THE weather forecast for the Dales this week was wet and, despite no flood warnings early on, it has been a lot cooler and river water levels have risen. There have been few fishing reports but carp graced the nets of Dan White and Richard Williams at our Staveley Lakes fishery and a couple of double-figure pike were landed using artificial lures.

At Oakworth Ponds, Carl Moralee had nets of silvers but it was hard fishing after two frosts.

Later this week, our order for about 1,000 small trees will be delivered. These will be planted at various sites along the River Aire, sanctioned by the Environment Agency, and will help develop the river eco-system. We have to get these into the ground soon after delivery and so we need volunteers at 10am on Sunday, December 3, Wednesday, December 6 and Friday, December 8 to give us a hand. All helpers will need are wellies and a spade. If you can help, even for a couple of hours, then give Phil Bailey a call on 07811-286652 for full details.

We have now received our 2018 yearbooks from the printers – purple covers this year – and these are being delivered to agents for sale to members. Alternatively, both renewals and new memberships can be had from our online shop via the link on the front page of our website.

We reported the wrong adult renewal price last week. Renewals are actually £40 per year for adults and £25 for concessions, with a £15 joining fee payable by new members. Juniors are £5 for the year but no joining fee applies.

Our next coarse fishing match will be on the River Swale at Salmon Hall tomorrow. To book a place, or for information, call Rodney Brooksbank on 07875-275749.


In recent years, the Environment Agency have placed an increased emphasis on natural flood management (NFM) as part of a series of measures to manage flood risk. NFM involves working with natural processes to slow the flow of river water and reduce surface water run-off. This usually includes measures such as restoring flood plains, tree planting, installing felled timber within woodlands to intercept flow and build leaky dams within river channels to further hold back water, especially at times of heavy rain.

Other methods used are the traditional flood-risk management techniques, such as floodwater storage areas as have just been completed near Skipton Golf Club and adjacent to Otley Road on the outskirts of Skipton. Building riverside walls is another technique but engineering solutions will still remain part of the overall flood-defence measures.

Angling also benefits from flood management as slower flows means less banking erosion and less sediment deposited on the river bed, smothering gravels and reducing the quality of fish spawning and feeding grounds.

The EA and their partners have a good record of using techniques which provide an NFM benefit in completed and ongoing ecological improvement projects. This year, partnership funding has been announced to take advantage of the latest NFM techniques on a good number of Yorkshire rivers and becks, including the planting of hundreds of thousands of saplings across the Aire catchment to reduce surface water run-off in phase two of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.

The Fisheries Improvement Programme receives its income from the sale of rod licences to support environmental projects that will benefit fisheries. Recent work on the river at Gargrave and Skipton has covered the installation of over 600 metres of fencing to prevent sheep and cattle entering the river and the placing of wooden deflectors to vary the flow and clean the gravel. This work has already seen an increase in the numbers and species of invertebrates in the river and an increase in the number of fish being caught.

The Broughton Road length of the canal will be the venue for the sixth Skipton Winter League match on Sunday. There is a prospect of cold weather again but the greater depth of the canal on the match length may be to competitors' advantage.


Membership for 2018 will go on sale once the yearbooks are received from the printers, which is expected to be the middle of next month. Senior membership will cost £50, with concessions £30 and juniors just £5 for the year, giving access to 11 lakes, over 35 miles of river and 12 miles of canal within Yorkshire.

Darren Starkey and Andrew Fieldhouse had a good day's fishing on the club's stretch of the River Derwent at Howsham Wood last week. Darren caught eight chub up to 4lb 10oz and roach to over a pound on feeder and bread, while Andrew added a further three chub to 4lb. There have also been good catches of chub from the River Nidd at Cowthorpe and the River Swale at Maunby.

Permits for Queen Mary's Ponds will be available to book online from January, and Matt Foster will be taking over issuing permits through the current postal system. Full details will be in the new yearbook.


Last week's canal open held on the boats section at Shipley was fished in cold conditions. Being the first really cold spell of the winter and with 28 anglers, this was always going to be an interesting match. Making the most of peg ten in the sun was Paul Booth (Matrix Halifax), who managed to snare a bonus bream plus 3lb of silvers to end with 7lb 6oz. Other placings included: 2 Steve Allison (Tricast Calder) 7lb, peg seven; 3 Kyle Ackroyd (Mossella Selby) 3lb 3oz 8dr, peg 21; 4 Richard Jackson (Maver North West) 3lb, peg 23; 5= Tim Worsnop (Matrix Halifax) peg 11, John Sedgwick (Tricast Calder), peg 14, 2lb 10oz. The next match is on Sunday. To book on, call Rick on 07815-092966 before 7pm tomorrow. Last week's river match proved difficult for most. Result: 1 Ian Needs 8lb 4oz (four chub and a grayling), 2 Carl Chadwick 5lb 10oz (eight grayling), 3 Peter Vickerman 3lb 10oz. The next match is on Sunday, December 3. To book on, call Barrie on 07902-493139


The sharp frost over the weekend reduced catches. Result of Tuesday's match at Kippax Park (Lapwing): 1 A Rymer 55lb, 2 N Rymer 51lb 2oz, 3 B Rymer 36lb 10oz. Result of Saturday's match: 1 A Barker 60lb 7oz, 2 A Rymer 64lb 9oz, 3 T Hewson 40lb 13oz. Result of Wednesday's match at Moor Monkton Pools: 1 S Mazza 46lb 11oz, 2 S Benn 45lb 10oz, 3 A Bull 37lb 12oz. Result of Sunday's match, where a severe frost put a skim of ice on the water: 1 T Bainbridge 64lb, 2 S Jeffreys 36lb 15oz, 3 J Roddiss 35lb 6oz. Overall prospects for the weekend do not seem too bright because of heavy rain. However, the Ouse is producing some good nets of roach in selected areas for those who know how to tackle these swims. A few quality roach have come from the Lower Derwent.


Membership books for 2018 will be available in the next few weeks at the same cost as this year. G Reeday had a good catch of roach from the canal but the length was undisclosed. A few anglers have been out lure fishing, which has produced some good perch and small pike. These are available on a day ticket, which must be obtained before fishing. Now that the undergrowth is dying back, anglers' rubbish is exposed and anyone caught leaving litter will be expelled without further warning. We are involved in the investigation of a new water. Details will be given if we are successful.


Brian Clarkson stepped down as secretary and treasurer at the annual meeting, with Rob Wadsworth taking over as secretary and Paul Lonsdale as treasurer. John Wilcox is replacing Paul Kitchingman as president but the latter has become an honorary life member. Annual subscriptions will be increased to £20 but, to compensate for this, it was unanimously agreed there will be no raffle. There will be a committee meeting immediately prior to the next general meeting on Tuesday, December 19.


Bernard Hook has completed a clean sweep of our major awards, winning the Club Knockout and Angler of the Year crowns. Pete Milner was runner-up in the Club Knockout. Our annual meeting will be held at the Fighting Cock on Preston Street on January 20 (12.30pm). Anyone who wishes to add anything to the agenda must let the secretary know before January 6.


Life member Clifford Bennett has died and his funeral will be at Oakworth Crematorium on Monday (12.15pm). The Christmas Cheer match will be in Myrtle Park on Sunday, December 10 (draw 9am in park). To book on, call A Newman on 07783-332705.