Stocks Reservoir

Stocks Reservoir is unquestionably the premier boat fishing venue in the North of England. Located in the Forest of Bowland, this large upland reservoir holds some of the finest fish in the UK. You can fish from the bank or boat but, encompassing 350 acres, the best way to enjoy a day at Stocks is to take to the boats when you can access any area quickly and present your flies to the monster fish in the most appropriate manner.

Let me take you to Stocks and teach you the basics of boat safety, how to use a drogue to cover the water effectively, and the latest angling techniques and killer flies. We'll look at how to control the depth of your flies using lines of different densities coupled with the 'washing line' technique. I'll show you the most effective patterns for catching fish at Stocks. such as the Stocks damsel and skinny diawl bachs and buzzers, and of course the hot spots, which vary with the seasons.

Fish for half or a full day, or book a two-day course where, as well as enjoying some fantastic fishing, I can improve your casting and fly presentation, hopefully incorporating some more advanced reservoir casting techniques such as the single and double haul, and how to vary your casting stroke to cope with the wind and to prevent tangles when using a multi-fly cast.

Huge rainbow trout from boat at Stocks Reservoir
Panoramic view of Stocks Reservoir from Hollins Bay
Boats at Jetty on Stocks Reservoir

Being an acidic upland reservoir, Stocks does not hold much invertebrate life, so the fish need to look to the surface for food and readily take dries or emerger patterns, making for some heart stopping action as you see your fly disappearing from the surface in a boil the size of a dustbin lid. Ben Dobson, who manages Stocks, farms his own fish and takes an absolute pride in stocking the finest, full-finned trout you are likely to see this side of heaven. As well as rainbows, Ben stocks beautiful browns and the incredibly hard-fighting blue trout - catching your first blue is a life affirming experience as these supercharged fish, which prefer the upper water levels, love to take to the air during the fight. You win some, you lose some, but I can guarantee that you'll never forget that magical moment when you see one of these blue-eyed wonders porpoising and cartwheeling at the end of your line.