A Guide to Angling in the Cotswolds
Among the delightful cafe culture and picturesque rural landscape, the Cotswolds contains many lakes and river systems, some of which provide magnificent trout fly fishing and other fishing opportunities in both stillwater and running water environments. Some Cotswold rivers have been compared to the rich chalk streams of Hampshire. These lush rivers provide a perfect, gentle habitat where plants, fish, crayfish, birds and mammals live and grow in abundance. The clear water and peaceful locations make the Cotswolds an ideal location to get away from the hustle and bustle… plus it’s only a 90 minute drive away from London.
Some locations and fish you may find...
Image: Bibury Trout Farm
Bibury Trout Farm
Once described as “the most beautiful village England”, Bibury Trout Farm is located near to Cirencester and covers 15 acres of the Coln Valley. Founded in 1902, up to six million trout spawn here every year and it is open from 8am every day. Note, there is no closed season for trout on stillwater!
Ashton Keynes Angling Club
Established in 1953, the club offers a versatile range of fishing in the Cotswold Water Park. In their largest lake, lake 32, there is an abundance of bream where their average size has increased to around 5lb in recent seasons. Alternatively their Thamesmead A lake has significant tench and bream populations, with some carp present that weigh up to 30lbs. Pike fishing is also popular in the autumn and winter.
Horseshoe Lake Fishery
Formerly a gravel pit, the 62-acre lake is renowned for the quality of its fish and is amongst the finest in the country. In fact, it is claimed there are several hundred specimen of carp in the lake, alongside other species such as bream, tench, roach and pike. Horseshoe Lake Fishery is situated at the northern fringe of the market town of Lechlade.
Many of the best fishing opportunities that exist in the southern Cotswolds centre around the Cotswold Water Park - a system consisting of over 70 lakes which were created over the past 50 years through gravel extraction and filled with water naturally when work paused in the early 1970s.
One great advantage of angling in the Cotswolds is that the above fishing establishments are closed waters and therefore you can fish all year round (there is no closed season). For river fishing (if you wish to fish on the River Coln), the trout season runs from 1st April to 30th September with Grayling being in season from 16th June to 14th March. (polarised sunglasses might want to be on your list in the summer with fish spotting).
The Cotswold offers fishers a choice to explore the beautiful rural landscape, whilst fishing for several species on both open and closed waters. Most organised fishing excursions cover rod licences and provide equipment hire, fishing tackle and other facilities to ensure you get the most out of your stay at the Cotswolds. From the 62-acre horseshoe lake to the chalk streams, there are two things that the Cotswold offers: variety and natural beauty.
Cotswold Journeys cater for groups up to 4 people with any ability on still or river locations. With access to several rivers and still waters around the Cotswolds, all tackle, flies, licences are included. Alternatively, fishing trips to any parts of the UK with licensed guides can be arranged including the celebrated chalk streams of the south of England (rivers Test, Itchen and others). Find out more here.