IT seems that the fine weather last weekend caught many anglers by surprise judging by the low number who chose to fish the River Aire on the brown trout season opening day last Saturday. Only the Bradford No 1 stretch on Heslaker Lane could muster more than a single angler while lower down the river, the Skipton/Bradford joint water featured not a single fisherman.

The river looked in ideal condition carrying some clear extra water following several days of rain which culminated in bank top conditions only two days before the opening.

The few anglers who wet a line over the weekend caught mainly small trout on the worm but there should be plenty of bigger fish to catch in the weeks to come.

Last year, the biggest brownie was landed within a couple of days of the season opening and weighed 3,580g.

It would have been a new record fish for the Skipton lengths had it been officially weighed but the captor was a Bradford City member.

The present record fish for the Aire is a 2,500g landed in 2014 by Andrew Facey from above the Carleton Stone Bridge.

Opening day catches from Embsay Reservoir are sparse at the moment and its altitude and the recent wet weather will have combined to keep the fish down.

As the temperature rises the sport will improve and the recent restocking on this water with good quality rainbow trout in the 680g to 1,590g range will further help the angler.

This Sunday will see another open match being fished on Whinnygill Reservoir at Skipton.

The draw will be held at 8am with fishing from 9am until 1pm and an entry fee of £7 all-in.

The water is well stocked with new fish and the gradual increase in temperature can only improve the sport.

Wherever you fish this weekend, please make sure that you have renewed your angling club membership and have taken out a new rod licence.

Bailiffs will be action on local waters in the coming weeks and fines for rod licence evasion can be particularly high in this part of Yorkshire.