THE brown trout season finally drew to a close last Monday on most rivers although the weather effectively brought about a premature end due to heavy rain and flood conditions from Sunday.

Throughout the six month season the fishing could have been better even though conditions were more than reasonable.

Periodic spells of rain kept the River Aire in decent angling condition apart from a short spell when some very high temperatures produced a low water level for a few weeks.

At Skipton’s Whinnygill Reservoir, the season got off to a flying start with the capture of a record-breaking brownie on double red maggot towards the end of April.

The captor was Skipton Angling Association member Richard Sara and his fish weighed in at 3465g, some 425g heavier than the previous record fish.

Since big brown trout had become a feature of the River Aire for some years with several fish each season reaching beyond the 2000g mark and all being returned to the water as is the norm these days, it felt that it was only a matter of time before these fish would start to turn up in catches.

This has not been the case and those who have fished to river this season have not seen any fish much above the 1000g mark. Smaller fish have been reasonably plentiful however.

The Skipton AA’s premium trout water is Embsay Reservoir and this season has seen a similar fall in the number of good sized brownie captures, a good fish this year would be about a 1000g.

There have been much bigger fish caught, but they have been the spartic trout which were introduced weighing around the 2000g mark.

A remarkable specimen brown trout that somehow has kept under the radar has recently come to my attention.

It was captured on July 13, 1999, by a Thomas A Smith at Elslack Reservoir and weighed 7.50 kg or 16:8:0 in old currency.

A photograph shows that the fish was dark skinned with big black spots and a deep body. It had no pronounced hooked lower jaw although to reach that size it will have had plenty of the smaller trout in the water.