A Guide To Fishing In Durham
It would be impossible to describe fishing in Durham adequately without mentioning the excellent Durham City Angling Club. Not only is it one of the region's fastest growing clubs; not only is its annual membership fee so low that it beats half a dozen 'commercial water' day tickets; not only do wives/partners and children under 16 go free, but it boasts some of the best freshwater angling venues in the county.
Game anglers will be in their element fishing for the hefty Sea Trout running the stretch of River Wear controlled by the club, which also provides a home for Brown Trout, Grayling and the occasional Salmon. Grayling levels look set to rise in the near future as the Environmental Agency recently stocked numerous stretches of the River Browney with this beautiful 'lady of the stream', a move which will improve the Wear's population too. Last season, mixed Dace and Chub catches taken from the Wear were averaging 140lbs.
In addition to the River Wear, the club runs the Brasside Complex with its specimen West Water Lake yielding excellent Carp (which regularly tip the scales at 26lb). The complex also includes canal-type match water and a wetland area designed to further encourage the flourishing local wildlife at the site. Brasside caters for all varieties of still water coarse fishing, and the East Lake and Backwater areas are ideal for pleasure anglers.
There's more to fishing in Durham than this, however. Like the Angel of the North Fishing Lakes set in 64 beautiful acres of farmland near Gateshead, for example.
There are two lakes Bowes, which hosts a superb range of Carp born and bred there over the last three years and spanning 2.5lbs to 15 lbs (although a monster specimen Carp of 31 lbs was hauled out in 2007), and the three-acre Lookout Lake.
The latter is home to a good variety of coarse fish, like Rudd, Roach, Bream, Tench,Perch and Carp. The lake is almost uniformly 7 feet in depth all around, although it can be 6 feet or so in places due to the undulating bottom.
One complete bank side is a wildlife sanctuary and a no fishing zone. Finally, there's the charming Bassett's Pond. This little third-of-an-acre pool is ideal for rookie anglers and families and is the most sheltered of the lakes. With a depth of 6 feet 6 inches, you'll easily catch some respectable Carp, Rudd and Tench there, along with some Golden Orff and Crucian Carp.
Those who prefer game fishing will not be disappointed by Durham. The Stone Lodge Trout Fishery in Derwent boasts a magnificent seven miles of bank for fly-fishing and another 3 miles for worm fishing, and there's a Lakeside Lodge.
Or you could try your hand at the West House Trout Lakes in Bishopton an angler's favourite, packed with rainbow and blue trout up to 12 lbs. Nearby; there's the serenely beautiful Horseshoe Lake (also in Bishopton), brimming with Bream, Roach and Carp. There's a lot more to Durham than historic buildings and a splendid Cathedral; fishing in Durham is an angler's dream.