Fond memories of fishing on the Skell

From: Roger Trees, Secretary, Ripon Angling Club, College Road, Ripon.

I WAS interested to read Pete Colman’s letter in last week’s Gazette regarding fishing in Ripon’s rivers.

I too have happy memories of fishing the River Skell as a boy in the early 1960s. In those days June 1 signalled the start of the season when maggots could be used as bait and the banks were always lined with youngsters from very early morning onwards.

I still fish the Skell occasionally, mainly in the winter, and it certainly is a very healthy river in terms of the numbers of fish present. There is no doubt, however, that the numbers of young people taking up fishing has declined considerably in recent years, hence the banks of the Skell are not as busy as they used to be.

With regard to the fishing rights on the Skell, these are owned by the Church Commissioners and have been rented by Ripon Angling Club since before the war.

For many years the club paid only a peppercorn rent for the fishing and traditionally residents of Ripon were allowed to fish the stretch from Borrage Bridge to Skell and Ure meeting free of charge.

Quite some years ago the Commissioners began charging a market rent and the club now issues tickets for this stretch of river for Ripon residents only at a cost of 1.50 per year. These can be bought from Ripon Angling Centre in North Street.

Anyone fishing any inland water in England and Wales also needs to have an Environment Agency licence. These can be purchased at the Post Office.