YORKSHIRE DALES FLY FISHING

FLY FISHING ON THE RIVER URE

The River Ure offers some exceptional fly fishing for trout and grayling. The River Ure rises in the hills above Hawes in Wensleydale and flows 45 miles to its confluence with the River Swale at Boroughbridge. The River Ure is unique among the main Yorkshire Dales rivers in that it does not share its name with the dale that it flows through e.g. the River Wharfe in Wharfedale and the River Nidd in Nidderdale, etc. The River Ure flows through Wensleydale and provides us with some fine fly fishing. I used to consider the River Ure one of the best trout and grayling rivers in Yorkshire, maybe the whole of England. It must be said that over recent years the quality of fly fishing on the River Ure has declined somewhat. Many reasons have been put forward for this decline. I don't think there is a single cause, rather, a combination of factors. Don't let this put you off, the River Ure still holds good stocks of brown trout and grayling, probably as good as other Yorkshire Dales rivers, but it is the huge grayling stocks that the Ure was once famous for that have declined. The River Ure held shoals of grayling to equal any river I have ever fished (possibly with the exception of the River San in Poland and, Kupa and Curak rivers in Croatia). It is these large shoals of grayling that appear to have declined in the last few years, but there are still good numbers of brown trout and grayling to be caught.

Fly fishing for trout and grayling on the River Ure is good right from the source of the river above Hawes, all the way downstream to Ripon. Much of the water downstream of Aysgarth Falls is private, belonging to clubs with waiting lists or syndicates, but there is fishing to be had on many prime stretches if you know where to go. I also fish the upper river, around Bainbridge and Hawes, which is one of my favourite places in the dales to fish. It is not a numbers river hereabouts, but it makes up for this with fish of a good average size, stunning scenery and relatively un-fished pools. I give fly fishing tuition and I offer a fly fishing guiding service on many beats of the River Ure

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The River Ure is a medium sized river with fantastic hatches of fly right through the season, but with particularly good hatches of large dark olive, yellow may dun, pale wateries, stoneflies and sedges. Fly fishing on the River Ure, 'matching the hatch', can be particularly rewarding, though not always easy! Dry fly fishing for grayling from early summer through until mid-winter is top class, with grayling reaching close to the magic 2lb weight. Small flies, such as midge imitations and small CDC flies are usually key to your success. Czech nymphing, (or bugging) is also a useful tactic when the water is carrying some colour, a method that the brown trout are fond of too.

The River Ure has 2 tributaries well worth fly fishing in Upper Wensleydale; the River Cover and the River Bain. Both these small rivers offer good fly fishing for wild brown trout. I have read that there are grayling in the Bain and Cover. I have caught very large grayling from the River Cover, but never caught or heard of any being caught from the River Bain. Chances are that you won't see another angler all day on these rivers.

River Ure Guiding & Fly Fishing Holidays

With much of the best fly fishing on the River Ure unavailable to day ticket visitors it is essential to have a guide who has access to these areas if you are to make the most of your visit to Wensleydale or fly fishing holiday. I can guide you on many of the very best stretches of the river that are well placed to provide good fly fishing whatever the conditions. A careful approach and rivercraft are needed on the 'smaller' upper Ure and I can help you with this. Some of my earliest exploits with a fly rod were in these parts and I know what is required to catch the sometimes difficult trout and grayling here.

Wensleydale is probably my favourite of the Yorkshire Dales. It does not quite equal the breathtaking beauty of Wharfedale or the contrasting landscapes of Nidderdale, but it does have that certain something that you can't put your finger on. A warm feeling that draws you back time and again. It is quieter than some of the other dales; the fact that it is further away from the bigger towns and cities of industrial Yorkshire must be a contributing factor in this. It does have all the characteristics of the other dales; the steep valley sides, evidence of the underlying limestone rock protruding through the fields and hills, sheep, meadows, disused stone barns... Maybe it is none of these things, maybe it is just the fisherman in me and the River Ure that draws me back?


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