Angling: Washburn Valley is the place to be this spring

Showing his dad how to catch Knotford tench is eight-year-old Harry Hinchcliffe of Bingley.
Showing his dad how to catch Knotford tench is eight-year-old Harry Hinchcliffe of Bingley.
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Low water temperatures and a slow March start at Yorkshire Water’s Washburn Valley Fishery have all been forgotten as the warmer winds and sunnier evenings have made the trout come out fighting.

As the first of the newly stocked fish have settled and a few days of consistent weather has hit the valley, rainbows up to a clonking seven pounds have been reported in catch returns as they go on a feeding frenzy.

Middle lake Fewston is the centre of most of the action with other Rainbows and Blues to close on five pounds falling to visiting anglers, dark colours, Montanas and Vivas fished deep and slow has been the best method coinciding with the ravenous fish feeding on the abundant nymphs.

Last week just 37 anglers banked 398 fish from the prolific Fewston giving a rod average of 10.8. Top reservoir Thruscross is a harder nut to crack with the big brownies just starting to break surface feeding early on sedge, “a more challenging prospect” but up to five fish per rod have been reported this week.

Swinsty the lower of the three reservoirs and now open to coarse fishing, has just started to respond to feeder fished maggot and worm at 40 yards with catches of roach, skimmers and perch up to 20lb easily possible.

For those wanting to spend a few hours in the stunning scenery of Nidderdale, day tickets for all waters and methods are available from vending machines at Swinsty Moor Car park.

To the south of Leeds, match and pleasure anglers are enjoying some brilliant spring sport on the Aire and Calder navigation below Great Heck. Cleckheaton’s Dave Armitage is again running the Leeds Spring League, and results of Saturday’s opening contest look as though this year could be the best yet.

Armitage knows the canal better than most, and is using sections from Pollington boats to below the swing bridge to give all the competitors a chance of not just a big weight of bream but good backing weights of roach and hybrids.

Last week’s winner Dave Hiley proved the point with a superb canal bream weight of 25-14 all falling to traditional groundbait caster and worm feeder.

Nick Crooks took runners up spot with a pole caught 22-14 of quality roach and hybrids at 12 metre showing that to do well in this company all methods will play a part.

Over 15lb was needed to secure sixth place and near double figure roach catches were needed to win sections or secure good league points.

Anyone falling sick from work and needing a day’s fishing to recuperate could do worse than visiting the canal from Pollington down to the joining of the New Junction. A bag of bream or roach is nearly guaranteed and always makes you feel better.

Noise and rumblings from the heavy machinery involved with improvements at Leeds and District’s Knotford fishery do not seem to have put the early spring tench off the feed.

Anglers specifically targeting the lagoon’s tench have been rewarded with good catches of fish averaging over 5lb, larger fish approaching 8lb have been reported falling as accidental captures to the specialist carp anglers using large bright coloured boilies.

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Results

Kippax Park Lapwing: 1, S Pearson 71-15; 2, E Storie 52-11; 3, N Rymer 47-07.

Osprey Lake KP Midweek: 1, P Carter 83-13; 2, N Rymer 72-02; 3, A Rymer 51-12.

Kippax Park Lapwing: 1, A Broomhead 59-10; 2, M Shorter 48-08; 3, S Jeffreys 46-12.

JT Rodgers Spring League Moor Monkton: 1, M Gallagher 118-02; 2, A Bolton 99-12; 3, A Middleton 76-05; 4, J Roper 65-11.

Colton Sports Langwith Emmas: 1, J Murray 17-00; 2, I Asquith 14-02; 3, C Remmer 13-04; 4, A Curtis 9-08.

X Gates & District Raker Acorn: 1, D Utley 60-00; 2, M Johnson 50-06; 3, D Watson 50-06; Visitor: J Walker 60-00.

Mirfield Open Aire Calder Heck: 1, G Brown 30-10; 2, T Rymer 15-00; 3, C Burton 14-05; 4, J Lastakowski 10-15.

Moor Monkton Midweek: 1, S Mazza 85-11; 2, D Pollitt 79-11; 3, A Bull 77-11.

Park Piscatorials Winfield Highlake: 1, T Spooner 92-08; 2, G Mallinson 82-14; 3, S Atkins 56-11.

Leeds Open Moor Monkton Cyprio: 1, G Watson 123-01; 2, L Smith 83-08; 3, G Broadley 67-14.

Harrogate Nomads Front Pool Moor Monk: 1, S Power 78-12; 2, A Warren 51-06; 3, K Golightly 43-03.

White Horse Birkwood Molly’s: 1, P Doyle 21-08; 2, P Smolka 19-12; 3, P Robinson 19-00; 4, G Greenall 12-04.

Leeds Spring Series Aire Calder Canal: 1, D Hiley 25-14; 2, N Crooks 22-14; 3, J Stevenson 20-03; 4, R Schindler 16-14 ; 5, J Farmer 16-12; 6, D Armitage 15-15.

JT Rodgers Summer League, Redwood Arc: 1, D Watson 36-08; 2, M Pearson 25-12; 3, A Smith 24-12.

Brafferton Monday Open: 1, C Pitman 155-05; 2, B Newby 115-02; 3, A Jackson 106-06.

York Nomads, Poppleton Horseshoe: 1, Tom Bainbridge 114-02; 2, Dave Pollitt 110-04; 3, Gavin Peake 97-03.

Colton Sports, Poppleton Railway: 1, JGN Murray 76-04; 2, J Rymer 63-02; 3, C Remmer 56-08; 4, K Foster 53-12.

Park Piscatorials, Raker Lakes: 1, C Broadley 41-06; 2, A Roze 35-05; 3, D Gunby 29-15.

Whitehorse AC, Ben Lee Lakes: 1, J Jones 25-02; 2, I Day 18-06; 3, P Doyle 15-12; 4, D Brier 14-02.

Armley A C at Redwood ARC: 1, J Levery 45-9; 2, M Cooper 33-9; 3, R Varty 31-9; 4, D Wilson 30-12; 5, S Johnson 30-1.

Viking Saturday Open (Deer: 1, I Ireland 72-11; 2 R Scott 59-4; 3, S Conlon 52-9; 4, A Thornton 50-5.

Corner Pin (Viking Hawk): 1, R Dove 41-8; 2, J Taylor 31-14; 3, B Colby 31-8.

Rodley Barge (Viking Deer): 1 S Wilson 61-4; 2 R Parker 45-12; 3, D Lawson 34-4.

AJ Tackle Rowland Road at Aston Park, Split Pond: 1, C CLarkson 47-10; 2, R Francis 45-14; 3, A Burdekin; 4, T Horncastle 32-11.

Match Diary

Saturday

Kippax Park: Saturday Open, Lapwing or Osprey 07967000746.

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

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscars draw 8.30, 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 £16, 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 £16.00, contact 01405 860764.

Viking Saturday Open: Deer pond, 24 pegs, £16, 01405 785206.

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

Sunday

Leeds & Liverpool, Kirkstall: contact Roger Movley 01132 772215.

Listerhills, Leeds & Liverpool Canal: contact Eddie Harrison 07518721051.

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.

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

Monday

Woodlands over 50’s: 30 Pegs, tickets £15, contact 01845 520110.

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

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

Tuesday

Kippax Park: Over 50’s Draw 10am, tickets £10, contact 07967000746.

Wednesday

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

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscars 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.

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