Tanfield Angling Club is the oldest private fly fishing club in Wensleydale.

The club has 6 miles on the River Ure of reputably the finest fly fishing in the North of England . Both the water quality and abundant fly life offer sport with both dry and wet flies. Additionally there is a superb head of grayling for winter fishing.

North country Spiders

We stock the river annually from our own hatchery, managed by our Full time River Keeper who not only looks after the hatchery but the river and banks as well.

The Fishing

Map of the beats
Caught May 2018

Offering prime trout and grayling angling, the river is mostly fishable from both banks. Each beat has its own interesting challenge with a diverse variety of runs, pools, riffles and glides, perfect for all traditional fly fishing techniques.

Our River keeper has a broad-ranging role looking after the river, the hatchery and the banks ensuring all members and guests have excellent fishing.

The River Ure

We stock the river at least every Spring with trout raised in our own hatchery. Improved maintenance of this site has ensured a healthy and abundant fish life in the river and many of the trout caught exceed 2lb and occasionally even 5lb.

Environmental Considerations

The club is conversant with the current Environment Agencies (EA) regulations on stocking rivers with diploid fish. Our waters do not have any spawning streams and the river suffers from spates so officially we can only stock the river with triploid fish. We didn’t think this would be advantageous to the fishing so sought help from the EA and they have approved a unique investigation.

Approved Investigations to improve fishing

Under the new regulations, it is possible to augment the number of trout by breeding them from fish taken from the river however the bred trout must be released to the same stretch once theyhave reached a suitable and sustainable size.

We will continue to add diploid trout reared from fish taken from the river. We are examining for any impacts on the wild fish that might be present from breeding in the river itself. Research started in 2015 for a 3-5 year period. The results for the first two years are very good.

The Club applied to the Environment Agency to stock the river with diploid fish reared by the Club. A permit was granted to carry out an ‘Investigation of the need for enhancement’, with research lasting over a 5 year period and involving as many members as possible. We started in March 2015 and it is ongoing with over 30 members now taking part. We believe that this is the only investigation being undertaken in a Northern spate river. One key aim is to try and protect any wild fish breeding in the river itself by having our own fish available in sufficient numbers to give a good fishing experience. The Members record all fish cught (large and small) and whether they were caught on dry or wet fly. All large fish are marked and can be taken but all unmarked fish have to be returned.

The first three years results are promising……

Diploid v Triploid Trout

All wild trout are genetically diploid. The ova of wild trout are very sensitive and have three sets of genes before being fertilised. The extra gene (from the female parent) is expelled from the egg after fertilisation leaving two sets  – hence a diploid fish.

However if, during fertilisation, the new diploid egg is physically shocked ie with an increase in temperature, physical shaking or an increase in environmental pressure then the extra set of genes are not expelled. The fish therefore will retain the three sets of chromosomes – hence a triploid fish. Triploids are totally infertile and cannot cross fertilise with the wild trout in the river.

Very little information is available on the long term behaviour of triploids. They are reported to grow large and to have larger internal organs than diploids. In addition, after becoming stabilised in the river, evidence has shown that triploids rarely rise to the dry fly. This would not give a satisfying fishing experience though The Environment Agency recommended that triploid fish should be added to the stretches of the river where wild fish can spawn, allowing them to prosper.


Walbran mentioned in Flydresser (Autumn 2016) 23.2.17

The Red Tag fly, designed by the founder of TAC, Maximillian Walbran, was mentioned in the 2016 Autumn edition of Flydresser (page 29). Apparently he had been recommended to try the fly ‘Worcester Gem’ on his Yorkshire rivers. He consequently then changed the name of the ‘Worcester Gem’ to ‘the Red Tag’ and first mentioned it …


The Yorkshire dales are justly famed for their beauty and variety. The Ure, in Wensleydale is one of the main North Yorkshire rivers that eventually flow into the Humber Estuary

The animal and bird life is abundant. Anglers experience not only peace but are accompanied by birdsong and animal life, in a stunning natural woodland setting. Animals and birds include Kingfishers, Oyster Catchers, Dippers, Wildfowl, otters and even lampreys.

The great landscape artist J M W Turner loved Yorkshire and painted several views of our river and the Dales countryside including the River Ure at Hackfalls Hackfall Wood is itself a site of Special Scientific Interest Grade I in English Heritage’s Register and is overseen by the Woodland Trust see local map .


Secretary: Mr Stewart Houston CBE

email: stewart@mpsagri.co.uk

tel: 01677 470656

mobile: 07803 988985