Fishing Holidays in the River Ribble
Published: Sunday 18th May 2014
Written by: Alice de Courcy-Wheeler
The River Ribble is one of the most popular places for fishing holidays in the UK. Along its 75 mile length you can find dozens of great spots to cast your line and haul in a wide range of different fish. Large barbel and chub swim in the lower waters, and it’s also a prime spot for sea trout and grayling. If you’d prefer a bit of coarse fishing, then there are several day ticket coarse fisheries along the river that provide some fine sport at very reasonable prices. The varied water along its length will give you plenty of opportunity to try several different types of angling, all in the same area.
But the fishing is only half the story. The waterway runs through the spectacular northern countryside that comprises the Ribble Valley. Large hills and neat fields stretch out as far as the eye can see, and it skirts the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for many miles.
The Ribble is a Lancastrian river for the majority of its length, but it actually starts off in Yorkshire. The source is close to the Ingleborough National Nature Reserve and from there it travels southwards, making its way between the towns of Settle and Giggleswick. Both towns are great bases to stay in, you can expect to catch brown trout and sea trout in this area and at certain times of the year Atlantic salmon can be found this far up-river. It’s one of the biggest fish that swims in the Ribble, sometimes reaching a whopping 40lbs in weight. It’s also a place to catch grayling, the lady of the stream. One of the most beautiful fish in UK rivers, their long dorsal fins resemble a sail, and the silver flanks with iridescent purple stripes make them instantly recognisable. They’re a challenging catch, when hooked they’ll use the currents and downstream pressure to try and break free.
Further south, the Ribble crosses the border into Lancashire close to Paythorne. One of the most popular places for fishing holidays in this area is Clitheroe. It’s in the Forest of Bowland, so not only is it a lively market town, it’s also an extremely pretty area that’s popular with walkers and anglers. Both coarse and fly fishing are available in this part of the river, and it’s well stocked with barbel, bream, carp, pike, roach, salmon and brown trout. As the river continues on its way to the sea it flows through Ribchester, an old Roman settlement that’s now a pretty village, perfect for anyone who wants a quiet holiday. The Ribble at this stage is a good place to catch barbel, brown trout, chub, dace, and salmon. And if you want to enjoy a bit of city life in the evenings, or maybe pick up some more fishing gear then follow the river down to nearby Preston, a short drive of less than twelve miles, where the Ribble finishes its long journey to the Irish Sea.