Fishing on Grasmere

Best Places to Go Fishing in the Lake District

14 February 2022 Local area

Fishing holidays in The Lakes

Anglers from across the country flock to the Lake District National Park to fish the abundance of well-stocked lakes and rivers. It is possible to catch a variety of fresh water species throughout the year, including brown trout, salmon, sea trout, charr, perch and pike.

There are plenty of places to enjoy this popular outdoor pursuit throughout the region, whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced fisherman with all the gear. Here we list our top places to go fishing in the Lake District as well as some highly recommend guides and tackle shops.


Fishing Windermere

Windermere is the largest lake in Great Britain and boasts excellent fish stocks. It is home to a large variety of species including specimen pike, perch, eels, bream, carp, chub, roach, salmon and sea trout.

Boat and bank fishing are both popular past times on Windermere, though please note much of the shoreline is private access only. The northern basin is often claimed to be the best spot, although you will need to put the time in to find what works best. We recommend fishing in secluded bays, particularly next to tree lined banks.

Autumn and winter are widely considered the best time of year to fish Windermere, especially if you’re targeting pike. During the summer months the lake is busy with pleasure craft, so care should be taken when fishing from a boat. Anglers are advised not to troll or anchor next to shipping lanes.

coniston water

Fishing Coniston Water

We highly recommend heading to Coniston Water during a fishing holiday in the National Park. The picturesque lake holds trout, pike, perch and char and is well suited to experienced anglers. Pike are typically smaller than neighbouring Windermere, though specimen fish weighing more than 20lb are still caught throughout the winter months.

Coniston is popular with holiday makers in the summer, so fishing from a boat is often preferable. You’ll have a more peaceful experience and won’t have to cast as far!

Image credit: Tony West


Fishing Ullswater

Ullswater is best known for its stock of brown trout and is widely considered one of the best angling lakes in the Lake District. Bank and boat fishing are both permitted, though suitable hire boats are in short supply.

The average trout comes in at just over half a pound, with larger fish less frequent. Fly fishing using traditional loch style is said to be the most productive, especially in shallow areas next to the shoreline.

Please note, Ullswater is home to Schelly an endangered fish thought to date back to the ice age. They are a protected species.

The trout season runs from 15th March to the 30th September, though March to June are thought to be the peak season.

Permits are not required to fish Windermere, Coniston or Ullswater, but anglers over the age of 13 must hold a valid rod licence. These are the only lakes open to the public – you will need to obtain a permit for other lakes via the appropriate local angling club.

Search angling clubs via the Angling Trust directory.

Fishing Guides

To make the most of your fishing trip in The Lakes, we recommend hiring the services of a trusted guide. They will accompany you throughout your session and offer expert tuition and advice. Guided fishing trips are an excellent option for complete beginners, who need help getting to grips with the basics. They’re also well suited to competent anglers who would like to hone their existing skills.

One of the many advantages of working with an angling guide is they will have hands on experience and know exactly when are where to go. This will maximise your chance of success and reduce your chance of blanking!

There are a number of companies offering guided fishing trips in The Lakes. Below we list a small selection that come highly recommended.

brown trout in a net

Hemmingways Fishing

Hemingways have been offering guided fishing trips and fly-casting tuition since 1993. They have private access to a number of exclusive waterways, so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery to yourself. They can supply everything you need along with a delicious lunch by request. The friendly team can also arrange boat hire if needed.

The Eden Angler

Geoff at the Eden Angler offers guided fishing trips throughout the Nothern Lake District on a 1:1 basis. He offers a number of services depending on your needs, including boat and bank brown trout fishing and fishing for rainbow trout in a small stocked fisheries.

Tackle shops

There are a handful of tackle shops in the Lake District where you can buy bait, tackle and fishing equipment. The friendly staff will be able to offer local knowledge and helpful hints and tips.

Fishing holidays in The Lakes

Park Cliffe caravan and camping park is ideally placed for a fishing holiday in the Lake District. Our convenient location affords anglers easy access to a number of fishing venues, situated just a short drive from the park.

We have a variety of anglers accommodation to choose from including spacious touring and camping pitches as well as glamping options. Our self-catering cottage and static caravans are the ultimate luxury after a busy day on the lake.

Important things to consider

Before setting out on a fishing trip in the Lake District we urge you to familiarise yourself with current rules and regulations. It’s important that anglers fish responsibility to ensure the carefully balanced ecosystem and fish stocks continue to thrive.

For a full list of guidance please take a look at the Environment Agency website. Below we list just some of the things you should consider while fishing in The Lakes.

  • Anglers aged 13 and over must have a valid rod licence from the Environment Agency. These are available to purchase at the Post Office or on the website. A vast proportion of the Lake District is controlled by local angling associations. Therefore, you may be required to buy an additional day or week tick to permit you to fish at a specific venue.
  • To prevent the introduction of invasive species please check your fishing gear and clothing for living organisms. If you do come across anything, please wash it thoroughly and dry through.
  • Do not use live bait as it increases the risk of disease.
  • Abide by any Byelaws that are in place. For instance, ask whether your chosen venue allows keep nests, insists on barbless hooks etc.
  • Be careful not to damage the natural environment. All ways take your litter home and stick to well-marked paths.

See full list of Byleaws for the North West>