River Wharfe from Ilkley to
Ben Rhydding

Brief description of fishery:

The Ilkley AA stretch contains large stocks of grayling, these are located all along the stretch and run up to a maximum size of about two pounds.  Autumn and winter are the best seasons to target the grayling and the two most successful tactics are trotting with either maggots or small worms and swim-feeder legering maggots.  There are many swims along the stretch that suit these techniques.
Occasional big chub are caught from the stretch but few anglers target them. They are usually caught in the winter months from the slower flowing pools using legered bread, cheese or luncheon meat baits, with evening being the best time of day.
Dace, roach and gudgeon have all been caught from the stretch in the past but these are now not common.
Easy access to many swims via close parking locations and well made paths.
Grayling at Ilkley and the Grayling Society – A guide to the Grayling Fishing on the River Wharfe at Ilkley


New Brook Street, Ilkley, West Yorkshire LS29 8DQ

Access & Parking

At many locations along the Ilkley AA stretch it is possible to park for free within a very short distance of the river. Note that from 8am-6pm every day of the week there is a parking charge if you park on or close to the main New Brook Street bridge over the river although you can get a free one hour ticket. There is a free riverside car park adjacent to the Riverside Hotel (LS29 9EU).

There are a number of good places to park for free along the Denton Road on the north side of the river, including at the south east corner entrance to Middleton Woods; near to the old packhorse bridge and; next to the Ben Rhydding stepping stones



  • Dace
  • Eel
  • Grayling
  • Roach