UK waters top fisheries to visit this month
A spotlight on five fisheries to visit this month
AMULTI-faceted operation, Bessy Beck has grown over the last 14 years to incorporate not only three fly-only lakes but also a tackle shop, smokehouse and farm shop. Spring-fed, the quality of the water ensures hard-fighting fish and fly-fishing has now been extended to include the Heron Lake, providing additional fishing for the more experienced angler. The Island lake is approximately two acres and the Heron Lake one acre, the depth of the lakes varying from four feet to 11 feet. Between them, they can accommodate up to 30 anglers at any one time. Anglers are requested to move positions at regular intervals, to give all anglers the fair chance at ‘hot spots’. Catch and release is allowed on both lakes, but anglers may take up to three fish per session then fish catch-and-release up to their permitted hours. The fishery is stocked with rainbow and blue trout and there are a number of wild browns (all of which must be returned). Most fish are 2lb to 5lb but ‘doubles’ to 15lb are regularly caught. No fish above 10lb is to be killed. An aerator at the heart of each lake oxygenates the water in the summer, ensuring better sport when temperatures are high and in the winter, they prevent most of the lake from freezing over. Winter sees fish generally caught on lures or static Buzzers, although on warmer days dry flies can be successful. The best winter flies are Cat’s Whisker, Humungus, Yellow Dancer, Bloodworm and Black Buzzer. Spring is normally prime time, when hatches of hawthorn fly and midge have fish feeding from dawn until dusk. The best spring flies are Hawthorn, Black Klinkhamer, Hare’s Ear and Pheasant Tailed Nymph. Summer is weather-dependant, but mornings and evenings are generally best, with dries, CdCs and Buzzers down to 18s doing well; Sedges in the evening. Then, in autumn, Daddies fish well into October and small lures start to catch fish. The Mallard Lake covers 1.5 acres with a depth of around 10 feet and flat, easily-accessible banks. The lake is fly-fishing only with a catch and kill policy which ensures easier fly-fishing for the less-experienced angler. Stocked with fish between 1lb 4oz and 2lb, a good eating size, it offers the perfect setting for tuition, fun days and corporate events. Bessy Beck Trout Fishery is ideal for disabled anglers, with wheelchair access possible around all lakes. Fly tackle can be hired by all anglers and tuition can be arranged. An on-site tackle shop means you can try out rods and lines before buying them, as well as taking your pick from more than 400 fly patterns from Lureflash and Fulling Mill, as well as a wide range of leader material. Vouchers for tackle and fishing are available.