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.

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 kindly provided the following reports:

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 also 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

  15th July 2015  Isle Beck Below the A19 Bridge

I decided to grab a few hours on Isle Beck below the A19, I haven't fished it much this season and it can turn up some surprisingly large fish. If I fish below the A19 bridge I like to start four fields down, but I couldn't resist a quick cast at one of the pools where we dropped some stock fish in last week. Sure enough a couple of casts was all it took before a 12 inch stockie grabbed the size 14 Adams Parachute. He was safely returned and I started on the trek down the fields. This proved a bit difficult as the grass and weeds on the bankside are quite high and made walking difficult. Having got through the first two fields I then found a field of wheat right up to the river corridor and could only make slow progress down the edge of the wheat. The fourth field is full of potatoes so I made better progress down the side of the field to the little copse where I like to start. Even with breathable waders I was already fairly warm and with a clear sky and no breeze it was clearly going to be a hot day. I didn't get a rise in the first pool (which was disappointing as I always expect to catch at least one fish there) or the second and this carried on for some time before I gave up on the Adams and tried a mayfly as I could see several drifting down stream. This did the trick and a good wild trout was caught and returned. The mayfly produced no more takes so when I reached the big deep pool I tied on a copper head nymph on a 2 foot tippet below the mayfly and this did the trick first an 11 inch wild trout then a 7 inch. Then I hooked something much bigger which managed to throw the hook – I'm fairly sure it was a big grayling as it didn't look a trout from the brief glimpse I saw of it. Next up from the same pool a nice little grayling of about 10 inches. Having landed these four fish the takes dried up so I moved on upstream. The Beck is so low I was actually able to wade along the side of the big pool without topping my chest waders – I've never managed that before in all the years I've fished that pool! Before I cast at the next pool I noticed a large Crayfish claw on the stream bed at my feet. As you can see from the photo it's huge for a crayfish claw and I wonder what ate him - an otter would be my guess. A couple of 8 inch trout obliged on the mayfly in the next pools and I was soon back at the deep pool below the A19 bridge, I was a bit pushed for time as I needed to pick up my grandson from school but had one last cast with the copperhead nymph fished New Zealand style and sure enough this produced another 12 inch stockie which again was safely returned. Not the best days fishing I've had below the A19 but enough fish to make it interesting and more than enough overgrowth and branches and bushes over the stream to make the casting a real challenge. Anyone thinking of fishing it while it is so overgrown might be best to go no more than three fields down from the road bridge the pools on that beat are more open than further down and you will have more chance of not losing flies



  10th July 2015  Thirkleby Mill

I wasn’t going to fish again this week, but as I was close to Thirkleby after we restocked Stearsby and Isle Beck I thought I’d just nip up to the mill and grab a couple of hours. Thirkleby Beck was quite low and running very slowly, but I was off the mark after a couple of minutes with a 6 inch fish from the big pool on the bend. This was followed a couple of minutes later by another of the same size from the same pool. Then I missed a third fish from the pool but this was starting to be fun, but then everything went quite and it was over an hour before I landed my next trout – (also 6 inches). In between I’d lost a bigger fish from alongside the wall by the mill. I was looking forward to the pool just below the footbridge, my favourite trick on this pool is to cast from behind the fallen willow and catch a trout, but it was not to be, someone has dragged the tree out to the side of the Beck. Just to add to the fun half a willow has come down into the beck just above the footbridge, making casting to the lovely little pool above the bridge nearly impossible. It was 8:25 I’d only managed 3 fish but between restocking Stearsby and Isle Beck I felt I’d had enough for one day.



  8th July 2015  River Riccall

I’m back out again and decide to try the River Riccall as I haven’t fished it this season. The weather isn’t ideal it’s grey and cloudy, trying to rain and it’s a bit breezy. A breeze is always a problem on the Riccall because it’s narrow and overgrown and there are often tall reeds along its banks so accurate casting is essential and a breeze doesn’t help accuracy at all. Lately I’ve been using a DT2Floater with the 5 foot rod which is rated at AFTM #2/3 but today I opted for the DT3Floater as it will load quicker and being ever so slightly heavier it may not be affected quite so much by the breeze. I’ve also shortened my cast to barely 6 foot and this may help me cast into some fairly tight places and pickpocket little trout out. By the time I’ve walked down to the big hedge where our water starts it’s drizzling nicely so my confidence is pretty low, however a little trout latches onto the Adams Parachute on my second cast and I’m off the mark. Half an hour passes and I get a slightly better trout and then another that’s even better and so it goes on little trout and not so little trout all seem keen to try the Adams. The rain passes over and the trout keep coming. After two hours I’ve had 8 fish which I’m pretty pleased with, but the fish keep coming. Despite the fact that it’s very overgrown and quite a few of the better deeper pools are unfishable I seem to be getting fish from almost every little run, riffle and pool that I can drop a fly into. By the time I am back to the bridge where I left the camper I’ve landed 25 trout I’ve probably missed a dozen others as well, but what a day - my best on the Riccall by far.




Read all of the 2015 Diary here: Kingfisher Diary 2015