NIDDERDALE ANGLING CLUB
Nidderdale Angling Club controls some 7 miles of mostly double bank fishing on the River Nidd for brown trout and grayling, centred around the lovely Yorkshire Dales village of Pateley Bridge. The club also has wild brown trout fishing available on Scar House Reservoir, located at the very head of Nidderdale. Nidderdale Angling Club was formed in 1897 by a group of local anglers in the Old Oak Inn, in the village of Low Laithe, near Pateley Bridge. Flyfishing and bait fishing (using float or ledger) are allowed on the club waters, although some areas are restricted to flyfishing only.
The River Nidd flows through Nidderdale - one of Yorkshire's most beautiful dales. The rain fed River Nidd has its source high up on Great Whernside and the surrounding fells, which separate Nidderdale from Wharfedale. The soil here is peat and this gives the River Nidd its characteristic "Yorkshire Bitter" colour. The river then flows through Angram and then Scar House Reservoirs' before quickly dropping lower into Nidderdale. The Nidd here is small, shallow and rocky. Further down the valley the River Nidd flows through Gouthwaite Reservoir, which is the only lake in England that has a wild population of grayling, however, the fishing here is in private hands.
For much of its length the river flows under a canopy of alder trees which provide a good source of terrestrial insects for the trout and grayling, and also prevent the aquatic flies from being blown away from the river. The River Nidd has excellent fly life with all the common rainfed river species present in good numbers, including Large Dark Olives, Blue Winged Olives, Medium Olives, July Dun and a good selection of stoneflies, sedges and midges. The River Nidd also has a very good hatch of Mayfly in late May/early June.
Rod/Reel - For flyfishing a rod from about 7' to 8½' would be about right. Rods above this length are not recommended because of the generally small size of the River Nidd and the many trees surrounding the river. Rods rated #3 to #5 would be most suitable, dependant on your preferred style of fishing, matched to a fine leader. Reels should be selected to match your chosen rod/line.
Flies - A great many flies work well on the River Nidd and your usual favourites will suffice. Among the best flies to use are North Country Spiders. All the usual favourites can be used with confidence, especially during a hatch of naturals. Probably the most outstanding spiders are the Waterhen Bloa, Snipe and Purple and Partridge and Orange.
At times nymph fishing can be deadly. Nymphs work particularly well in the faster sections and a good imitation of a natural nymph will always catch fish around the time of a hatch. Czech Nymphs can be useful, especially after the water level has been raised slightly by rain, and throughout the Autumn and Winter months for grayling. By far the best nymphs most of the time are those that contain something flashy in their dressing e.g. gold heads, copper heads, flashy ribs and hot spots. This is probably due to the slight tinge of peat colour that the Nidd always seems to carry.
The River Nidd is probably most famous for its dry fly fishing. The trout and Grayling can be found rising throughout the season from opening day to late Autumn/early Winter given suitable conditions and the trout and grayling can be caught on a wide variety of of dry imitations. The best approach, as with any dry fly fishing, is to match the hatch. This can at times mean going very small to match the abundant tiny midges and smuts of the River Nidd. Small CDC's, Black Gnats, Aphids are taken well, as is the well known Grey Duster.
"The Sweet William" is a dry fly devised by the late Norman Greenwood. Norman was a long term member of Nidderdale Angling Club and committee member. This is a fly he developed himself for fishing on Yorkshire's rivers, particularly the River Nidd. Click on the picture for tying instructions and Normans account of the fly.
Emergers work extremely well on the River Nidd. The famous Klinkhamer Special works as well on the Nidd as it does anywhere, especially in smaller sizes. The Klinkhamer will even bring up a deep lying grayling in the middle of winter with snow and ice on the ground.
Waders/Wading - Waders are recommended for fishing Nidderdale Angling club waters, either thigh or chest - whichever you prefer - but good felt soles with studs are essential to combat the slippery rocks which make up the bottom in most parts. The River Nidd hereabouts can be treacherous to wade with sudden drop offs, submerged large boulders and cobbles. You should take the utmost care when wading and using a wading staff is advisable.
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