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

Latest Fishing Reports

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."

25th May 2015.  "Had a few hours on the Dove section yesterday, saw some very good size brownies 2-3lb, unfortunately none fell to my rod and line, difficult access in places but some nice pools along the stretch"

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

Please note: Even though everyone with an interest in the British countryside would like to see Signal Crayfish eradicated, 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 totally 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.

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.

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 is the latest entry of the new season 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


  14th May 2015  Stearsby & Isle Beck

   A red letter day by any standard.

I wanted to go to Stearsby to put some more record sheets in the Log book before going on to fish the Beck for the day. It seemed silly not to have a cast or two at Stearsby as I haven’t fished the lakes this year so I put a 9 footer in with the kit I was taking for the stream. I was at Stearsby by 10:15, sorted the log out and decided I would only fish for an hour or so. Stearsby is looking very good there is hardly any weed and there were fish rising everywhere. They ignored nymphs gold heads and buzzers, so I decided to try a black hopper just fished in the surface film and this did the trick in 20 minutes I landed two rainbows and a superb Brown of just over 2lbs. The tail on it was really good and it could almost have been a wildfish, so I’m a bit puzzled as to how it got in to the top lake. I’m fairly sure there are no fish of that quality in the feeder stream - perhaps it was a stockie and got mixed in with the rainbows at the last stocking? As I wanted a good session on the Beck I left after an hour and a half and headed through to Thirkleby where I grabbed a quick lunch in the van then tackled up and was ready to fish by quarter past one. I was trying a new DT2F line on my 5 foot rod, which is rated as #2/3. I had ordered a couple of these lines through Amazon but they were shipped direct from Japan. At just £7.99 each (!) I was not sure if they were going to be any good, but I needn’t have worried it was superb. Nice tight loops plenty of distance and pinpoint accuracy also floating nice and high with no apparent memory – the only downside (which was more the rod than the line?) was trying to cast a New Zealand Style setup – definitely not its best, but even so the first two trout I caught were on N Z rig with goldheads. The Beck itself is in good condition still quite high after last week’s rain, but clear and not too fast, ideal dry fly stuff and the next fish came to my favourite Adams Parachute. Then things went down hill for a bit, I had several fish rise but not actually take the fly in, then I had several that took the fly in very gently but were so lightly hooked they were off in seconds. It was all starting to get a bit frustrating. I was seeing a few uprights floating down the beck and decided to try a black parachute emerger and what a difference it made. The trout loved it they didn’t just rise, they engulfed the fly, absolutely hammering it and the fish just kept coming. For the next couple of hours I landed fish after fish after fish mostly in the 8-10 inch category. Fish this size are great fun in the confines of a narrow Beck and are lovely feisty little fish. I worked my way steadily upstream catching fish (and loosing a few) in almost every pool. I had to replace my fly three times as they were becoming so chewed the tying was falling off the hook. Fortunately I have plenty of these black parachutes in my box. By quarter to six I had reached the top of our beat and had caught and returned 22 wild browns. I’d been fishing four and a half hours in total but the last 19 trout came in just over two hours. It doesn’t get much better than that anywhere.



WILD TROUT TRUST Auction Lot 257 - A day on the Isle Beck System for one rod.
(Tall Waders and Short Rods essential!)

  6th May 2015  Isle Beck

The Beck was in need of rain, but I hadn’t wanted the really heavy rain we had got just before the winner of the 2015 WTT auction lot 257 a day on Isle Beck System came to fish. On the Tuesday 5th May, the day before he was due to fish, the Beck was high and fast and muddy, but looked like it might be beginning to drop. On the Wednesday morning I met Jonathan Cushnie at the Bridge and we peered over at the waters below. The Beck was still a bit high and a bit muddy but definitely beginning to settle I gave him the choice of returning on another day, but as he said he was here and the fish were wet already… I had hoped to go downstream of the A19 bridge but felt the Beck would be more “fisheable” up at Thirkleby, so we loaded his gear into the camper and drove up to the mill. Jonathan was soon tackled up with a 5 foot rod he had made up from various blanks and we walked down to our start point through a fine drizzle. This was not what I wanted but at least the beck here was a bit clearer and we could almost see the gravel bed in places! The first couple of pools failed to produce a rise, but the big bend pool did and soon a lovely little brown was heading towards the net, but heading was all he did as he slipped off the hook at the last minute! There were no more obvious rises so a change to Klink & Dink with an Olive Goldhead and a couple of casts later a 10 inch wild trout obliged and made it all the way into the net. A few more casts produced another take and another “early catch and release” as Jonathan put it…  We made our way upstream carefully trying all the likely places and a few unlikely ones trying to avoid the main flow of the beck which was still much faster than I would have liked, but didn’t land any more. At the chicken field I left Jonathan to fish while I nipped to the nearby Camper van to get some soup on for lunch. In the meantime Jonathan landed another 10 inch fish from just below the Mill house bridge and as the rain was picking up he came back to the van and joined me for lunch. Having a camper van does help with fishing to relax and sit down warm and dry for lunch is pleasant and prepares you for the afternoon to come. The rain shower passed over and refreshed with soup, sandwiches and porkpies we set off again. Jonathan started catching more fish as he got to grips with the joys of small stream fishing. Sometimes you stand to cast but quite often you need to kneel down or even sit on a convenient rock to cast!   Alternating between the New Zealand style nymphing with the olive goldhead and various parachute flies (and even using one of my reliable Adams for one fish) was producing more takes and as a bonus the weather was definitely improving. I’d moved my van up to the footbridge while Jonathan fished the last couple of pools and at 5 o’clock we stopped for a cup of tea and a sandwich in the van. Suitably refreshed we headed on upstream with Jonathan catching a fish or two and missing a few and in the main not getting too caught up in overhanging trees. It was really good to hear Jonathan appreciating every fish he caught, nothing huge but all in excellent condition and punching way above their weight and putting a very satisfying bend in his 5 foot rod. It wasn’t too long before we reached the Weir pool at the top of the YTAA waters. Switching back to NZ style Nymphing Jonathan had several takes and landed two more wild trout, not huge but perfect examples of small stream wild trout. It was just after 8 pm and had been quite a day in less than ideal conditions we’d seen a lot of Kingfishers and a dozen lovely trout had been landed (and a few had got the benefit of Jonathan's “early catch and release” !) so overall a pretty good result on what I hope was a day to remember.

Read all of the 2015 Diary here: Kingfisher Diary 2015