Washburn Valley

The Washburn Valley reservoirs offer quality bank fishing for trout throughout the year. The Washburn is a tiny tributary of the Wharfe, but which feeds four reservoirs along its course, three of which are accessible for fly fishing. Fewston & Swinsty are stocked with rainbow and blue trout, whereas the highest reservoir, Thruscross, is not stocked but holds a good head of wild brown trout. The reservoirs were built in the late 1800s to supply water to the rapidly expanding populace of Leeds, and are currently owned by Yorkshire Water. The fishery is excellently managed by Colin Winterburn and his crew. Colin sources his trout from feed ponds which are surrounded by trees and vegetation, such that the fish are already accustomed to feeding on natural wind blown foods prior to being stocked.
 
Washburn Valley reflections on Swinsty reservoir
One of the highlights of the Washburn Valley fishing calendar is the enormous hatch of mayfly from late May until July, and the trout can be caught from either below or on the surface with imitations of the nymph, winged dun or spinner. When fishing the adult fly you need to resist the temptation to strike at the initial splash at your fly, which is when the trout is usually trying to drown your fly. Rather, you need to let your fly stay where it is and wait for the almost inevitable pull when the fish comes back to collect its prey. Sometimes they don't come back, but the waiting is half the fun. Otherwise the fish respond well to damsel patterns, and the normal upland reservoir traditional wets fished from a floating or intermediate line are also effective. Swinsty & Fewston are surrounded by conifer trees and it feels as if you are in Scotland or one of eastern states of America. On quiet days it is not unusual to spot small groups of deer which come down to the waters edge from the forest to take a morning or evening drink. 
 
Why not join me for a day's bank fishing In the Washburn Valley. The gentle banks provide safe wading and the trout are plentiful and willing to take from the top of the water. Particularly in the summer, the clear expanses of bank provide space for casting, and we can spend some time improving your presentation or distance casting. The Washburn Reservoirs really are a quiet idyll and you will return home feeling relaxed and ready for whatever the world has to throw at you.