View over Burnsall

" the finest stretch of river, fell and scenery in Yorkshire"

Fly Fishing in the Yorkshire Dales

Fly Fishing in the Yorkshire Dales

Go Fly Fishing UK provide guided days, fly fishing tuition and short breaks based in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales in the north of England.

We have our main north of England office in the heart of the Dales close to Skipton. Steve Rhodes, a Go Fly Fishing UK Director, has fished the Dales rivers and lakes for nearly 40 years and can provide second to none advice on the fishing, accommodations and other attractions of the area.

The limestone Rivers Wharfe (pictured above right) and Aire can be truly exceptional fly fishing rivers for trout and grayling and the Yorkshire Dales are blessed with many more excellent rivers such as the Ure, Ribble, Nidd and Swale. The Yorkshire Dales also has some superb stillwater fly fishing from stocked lakes and reservoirs to probably one the best wild brown trout fisheries in the UK (pictured above left). Many of these waters can also be fished from a boat.

Watch a video of fishing at The Red Lion:

The matchless beauty of the Dales countryside is a mix of landscapes - from the remote fells and moors, bare limestone scars, cliffs and gorges to the green hillsides and lush pastures of the Dales; from the unspoilt villages and historic market towns to the intricate pattern of dry stone walls.

The Yorkshire Dales are in easy reach of Manchester, Leeds and Bradford and a direct rail link from London to Skipton makes it easy to visit even from the south of England. Collection from Skipton station or Leeds/Bradford airport can be arranged.


A guided day or fly fishing lesson in the Yorkshire Dales starts from as little as £160 for one person.

Special hotel room rates

Mid week rate (Sun – Thurs): Red Lion from £115.00 B&B, Manor House from £75.00 B&B

What to expect

The Yorkshire Dales rivers are spate or what’s known in the US as freestone rivers and vary in level depending on the weather conditions, no two days are the same fishing on these rivers. Normally they are a series of runs, pools and glides and so offer a multitude of different types of water so demand many different fly fishing skills and methods. Much of the time the more "prospecting" style approach pays dividends, upstream dry or nymph, New Zealand style, spider fishing, high sticking and Czech nymphing are all techniques we use and can teach our customers. Learn the subtle techniques of line control, watercraft and method/fly selection./p>

Much of the "North Country" fly fishing traditions and techniques, particularly "spider" fishing were developed on the Yorkshire Dales rivers by past masters such as Pritt, Edmonds & Lee and Walbran to name but a few. Their writings rightly take their place in our angling lore and history. The flies and techniques they used are still used today to great effect and modern day masters such as Oliver Edwards continue to refine and develop the way we fly fish the Yorkshire Dales rivers.

Fly fishing lessons

Fly Fishing Lessons

Learn the art of fly fishing from a friendly qualified instructor (or give a fishing lesson as a gift).

Guided fly fishing

Guided Fly Fishing

We offer the very best in guided fly fishing days, often on exclusive river beats.

Fly fishing in Yorkshire

Fly Fishing in Yorkshire

We have an office in Yorkshire and our staff have a lifetime of fly fishing experience in the Dales.

Corporate Entertainment

Corporate Entertainment...

... business teambuilding, stag & club days. Good fun and instructive at super countryside locations.

Grayling Fishing

Grayling Fishing

Grayling fly fishing or long trotting days with the most experienced grayling fishing guides available.



The fishing extends from Barden Bridge to the stepping stones at Linton, a distance of some six and a half miles. It is mainly double bank and where it is single bank this is clearly signposted and the signing must be strictly followed. The level of the water below the River Dibb is usually higher than above it. The Dibb itself carries water from Grimwith Reservoir and may be coloured.

The nature of the fishing varies from shallow, gravelly runs and pools, especially in the Hebden area, to deeper parts and holes as a result of which care must be taken with wading and a staff is recommended. The club is not liable for any accident.

Tickets may be purchased from:

  • The Red Lion Hotel in Burnsall.


All anglers have their own favourites and some will fish better with a fly in which they have confidence rather than one which is deemed to be correct. Flies in vogue at the time of the Club's formation (1873) are still being tied today and in 1885 T.F.Pritt described flies which have changed little over the years. The history is traced in Les Magee's book 'Fly Fishing – The North Country Tradition'

River Wharfe, Burnsall

With modern materials the list of available flies has been extended and suggestions are:-

  • Wet: Waterhen Bloa, Spring Black, Snipe and Purple, Partridge and Orange
  • Dry: Ginger Quill, Klinkhamers, Small Sedges
  • Nymphs: Hares Ear, Shrimps, Bugs
  • Grayling: as above but also small bright flies on 18s or even smaller, such as Steel Blue, Red Tag or Iron Blue.


  • A ticket must be purchased before fishing.
  • All anglers must also possess a valid rod license and use only knotless landing net.
  • Fishing is only permitted with a proper fly rod, reel and line and with fly only – dry or wet. Hooks must be single, not be doubles or trebles or tandem and must not exceed size 12.
  • No more than 6 trout may be creeled in one day, thereafter only barbless or debarbed hooks may be used, and any fish caught must be returned.
  • Any angler intending to return all fish must use barbless or debarbed hooks.
  • All grayling must be returned.
  • Keep nets NOT are allowed.


The day ticket, when issued, contains a section for the day's return and this must be completed and returned to the address shown even if no fish have been taken. Dogs are not allowed on the river or river bank. Tickets must be produced to the water bailiff or Club members on demand. Always follow the country code, close all gates and leave no litter.

CHARGES (Subject to change)

  • Trout: £35 per day from 1 June – 30 September (excluding Saturdays and Sundays in June and September when visitors are not permitted to fish). £140 per week from 1 June – 30 September (including Saturdays and Sundays in June and September)
  • Grayling: £15 per day from 1 November – 31 January
  • Juveniles (under 18 years) Tickets are available at half price. Must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Club History

At the Rose & Crown, Ilkley, a special meeting of local anglers was held on 30 April 1873 and they formed the Burnsall Angling Club, now called the Appletreewick, Barden & Burnsall Angling Club. Many illustrious angling names have been members over the years. They include Sylvester Lister, a founder member whose remains lie at Bolton Abbey overlooking the Wharfe; Reg Righyni whose love of grayling was echoed in his book of that name and which contains several photographs of the Club's water. In 1994 Leslie Magee published 'Fly Fishing, The North Country Tradition', and the Club's waters are frequently referred to in a most interesting and delightful way.

The Club's aim is to provide quality trout and grayling fishing, consistent with it's historic traditions and compatible with the agricultural heritage if the area.

In addition to the River Wharfe, the Club maintains a large still water for members only and anyone wishing to become a member should contact:

Bryan Ayton, The Honourable Secretary Tel: 01756 791625 | Email:

For more information on fishing in the Yorkshire Dales, please visit or

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By The Bridge at Burnsall, near Skipton, N. Yorkshire, BD23 6BU
 |  Tel: 01756 720204  |  Fax: 01756 720292  |  Email:
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