Steelhead in UK rivers.

SP8

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When did the Diploid / Triploid stocking ruling come in ?
I certainly know of a small stocking of Costa beck in N yorks, by the club, as I watched Bob Leng fishing for them, I was early teens so 45+years ago.
They believe they came from a local fish farm, which was renown for leaking fish into Pickering beck, and used to rear its own fish so they were viable.
One year, due to a bank collapse, they lost all their breeding stock into the river. My mate, and I, were catching them up to 3 miles below Pickering, as none seemed to go upstream...well we never caught, or heard of any being caught.
They were all fish of around 4/5lb mark, so would be surprised if all were caught / became Pike fodder ?
As I had seen them being stripped they were definitely viable, problem was there were so many fish leaked....it would be hard to tell if they bred ?

Mel....
I was a member of the club in the 80's and Oxfold Beck and Costa Beck were full of rainbows of all sizes which was probably because the water authority fish farm bordered Oxfolds. The small fish were pristine fin perfect little beauties but I doubt they were bred in the beck but you could have been fooled. I caught rainbows upto 2.5 lbs and they certainly seemed to thrive in the clear spring fed water. I did also catch the odd brook trout. The two becks were astonishingly good fishing and as you say the grayling were special. The best brownie I heard caught was 8lb and I know a 20lb pike was caught. Sadly I believe both becks have been destroyed by drainage works.

SP8
 

The Flying Scotsman

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Here’s the young lad a few years back with a nice blue
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lowforcefly

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I was a member of the club in the 80's and Oxfold Beck and Costa Beck were full of rainbows of all sizes which was probably because the water authority fish farm bordered Oxfolds. The small fish were pristine fin perfect little beauties but I doubt they were bred in the beck but you could have been fooled. I caught rainbows upto 2.5 lbs and they certainly seemed to thrive in the clear spring fed water. I did also catch the odd brook trout. The two becks were astonishingly good fishing and as you say the grayling were special. The best brownie I heard caught was 8lb and I know a 20lb pike was caught. Sadly I believe both becks have been destroyed by drainage works.

SP8
When I first knew that hatchery it was all brown trout, 1970 ish onward's, they had a large pond at the end, which they used to put all the brood stock once it was past its best... there were some massive fish in there, wouldn't let us fish it though? :cry:
What you call Oxfold beck, was it the one that fed the cress beds ? If so we only called it 'The Cress beds' not even beck ?? Didn't know it had a proper name ??:oops:
Keld Head was, reputedly, some of the cleanest water in Yorkshire, it supplied our village, untreated, into the late 60's. The main spring was over twenty foot deep, and you could see, jet black trout swimming just above the gravel which used to dance with the flow....they looked about six inches long, but they were a lot bigger when you got one out...the club didn't have the fishing in the head itself, as ownership was a bit of a mystery, but if you asked at the house opposite, he would say you could fish it...it was good enough for us kids? To be honest we didn't go that often, there was better fishing to be had....in those days we could get to fish miles of superb water just by knocking on a farmers door, and asking politely.
There was a lot of very big pike in all the rivers around there, if you knew where...a popular method was a shotgun ??:eek:
The first rainbows we really saw came from the fish farm up Newbridge, which was set up on land of, or by, Wilfords farm, by a Danish / Dutch ?guy...then a certain Mr Odonnel ?? It leaked fish on a regular basis, and the free stretches below quickly became unfishable due to being choked with weed from the effluent. On a good day 50/60 near 1lb fish were possible, good sport, but they looked, and tasted terrible...still can't bring myself to order trout in a restaurant ?:cautious:
My favourite was Normanby...Chub, Barbel, Trout , Dace, Grayling, Pike....Anglia television filmed a, I think pre-Survival series, documentary on Barbel spawning on the free stretch there. Last time I saw it it was about a 1/4 the width it was, as the YWA stopped cleaning out all the bankside vegetation to save money.

Mel....
 
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SP8

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When I first knew that hatchery it was all brown trout, 1970 ish onward's, they had a large pond at the end, which they used to put all the brood stock once it was past its best... there were some massive fish in there, wouldn't let us fish it though? :cry:
What you call Oxfold beck, was it the one that fed the cress beds ? If so we only called it 'The Cress beds' not even beck ?? Didn't know it had a proper name ??:oops:
Keld Head was, reputedly, some of the cleanest water in Yorkshire, it supplied our village, untreated, into the late 60's. The main spring was over twenty foot deep, and you could see, jet black trout swimming just above the gravel which used to dance with the flow....they looked about six inches long, but they were a lot bigger when you got one out...the club didn't have the fishing in the head itself, as ownership was a bit of a mystery, but if you asked at the house opposite, he would say you could fish it...it was good enough for us kids? To be honest we didn't go that often, there was better fishing to be had....in those days we could get to fish miles of superb water just by knocking on a farmers door, and asking politely.
There was a lot of very big pike in all the rivers around there, if you knew where...a popular method was a shotgun ??:eek:
The first rainbows we really saw came from the fish farm up Newbridge, which was set up on land of, or by, Wilfords farm, by a Danish / Dutch ?guy...then a certain Mr Odonnel ?? It leaked fish on a regular basis, and the free stretches below quickly became unfishable due to being choked with weed from the effluent. On a good day 50/60 near 1lb fish were possible, good sport, but they looked, and tasted terrible...still can't bring myself to order trout in a restaurant ?:cautious:
My favourite was Normanby...Chub, Barbel, Trout , Dace, Grayling, Pike....Anglia television filmed a, I think pre-Survival series, documentary on Barbel spawning on the free stretch there. Last time I saw it it was about a 1/4 the width it was, as the YWA stopped cleaning out all the bankside vegetation to save money.

Mel....
Oxfolds Beck is the one that runs alongside the fish farm and becomes Costa Beck at the mill. I think the cress beds one you refer to comes out of Keld Head and runs further east before joining up with Costa but my memory is not what it was. I was just learning fly fishing when Ijoined Pickering club. I started as a Thornton Beck member and that loveley little stream was choked with ranunculus too below the village but contained some fantastic trout and grayling. The club eventually gave up the fishing below the village because we were there cutting weed every weekend and as you say Pickering Beck was also becoming choked so we decided to concentrate on that.
The said mr O'Donnel wouldnt accept that the weed was caused by his farm despite there being no weed above his outflow and he brought fish from his other farm on the Rye where weed had been introduced by Dr Sanctuary many years before in an attempt to bring BW Olives which were absent from the Rye streams. The weed flourished but the Olives never materialised.
I had some fantastic days on Oxfolds and Costa. I used to catch so many fish some days that my flies were chewed to bits and I first started using a compara dun which lasted longer and stayed afloat. I learnt to nymph with a bit of wool as an indicator to get down in the fast deep water. My best day was with a nymph called a Dove Bug on Costa. I had 14 grayling only one under a pound best 2.6, a 2.4 brownie and a 2.2 rainbow. All these years later it's still my best grayling.
It was a great place to learn and the club was a really friendly social group too. I can still fish over there with anexchange ticket with my local club but from what I have heard Costa and Oxfolds are knackered. I should try a day on Pickering for old times sake one day.

SP8
 

lowforcefly

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You know SP8, you learn something everyday....I did not know it was called Oxfold beck ?... We just called it Costa...all of it ? I can't remember anybody using the Oxfold name? We didn't even use beck...it was just Costa, and the Cress beds ?:ROFLMAO:
Saying that I didn't know I had an accent till about 17 year old ??:oops:Still think I just talk 'Proper'...and everybody else has the funny accent !
Keld head was 3 fields away from our house, my mates, and myself spent far too many hours exploring that bit of water, and maybe sampling its hidden gems ?;)
As we got older, and acquired push bikes, we cast our lines much further afield, anything that we could push bike to, and from, in daylight was fair game....we would rather spend money on fishing gear than push bike lights ?
Different times!
I haven't been back in 30 years, but have driven past the spring, on occasions, and noticed they had landscaped, (Sanitised), it....but didn't know they had ruined, what was as good apiece of water as any fancy chalkstream....hangings too good for them !

Mel....
 
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Cookie-boy

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I used to fish Compton on the lower Test, the current here on some of the beats runs fast and deep (ish). The most memorable fish I ever caught there were rainbows in the 3 - 6lb bracket. They were streamlined and perfect of fin. They fought like 10lb salmon and were by far the most impressive fish i have ever caught. This would be around 18 miles from the sea. WTF were they?
 

tony considine

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My perception of a steelhead would be a fish which was bred in the river, went to sea to feed, and returned as a sizeable fish, as per sea trout.
If that were the case, all other variants would be escapees of some description, not true steelheads.
I once caught a sea liced rainbow, about forty years back on the lower Cumberland Derwent, less than a mile off the tide. I've no idea where that came from. I remember I jokingly said it must be a steelhead. It was about 3lb, fully finned and a good looking fish. As I remember made excellent eating.
 

rodbender

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I caught this one in the Clyde! been told it must have came from a local fishery2017-10-27 001.jpg
 

Pati

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I ve read that pound for pound steelhead fight even better than salmon, I wonder if this is by reference to Pacific salmon and then which species or by reference to Atlantic salmon (or maybe both).

Would certainly love to go after steelhead one day!
 
D

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Slightly off topic but a coarse fishing friend of mine caught some kind of Char from the Dorset Stour last winter, at Throop. I believe there is a farm a few mile away on a tributary. Wonder how many of them are lurking? If you didn't know better you could easily mistake this for a wild fish but you have to assume that's highly unlikely?
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Saint Andrews

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Looks like a brook trout that, which your correct in saying is a char despite its name. A deffo escape as they are none indigenous to uk waters and EA wont grant section 30 to stock into none enclosed waters
 
D

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Yeah could well be, I wasn’t sure if it was a cross breed of some sort. I know Rockbourne trout fishery stock with ‘Spartic trout’. Which is obviously a made up name for a hybrid of some sort! Wondered if this might be one? I thought brook trout were more green, but I guess there’s huge natural variation as with any other fish.
 

FaughanPurple

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There was a fish farm on the banks of the Faughan until the flood in 2017 wiped it out. Which led to a huge escape across the foyle catchment from another farm at the top of the river Derg

Wed regularly get bows under a pound in the river upstream and downstream of the farm when it was running. Even above a weir upstream of the farm, so they're capable of migrating barriers..

The odd bigger well conditioned marine silver sea liced rainbow would turn up in the tidal section from time to time but not in enough numbers to say they'd established a run, given the number of 3/4lbs trout we would be pulling out.. and theres little talk of any getting caught elsewhere after the huge escape..

The sea liced ones fought very well and really looked the part too..
 
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