Fishing & Rules


The Club's rules relating to fishing are minimal, simple and can be summarised as follows:

  • Members must hold an Environment Agency Trout licence
  • Members must not fish for salmon
  • The trout season accords with the England standard of 1st April - 30th September
  • The grayling season runs 15th June - 28th February
  • Each member may fish on 30 days within the trout season
  • Members may fish with a guest on 8 days in the season.  Only 2 of those days may be in the period 20th May - 15th June, excluding weekends and bank holidays within those dates.
  • The Club practises a voluntary catch and release policy for brown trout (about 96% compliance); all sea trout must be released.
  • Any rainbow trout caught must be killed irrespective of size.
  • Members are require to maintain a detailed catch return on the form supplied and submit it at the end of the season as a prerequisite of the renewal of their membership.
  • Members should fish only on the beat allocated by the River Keeper following the booking bid.
  • Cars should be parked only at designated points.  Members must avoid obstructing the movement of farm machinery and livestock.



Booking Fishing  

Members should call the River Keeper Jim Gurling  and leave a message on the answerphone specifying the day, preferred beat and an alternative.  For those wishing to book at shorter notice, Jim updates the booking message twice daily to inform members of the day's bookings.  He may also be contacted on his mobile, although coverage on the river is limited.

Members wishing to fish the top two beats on the Upper water at and beyond Rievaulx, which is Sir Richard Beckett's water, must also contact his keeper, James Rook, so that he may be aware of who  will be on the river.


Most members use a light rod #4 or 5 at around 8' length, although on the Upper water a 6-7' brook rod allows exploration of the more wooded spaces and difficult lies.

Thigh waders with cleated rubber soles suffice for all but the deepst pools.

Landing nets must be have knotless mesh.


Members may employ the full range of fly fishing techniques:

  • In the early part of the season, conventional wet fly tactics with sinking lines work well throughout the length of the water.
  • The narrower channels and rapid flows of the Upper Water are well suited to Czech nymphing techniques.
  • The onset of grannom and olive hatches from later April onwards accelerate the shift to dry flies.
  • Upstream nymph tactics are effective for much of the season and especially after the peak of the mayfly from late June onwards.