Harrogate FlyFishers' Club

since 1887

since 1887


Newsletter February 2020

The river has been running at a fairly steady high level during January. For the second week of the month levels rose to 0.7 metres, but for the rest of the month it was consistently at 0.2 to 0.3 metres. 

It certainly looked good when we had a working party on Thursday at the top beat!

This is the marker for the top end of our fishing. If you can see Dacre Banks, you’ve gone far enough!

Brian and Steve hard at work on a calm day, with nicely flowing water.

The figure below, courtesy of Ian Dodd, shows the water levels throughout the 2019 trout season. 

The first couple of weeks of June and most of August last season had extremely high river levels – with the latter being traditionally a wet month, and a relatively low point for fly fishing anyway. 

The 0.20 metre line is Ian’s level above which he is unlikely to go fishing – do you have an equivalent guideline? Or perhaps you just look out of the window and see how you feel?

Working Party

The latest Working Party of the season took place on Thursday January 30th. Four of us tackled the top end, beyond Low Hall – removing brambles and low branches, as well as some redundant barbed wire that was making it difficult to get at the river (well done, Charles!). I’m looking forward to fishing this water when the season starts up – it looks promising! 

Harrogate Fly Fishers’ Club Annual General Meeting

Our AGM on Tuesday 21st January 2020 went well. A good turnout, and a packed agenda that was very efficiently dealt with by our Chairman.

A few points from the meeting (you will receive the notes from the AGM electronically with this newsletter).

  • The subscription stays the same as for the previous 8 years
  • Nick Brigham, our Treasurer for the last 21 years, is resigning from his post. Many thanks Nick for all the hard work! Are there any other suitably skilled ‘gluttons for punishment’ who might wish to ‘volunteer’? Contact the Secretary or Chairman please!
  • The Chairman felt that the club is in a good place financially (thanks to Nick!) and in membership and social terms.
  • Our waters will be stocked with 500 brown trout, like last year – in two stockings of 250 fish each in May and in June 2020
  • There is a new member of the Committee – James Wedge. Welcome James!
  • The Byelaw amendment concerning guests was endorsed (see below)
  • A pool above the footbridge on the middle beat has been named ‘Gilmartin’s’ in honour of our previous long-serving honorary secretary, Tony.
  • The sale of fishing tackle from Norman Hitchen raised £150, and this has been passed to his daughter

Byelaw Amendment Concerning Guests.

The revised byelaws are available on the club’s website 

The changes to section 8 of our byelaws are intended to give the club better information about and control of the use of Guest tickets. 

Members are provided with three guest tickets every year as part of their membership subscription, and they may purchase a further four tickets at £10 each from our treasurer.

The changes are mainly to require members to fill in any guest tickets and send them to the honorary secretary within a week of their use – helping us keep tabs on the situation.

2020 Subscriptions.

The deadline, February 21st, for paying your subscription for the 2020 season is fast approaching. Contact Nick Brigham, our retiring Honorary Treasurer, if you haven’t done so already, to confirm whether or not you are renewing your subscription. After that date, you’ll be competing with potential new members from our waiting list!

HFFC Member Rows Atlantic

Thanks to club member Steve Rhodes for some significant news.

Harrogate Fly Fishers’ Club member Marcus Beale has recently completed the “Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge”, a 3000 mile row from San Sebastian, La Gomera in the Canaries to English Harbour in Antigua, the same route as taken by Sir Chay Blyth and John Ridgeway in 1966.

This year 35 teams entered the race which included solo rowers, pairs, trios, fours and fives, Marcus was a solo rower, surely the biggest challenge of all.  All the teams set out from La Gomera on the 12th December and Marcus arrived in Antigua on the 30th January having rowed for a total of 48 days 21 hours and 58 minutes finishing in 22nd place overall and in first place in the solo rowers, a truly fantastic achievement.

Marcus funded all the costs personally and at the moment has raised over £108,000 for his chosen charity Macmillan. More details about Marcus and his boat White Rows can be found at www.whiterows.co.uk.

I think I’d be needing some of that whisky by the time I got there!  Seems an extreme way to spend your time during the trout close season, but no doubt we will be seeing Marcus on the river during the year in somewhat shallower water!  Congratulations Marcus! 

Donations to MacMillan cancer support would be welcomed.


P.S. This fish was NOT taken from our waters!

David Clayden 

HFFC Hon. Sec.

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