Blacker's Art of Fly Making
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. Primarily a trout fishing association with the emphasis on fly fishing although 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 and the River Riccal at Harome.




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

AGM - 2016

The AGM was well attended and many thanks to all the memebers who turned out. The 2016 AGM Minutes (unapproved) may be read here. AGM Minutes 2016. Previous years can be found in the Archives.

Newsletter 2016

The 2016 Newletter is available to read here Newsletter 2016. Previous years can be found in the Archives.

Stearsby Notes

A monthly report on the fishing at Stearsby lakes. A detailed catch analysis, photo's and fishy musings. Click here to read.

Mick Dowson captured this beautiful Brownie at Stearsby in April.

The Kingfisher Diary 2016

The Kingfisher has started a new diary again as he resumes his never ending quest to catch two hundred trout in a season from the clubs becks and rivers. These diaries will be of interest to any angler with a love of the smaller waters so to follow this year's trials and tribulations Click here.

There has been quite some interest in the Kingfishers techniques so he has kindly agreed to reveal his methods in the new Kingfisher Hints & Tips section. Click here to read. Excellent information and well worth a look.

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.

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.

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.

Kingfisher Diary

  19th May 2016   Hosting the WTT Auction Lot Winner

YTAA have offered a day’s fishing in the Wild Trout Trust Auction for the last three years. I host the winner and provide lunch and generally act as Ghillie for the day. I arranged to meet Andrew, this year’s auction winner, at the A19 Bridge at 8:45. It was a fine day but there was a forecast of rain in the afternoon. Andrew was quickly tackled up and we headed off on a walk down stream.

I think Andrew had been looking at the YTAA website and was equipped with a Burns Built 6’ #2/3 rod and his cast included tippet rings and an Adams Parachute… this was encouraging. The first pool we tried was the one by the Copse and Farmers water pump, but this failed to produce a rise, but the next pool produced a lovely little trout and Andrew was off the mark.

Andrew settled into the fishing nicely picking up fish and really appreciating the feisty little browns that are the bread and butter of our beck. A good 10 inch fish from a big pool was a bonus and some careful casting produced three fish from the same pool. Between the fishing and the occasional excursion into foliage to retrieve flies we saw kingfishers and two small otters - one literally under our feet as we sat on the bank changing a fly. Andrew had taken his time fishing and lunch was later than planned and even then we hadn’t fished the last few hundred yards to the A19 Bridge…. After lunch we headed up to Thirkleby. Andrew switched to a 5 foot #2 glassfibre Hardy rod. This was put to good use and a nice 8 inch fish was soon landed and returned. I was intrigued by the Hardy rod and Andrew let me have a few casts, it is a real gem of a rod with a lovely soft action easy to cast and accurate, but I think it’s probably a bit slow an action for my style but clearly a great rod for confined spaces.

The drizzle that had been forecast for the afternoon finally arrived and gradually got heavier as we made our way upstream. Andrew picked up a few more trout by the time we reached the little footbridge but he needed to leave by 6:30 and the rain was now quite heavy so we called it a day. It had been a pretty good day. Andrew really appreciated the beck and had landed 17 trout all wild fish and thoroughly enjoyed his day. He lives in York and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see his name being added to the waiting list to join YTAA.

To read all of the 2016 diary Click here.