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Fishing in The Lake District

Anglers interested in doing some fishing in The Lake District will be delighted by the diversity of the fishing available in both the Hawkshead and Graythwaite areas.

Esthwaite Water, which is close by, is considered to be one of the finest waters in the Lake District. Predominantly a trout fishery, Esthwaite Water also boasts excellent pike and coarse fishing.

Esthwaite Water - Trout Fishing

Esthwaite Water is a natural lake extending to 280 acres. Deeper basins to the north and south of the lake combine with extensive shallows to create a particularly rich and varied fishery. The healthy nature of the water means Esthwaite Water is the only fishery in the north of England capable of producing true grown-on fish and every season, fish weighing into double figures are reported being caught.

Rainbow trout are stocked on a regular basis averaging 1.75lb with a proportion of larger fish weighing up to 6lb. A breeding fish population has established itself and true wild rainbow trout may be caught. Wild brown trout are present but to supplement the existing stock, browns are periodically introduced. The fishery record for Rainbow Trout is 16lb 3oz and 10lb 12oz for Brown Trout respectively.

The fishery is open for fly fishing throughout the winter. Sinking lines and lures are generally the order of the day during the colder months although prolonged mild spells can see the fish surface feeding on small midges. By late August fish are really back on the move again and once into September surface sport is again the big attraction with a variety of flies in evidence. By now the fish from earlier stockings will be in superb condition. Given reasonable weather surface activity can continue through into November when early afternoon buzzer hatches can still be expected. The first hard frosts will put the fish down and signal it's time for the sinkers to come out once again.

Esthwaite Water - Coarse Fishing

Hawkshead Trout Fishery has now opened Esthwaite for coarse angling from 1st November to the 31st March inclusive, and it is obvious from trial sessions that a huge coarse fish population still exists. Good nets of mainly roach and perch have been taken by anglers using ground bait or feeder methods in conjunction with maggot. Fish are caught under the most severe conditions and November, December and March are particularly productive months. Milder overcast days are best as the fish will feed all day. Cold bright days usually limit action to dusk. Both yellow and red maggot catch, the roach perhaps preferring yellow due to the huge amount of sweet corn that gets introduced year round. Bites are good pulls on the quiver or swing tip and action is generally guaranteed as ground bait always draws in a few hungry rainbows. These must be returned immediately and not placed in keep nets.

The average size of the roach is around the 7oz mark but larger fish, some in excess of 2lb, are caught every year. Huge shoals of roach are present in Esthwaite but the restricted bank access really means that the fish have to be in a couple of areas or fishing can be slow. Night fishing is not allowed and anglers are restricted to using one rod when fishing for trout. Two rods are permitted on the pike and coarse permit but no trout may be retained. Besides roach and rudd there are good stocks of perch and these are often caught by anglers fishing worm for the rainbow trout. Fish to 3½lb are known to be present and the full potential of the water is yet to be exploited. Esthwaite contains a few tench and gudgeon along with the ubiquitous eel. The eels grow to very good size and fish over 5lb have been trapped in special nets.

Esthwaite Water - Winter Pike Fishing

Esthwaite Water over the past decade or more has established itself as one of the most productive pike fisheries in the country, with many high profile anglers from around the UK fishing Esthwaite on a regular basis throughout the winter. The season lasts from 1st October through to 31st March, with no summer fishing for the pike allowed except by special arrangement. Methods are restricted to dead baits and lures only.

Boat and rod hire can be arranged at 'The Hawkshead Trout Farm'. They also offer fly fishing tuition for both the expert and beginner.