Kirkby Stephen and District Angling Association controls some 9 miles of fishing on the River Eden with a further 4 miles on the River Belah and Scandal Beck. No stocking is carried out and all these waters offer fly fishing for wild brown trout amid beautiful scenery. To help maintain our stock of wild brown trout we encourage the use of barbless hooks and the safe return of all healthy fish. Membership is open to all and is free to those under 18. Day tickets are available. An additional benefit of being a KSDAA member is that you can also fish the waters of other local clubs via our Exchange Tickets scheme. Downloads: Map (upper) | Map (lower) | Rules
Our Pendragon stretch of the Eden is the uppermost stretch of water controlled by Kirkby Stephen and District Angling Association. It stretches from Pendragon Castle down to below Dalefoot. The river here is set amid remote and stunning scenery. It offers fly fishing for wild brown trout. These upper reaches of our fishing are rocky and uneven, with some very interesting water including many small waterfalls and deep pools. This part of the river has never been stocked and is rarely fished.
This stretch of the Eden is immediately below the Pendragon fishery. It extends from Stenkrith upstream to White Bracken and is fly only with no weekend fishing. There is a variety of water with many deep pools and runs, not all of which are easy to fish but it has, in the past, been very productive. This stretch is definitely not over-fished.
Stenkrith Park itself is very interesting and accessible where the river is confined to deep narrow channels cut into solid rock (Brockram). This stretch, especially the deep pool under the bridge, often contains a lot of salmon in late October and November as they cannot ascend the waterfall at the head of the pool. Trout, while plentiful, are mainly small. Below Stenkrith Park there is a variety of good water that is seldom fished. Technically we only have fishing on the far bank but the river is narrow and easily criss-crossed when wading.
This short stretch of the Eden begins a field above Frank's Bridge in Kirkby Stephen and stretches upstream for approximately 0.5km. The water is pretty featureless in parts but as recently as the 2005 season large trout, in excess of 3lb were reported. This water is also sometimes referred to as the 'Town Water'. The pictures below show access details to the upstream limit followed by pictures of the river down to the boundary fence at the lower limit.
This fishery stretches upstream from Eastfield Bridge. The upstream limit is the Flow Station adjacent to the Kirkby Stephen - Warcop road. There is plenty of good fly water upstream from the bridge, past the waterfall and beyond. Above the top bend the river is deep and slow flowing with trees and dense vegetation on both banks. The trees make the river difficult to fish and wading is necessary when conditions are appropriate.
This fishery stretches downstream from Eastfield Bridge to Beck Foot where Scandal Beck enters the River Eden. There is a fly-only section at the lower limit of this stretch. This fishery is composed mainly of fairly shallow sheltered runs. The large pool at the lower limit (Beckfoot Dub) is deep and slow flowing and contains a lot of fish of all sizes, including salmon in the autumn.
This short fishery is immediately above Blandswath Bridge on the Kirkby Stephen road. It is the true left-hand bank only. This fishery does contain some good trout but upstream of the first field the river is difficult to fish. There are nice slow and relatively deep glides.
This productive stretch of water stretches from Blandswath Bridge (Upper limit) to Great Musgrave Bridge (Lower limit). It is easily accessed from either bridge and provides delightful fly fishing for wild brown trout. Grayling are also present. Each season trout in excess of 3lb are caught here. This fishery is probably the most popular stretch of water controlled by Kirkby Stephen and District Angling Association. It is interesting and productive and easily fished by fly. The water is varied with pools large and small and with runs fast and slow. The River Belah and Swindale Beck both enter the Eden on this stretch adding to the flow of the main river. Adjacent to both beck ends there are deep, slow moving runs that contain a lot of fish and which offer good fly fishing.
This long fishery stretches for approximately 2 miles from Musgrave Bridge (upper limit) to Warcop Old Bridge (lower limit). There is a variety of water types although, overall, the River Eden here has a more 'lowland' character. All parts of the river contain good, easily fished fly water and most of the really large fish reported on catch returns in recent years have come from this stretch. With care this stretch can fish well in low water conditions. The top end of this fishery, just below Musgrave Bridge, has some excellent fly water that is easily accessible. There is good tree cover and wading is essential. In the middle reaches of the fishery in the region of Little Musgarave village the water is quite open with several long, fairly deep runs. It is excellent fly water that is easily fished and is very productive.
This fishery is downstream of Warcop Old Bridge. It is a joint fishery shared with Appleby Angling Association with different rules to our own waters. There is an attractive weir pool immediately below the bridge but the rest of the stretch is mainly deep, slow flowing and somewhat featureless. Below the first field it is very difficult to fish as there are steep banks, continuous trees and barbed wire that restrict access to the water. Fly fishing here is virtually impossible.
This fishery is upstream from Belah Bridge on the Kirkby Stephen - Brough road, beginning one field above the bridge. It is a small but beautiful trout stream in very attractive countryside. To get the best out of it you really need to know the water. It is little fished. There is plenty of varied and interesting water with near-continuous tree cover on both banks which makes fly fishing very difficult in places. In low water conditions great care and stealth are needed to catch fish. Don't expect to catch a creel full of fish on this small beck but do expect to have a thoroughly enjoyable trip on a sunny afternoon.
This fishery commences one field downstream from Belah Bridge on the Kirkby Stephen - Brough road. Except for missing the odd field the KSDAA water continues to its confluence with the River belah. Overall there is a huge variety of water within short distances along the beck but not all of it is easy to fish with a fly. Lots of walking, wading and creeping about can be involved. Also, especially in the lower parts, the Belah is mostly alluvial and subject to change from year to year due to floods. There are a number of fallen trees that render the river a tangle of vegetation in places. The fishing too can vary from one season to the next. Avoid the river in spate conditions.
In addition to beats on the main local rivers we have a fishery on Scandal Beck which is a tributary of the River Eden. In its upper reaches near Ravenstonedale it is remarkably clean and is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). Here it supports a population of native crayfish. Kirkby Stephen and District Angling Association have 2 stretches on the beck. The first is a short stretch above Soulby that is probably never fished. The second, more practical stretch runs from Soulby to where the beck joins the River Eden. The best part commences about 100 - 150 yards above Beckfoot but it is very difficult to fish due to steep overhanging banks. The rest of the beck is worth a try, especially well upstream near Soulby village but the fishing appears to have deteriorated in recent years. In the early 1990's some big fish were caught in Scandal Beck but the beck is probably little fished at present.