A Guide To Fishing In Gloucestershire
Imagine casting a line into a gin-clear lake reflecting the gorgeous Cotswold Hills from its stunningly beautiful location at the base of a steep sided valley. To the south, a Nature Conservancy wood approaches the bank; to the east, breathtaking wooded slopes owned by the National Trust. An enchantingly wild common on the north and a stunning view of the Painswick Beacon to the West completes the scene.
This isn't make-believe, it's what fishing in Gloucestershire is all about. This is the vista, which will seep into your soul if you visit the magnificent Brook Farm Trout Fishery in Cranham.
These mature lakes were formed by damming the valley in two places and toady look every bit as natural as the unspoilt surrounding countryside. The lower lake is the larger of the two at two and a half acres, and beneath the smooth surface is sculpted with bars, shelves and holes. The average depth is about 5 feet but it can be up to eight.
The upper lake covers one acre and is predominantly deep water of between 8 and t12 feet in depth. But the Fishery's secret is the superb quality of the water, with both lakes been spring fed from limestone aquifiers. The farm has breeding its own unique strain of Rainbow Trout for more than a quarter of a century, fin-perfect and perfectly shaped. These fish look (and fight) like Sea Trout. There's also an excellent fishing lodge with all facilities, but fishing is limited to six rods a day.
Fishing in Gloucestershire will certainly not disappoint anglers seeking excellent Carp. The South Cerney Angling Club, for example, welcomes day anglers to its waters (and its fully licensed clubhouse) and presides over six lakes and three stretches of the River Thames at Kelmscott, Eysey and Duxford Farm.
The beautiful Ham Pool is fringed with lily pads and harbours an excellent stock of Bream, Carp, Crucians, Roach, Rudd, Tench, Perch and Pike, many of which are good specimens. Carp can weigh in at 40lbs, Pike in excess of 30lbs and Bream and Tench well into double figures. This large lake covers 8 acres and is around 12 feet deep, with many of the swims accessible by car. If Ham is large, the Main Lake at Wickwater is huge: covering 20 acres, home to some thumpingly big Carp (many weighing in at 40lbs), tench into double figures and plenty of Perch, Pike, Rudd and Roach, too.
We can also move from the huge to the positively gargantuan with Whitefriars Lake, easily the biggest in the Club at 90 acres. A former gravel pit, it has yielded some giant specimens of Bream but it also boasts a good stock of Carp, Tench, Pike, Roachand Perch.
These two venues give merely the briefest snapshot of what fishing in Gloucestershire is like. Virtually wherever you fish in the county, you'll be angling amidst stunning scenery and getting some of the UK's finest fishing in, too.