50s: tickets £16, contact 01347 838115.

Tuesday

Kippax Park Over-50s: draw 10am, tickets £10, contact 07967000746.

Wednesday

Leeds & District: Moor Monkton Pools, draw 10am, contact 07967000746.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscar’s, draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Tollerton Ponds: open match, all ages, contact 01347 838115.

Showing his dad how to catch Knotford tench is eight-year-old Harry Hinchcliffe of Bingley.

Angling: Washburn Valley is the place to be this spring