Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sedbergh's River Rawthey.


I opted for a change of venue this evening, visiting the River Rawthey south of Sedbergh.

Rawthey is a moorland stream which has its source high on the slopes of Baugh Fell and flows along the southern boundary of the Howgills, before joining the parent river below Middleton Bridge. I was once told that its name was a corruption of ‘ruddy’, which would make sense as the river carries a marked peaty colouration for a long period after rain. Its trout reflect this colouration with deep bronze backs and large red spots and are more numerous than in the Lune, where stocks have dwindled disastrously over recent years.

The Rawthey is a lovely little river to fish, but I have neglected it over the last couple of years. I use my membership to fish for the back end salmon hereabouts and haven’t really explored the trouting available. Tonight was an ideal opportunity – a still, overcast evening with a few extra inches of lingy water running through.

A conversation with an old boy who was leaving as I parked up revealed that there had been a good hatch of olives earlier on and that he had returned a few fish up to just over the pound, so signs were encouraging. There certainly seemed to be a few insects around, including a few large stoneflies. Years ago, the anglers here used to fish the live ‘creeper’, or large stonefly nymph, when dozens of them could be collected by turning stones in the margins. They are comparatively rare these days though, and I saw more together today than I ever have previously – about four in total.


The fishing was slow for the most part, although there seemed to be a concentration of fish (possibly stocked?) along the length of one pool in particular. I had a couple of drop-offs, a few smaller fish and two nice ones of around the pound, before the light started to fade and the air temperature dropped.

I will try to return to this delightful stretch of river soon. The fishing is moderate at best and the wading is nothing short of treacherous, but this is more than compensated for by the quiet, unspoilt surroundings and solitude – the chap I met earlier is the only other angler I have ever met on the Rawthey; usually there are just oystercatchers, sandpipers and wagtails for company.

5 comments:

eric said...

I fished the River Rawthey for a lot of years being a local fisherman, like you I found it a delightful river to fish with rocky runs and quiet pools although when in spate can be a tiger.The rocky nature of the river bed east of Sedbergh can be a strain on the ankles.Come and enjoy our river. E Macdonald.

Anonymous said...

Anyone up forr a spot of night fishing in on the rawthy?

Anonymous said...

Seem to be struggling with the night fishing on the rawthey. Could do with a fellow fishermen to assist me and teach me all there is to know.

Anonymous said...

It is july 18th 2013 still searching for a mentor!

Justin Owen said...

I have many fond memories of fishing the Rawthey as a child when brown trout, sea trout and 'slobs' were abundant, even large Salmon were relatively common. 35 years on it remains a beautiful unspoilt river which has retained all of its charm and excitement although sadly the chances of a catch are much reduced. Here's to a Rawthey revival!