York Tradesmen's Angling Association


Welcome to the York Tradesmen's Angling Association


The York Tradesmen's Angling Association (YTAA) is a long established angling club with records dating back some hundred years or so. The club operates over five becks and two still waters in North Yorkshire. Although primarily a trout fishing association, coarse fishing and bait fishing are also available. The association offers year round sport with grayling and pike fishing in the winter months. The two main fisheries are; the Isle Beck system in N. Yorkshire, where much of the fishing rights are owned by YTAA and still waters at Stearsby at the foot of the beautiful Hambleton Hills. Isle Beck offers fine wild trout sport, a mayfly hatch and a good head of naturally recruited wild fish. Stearsby is a lovely little secluded fishery offering quality still water fly fishing for rainbow trout. Wild trout fishing is also available on the River Dove at Kirkbymoorside.


Latest News and Reports


We do not have any vacancies at present but please contact the secretary if you wish to be added to our waiting list. Rob Sawdon at secretary@ytaa.co.uk

New Section - Stearsby Notes

This section will provide members with a monthly report on the fishing at Stearsby. A detailed catch analysis, photo's and fishy musings. Click here to read.

Newsletter 2015

The latest 2015 Newletter is available in the News Section. Click here to read.

AGM - 2015

This years AGM was well attended and many thanks to all the memebers who turned out. The 2015 AGM Minutes (unapproved) are available in the News Section. Click here to read.

Salmon and Seatrout Fishing.

A reminder that fishing for salmon and sea trout is available to YTAA anglers on the river South Esk in Angus. Click here to read more.

Thirkleby Otters

Wayne Laverack provided the following reports:

26th July 2015.  "Spent a couple of hours at the beck this morning and had a visitor at the 1st pool below the A19 bridge, video is a bit shaky but this little fellow was in no rush to leave, ran right past me then kept a close eye on me, even swam across the pool and I thought the fishing was over at that point, I took my eye off the fly to watch and suddenly I'm into a 8" brownie, it was over after that."

1st August 2015.  "Been back this morning (Sat) and saw another otter half way back up the second field where a tree has come down since we did the work parties, Peter will know the exact pool when I say there is an old metal (milk?) crate in the water just before the pool. Only saw 2 fish this morning but I'm delighted to say I caught one of them on a dry fly."

Wayne has also provided a short video which is now available on our new YouTube channel. Click here to watch.

Signal Crayfish

Unfortunately there has been an increase in the number of sightings of Signal Crayfish in the Isle Beck system. Members are reminded to report any further sightings to the secretary as this will allow us to better monitor the signal crayfish population in the fishery. If you are unsure what a signal crayfish looks like or want any more information then please visit the Signal Crayfish page.

Richard Barwick has provided the following report:

22nd May 2015.  "Had an early morning session on Isle Beck today and saw 2 rather large signal crayfish about 500 yards north of the bridge over the A19. I was surprised how quick they can swim backwards, thought I would share as the web site says we should report any findings, it's the first time I have seen them since I joined the club. Managed to winkle a few brownies out and saw good shoals of fry albeit not sure if they were minnow or trout. Good evidence of otters hopefully feeding on those darn crayfish."

Richard has posted a short video of his encounter with the Signal Crayfish on Youtube - Click here to watch.

Please note: It is illegal to remove Signal Crayfish without a licence from the Environment Agency. The purpose of this legislation is partly to prevent the cross contamination of waters. Once established Signal Crayfish are proving impossible to remove so the focus is currently on the prevention of their spread. Members are reminded that they should each be responsible for their own basic 'Bio Security' measures. After fishing, always thoroughly dry out all of your clothing and fishing tackle, especially your nets, before fishing again.

Rule change reminder

National byelaws restricting the killing of grayling were introduced in 2010 which state that:

"Anglers are prevented from taking any Grayling less than 30 cm fork length (to protect immature fish) and greater than 38 cm (trophy fish).i.e. 12-15".

The club rules have now been amended in line with the legislation and this supersedes the text in current membership cards.

The Kingfisher Diaries 2015 - Tales from the Riverbank


Back by popular demand, here are the latest entries of the 2015 diary. Will the 'Kingfisher' hit his target of 200 wild trout in a season ?

For previous rod-snapping and wader-filling adventures read the 2014 Diary here: Kingfisher Diary 2014


Well, the season has now closed on our rivers and becks - did the Kingfisher hit his target ? To find out read the whole 2015 Diary here: Kingfisher Diary 2015

  29th September 2015  Isle Beck

My last full day of Beck fishing as I know I will only get a short trip on the 30th, it’s a bit foggy but I’m hoping the sun will clear this quickly and I’ll get a good day in. It’s still a bit foggy by the time I get to the A19 bridge so I tackle up and then have a cup of coffee and a couple of Jaffa Cakes before I put my waders on to start fishing.

I want to fish between the A19 bridge and Arden Bridge but I give the big pool below the bridge a quick look but don’t connect with anything, so I head up under the bridge first run is too over grown for casting but the big pool produces a take to the Goldhead rig and a nice little grayling is duly netted and returned. I’ve set my leader with one of those 2mm rings on the first length of line so I can change quickly between a New Zealand rig with a goldhead nymph and a conventional rig with my much favoured Adams Parachute. As I make my way upstream it’s the NZ rig and goldhead that is producing the fish , I get a couple of small trout and then a better fish takes the dryfly on the NZ rig – this turns out to be a 13 inch stockie which is safely returned. I then get some beauties on the goldhead, 11, 15 and 10 inches all wild fish. A small wildtrout is followed by another good fish, 13 inches of very lively wild trout. There are a few more crack willows down over the beck and my progress upstream is slow but I’m catching fish and most of them are above average for the beck. I switched to the dry on one pool and get a cracking 15 inch wild fish which is safely returned. I get no more takes on the dry so switch back to the NZ rig and get a few more trout and another small grayling before I reach Arden Bridge. It’s only 4.30 so I walk quickly back down the lane to the van and drive up to Thirkleby Mill to grab an hour below the Mill. I wander down to the big pool and get a grayling on the goldhead first cast. This is followed by 3 small chub about 4 inches each and finally a small brown trout just under 6 inches. These all came from the same pool. I try a few more pools as I wade upstream but nothing is moving so I call it a day after just an hour.

It's been a good day warm sunny and with 13 trout, 3 grayling and 3 chub a pretty good day. It's a shame there are so many crack willows down over the Beck between the two bridges, we will have to tackle them before next season. I haven't fished this beat much this year but was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the trout I landed, really good wild browns well worth the effort.



  22nd September 2015  - The Worst of days or the Best of days?

A nice day for fishing and I am keen to trying and top up the number of Wild trout I’ve caught from the Becks this year. I keep thinking it should be possible to get 200 trout from the Becks in about 20 visits, I’ve come close to achieving this twice, but this season I am lagging behind on numbers. I decide to fish Cod Beck and Willow Beck (above Willow Bridge – below is a bit of a nightmare for casting!), not because I am confident of catching but I have only fished it once this year and it can be good fun it does hold some really good wild browns and there is always the chance of the odd grayling and chub. I manage to negotiate the plank bridge that crosses the ditch and make it up to the field despite a strange amount of soil erosion on the far side, half the bank has come away and it’s a steep stretch up to the far field. I am at the bottom of our beat and ready to start by 11 o’clock, and the first thing I notice is that there appears to have been a lot of flood water down Cod Beck recently the banks which are about 10 feet above normal water level are covered in mud and debris so it must have been an impressive amount of water coming down, but I can’t think of any very heavy rain in the last few weeks? Cod Beck itself is a good height and just slightly coloured, which should work in my favour.

The first couple of runs I try with the faithful Adams Parachute but nothing rises so I switch to an olive gold head fished New Zealand style below the Adams. The produces a firm take in the next run and a 9 inch grayling is landed photographed and released without moving my feet. A couple of minutes later and I get another grayling of similar size. The takes dry up and I change the gold head for one which has a red “hot spot” tied on the bend. This produces another grayling of similar size. This new gold head works wonders and every few minutes I connect with a grayling, I’ve landed 8 in just two hours but there is no sign of any trout. The next hour produces 6 more grayling, one of which took the Adams. I am really amazed that I have caught 14 grayling in just 2 hours I only got 13 in the whole of last season! There are a couple of willows across the Beck and getting out to go round them was interesting, the muddy bank is extremely slippery and I slide back into the beck and only just miss out going for a ducking.

Things slow down for a while and the next 2 hours produce three more grayling and a chub, plus I lost a couple of grayling before I could get them to the net, but still no sign of a trout! I have reached the junction with Willow Beck and decide not to fish this part of Willow Beck as it is just too overgrown. Instead I head back to the camper van for a rather late lunch. Lunch over I decide to try above the bridge to see if I can get a trout, I skip the first 300 yards as I don’t fancy the steep muddy slippery bank into deep water combination but get in past the trees and work slowly upstream catching nothing at all on the Adams Parachute. Eventually I switch back to the New Zealand rig to fish the deep pool below the field bridge. This produces two more chub. Then in the pool above the bridge a nice dace takes the dry fly and I decide to call it a day as it’s starting to rain.

A really strange day not a trout anywhere but 16 grayling, 3 chub and a dace, it is without doubt my best ever day for grayling on the Beck.

Read all of the 2015 Diary here: Kingfisher Diary 2015