this weeks fishing trip took me to Coniston Hall Lake, which is just out side of Skipton in the Yorkshire Dales. the lake is 24 acres and has a boat house and a cabin where you can find life jackets and boat seats. As well as a picnic area for the summer days. while there are boats for hire you can also choose to bank fish if you wish to.
We set off from home at 7am, it was a very dull morning with a low fog over the hills. we arrived at Coniston at around 8:15am. when you arrive to fish at the lake, you have to go to the hotel reception to pay for your ticket then drive down to the boat house. as we were driving down the track past the stunning views, we could see quiet clearly fish rising all over the lake. we stepped out of the car only to hear the sound of the birds in the trees and the water splashing up against the boats, oh and the off sheep.
this trip saw me be on a boat on my own for the first time. with my dad having a friend with him. I thought it was great! I wouldn’t have to tie his flies on for him of land his fish. (sorry dad). when I got all my gear on and put my stuff in the boat I set my rod up. a floating line with a leader the length of my rod and a shipmans buzzer on the end. It was a shock to the system when we saw they were rowing boats, a little bit different to the ones you get a Rutland etc..! however we set out, I decided to go just opposite the boat house where I saw a few “decent” fish rise. my dad and his friend chose to row further down the lake.
I was sure that the fly I had on would work and with the fish still rising everywhere I looked I kept my faith in it. however cast after cast with no luck I decided it was time for a change of tactics. I put on a simple black buzzer with orange cheeks. I looked over to my dads boat and there he is fighting a fish. if you know me and my dad you’ll know the competition we have when we go fishing. seeing him with a tight line made me want to catch a fish even more!
so with me being 1-0 down it was about time something happened, and it did! I didn’t know much about it the fish took it aggressively and fought hard. when he was tired out and ready to net. I then realised what a beautiful fish I had caught. fully finned and spotty. 1-1.
after exploring the upper part of the lake I decided to venture to other side of the lake. after recovering from my gym session from rowing the boat across the lake I was ready to fish again. Keeping with the buzzer theme I changed colours to an olive buzzer. A few nibbles but nothing more I got more frustrated. whilst my dad and his friend were catching and losing fish all morning I thought to my self there must be something im doing wrong. But there wasn’t they were using the same technique as me and buzzers.
With no luck at this end of the lake it was time to jump back on the rowing machine and row back up to the top. the fish at Coniston are clearly not afraid of the boats, when I was rowing up (and im rubbish at rowing) I was splashing all over the place but the fish were still jumping all over just a couple of metres from my boat.
recovered from rowing up the lake I started fishing again. I was retrieving my fly when I had a couple of nibbles. the fish then took it and spit it back out, but a second later I hooked him. for a second I thought it was one of the wild brown trout that are resident at Coniston because this fish did not want to show their face. every time I went to pull my line in he headed for the bottom. but as the fish tired it was in fact another lovely strong rainbow.
only having enough time to fish until 1pm we had to call it a day, but we will be back at Coniston in a couple of weeks for more great fishing!
The Coniston Hotel
North Yorkshire BD23 4EB
Telephone 01756 748080