Angling for the best spot in the River Wharfe

Just as no one is born an artist, so they aren't born an angler either. For as well as patience and calm it also requires no shortage of skill and experience - and even then there's no guarantee that you'll end up with a plump fish for your supper.

PIC: Tony Johnson

Thanks to its numerous fast flowing rivers and streams the Yorkshire Dales is the perfect place for a spot of fly fishing. River fishing here is centred around the River Nidd and the River Ure, as well as the Wharfe, pictured here at Bolton Abbey where a fisherman can be seen trying his hand at catching some trout and grayling.

The River Wharfe is often considered more of a trout stream than the Ure or the Nidd, but it does have good stocks of grayling in places, particularly from Ilkley heading downstream.

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At Bolton Abbey the River Wharfe flows through the Yorkshire estate of the Duke of Devonshire. This four-and-a-half mile stretch is surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery in the Yorkshire Dales, making it appealing for both novices and more experienced anglers.

The estate provides wild and stocked brown trout and grayling and its experienced River Keeper has a wealth of knowledge that can help both beginners and seasoned anglers get the most out of a day’s fishing.

People either enjoy fishing, or they don’t. There are some who find it boring, while for others it’s a chance to escape for a few hours and shake off the stresses and strains of daily life.

As with any worthwhile activity it concentrates the mind in a positive way and while it can be a relaxing, almost meditative, experience, wading into the water and pushing against the currents is also more of a workout than many people might think.

Perhaps above all, though, it’s that sense of being immersed in the quietude of the natural world that gives angling its unique appeal.

So when you add the majestic ruins of Bolton Abbey for company and a brooding Ashley Jackson sky in the background, then fishing doesn’t get much better.

Technical details: Camera info Nikon D3s, 17-55mm lens 250th sec @ F11, ISO 400

Picture: Tony Johnson

Words: Chris Bond