Ilkley Angling Association - News
07/03/2022 Over 80 year old bags up on the river
To give hope to us all, our Secretary Dave Martin recently received a catches report from one of our oldest active members, Peter Wild, who is well over eighty. Peter loves his fishing and he also has a passion for watching (and filming) otters. Over the recent winter months, on the Ilkley AA stretch of the Wharfe, Peter has been having great success with both activities, sometimes at the same time. With one week of the season still to go Peter reported to Dave that since 1st October he has landed 73 grayling, 31 out-of-season trout, one chub and one dace. Some of his grayling were well over 1lb in weight and some of his trout were well over 2lbs. Peter prefers to floatfish and he uses floats that he has made himself. His best spot for regularly seeing otters has been at the upstream end of our stretch.
12/09/2021 Members Lagoon - recent catches
The pond is looking better than it has done for decades and there are now over a dozen fishable swims. It is also fishing better. The fishing isn't easy every day but large numbers of perch and rudd have been caught recently plus some nice big fish. Committee member Gary Williams caught this lovely mirror carp of just over 8lbs (photo to the right) on a big pinch of bread free-lined on a carp rod and 12lb bs line. The fishing will be worthwhile on this pond until the frosts start. :Perch are also being caught on the Roadside Lagoon with pike, roach and tench always a possibility.
07/07/2021 Members Lagoon - recent excellent catches
We always thought that this Ilkley AA pond might contain some big tench but Dave Martin was surprised to catch one as big as 6lb 3oz floatfishing a worm/red maggots cocktail on strong tackle. He also landed two nice mirror carp. Sean Hinchliffe caught a big bream of 5lb 14oz on floatfished maggots. Lots of rudd and perch have also been caught plus more carp and bream. Catches have been best in warm dull overcast conditions or in the evening. The pond is open to both season and day ticket members.
16/06/2021 Members Lagoon fishing well
Since the start of June our Members Lagoon coarse fishery, just east of Ben Rhydding, has been looking great and fishing well. Carp, rudd, roach, perch and chub have been caught, plus big bream seen and lost off the hook. So far the big tench have not shown up but these are usually caught from early-July to late-September. It is likely to be worth fishing there right up to the first proper frosts of the winter. Despite its name the pond is also open to day ticket members and to the guests of members (who are present fishing with them).
07/02/2021 Good recent grayling sport
During lockdown 3 some of our members have been making good use of our river stretch. Peter Wild is over 80 and has so far caught 44 grayling from our stretch this winter and club Secretary Dave Martin has caught 15 in the last month. Worm and maggot have proved successful baits but even our some of our fly fishing members have reported a few good catches. The grayling season ends on 14th March.
11/10/2020 Autumn 2020 Newsletter
Click here for Autumn 2020 Newsletter - fishing update, details of virtual AGM and working party dates
30/09/2020 Member's Lagoon catches
The pond has been looking great this summer and has produced some good catches through August and September. A number of the recently stocked carp were caught, mostly by committee member Sean Hinchliffe on floatfished bread. As you can see from the pictures they are bonnie fish, with the biggest so far caught weighing 6lb 10oz. Bigger ones have been spotted and it is quite possible that next summer will see fish of over 10lbs caught. A few good sized bream were also caught. On 29th September club Secretary Dave Martin landed one of 5lb 12oz.. There have also been a couple of decent catches of perch. One of the perch catches and one of the bream were caught on fly fishing tactics by club Chairman Vernon Manville. The pond will probably still be worth fishing until the first frosts arrive.
See Gallery for pictures with more detail
Mirror Carp Stocking at the Member's Lagoon
Thirty carp of mixed sizes upto around 5lbs have just been stocked. The pond used to contain carp, some of which grew to nearly 20lbs, but gradually over a period of many years their numbers dwindled.On the morning og the stockng five good sized bream were spotted cruising on the surface and some small chub have been seen and caught recently. Large amounts of lilies have been removed over the summer and there are now a dozen easily fishable swims.
Another restocking of the Members Lagoon
This morning 22 Bream upto 3lbs and 200 Roach upto 12oz were stocked. These add to the restockings of twelve months ago which included Tench upto over 4lbs, Rudd to about 1lb 8oz and a few hundred Roach. These all add to the long standing stock of sizeable Tench, a few 5lb+ Bream and lots of Perch and Roach.
Following recent flooding the pond will not be fishable until after Easter but usually the best fishing is during the summer months. So plan to be fishing there from May onwards.
More improvements at our Members Lagoon site
After a re-stocking last March with big Tench, Rudd and Roach we are shortly to stock some sizeable Bream plus more Roach. As well as improving the fishing the club is also very keen to enhance the natural environment of the 8.6 acre club-owned site. An additional four ‘floating islands’ have just been deployed to add to the three already there (which were funded by a grant from Ilkley Round Table). Planted with yellow flag iris and other water-loving plants these provide safe habitats for water birds and aquatic invertebrates as well as shelter for fish. The local mallards especially seem to like them.
A round-the-pond walk has recently been created and litter (blown from the adjacent Ilkley Grammar School playing fields) is regularly cleared. It is planned to add further enhancements to the site during 2020 such as bird nesting boxes and more waterside plants such as reed mace. More lily roots will be removed in order to enable more sunlight to reach the lake bed and to create more easily fishable swims.
Ten volunteers turned up at our working party on 25th January and, as well as achieving a lot, good fun was had by all. Contact the club secretary Dave Martin (via the website) if you'd like to be told the dates of future working parties.
Big Brownie from the river
Ex club Chairman/Secretary Barry Moore caught this lovely Trout of 3lb 14oz from the river up near to the Riverside Hotel. It is his largest ever from the river and gave him a very strong fight.
Another nice Tench from the Members Lagoon
Committee member Sean Hinchliffe caught this lovely fish of 3lb 14oz. It was caught at 11am on a floatfished double red maggots bait. Unfortunately Sean also lost another Tench.
Big Bream wins Barker Cup match
The Barker Cup has been fished for annually by club members for over 50 years. This year’s match was fished on the Members Lagoon and was won by club President Steve Fairbourn with a Bream weighing an excellent 5lb 5oz. It took a worm and maggot cocktail bait. Perch made up the rest of the catches. A nice Tench was caught a couple of days before the match.
Perch showing at the Members Lagoon
Plenty of Perch are currently being caught with the biggest being this 1lb 10oz fish Dave Martin landed on a single red maggot bait floatfished on a size 20 hook. Tench have also been active.
Tench caught from the club's Members Lagoon
Club Secretary Dave Martin landed this 3lb 8oz Tench on a double red maggots bait floatfished in a swim on the river side bank. Tench were active in the swim with Bream visible further out. The pond is looking particularly good at the moment so members are encouraged to fish it over the summer and to report back on their catches.
Member's Laggon Working Party Dates
All welcome - meet at the Members Lagoon 6th July, 10th August and 7th September.
Rudd caught from the club's Members Lagoon
Club Secretary Dave Martin caught a 1lb 2oz Rudd on a floatfished red maggots bait and also lost a much bigger one at the net. Two large Bream were spotted cruising near the surface, Roach topping and Tench bubbling
Artificial Islands in the Members Lagoon
The Ilkley Angling Club recently embarked on a project to build and install a number of floating islands at the Members Pond. These islands, easily and cheaply constructed using simple hand tools from a mixture of readily available materials, including recycled plastic bottles and milk jugs, are planted with a variety of semi-aquatic species of native vegetation. Anchored in the lake, they provide significant boosts to water quality and biodiversity, providing additional habitat for aquatic plants and insects, as well as shade and cover for juvenile and adult fish. Two islands were completed and installed during the 18 May 2019 working party, with a third now ready for planting. The club will be closely monitoring their evolution over the remainder of the season, and if successful, we hope to install three more next year.
30th March - Ponds, 14th April - River, 4th May - Ponds & 18th May - Ponds - all 10am to 1pm'ish. Meet other members and committee members... If the weather forecast looks bad check with Steve Fairbourn 07515 350929 or David Martin 07544 911441
Big Tench caught from the club's Roadside Lagoon
Club Secretary Dave Martin caught a 4lb 14oz Tench on a small worms bait floatfished in the margins over a little light groundbait.
More good Tench from the Members Pond
Club Secretary Dave Martin had another good short evening session on the Members Pond. Fishing two floatfishing rods he landed two Tench of 4lb 0oz and 3lb 3oz on sweetcorn bait and five small Perch on worm.
Over the past year huge amounts of lilies have been removed from the pond in order to create more fishable swims and this work is continuing. And as had been hoped the fishing has improved too.
For more information see the Data Protection Policy
Fishing improves in the Member's Pond
The Tench in both of our ponds have been very active during June and July with good sized Carp and Bream also spotted. Club Secretary Dave Martin caught this Tench of 2lb 12oz on floatfished double red maggots from the Members Pond during a recent evening session .
Skipton Angling Association partnership
As from 25th March 2018 Ilkley AA members have access to fish the excellent waters of Skipton AA and in return their members can fish our waters. This is for a maximum of two members per day who must book in to fish at least 24 hours ahead of fishing. For more information see Ilkley AA Skipton AA 2018.
Member's Pond Improvement Project
Starting on 25th September contractors will be working at the pond to remove around one third of the surface area of lilies by removing their roots.... for more information see the August 2017 Newsletter
Working Party dates
19th August, 2nd September and 30th September. All three are from 10am onwards and will be at our Members Pond. Please confirm attendance with Club Secretary - occasionally parties have to be cancelled due to bad weather.
Another very big Trout from the Ilkley AA stretch
On 12th March member Bernie Ireland caught a wild Brown Trout weighed at 4lb 4oz from the Ilkley AA stretch while Grayling fishing. Fishing nearby Trevor Smith caught seven Grayling. On 14th March club Secretary David Martin ended his season with an afternoon catch of four Grayling and two Chub. The Trout season starts on 25th March. No fishing on the river until then and no maggots to be used until 16th June.
Large Trout caught in Ilkley
Member David Hobbins this afternoon caught a very big Trout from the Ilkley AA stretch while Grayling fishing. Club Secretary David Martin just happened to be passing by walking his dog when he noticed the bent rod. So he assisted by netting, measuring, weighing, photographing and carefully returning the stunning fish. It measured 21.5" from fork of tail to point of head and weighed exactly 4lbs. David Hopkins did catch two Grayling but none as big as the Trout!
Good Chub catch at llkley
Club Secretary Dave Martin, a keen fly and bait angler, caught three Chub averaging over 3lbs. Legered bread was the successful method. Chub approaching 5lbs have been caught at Ilkley in recent years.
Excellent match catch of Grayling
Today Trevor Smith, pegged next to the main road bridge landed 14 Grayling for a total weight of 10lb 4oz. He also caught Trout, including one estimated at 4lbs.
Ilkley AA parter with Wetherby & District Angling Club
From 25th March 2017 members of Ilkley AA can fish the River Wharfe stretches at Collingham and Wetherby controlled by Wetherby & District AC. Their stretch has excellent fishing for Trout, Grayling, Chub and Dace as well as many other coarse fish species including Barbel, Perch and Pike. Full details will be sent out to members on renewing their membership for the 2017/18 season.
Ilkley - a UK top game fishery
The November edition of ‘Trout & Salmon’ magazine contained a 48 page booklet entitled ‘Top Game Fisheries 2017’. In it it said that ‘The River Wharfe is possibly Yorkshire’s finest angling river‘, and the Ilkley AA stretch was one of only three lengths of the river specifically given a mention.
Catches from the Members Pond
The Members Pond has recently been producing Tench, Roach and Perch and the Roadside Pond Roach and Perch with big carp spotted. Floatfished maggots and small worms have been the best tactics/baits in both ponds.
Carry on Grayling fishing!
Despite the recent big floods Ilkley AA members have been out recently catching some excellent Grayling from our club river stretch. Worm trotted from a centre-pin reel has been the most successful technique. The two very big floods were on 15th November and 26th December, both peaking at Ilkley at over 10 feet above the normal river level.
On 21st December club Secretary Dave Martin fished our club stretch with top junior member Charlie Sykes. Charlie was immediately into fish and the one in the photo was at least 1lb 8oz if not 1lb 10oz.
On New Year's Eve our club Membership Secretary Peter Conner and Dave Martin caught some nice Grayling from our stretch of the Wharfe. But the picture of Peter shows him with a 1lb 8oz (weighed) Grayling caught from the River Aire near Skipton on 17th December.
On 8th January Dave Martin fished on his own for just over an hour and the photo is of his largest of a five fish catch from by the Riverside Hotel. Measured at 42.5cm it may have been a 1lb 12oz fish.
All these sessions were just short afternoon sessions of no more than three hours. So to plan a trip to the river check the river level at Ilkley on the Environment Agency website and the weather forecast for Ilkley on the Met Office website and get out Grayling fishing.
The last day of the Grayling season is 14th March and then the first day of the Trout season is 25th March.
Season memberships and day permits are available for the excellent club stretch at Ilkley.
Lily Pull at Members Pond, Ilkley
A successful day. Thanks to all who took part. For more pictures and information have a look at the Ilkley Balsam Bashers facebook page
Tench Catches from Members Pond
Four Tench of 3lb 11oz, 2lbs, 1lb 4oz and 1lb plus one Roach have been caught by David Martin from the Members Pond. The fish were caught on floatfished double red maggot. This is a promising sign, following improvement to the water quality and much work by vounteers helping to clear swims of water lilies.
News of access to additional waters
Agreements in place with Bingley AC and Knaresbrough Picatorials via shared ticket / exchange schemes. See articles for more information.
Amazing grayling catches in winter matches
288 Grayling caught during 6 winter matches with 3 matches still to be fished.
Grayling Sport Just Keeps on Getting Better
In Sunday morning's Ilkley AA match the top four anglers landed 58 Grayling with fish to 1lb 8oz. Winner was club Bailiff Dave Armstrong with 26 Grayling for a total weight of 9lb 9oz. Note that keepnets are only allowed on the river in organised club matches.
Superb Grayling Sport at Ilkely
The river at Ilkley has been fishing very well for Grayling this last few weeks - better than for many years. Many anglers are catching 10-20 Grayling in a day with individual fishing having been landed up to 2lbs. On Sunday 18th January in cold snowy conditions Martin and Jim from Knaresborough caught over 40 Grayling. Martin reported 'Thanks for pointing us in the right direction today, we enjoyed fishing your stretch of river. In total I had 16 grayling and 12 trout. Jim had even more, probably 35 fish, mostly grayling. He did particularly well at Crumwheel where he must have had close to 20 grayling. I had my best sport on the filter beds length. I saved my best fish till the last cast of the day when I had the 1lb 6oz grayling in the picture on a worm from the steps by the Riverside Hotel. We didn’t fish all that hard and we packed up for a pint at 3:30 so no doubt we could have caught even more. The stretch is obviously full of fish.
Fish Stocking on Member's Pond
A new lease of life is in store for the Member's Pond as our new fish stocks arrived on Monday 15th December.
Environment Agency officer David Morley was ably assisted club member Gary and President Steve Fairbourn when he delivered 250 bream and 100 tench. Unloading went well and the fish swam off happily to explore their new domain
Ilkley AA November 2014 Newsletter Published
Review of Ilkley AA River Wharfe from a recent new member
'I live 30 miles north of London and, having recently semi-retired, I was looking for some water to refine my fly fishing skills for both trout and grayling. I have always loved the look of the river Wharfe and last November I spent a day with Ilkley AA Secretary Dave Martin to learn about the river. I had such an enjoyable day that this year I joined the club. I now go up and spend a couple of nights at a hotel, fishing the first afternoon, all the next day, then the morning of the third day. The river is a mixture of shallow rapids and calmer flows, deeper fast water and slower deep pools, so there is plenty of scope for all kinds of fly fishing. There is a good hatch of flies so dry fly fishing is always productive, even into November, and plenty of opportunities for using nymphs and spiders. Later in the year trotting with an avon float with a small worm was also highly productive. Most fish I have caught are between 6-10 inches, though I have caught a number of both trout and grayling up to 14 inches. On light tackle they provide good sport and all the fish are in beautiful condition. For £11 a day it is excellent value for money, though club membership gives you much more flexibility if you plan to go there a few times.'
Top fishing on the Wharfe at Ilkley
The fishing at Ilkley throughout November has been excellent. Our club balifff Dave Armstrong reports that both fly fishers and bait fishes have been having consistently good catches. Up to 15 grayling a session have been landed by both club members and day ticket fishers with fish of up to 2lbs landed. Large numbers of out-of-season wild brown trout have also been caught, including some big fish. A combination of mild weather and ideal river levels have led to this high quality of sport. There are still flies on the water and rising fish. So make the most of it and get out there fishing before the weather turns cold. But even in cold conditions maggot and worm will catch lots of grayling by trotting or swim-feeder tactics.
Coarse fish continue to show on the Wharfe
Roach and Eels are being caught on the Wharfe from Beanlands via trotting and block feeder techniques.
Coarse fishing improving at Roadside Lagoon
Reports are coming through from Verne Manville and Eric Roberts of Pike catches in the Roadside Lagoon - see the Gallery for pictures.
David Martin reports Roach and Perch up to 4oz and suspicions of Carp or Tench feeding further down. The fishing is likely to improve if more anglers are able fish the water.
Discoloration of River Wharfe
Some members have noticed and reported discoloration of the river over the last couple of weeks. The Environment Agency have said that it is due to a land slip at Kettlewell resulting from a heavy storm. The agency has tested oxygen levels and say there is nothing to be concerned about. Steve Fairbourn has also completed some invertebrate river samples and reports that everything is as normal.
News of Roach catches on the river
Member Edd Connolly has reported catching two Roach off Beanlands island. The Club would be interested to know of any other catches. The photo supplied is of the smaller fish. The fish were taken on different dates.
Successful day on the river for Mike and Robert on the river
Member Mike Shaw and his son Robert fished at Ilkley yesterday and had a great day. Mike is an experienced river fly fisher but Robert had never fished rivers. David Martin was on hand to help him with some fly fishing techniques. Pictures in the Gallery
Brian Featherstone Memorial Cup
Trevor Smith - Champion
David Armstrong - Runner Up
Great day on the river for junior member Charlie
Junior member Charlie Sykes had an excellent day Grayling fishing on the Ilkley AA stretch on Monday 3rd March. With bait and fishing tips provided by club Secretary Dave Martin.
• A beautifully sunny still spring day. River fairly high and fast flowing, but not at all muddy.
• Float fished and quiver-tip swimfeedered red maggots.
• Caught best Grayling (2lb’ish) on float and best Trout (3lb’ish) on swimfeeder.
• Rod in at 10.15am, a few moves of location, rod out at 16.20pm.
• Total catch 6 Grayling + 16 Trout, including a number of Grayling and Trout over 1lb and a number of other fish lost. All in very good condition.
• A memorable day for Charlie, his mum Helen and club Secretary Dave.
• It just goes to show what an excellent stock of wild Grayling and Trout there is on the Ilkley stretch.
December Working Party Report
Working parties prior to Christmas concentrated on the Members' Pond, where the water lilies have become something of an infestation. The recommended way of removing them with a minimal use of weedkiller is to uproot the tubers from which the visible plants sprout. This is an arduous and time-consuming task without heavy machinery but contractors using amphibious equipment to root out the plants have quoted a minimum daily rate of £1000, which is unaffordable. So teams of doughty members and volunteers have been doing it the hard way, one swim at a time. Although this is a laborious means of eradication, it is also less traumatic to fish and not harmful to the ecology of the pond. Pictures in the Gallery
Working Party Dates
Vital work to maintain the angling environment on our stretch of the river and still waters
Monday 30th - Member's Pond
Saturday 18th - Member's Pond
Saturday 1st - Member's Pond
Saturday 15th - River
Saturday 1st - River
Sunday 16th - River
Saturday 29th - Roadside Lagoon
Saturday 12th - Roadside Lagoon
Saturday 26th - Roadside Lagoon
Note that if the river is in spate then the working party venue will switch to the ponds.
Ilkley AA Autumn 2013 Newsletter published
Free coaching for new senior and junior members
David Martin is kindly offering free coaching to junior members and prospective senior members. Click here for some pictures of junior member Brodie.
Also please see the link to a recent edition of the Hardy Greys e-magazine regarding the importance of introducing young anglers to the sport.
Invasive Plant Tracking / Reporting App
Invasive non-native plant species are a threat to native wildlife in the UK. Help to track then down by report via the website or mobile phone app.
Water condition improving at Members Pond
Water conditions at the Members pond are frequently monitored and seems to be improving. This is reflected by a good sized chub caught by Steve Fairbourn late on Friday afternoon - 18th October.
Working Parties dates on Ilkley waters
The following dates have been agreed for work at the Ilkley ponds. This is very important work from both a conservation and angling viewpoint. Please come and help if you can spare the time. Friends and family welcome. Meet at 10:00 with a view to working until 13:00 or later.
22 June - pond, balsam and weed clearing
6 July - pond, balsam and weed clearing
20 July - river, balsam bashing (meet suspension bridge)
5lb trout caught...
by member Colin Molyneux on a de-barbed Orange &
Partridge near the Riverside pub in Ilkley. Colin estimated it at 26 inches and around 5lb in weight. It was returned safely to the river. See Gallery for picture and further details
Improvements to Roadside Lagoon
The recent working party has made significant improvements to make better access to the swims and to make the swims wider and more easily fishable.
Grayling 2lb 0oz caught during winter match 13/1/2013
Angling Club President keeps an eye on the health of the River Wharfe (Article)
River Report Ilkley, from Rich Tong 9th April 2012 (Report)
War on Balsam Days Sat 26th May and Sat 30th June, Suspension Bridge 10:00 (War on Balsam)
Riverfly Partnership Sping Newsletter (Spring RP News)
March Newsletter published(March2012.pdf)
Flies and Fly Fishing on the Wharfe at Ilkley
An article by Richard Tong Click here
River Wharfe Riverfly Courses 2012
Places available on the full AMI course on the Saturday 28thApril 2012. Click here for details
Ilkley Sewage Treatment Upgrade
5 months work from 14th November so should be complete by mid-April Yorkshire Water Press Release
New Pictures of latest catches and emerging Grannom Gallery
Member's Lagoon Carp to 6lb 10oz and Bream to 5lb 12oz Sep 2020
Mirror Carp stocking at Member's Pond
Fish Stocking February 2020
Working Party January 2020
Barry Moore Brown Trout 3lb 14oz
Sean Hinchliffe Tench 3lb 14oz
Member's pond Bream 5lb 5oz
Members pond Perch 1lb10oz
D Martin Tench 3lb 80z
Dave Martin Rudd 1lb 2oz
Roadside Lagoon tench 4lb 14oz
2lb 12oz tench from the Members Pond
David Hobbins 4lb Trout
Members Pond Tench of 3lb 4oz, 2lb 3oz and 1lb 10oz
Pete Connor and Chris Sykes'
Grayling both fish around 1lb 8oz
David Martin Grayling approx 1lb 12oz
The Members' Pond Lily Pull
Courtesy of Eddie Wilkinson
Members' Pond Tench September 2015
Dave Armstron winning catch 25/1/15
Fish Stocking - Member's Pond
Eel (Eric Roberts)
Roadside Lagoon Pike (Eric Roberts)
Clearing lilies in dry suits
Edd Connolly Roach from River Wharfe
One of Charlie's many fish
Bailiff Dave Armstrong's caught a big one
Operation Water Lily
Brodie - during free coaching 16/11/2013
Chub caught by Steve Fairbourn at members pond 18/10/13