CONDITIONS were almost ideal for the second weekend of the new brown trout season with decent water levels on the rivers and reasonably mild and dry weather throughout.

Unlike the opening weekend, anglers were out in force on all the local waters where some good sport was enjoyed.

The upper reaches of the River Aire above Inghey Bridge was well fished by the Bradford City members who ventured upstream towards the limit at Gargrave. The fishing is by fly only now and anglers reported some good sport with trout to over the 450g mark.

Lower down the river, the Skipton Angling Association was also reasonably well populated by members and once again the sport was more than acceptable.

Besides the fly, members may also use the worm and between them they also accounted for brownies to near the 900g (2:0:0) mark.

Anglers should note that on both the Bradford City and Skipton AA fishing, all trout must be returned to the water alive.

The catch and return policy is in force initially to see how the trout fishing responds to the fact that the stocking of diploid trout (farm fish that are capable of breeding but can lower the gene strain of natural fish) is now banned. The river has to rely solely on restocking by the natural fish spawning.

Skipton members fishing its premier trout water at Embsay have enjoyed some capital sport due to the recent restocking with rainbow trout up to 1600g in weight. Some good sport has been reported including brown trout and over wintered blue and tiger trout.

It remains to be seen whether any of the big rainbows that were introduced last year have survived the winter. Only one of the 3,400g fish was caught last season and that was returned to the water so one or more record breakers may be still swimming around in the reservoir.

Whinnygill Reservoir at Skipton is another Skipton AA water that contains some brown trout, many of which weight over 1,820g.

The brown trout record at this water has stood since 1946 at 2,385g and many members believe there must be at least one fish in the reservoir that could weigh more. Perhaps this will be the year that it finally shows itself?