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. Swinsty & Fewston are surrounded by conifer trees and it feels as if you are in Scotland or one of eastern states of America.

One of the highlights of the Washburn Valley fishing calendar is the 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 pull when the fish comes back to collect its prey. Sometimes they don't return, 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.