Club history

At the beginning of May 1907 an advert was placed in the Craven Herald and Pioneer inviting all anglers to a meeting at the Globe Cafe, Skipton, (believed to have been on Water Street) with the intention of forming an angling club. About 25 people turned up to the meeting and it became clear that there was sufficient interest to form a club. It was then decided to hold a further meeting two weeks later to elect officials and form the club. The meeting was again held at the Globe Cafe and about 34 people attended with club being officially being named as the Skipton Angling Association.

At first fishing was confined to the local lengths of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Then as the Association developed, various pieces of fishing were leased on the River Aire between Kildwick and Carleton-in-Craven. In 1927, the Association obtained the leases on Embsay, Whinnygill and Jennygill Reservoirs which were owned at that time by the Skipton Urban District Council.

Throughout the 1930s and 40s, the fishing on the Aire was consolidated into roughly the lengths that the Association has today (Carleton-in-Craven down to near Bradley) although it was all rented. A further length of fishing on the River Ure at Aysgarth was also rented and members even went by train to fish it.In the late 1950s, the crunch came on the River Aire when one of the major landowners decided to sell the fishing rights. The Association was ill-prepared for this and with a combination of substantial subscription increases and loans by a few members, most of the rights were saved for all time.

The increase in subscriptions caused a few members to drop out but the outcome was that the Association built up a good reserve of funds to buy more fishing as it became available. This has resulted in the Association owning most of its fishing on the Aire and now pays rent for just two fields out of the 4 miles of fishing it enjoys. The length on the River Ure was relinquished in about 1985 following a massive rent increase.

Membership levels over the years have varied from about a 100 up to 1958; about 150 up to 1975. A maximum of 300 members was obtained in 1980 when the waiting list was exhausted. The 80's also saw the loss of Jennygill Reservoir, when its role was changed to hold back flood water following the two disastrous floods in Skipton.
John Preston (President).





The early part of this century saw club numbers decline, It was if the sport had lost popularity for whatever reason. The club addressed this issue and took a pro-active approach, increasing it's awareness and marketing itself with the aid of a local paper and magazine, social media, flyers and community involvement and brought its membership figures back up to around the 120 mark and continues to steadily increase once again.

In terms of fishing, the River Aire has seen an increase in fish stocks over the past few years, with the presence of small chub returning (The occasional large ones are still present), and a good number of large grayling and brown trout have been coming to the net, in fact last year saw the club record for Aire trout equalled. The club also continue to stock trout of a smaller size to grow on and indeed last year released an additional 1000 fry in to one of the Aires tributaries.

The reservoir fishing has remained excellent. Embsay Reservoir is a trout only venue, which still receives regular stocks of rainbow and brown, however perch have found their way into this water and some have grown to specimen size. Whinny Gill has developed in to a popular mixed fishery having recently been stocked with carp, ide & bream to compliment the already present diverse species list and last year saw three records broken.

At this point in time, the club is looking in a strong position, may we hope that the hard work continues to see membership numbers steadily increase and the quality of fishing continues to improve on all of our waters.


A brief history of its construction can be found here.