Angling: Leeds and District initiative puts junior anglers at forefront and challenges other societies to follow its lead

Following the Environment Agency’s lead and their recent changes to rod licence charges, Leeds & District Amalgamated Society of Anglers have made a massive statement to other clubs around the country.

Barn Energy CEO Mark Simon and former Yorkshire and England cricketer Geoff Boycott by the Aire's Brotherton weir at Knottingley.

Angling: Boycott opens Aire weir turbine

It felt like a “breath of fresh Aire” last week as the river’s rejuvenation took a massive leap forward with the completion of the latest, largest and probably last hydroelectric power station in the country.

Barlby's John Cyrowski with the nine pound barbel he nearly caught twice.

Angling: Favourites feeling the squeeze as veterans come to the fore

My predictions of big changes at the top came earlier than expected in the second round of the Yorkshire Winter League, held on a rising River Aire around Chapel Haddlesey and Beal.

Chapel Allerton's Andy Hampson is presented with the Horseshoe Trophy.

Angling: Irish eyes smiling on Leeds ace Hampson

Chapel Allerton’s Andy Hampson returned home from Northern Ireland’s Fermanagh Lakeland a happy man last week.

Browing Team Ossett, winners of the Division 2 National Championships.

Angling: Ossett net two titles from the Nationals

Browning Team Ossett followed their 2016 Winter League final win with another high-class performance to cement there place as one of the country’s top teams.

Stuart Fotheringham.

Roundhay top rod Fotheringham puts rivals in the shade

Leeds & District have a great history of its anglers’ achievements, with all England national winning teams, individual world champions, and winners of the big tobacco-sponsored events popular many years ago.

Leeds water bailiff Lee Garrad with the kind of big money carp that has been targeted by thieves.

Anglers on edge after upturn in fish thefts

Kirkgate Anglers, affectionately known to everyone who now supports a few wrinkles as ‘Edgies’, surprised the trade and local anglers last week by announcing its imminent closure.

Belle Isles Jason Passy showing one of the largest Wharfe specimens caught at an impressive weight of 12lb 5ozs.

Yorkshire club are ‘best of the best’

Not many trophies have eluded the array of superstar anglers that have represented Barnsley and District over the past 40 years. Last week its next generation filled one of the few vacant spaces in the cabinet and completed the full set.

Dave Rushton with a probably-never-been-caught-before barbel.

Angling: Big catches put venues north of Leeds ‘on the map’

Now a month into the new coarse-fish river season, it’s always interesting to compare the starts of previous years and, hopefully, put old knowledge to new campaigns.

Harry Lodge is congratulated by Jeff Stimpson.

Angling: Deserved honour for stalwart Harry Lodge

From world champions, national championship anglers or a junior sat on his local canal with a starter kit for tackle , very few anglers around the country wouldn’t recognise the name or face of Harry Lodge.

First to the Riverfest final is Dave MIles, centre, with fellow finalists Ian Dawson and James Robbins.

Anlging: Edson sets new Ouse Open record as Miles gears up for Riverfest final

Near-blistering temperatures, bright blue skies with no wind, and river levels at normal would usually spell mediocrity and predictions of a tough day on the first big River Ouse open of the season.

Darren Starkey with big tench

caught from Leeds & District's Knotford Lagoon.

Governing body’s been lagging behind in ‘opinion poll’

Having stumbled across and then read the Angling Trust’s 2017 Manifesto for Angling, the first comments in its introduction show, in my opinion, just how far down the sporting ladder our governing body really is.

Holmfirth's Steve Frost with a 3lb 8oz trout from the Upper River Calder.

Anglers keep a watching brief on latest Skip Bridge work

I’m old enough to remember the old flat V weir built on the River Nidd at Skip Bridge in 1979, and more than qualified to give an angler’s opinion on its disastrous effects on the fish stocks and general demise in angling quality on the river ‘above and below’ after its construction.

Netsmen Paul Clark and Dave Pollitt show Weeton Lakes to have good mixed stocks of healthy fish to specimen sizes.

Angling: Fisheries flying high in tip-top condition

Fisheries Management teams, contractors and angling volunteers have been a common site on venues around the county over the past weeks as the weather allows for the unseen and taken-for-granted maintenance needed to keep fisheries in tip-top condition.

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

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.

DEVASTATION: Spawning and nesting areas destroyed on the River Nidd have led anglers to ask how this helps the environment.

Angling: Anglers stumped by bankside devastation

Over the past couple of years I have always promoted the fisheries side of the Environment Agency (EA), and, over the past few months, have reported how our local rivers have benefited from stockings supplied by its Calverton fish-rearing facility.

Angling: Hydro’s the ‘weir’ to go for anglers  and the fish

Angling: Hydro’s the ‘weir’ to go for anglers and the fish

After spending a few evenings reading the very basics of low-head hydro power, I thought it best to leave the kilowatt questions to the experts and spend my time at the opening of Barn Energies Kirkthorpe Hydropower Plant on the River Calder looking at things from an angler’s, or at least a fish’s eye, point of view.

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

The big three-day Yorkshire Ouse Festival, cancelled in November due to flooding, eventually took place last week with a sell-out entry of 63 anglers lining the banks of Hunters Lodge and Linton-on-Ouse.

Leeds & District's Dave Bonsels says goodbye to a few of his baby barbel before releasing them to the River Nidd.

Angling: Districts seem made from the same stock

Officials of two of the country’s largest angling associations look to be thinking along the same lines regarding stocking policies of local river and lake fisheries under their care.

Leeds' Steve Maltas with a Royal Armouries Aire rainbow trout of 4-05.

Angling: Trout tick all the right boxes over the winter

Before the age-old changes in closed-season river regulations, clubs often stocked rainbow trout to stillwaters as a way of giving members a way of wetting a line but without breaking any laws.

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