The Club is primarily a fly fishing club, although we do allow some winter grayling fishing and some members also enjoy fly fishing for coarse fish, especially chub and pike. Our water is located midway on the Swale and, unlike the river above Richmond where only trout are present, both coarse and game species are found. We have a small population of wild brown trout, with a larger population of grayling and we supplement the wild trout with annual stockings of triploid brown trout, typically of 12-14 inches. Members enjoy good sport using a variety of methods from traditional wet fly to dry fly and more modern techniques such as the Duo ('Klink and Dink') and Czech nymphing.
Our trout season opens on 1st April and ends on 30th September. Coarse fish (including grayling) may be fished for on fly between 16th June and 14th March and trotting for grayling, with worm only, is permitted from 1st October to 14th March.
We allow members to take up to a brace of trout a day. We very strongly encourage catch and release of all wild trout and we also expect members to exercise discretion in the total number of fish they remove in a season - we have no time for fishmongers ...
Environment Agency byelaws apply to all our fishing, of course, and we insist upon respect being shown to all species, with fish only being removed for personal consumption.
Trout average about 1.25lb, but are caught most seasons up to 3lb or more in weight, with grayling up to about 1.5lb, with typical fish being 6-10 oz.
Our length of the Swale runs primarily over gravel and rock in a series of riffles and pools, interspersed with a couple of deeper, slower sections. The banks vary from being entirely open to heavily treed with willows and other vegetation. Wading is relatively easy and although chest waders can give an advantage, much of the water can easily be fished in thigh waders, with care.
The river varies in width from 5m to 15m or more and flow rates vary hugely according to levels of rainfall. Although the Swale is an easy water to fish, great care is needed when water levels rise, which they can do with little warning, especially when heavy rain has fallen in Swaledale.
Access to the water is available from two points from the road and there is good vehicular access (with care, particularly in wet and winter conditions) along the whole bank with abundant off road parking.
ABOUT THE CLUB
The Kirkby Fleetham Club was established over fifty years ago and has the fishing rights on both banks over 2.5 miles of the River Swale below Great Langton bridge. The Club has a limited membership of 45 full members, supplemented by up to 5 junior and a small number of honorary members.
In the past the Club did have a reputation of being quite difficult to join without personal recommendations and/or local residence but for many years the Club has welcomed applications from anybody, regardless of age or place of residence, as long as potential members share our enthusiasm for fly fishing for river trout. We do have a short waiting list, and in some years, a low turnover of members too, but if our fishing appeals to you, we would recommend you express an interest via the website contact us page.
We are especially keen on attracting younger members and offer a discount on the membership fee for those under 18, which is now £60. Our fees for 2020 for adult members are currently £245 with a one-off joining fee of £122.50 also being payable by new members.
The Club is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee and is managed by a small team of members who include the company's directors. We aim to keep formality to a minimum, with only an Annual General Meeting being held, but we are rigorous in maintaining proper accounts and ensuring effective governance of the Club.
We also benefit greatly from the services of a retained bailiff.