Angling: Trout treat for anglers at Fewston Reservoir

Mirfield angler Keith Sunderland in action at Fewston.

Mirfield angler Keith Sunderland in action at Fewston.

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I don’t think it coincidence that my predecessor, Dennis Lemmon, chose the start of the river close season to put his pen and camera away.

I know he hated putting his fishing tackle to sleep for three months every year and his latest decision will be just as hard to bare for him.

Through my teenage years I was his apprentice at work, we screwed and welded miles of pipework but his best lessons were during dinner and tea breaks when we made hundreds of wire stem stick floats all designed for fishing the River Wharfe at Ulleskelf.

Unlike today, most good tackle was hand made then. It was always my job to find a clear space in the site’s boiler houses where we could set up our float factory and, obviously, somewhere for kettle, mugs, and teabags.

I wonder if he knew that in the 10 minutes it took for me as tea boy to make his brew I used to earmark the straightest and best floats for myself, and every bite he missed for years after might have been down to me! Many thanks mate and happy retirement!

We are now two or three weeks into the traditional trout season, and I made my first visit of the season to Washburn Valley’s Fewston Reservoir. To say I was impressed would be an understatement.

A couple of days into a high pressure system, temperatures around 15 degrees and a slight ripple was all the trout needed to give the visiting anglers some brilliant sport.

The fishery is over a mile long and a third of a mile wide in places and would be daunting to anyone wanting to try their hand as a fly angler for the first time.

But don’t be put off. Expertise and know how can’t be bought or taught overnight, but on my visit, in good conditions, the methods were quite basic. Most of the regulars were using 9 to 10ft rods, WF 7/8 floating lines, longish leaders finished with a 4lb fluorocarbon tippet and any nymph pattern fly/lure. Though fish were rising, most were taken deep on a slow retrieve.

Casting lines to the backing wasn’t needed – testament to the twice-a-month stocking policy – as lots of fish were showing inside wading anglers and the shore line.

Yorkshire Water also control the valleys at nearby Thruscross and Swinsty reservoirs. Though similar at first glance, they offer totally different challenges with each having differences in rules and prices. Thruscross is much more for the trout purist and Swinsty offers limited bait fishing with a great chance of a big perch or rogue bream.

Lower down the system the authorities balancing reservoir, Lindley Wood, looks stunning but bank-side access is limited and the fishing is private.

Dennis last week mentioned his quill and parchment. Unfortunately he wouldn’t pass them on so it’s a PC, tablet and mobile for me which helps to bring up-to-date info’ on all the region’s trout fishing, commercial still-waters and canals.

As the seasons progress I will cover the area’s matches, catches and methods, but will also try to give more to the river specimen anglers who sometimes don’t get the coverage their hours and expertise on the bank deserve.

Any news, match results or information please contact me at stevefearnley1@btinternet.com

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Results

Fish O Mania Qualifier: Hayfield Lakes 130pegs: 1, M Hall (Sensas) 79-8; 2, G Thompson (Lincoln) 60-6; 3, N Watson, (Louth) 58-7; 4, C Coldstraw Middy 56-12.

Mirfield AC Aire Calder Great Heck: 1, A Grandage (Pontefract) 18-2; 2, S Haigh Anglers World 9-10; 3, M High (Mirfield) 6-14; 4, J Smiles Middlesborough 6-6.

Southfield Cowick Res Spring League: 1, Andy Renton 25-1; 2, Kev Hartley 15-9; 3, Keith Granger 15-0; 4, Geoff Lambert 11-15.

Oaks Sessay Good Friday: 72 pegs: 1, D Smith (Bait-Tech) 146-0; 2, L Hawksworth (Diawa) 126-6; 3, J Roper (Caravan World) 122-3; 4, C Hall The Oaks 114-4.

Oaks Sessay Sunday: 1, T Watson 100-7; 2, A Barker 90-12; 3, J Clark 86-2; 4, C Hall 80-4.

Kippax Park Osprey: 1, Mark Rodgers 55-0; 2, John Wake 54-4; 3, Carl Wainwright 53-7; 4, Tony Hewson 51-3.

Kippax Park Lapwing: 1, Steve Raper 89-12; 2,Tony Hewson 68-10; 3, Neil Rymer 63-9; 4, Ashley Conboy 63-9.

Bobco Spring Series Moor Monkton Pools, Rround 5: 1, Dave Pollit 52-12; 2, Wayne Westmorland 50-4; 3, Dave Wright 50-0.

Bobco Spring Series Moor Monkton Pools, round 6: 1 Lee Smith 85-0; 2, Dave Pollit 72-4; 3 Andy Barker 66-9.

Moor Monkton Pools Bank Holiday Match: 1, Paul Gallagher 155-8; 2, Andy Gallant 98-12; 3, Tony Hewson 84-10; 4, Garry Watson 83-3.

Colton Sports AC Oaks – Cedat: 1, D Stainthorpe 42-8; 2=, I Asquith, G Sewell 37-12; 4, B Taylor 25-6.

Viking Saturday Open (Hawk): 1, A Nicholls 66-5; 2, K Squires 36-14; 3, D Thompson 35-6; 4, B Smith 29-11.

Red House AC (Viking Deer): 1, D Hogg 32-8; 2, P Douglas 29-3; 3, J Massey 19-14.

Barnsley Central AC (Viking Deer): 1, D Tyndal 43-12; 2, S Fisher 40-5; 3, N Maddigan 29-3.

Rothwell WM AC (Viking Hawk): 1, J Brogden 61-12; 2, C Parker 37-2; 3, D Lilley 30.

Roadline AC (Viking Fox): 1, J Harrison 48-8; 2, M Brotherton Sr 42-3; 3, M Brotherton Jr 41-13.

Armley AC at Raker Acorn: 1, A Faithwaite 29-4; 2, C Carol 20-8; 3, D Atkinson 19-10; 4, J Levery 17-4.

Rodley Barge – Woodlands, Dragonfly, Swallow and Mallard: 1, T Hodgson 46-8; 2, R Ward 30; 3, G Marshall 24-12; 4, D Lawson 23.

Rodley Barge, Forest Lane – Cob: 1, J Harvey 68-4; 2, G Wainwright 61-14; 3, D Hargreaves 42-9; 4, S Dodsworth 40-7.

Xgates AC at Swanlands: 1, A Atkinson 70-13; 2, J Clarke 41-7; 3, D Watson 22-10; 4, S Kay 21-2.

Poppleton Horseshoe Lake, York Nomads Spring League round two: 1, T Bainbridge 124-6; 2; J Haw 65; 3, T Carlton 53-6, 4 J Caple 53-2; 5, D Ward 44-12.

Poppleton Horseshoe Bank Holiday Monday Open: 1, G Peak 86-2; 2, D Rollinson 75-10; 3, D Pollitt 75-6; 4, T Bainbridge 75-2; 5, T Carlton 68.

Poppleton Sunday Open Horseshoe Lake: 1, P Cressey 95-4; 2, G Thirkill 92-2; 3, T Bainbridge 72-14.

Poppleton Railway Scarborough Match: 1, R Charter 53-12; 2, H Pullford 42-10; 3, B Penrose 31-10.

Poppleton Railing Jo-Lynn Construction: 1, J Backhouse 114-6; 2, T Appleyard 101-2; 3, L Capper 74-10.

Note: Poppleton Sunday Open is going ahead with the draw made in the cafe at 11am.

Match Diary

Saturday

Woodlands: 72 Pegs, tickets £18.00, contact 01845 520110.

Viking Saturday Open: At Deer pond, 24 pegs, £16, contact 01405 860764.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 Pegs, tickets £17.00, contact 01845 501321

Langwith Lakes: 60 Pegs, tickets £16.00, contact 01904 431874.

Kippax Park: 27 Pegs, tickets £20.00, contact 07155454371.

Moorfields Farm: 54 Pegs, tickets £16.00, contact 07710817150.

Fleets Dam: 50 Pegs, tickets £15.00, contact 01226 292579.

Birkwood Farm: 60 Pegs, tickets £16.00, contact 01132 80609.

Viking, Hawk Pond: 30 Pegs, tickets £16.00, contact 01405 860764.

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.

Bobco Winter Series at Moor Monkton Pools: contact 01904 431874.

Monday

Woodlands over 50s: 30 Pegs, tickets £15.00, contact 01845 520110

Langwith Lakes over 60s: 30 Pegs, tickets £10, contact 01904 431874

Tollerton Ponds over 50: 30 Pegs, tickets £16 contact 01347 838115.

Tuesday

Kippax Park: 27 Pegs, tickets £10, contact 07155454371.

Wednesday

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

Fleets Dam: 50 Pegs, tickets £15.00, contact 01226 292579.

Tollerton Ponds over 50’s: 30 Pegs, tickets £16.00 contact 01347 838115.

Thursday

Kippax Park: 27 Pegs, tickets £12.00, contact 07155454371.

Cleveland Angling Centre's Richard Bezemer showing two of his 10-bream catch that was the best of a good festival week.

Angling: Fluctuating river levels no obstacle at Festival