Wykeham Lakes


This review was written a loooong time ago. More recent(ish) visits in the blog here:

RFF Splinter Cell – Wykeham Outing

and here http://yorkshireflyfishing.org.uk/2009/04/roundhay-flyfishers-2009-outing-to-wykeham-lakes/

The Wykeham Estate is a large rural estate located on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors. The fishery is made up of five gravel pits, two of which are trout waters stocked regularly with rainbow and brown trout.

The three other lakes provide a variety of coarse fishing and one of the lakes is a dedicated specimen pike lake.

wykeham lakes

I visited the fishery early on in the season on an outing with the Roundhay Fly Fishers, a club of which I am a member.

It was quite a cold and blustery morning when we arrived at the fishery after the long drive from Leeds. Upon arrival we were advised that intermediate lines and nymphs were the order of the day by fishery manager Angus Young. As I had never fished here before I decided to follow his advice and tackled up an intermediate line with a diawl bach on a fairly long leader.

I then proceeded to fish this at various depths and speeds without much success. A few of the other club memebrs were catching fish and montanas were the flies doing the damage, typically I didn’t have any of these in my box so I tied on something similar…. a black fritz!

Not at all similar to a montana but it was black and it was early season so I thought it was a good bet. After a couple of casts everything went tight and I was into a fish, luckily enough at the same time as I was talking to my Dad who proceeded to capture the moment on camera.

wykeham lakes

Wykeham is well renowned for its water clarity and it has to be said the water is absolutely gin clear which makes playing a fish all the more pleasurable as you can see all the action as it unfolds. After a good strong fight I landed one of the best looking rainbow trout I have ever seen. It was around 3 pounds and was shaped like a torpedo, a thick set and perfectly marked fish with perfect white tipped fins. This was the only fish of my morning session but it felt like it was worth five of the shabby stocked rainbows I have caught elsewhere.

wykeham lakes

The lodge at the fishery is a decent size and has plenty of comfy chairs. Around twelve of us fitted in for our lunch quite comfortably, over the course of which I gathered that I was lagging some way behind in the fish stakes, anglers out in the boats were catching lots of fish on orange nymphs fished almost vertically on sinking lines, which might as well be deep sea fishing but at this time of year any method that puts fish on the bank will do.

In the afternoon I tried fishing on the opposite side of the lake and by pure luck located what must have been a shoal of recently stocked fish, about five of us were lined up on the gravel bank getting take after take, even a driving wing and heavy rain didn’t stop the entertainment.

Some may call it ‘Stockie Bashing’ but I’m a novice at this sport and I was having a whale of a time, all of the fish were around 2 to 3lb and in top condition. This period of frenzied activity went on for around two hours, I didn’t even need to change my fly, all the fish I connected with took a fry imitation donated to me by one of the other club members. I have never caught anything on it since but it was an absolute killer on that day.

wykeham lakes

Towards mid afternoon I decided to take out one of the boats, which normally cost £10 a day but as we were visiting as a club ‘en masse’ it appeared to be a case of jumping in one whenever you fancied. To fish from the boats you need to attach yourself to one of the buoys dotted around the lake to hold you steady, something I found very difficult, much to the amusement of all those around me.

I’m not a great fan of boat fishing and my comical attempts at securing myself didn’t do anything to change my opinion, however the boats at Wykeham are in good condition and a couple of hours in a boat can break the day up nicely. Fishing a sinking line from the boat produced another two fish of around 3lbs, both of which fought like stink and did a good few laps around the boat.

wykeham lakes

In summary, I cannot recommend Wykeham strongly enough. Of all the fisheries I have visted whilst creating this website, this has to be one of the best. The surroundings alone make it a great fishery but it is the crystal clear water and top quality hard fighting fish that really set it apart from the rest. The only downside to the fishery is the quarry in the distance, the machinery is a bit of blot on the landscape but you can’t have it all.
I will definitely be paying the fishery a visit once the season is in full swing, an evening of dry fly sport here is probably the most fun you can have with your clothes on!

Wykeham lakes
North Yorkshire
YO 13 9QU
01723 863148

5 gravel pits lakes set in working quarry, two lakes are fly only with one
reserved for season ticket holders only. The review above refers to
the ‘trout water’ which can be fished with day tickets.

15 thoughts on “Wykeham Lakes

  1. admin

    You’ll have a top day out. Of all the fisheries we’ve been to, Wykeham is one of the best, so much so that I normally go there at least once a year, even though it’s a miles away from Leeds.

  2. alan

    went there on friday 25/5/12 what a rip of this fishery is £18 for one fish no catch and relise you must leave the water after your first fish or buy another £18 ticket ok thinks i lets have a sporting ticket at least you can fish all day yeh good idea but its £25 for a sporting ticket the bailiff explained he calculates that 20% of reliesed fish die due to bad angler handling and he would be out of pocket so £25 is a fair price and further to this there are lots of anglers who enjoy putting a £10 worth of petrol in there cars driving god knows how far and on catching the fish on there first 10 casts pack up and go home, yeah right i left the fishery and went else where caught a stunning 6 lb rainbow and reliesed 6 others. recomended no would i go again not a chance. I herd he is shutting it down next year and turning it into a caravan park with water sports so he is trying to get as much as he can before it shuts, that is only hear say i dont know if its true.

  3. Derek Pitman

    Wykeham Trout Lake closes at the end of September as the Manager leaves. The Dawnay Estate, the owners, cannot give a forescast at present of when or if it will reopen.

  4. Derek Pitman

    Re. my item of 26th September – all change! I visited today 29th September, and the Manager says that he hopes to keep the fishery open until Christmas. But that too, is liable to change subject to negotiations with the Dawnay Estate. So hope for the best. I have fished here on a season ticket for 16 years now and think that it is one of the best fisheries I have ever used. On this 7 acre lake, the water is gin clear, the fish (browns, rainbows and blues) are sometimes very difficult to catch in those conditions but are of prime quality and fight harder than most. As a measure of my esteem, may I tell you that I fish British Columbia each year and still look forward to coming back “home” to Wykeham. If I may update previous entries, the Trout Lake is the only “fly only” water now, The Causeway Lake previously referred to was closed several years ago.

  5. Spoony

    It’s about time this fisheries manager left the lakes now, overpriced and he has removed lots of the areas where fly species were rife on the banks. Eric one of the previous owners had the lakes looking prestine. How someone can turn the lakes from that quality into what is left in 5 years is beyond me. Also failed to mention in previous posts is that Pike fishermen are allowed to use the fly only lake through Late autumn and winter, who continually hog the banks making it very restricted for fly fisherman, especuially at the prices that are charged. Rip Off is all I can say about these lakes now compared to previous owners who had it.

  6. Bob

    Wow that’s a pretty negative report! Last time I went to Wykeham was Feb 2011 I think and I enjoyed my visit as ever. I fished for pike on the coarse lake then fished for trout on the fly lake but would have fly fished for pike on the trout lake if I’d known it was allowed on there! Are you saying that these pike anglers take up more bank space than a fly angler? Are they sat there with deadbaits or something?

  7. Rich Naylor

    Hi all. I visited the lakes way back in 2002 & it looked top class. I had a chat with someone who worked there & a local fishing for carp on one the the ‘funny’ shaped lakes. I´ve just been on AA route planner to have a look at the place & to plot my route from Filey (I´ll be holidaying there in Aug 2013) & to me it all looks very, very different to how I remember it. My question is, is it still open to the public & if so is it still any good there. I´ll be wanting to fish for carp & tench.

    Cheers Rich Naylor.

  8. Robert collins

    2nd biggest pike 43pounds 12 in the uk came from one of the lakes can you get a day ticket for pike fishing and what bait is the norm any one help dont want to travel all that way and be told no pike fishing. cheers Bob.

  9. Shane Turrell

    If you are planning a fishing trip to East Yorkshire come visit us at Starcarr Lakes, Brandesburton

    The lake complex is under new ownership and has been since March 2016

    The 3 acre coarse gravel pit has been transformed into a fantastic 23 peg bream, tench , carp and silvers venue with plentiful bags of 100 – 200lb caught through out the summer of 2016

    The small clay pit has been doubled in size and a true mixed coarse fishery with carp, big tench, Crucians big roach, ide, skimmers and perch plus a scattering of ornamental fish

    Day tickets £8.00, and is one of the cleanest and safest fisheries in the area – day ticket times 07:30! Till dusk

    The 4 acre trout fly lake in currently undergoing a full re-furb and will be re opening as a dedicated fly lake for the day ticket fly angler in spring 2017

    The trout lake also contains perch , pike, Rudd and big carp hat can be fished for on the fly
    Once the new pegs are complete brand new boats will also be purchased and available to hire to access the road side bank that isn’t assessable by foot

    And for the travelling angler we now have a very large and comfortable log cabin on site that will that will sleep upto 8 adults (4 twin bedrooms ) and give guests acces to the water from dawn to dust to get in the best feeding hours

    Call Shane at Starcarr Lakes in 07912 677302 or call in to see – you won’t believe how much had changed in 6 months

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *