The River Skirfare is a
tributary of the River Wharfe in Wharfedale, entering the main river
near Kilnsey. The Skirfare is a challenging, clear river, for large,
trout. It is not a river for the inexperienced flyfisher, moreover,
it is a river to test your fly fishing presentation skills, your
casting, observation, fly selection and rivercraft.
The River Skirfare
is a short river, being only about 9 miles long from source to
where it meets the River Wharfe just above Kilnsey. It flows through
Littondale, a valley off Wharfedale heading north west to Pen-y-ghent,
the smallest of the famous Three Peaks.
Like many of the Yorkshire Dales rivers it is influenced by
limestone, making the water very rich in invertebrates and thus leading
to a fast growth rate of its fish. The Skirfare doesn't have such a
large population of trout, but they are of a high average size.
Fishing is centred around the tiny village of Arncliffe, the
original setting for Emmerdale Farm. Littondale is a picturesque valley,
very quiet and almost forgotten; most people just glance sideways as
they drive past the end of Littondale through the hugely more popular
Fly fishing on the River Skirfare is almost entirely dry fly to
sighted fish. This is not an imposed rule, just the way to fish such a
small, clear river, for the spookiest of trout!
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