Go Fishing

Angling Passport scheme

Fishing is one of the most rewarding outdoor activities you can take up. It’s an excellent way to connect with nature, clear your mind and get some exercise. There’s something about the calm and peacefulness of the river that can be both rejuvenating and inspiring. If you’re looking for a new hobby that’s both fun and healthy, then start fishing. It might be the perfect fit for you!

Young people at the start of their fishing journey! Our school sessions are designed to spark a love of angling.

One of the most significant benefits of river fishing is its positive impact on mental and physical health. Being outdoors and surrounded by nature is proven to reduce stress and anxiety, boost mood, and improve mental wellbeing. River fishing is an excellent way to spend time in nature and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Plus, it’s a low-impact activity that can help improve fitness levels, particularly if you walk along the riverbank to find the perfect spot.

Aside from the health benefits, river fishing is an exciting and engaging hobby. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned angler, there’s always something new to learn. From different techniques and gear to different species of fish. You can spend hours honing your skills and learning more about the natural world.

River fishing in the UK is also a great way to support wildlife conservation efforts. The money raised from UK rod licenses goes straight back into improving rivers for wildlife and people. By purchasing a rod license, you’re supporting the conservation and restoration of rivers, which is essential for maintaining a healthy ecosystem and preserving biodiversity.

Start fishing with the Angling passport

The Angling Passport scheme is perfect if you’re looking to start fishing. It opens up new waters and brings the joy of the river and fishing to more people than ever before. It also enables enterprising anglers to explore some of the most beautiful and least fished pieces of water we have, and all for just a few pounds.

The scheme is operated through a unique online payment system, allowing anglers to access any of the beats when they want and without the need to contact anyone beforehand. Within the scheme there is a choice of venues which offer chances to fish small, challenging rivers and streams typical to Lancashire. These streams contain a variety of species including trout, grayling, chub, and dace.

When looking through our beats you will see that many are becks and streams that require a different more stealthy approach to fishing than usual, which will test even the most experienced of anglers. That said, the beats all have good access and are easy to fish making them ideal places for beginners to learn and practice their skills.

Having carried out electrofishing surveys on all of these beats we can honestly say that there are some surprisingly good fish to be found in the deeper pools, under those overhanging branches and in the trailing roots of trees.

When you start to fish on our angling passport scheme, you know that the benefits will be going straight back into improving the river.

Mitton beat from above- a great beat to start fishing

help and Advice on how to start fishing

There are a few things you need to know before you start fishing. Firstly, it’s important to know that there are national and regional byelaws. These are statutory rules and regulations that who can fish, when and where you can fish, and what fish you can take. It might seem time consuming, but it’s really important that you know these rules. After all, they’re there to keep you safe and to look after our fish populations.

An angler fishing the Mitton beat

Once you have bought your tokens you are free to fish at any time within the fishing season. The season start and end dates differ depending on what it is you are fishing for. These dates apply to all out beats with the exception of Mitton; the details of which are also below.

Sea Trout:  1st April – 30th September
Brown Trout:  15th March – 30th September
Salmon: 1st February – October 31st (catch & release up to 15th June)
Coarse Fish:  16th June – 14th March

Mitton (read these supplementary Environment Agency rules);
Game angling season: 15th March to 31st October
Coarse and Grayling season 1st November to 14th March

Another great resource is the Angling Trust. They’re another non-profit, just like us, and they have some great information on equipment, fish welfare, health and safety, and basic skills. The Angling Trust’s Fishing Info map is also brilliant for finding venues close to you.

You’ll also need a rod license before you start fishing. These are managed by the Environment Agency, and all the money raised goes straight back into rivers. In fact, the Ribble Rivers Trust often benefit from small grants funded by rod licences.

More handy information

Always check river levels and the weather forecast before you plan a fishing trip, the Met Office and Gauge Map provide helpful information. Ideally, you should also tell someone else where you are going and when you expect to be home. Keep them updated throughout the day so they know you are safe. You can also check out the RNLI’s advice on lifejackets and buoyancy aids. It’s not a necessity, but it’s certainly something that could keep you safe, or even save your life.

If you’d like some help from a professional then AAPGAI (Association of Advanced Professional Game Angling Instructors) have a number of registered tutors who may be able to help. Ribble Rivers Trust also have an instructor of our own too!

If you’re after equipment, then John Norris of Penrith is one of the largest game fishing & country clothing retailer in the UK. They specialise in fly fishing tackle, country clothing, footwear & dog products. Ribble Rivers Trust supporters receive a 15% discount.

Finally, whilst your visiting check out what else there is to do in and around the catchment visit Forest of Bowland and Visit Lancashire websites.