Whinny Gill reservoir
Whinny gill reservoir is situated to the East of Skipton on the edge of the Greatwood estate and was until 2014 a working feeder for Embsay reservoir. The reservoir is roughly rectangular in shape and has an area of 6.75 acres and a maximum depth of 34 feet. It is a 'hole-in-the-ground' type, with inset grit stone blocks laid with no mortar. This gives a ideal bed for small fish to hide away from the waters larger fish and also provides an ideal breeding ground for the the varied insect and mollusc life found at this water. Its banks are steep-sided and therefore there is a good depth of water close in to the side and fish can often be caught only a couple of feet from the edge.
Whinny Gill is regarded as a mixed fishery, both coarse fish an trout are present in the water. For many years the water was stocked with nothing but rainbow and brown trout on a regular basis. In recent years though, this policy has changed as the habitat has changed and several coarse fish species have since been introduced. In 2010 ide were stocked for the first time, which settled-in well and a fish of 1Lb 7oz was landed in May of 2013 and later that year in August a brace around the estimated 2Lb mark were landed. 2016 has seen sizes around two and a half pounds come to the net. A number of 2-3oz fish which are clearly the offspring of the stocked ide have also caught.
In 2013, the club stocked Whinny Gill with small common and mirror carp to increase the waters biodiversity which are growing on well with some doulble figured fish now present, just dont expect a net full as only a small number of carp were ever stocked so as not to impact upon the water quality. A stocking of bream also took place the same year, which was kindly donated by one of the clubs members to compliment the existing stock. Since then coarse fish have been stocked on a regular basis with fish such as tench, gudgeon, crucian and rudd adding to the species list. In addition to the stocked coarse fish there is an established stock of other species. Perch are present in large numbers and range in weight from a couple of ounce to two pounds but there are much larger ones in there.
Catches of roach in The Gill have been rare in the past but with the added coarse stockings, they have been coming to the bank. Vast shoals of 2-6" fish have been spotted and quite a few have been caught, but the 2lb plus roach have been one of the talking points, the record being a ounce short of 3Lb but there is good chance this will be broken soon. Further stockings of roach and bream have continued to take place. There is still a very healthy stock of brown trout in the reservoir which put up a marvelous fight. The majority are in the 3Lb range but fish to 6Lb and beyond are present. Whinny Gill also appears to be a popular spot for people to illegally dump their overgrown pond fish, with koi, golden orfe, chub and goldfish putting in the occasional appearance. 2015 & 2016 saw further introductions of bream and a larger numbers of roach to support the waters 'shift' to a mixed fishery.
Over the past few years extensive weed beds have appeared, cursed by some anglers, appreciated by others. The weed growth has eased somewhat since it's initial growth, presumably due to consistent high water levels. The fish have clearly appreciated this growth and huge numbers of fry have been spotted living and feeding among it.The club attempt to maintain Whinny Gill as a more 'natural style' fishery rather than a 'overstocked commercial' style venue, which are all too common these days. Instead of being a muddy puddle, Whinny gill offers its visitors clear water, so make sure you bring your polarised glasses and be prepared for a challenging day of enjoyment, just don't get too distracted by the beautiful scenery and keep an eye on that float/quiver tip.
The water is enclosed within a perimeter fence with a key required to gain access through the gate, (available to members from the club secretary for a deposit). All legal baits and fishing methods are allowed. Day-ticket holders must be accompanied by a member with a key, cars can be parked just inside the gates.