A North Yorkshire river is close to regaining its crown as one of England’s premier salmon fishing rivers, thanks to an ecological and environmental project backed by local riparian land owners and businesses.
Started six years ago to reintroduce the species back to the waters of the River Ure, the work of the The Ure Salmon Trust is now starting to bear fruit, with anglers regularly catching salmon weighing in excess of 20lbs.
According to the Environment Agency’s “Rod Catch Data”, it takes slightly less fishing-hours to catch a salmon from the River Ure than other more established salmon rivers.
And, to mark the success of the initiative, a special “Big Fish” event is being held in Masham’s White Bear Hotel at 6pm on the evening of Thursday, July 2, when interested parties will be invited to find out more about the project.
Guests, expected to include anglers, business owners, landowners and local residents, will also be encouraged to become “members” in order to help fund its continuing work, which includes the employment of a river manager.
Compared to just a decade ago when very few salmon were caught, last year it was estimated that along a stretch of the Ure – from Aysgarth Falls in the west, to Boroughbridge in the east – more than 300 sizeable fish were landed along with countless lost.
The river is now attracting anglers from as far away as Scandinavia, in the hope of landing a large salmon.
In 2012, one Ure fly-fisherman had the thrill of hooking the largest salmon that year to be caught in an English or Welsh river. The second biggest fish was also caught from the Ure in the same year.
These huge salmon are present in the river every year and give anglers a real chance of hooking a 20lbs salmon without having to travel to Norway or Russia.
Ure Salmon Trust director Oliver Leatham said: “An incredible amount of hard work has gone into achieving the aims of the Trust since its inception in 2009.
“I’m delighted to say we are well on our way to seeing the River Ure becoming one of England’s finest salmon fishing rivers, and I am thrilled to be part of the project.
“This project is about improving the river’s environment for the survival rate of the salmon.”
Mr Leatham added: “The resulting increase in the numbers of anglers coming to fish the river will also enhance the economy of the area. It will give the tourist industry a real boost, and, in turn, create jobs for this corner of North Yorkshire.”
Simon Theakston, executive director of Masham-based T&R Theakston Ltd, one of the project’s major sponsors, said: “We are thrilled that the aims of this project are coming to fruition, which will well and truly make the Ure a ‘must fish’ for anglers, national and international alike.
“The River Ure runs through Masham, our brewing home for 188 years, and when we were asked if we would give our backing to the Ure Salmon Trust’s project, we didn’t hesitate for a moment. We even created as special beer, Infallible, to mark our association with it.”
Simon Britton, partner from George F White, one of the supporters of the event and sponsor of the new Ure Salmon Trophy, said: “We too are delighted to be supporting this initiative. Having salmon return in the numbers we are now seeing is very exciting news.
“Thanks to the combination of work put in by the Trust, riparian land owners and volunteers at this end of the river, combined with anti-pollution measures downstream carried out by Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency- The Lower River Ouse and Humber in particular – salmon will continue to return to spawn in even greater numbers.”