Driving through the imposing gates of Swinton Park Castle to the hotels reception we knew we were in for a treat a morning fishing the River Ure with a break for afternoon tea. The Cunliffe-Lister family have owned the 20,000 acre Swinton Estate since the 1880’s which stretches from the River Ure in Wensleydale up onto the moorland dales. Guests have access to a whole host of country pursuits include fishing, golf, falconry, riding and shooting. Customers can now purchase a day permit on FishPal to fish the 4 miles of single bank fishing on River Ure.
Directions from the hotel to the water are very good and easy to understand. We quickly arrived at the beat, parking in the designated parking area above the two gates. Armed with our rods we walked across the field to the water along a mowed path made by the farmer. The printed A4 map provided by the hotel clearly shows the two right bank beats with 9 named pools which are easy to read. We found the top beat suitable for the more adventurous angler, with limited access places. The lower pools are very attractive with lots of bubbles and streams. Even though the river was on its bare bones and a upstream wind you could see the potential when this dales river gets some rain. The Folly pool on the lower beat looked to be the deepest pool on the beat. Even though there were no significant rises we fished into bubbles with interest from small trout eager to take our flies. After a pleasant morning fishing and spotting kingfishers and dippers darting along the bank we returned to the hotel, changed out of our waders for afternoon tea served in the drawing room. Enjoying a cup of tea and a selection sandwiches and cakes; jaffa macaroons, fruit cake with Wensleydale cheese, raspberry tarts, opera cake, lemon and lime mousse and warm scones we chatted about our mornings fishing adventure to our partners, who had enjoyed a walk around the walled garden and a spot of shopping in the Georgian market place of Masham. Recommend Swinton Park Estate to… The angler who enjoys a peaceful days fishing on a private beat. Day permits are £25 The estate and surrounding area has plenty of things for non angler. The hotel has a cookery school and spa. Family holidays with fishing on the river or the estates stocked still water. Stay at the hotel or the estates clamping accommodation – Swinton Bivouac (luxury camping in yurts and woodland shacks) Guided Fishing – We would recommend local guide Brian Tower from Yorkshire Fly Casting. He has lived and worked in the yorkshire dales all his life and has fished the dales since a young boy. When he is not guiding he is doing fly fishing demonstrations at country shows around England as well as casting lessons. Read more about the River Ure in the September edition of Trout & Salmon magazine. Adrian Danger fishes the river for salmon with Jim Curry catching spring fish. Anne Woodcock FishPal