Beaver Dyke – End of an Era


Game Over

For those of you who have had the pleasure of being a member of Yorkshire Anglers I’m sure you are by now aware of the sad end to our little retreat. In a way I’d already begun distancing myself from Beaver Dyke a while ago, to make the transition easier and only went up a couple of times this year. Even then I spent much of my time up on John O’Gaunts.

Well, morbid curiosity eventually got the better of me. I’ve been fishing Beaver Dyke for about 15 years or so and have many happy memories so the thought of my last visit being tarnished by seeing it in such a terrible state weighed heavy on me. Had to be done though, and let’s face it I have hundreds and hundreds of fact no a quick check tells me it’s over 2000…to fall back on for memories of happier times.

The usual path down to Happy Valley is now blocked off by the building site/portacabin setup so I cut down through the woods. There is basically nowt but a muddy puddle left and a sorry sight it is too. I wonder if they did manage to get all the fish out, I hope so. I also wonder how many hours I have spent fishing off this dam wall? Back when I smoked I used to love fishing off here for a while then sitting back with a cup of flask tea and a lovely fat hit of Amber Leaf whilst soaking up the sun and listening to the birdsong.

The ramparts have been built up for heavy machinery to move along the dam I assume, and you can just make out markings which seem to indicate where the structure will be breached.



No longer will I gaze out of the fishing hut whilst stuffing my fat face with the Holy Trinity of sandwich, crisps and chocolate bar.


Gotta say it doesn’t look so pretty now


I used to like pinging a fly out here. Never caught that many fish in this spot but it was part of the ritual and always worth a few casts just in case.  The reservoir was very low in the ‘before’ pic I have uploaded but the new vista is still shocking.




If you would like to know more about Yorkshire Water’s reasoning behind this money-saving endeavour then you can read their little spiel here. Interesting to here them say they “For five years we have been planning on how to undertake the decommissioning of Beaver Dyke reservoir”. I don’t think it ever stood a chance despite all our efforts to persuade them otherwise.



8 thoughts on “Beaver Dyke – End of an Era

  1. Smithers

    Enjoyed many a hung over Sunday there in the past , catching rays , drinking tea and chucking a line. Sad photos indeed , made to look even grimmer with the weather conditions . Had to cheer myself up reading about past Scottish fishing trips in said blog .

  2. Rich w

    Really sorry to find this has happened. What about the local biodiversity. Stuff has adapted to that large body of water being there. The invertebrates? the buzzers? The crayfish? the birds? The bats? I’ll stop there but the list is endless… Sad stuff. Rich W

    1. Bob Post author

      The biggest mystery was the white claw crayfish, or rather lack of. I’ve been fishing Beaver Dyke since about 1998 and we always found remains on the bank where herons/mink etc had caught and eaten one. Come the time when Yorkshire Water want to drain the reservoir, a process which couldn’t happen with the Crayfish living there…boom, they’ve all gone. They were our last hope really. I don’t know what happened to them. Yorkshire Water hired some (presumably) independent inspectors to survey the area and they found not one. The place used to be full of them!

  3. Bob B

    I was a member of Yorkshire Anglers and used to love going to Beaver Dyke. It was so relaxing, quiet and peaceful, saw deer, numerous species of birds and other wildlife. Didn’t catch a lot of fish – especially latterly (probably due to my ineptitude as a fly fisher), but that never seemed to worry me as the place was so perfect. It is sad that it will no longer be there. Still have the memories and the photos, but it is the end of an era. You can only hope that Yorkshire Water will be active in the recolonisation of the site as they say they have done elsewhere, but the local balance must inevitably be upset.

    1. Bob Post author

      Hi Bob

      It is a great shame, I’ve tried not to think about it too much otherwise it would depress me. On a more positive note though, we do still get to fish John O’Gaunts and there’s hope of access to another reservoir if Yorkshire Water are true to their word

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