What a difference a week makes. Cold and wet just a few days ago, yet this week bright sunshine and temperatures above 20C. However, forecasts for the weekend suggest cooler temperatures and rain. Hopefully, anglers will still be out in what is comparatively mild weather. Fly anglers on the rivers have seen tough conditions. Out-of-season grayling have reacted differently, however, with fish to over 1lb responding well to small nymphs.

Steve Rhodes and Francis Dine visited Colne Water AC’s reservoir at Churn Clough, where our members can access subsidised day tickets, and reported 26 good trout, which responded to large, medium and small olives and to very small black gnats.

Stuart Minnikin and a Canadian guest visited a slowly-rising Rive Ure at Worton for some great dry-fly fishing. Stuart’s guest rated it in his ‘top five all-time’ sessions, with prolonged hatches of LDOs and March Browns, plsu there were a pair of otters playing in a pool at the end of the day. Richard Tong had two great trout of 2lb 9oz and 3lb 8oz, both on dry fly in a LDO hatch in pouring rain, from the water shared with Skipton AA at Carleton, and Freddie Bainbridge had good fish too.

On the lakes, Tom Richmond reported a nice mid double from Shipton, and specimens have come to the net at Staveley too. Even Oakworth – at around 300 metres – is starting to come to life. Bailiff Mike Whiteoak has reported hard-fighting carp around the 10lb mark being caught, and Lee Isaac has seen silver fish reacting well to light tackle and maggot baits.

This month’s invertebrate sampling on the Aire is showing huge numbers of olives and heptagenids, especially between the railway and the A59 bridges near Broughton. This weekend, the Wild Trout Trust’s (and BCAA’s!) Jonny Grey is kayaking along 55km of the Aire with his colleague Tim Jacklin to mark World Fish Migration Day.

They will be tracing the section to be opened up by the nationally-funded Developing the Natural Aire Project, which will make four major weirs passable and allow salmon to Skipton for the first time in about 150 years. Sponsorship will help fund the small schemes, which do not qualify for support from big funding sources. Jonny and Tim’s timetable and lots more info can be seen at

Elsewhere, poaching has been reported on some of our fisheries this week. Please would members be ready to ask other anglers – but in a friendly manner – to show their yearbooks and permits? Our annual giant hogweed surveys are just starting too, with Forest of Bradford – funded by five-year Environment Agency monies – spraying to eradicate this dangerous plant. Finally, the Wild Trout Trust will be holding their national annual get-together at Gargrave on the weekend of May 19. Anglers are urged to book now.

Result of the JD Illingworth Trophy, fished last weekend at Staveley Lakes (overcast but mild weather and hard fishing): 1 Will Hodson 9lb 11oz, 2 Stuart Tate on 5lb 15oz (silvers on waggler and maggot), 3 Chris Pitman 1lb 7oz. Next match is the JD Illingworth Rosebowl on Saturday, May 12, again at Staveley. Contact John Stark on 07793-558227 with any enquiries and entries.


At Queen Mary's Ponds, the tench are starting to come on to the feed, with fish to over 5lb being caught. Permits for these lakes are now available to be booked online free of charge. See yearbook for more details. Anglers at Knotford have been catching good numbers of bream and tench, as well as carp to 22lb 14oz.

All species are beginning to feed at Raskelf Lake, with nets of F1 carp, ide, tench and skimmers being caught from most pegs on pole or waggler. Mal Brittain proved the unpredictable nature of the lake last Thursday with the capture of a bream weighing 8lb 12oz on 10-metre pole and pellet from one of the deeper pegs.

Raskelf will be closed on Sunday for the first members' match of the year, draw at Black Bull 9.15am. This match is sold out and a waiting list is in place.


There are signs of fires being lit at night at Knotford Lagoon, and anyone found guilty will be severely dealt with. The working party on Sunday at Thwaites Mill was well attended and swim clearing was undertaken. Result of the match at Kippax Park on Saturday, April 7: 1 K Worth 69lb 11oz, 2 S Pierson 59lb 2oz, 3 A Rymer 50lb 5oz. Result of match on Tuesday, April 10: 1 N Rymer 86lb 1oz, 2 P Carter 56lb 2oz, 3 S Holmes 47lb 9oz. Result of the match at Moor Monkton Pools on Sunday, April 8: 1 O Hewitt 118lb 9oz, 2 S Mazza 95lb 3oz, 3 D Pollitt 60lb 11oz. Result of the match on Wednesday, April 11: 1 A Bolton 100lb 12oz, 2 G Watson 86lb 14oz, 3 D Wright 67lb 5oz.


Result of the match on Wednesday, April 4 (disappointing weights due to heavy showers): 1 J Harrison, 2 E Harrison, 3 G Reeday. Result of last Sunday's match at Kippax: 1 E Harrison 18lb 11oz, 2 J Harrison 18lb 7oz, 3 D Jackson (aggregate weights leader) 15lb 15oz. The first open match on the canal is on Sunday, April 29. Anglers in the Bramley area have had fair sport, with catches of good-sized bream, but some people are still turning up to fish the canal with no members' book or day ticket.


Result of Sunday's match at Birkwood Farm (main lake) kindly sponsored by Big Mick's Gardening Services (Bush Trimming Specialists): 1 Gary from Thornton 88lb 10oz, 2 John Charles Foreman 66lb 5oz, 3 Pete Fraser 59lb 8oz, 4 Bernard Hook 53lb 11oz. Our next match is a re-arranged fixture on Sunday, April 29 at Brafferton (Ghost Lake). Anyone who will not be fishing this match must notify the match secretary by Sunday or you will be charged a peg fee.


Sunday's match on the canal will be fished above and below the Three Rise Locks, draw 9am at the top of the locks. To book on, ring Ady Newman on 07783-332705. The work party at Coppice Pond has been rescheduled to the evening of Thursday, May 3 and will involve some work in the water. The next Aire Rivers Trust clean up is today. Meet 10am at far end of Dockfield Road, next to the river at Charlestown.