Watendlath Tarn

Watendlath, CA12 5, Cumbria, United Kingdom

This is a natural seven acre tarn just a few miles south of Keswick. Your route to the fishery takes you over Ashness Bridge - the view from here adorns a million fridge magnets and suggests that during the peak holiday season solitude is unlikely. Nevertheless anglers can nearly always find a quiet corner of the water. Outside these times Watendlath offers excellent fishing in nothing less than perfect surroundings.
This is the only stocked trout water of any size in the northern half of the national park and holds rainbows together with, generally smallish, wild browns. The rainbows are grown locally at Seathwaite and new ones make the short journey each week. Most of the bank is accessible if boggy in a few places. Boats are also available and well worth the extra fee.
The fishing follows the usual pattern for upland waters with a slow early season start followed by great sport in late April through to June as the seasonal hatches and falls of terrestrial take their turn. Surface sport to Black Gnat, Hawthorns and beetles can be particularly good on the right day. Fishing slows a little in July and August with the best of any sport early and late but by September fish are back on the move. Autumn can give some of the best fishing of the year.
Watendlath is open all year.

Address: Watendlath, CA12 5, Cumbria, United Kingdom

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Fishery questions


Judith James - 25th Feb 2022 at 3:38pm

How can you book a boat and permits in advance for this fishery? I have tried phoning but cannot get an answer, so would appreciate an email address or web page . Thank you


Tony Diment - 28th Jul 2021 at 2:03pm

I intend visiting on 1st September 2021. Will Watendlath tarn be open for fishing. If so please quote price for boat.


Crawford - 31st May 2021 at 7:04am

Re. my March 2021 post, the fishery is now fully open with full bank access, albeit the annoying thing is you still have to vacate the water at 5:00 pm when the fish often start to come on the take. We went up there in mid May and there was a lot of fish about. Unparalleled beautiful site.


Andrew Campbell - 17th Jul 2020 at 2:02pm

Are you open for fishing, if not when?


Christopher sweeney - 28th May 2020 at 9:21pm

As restrictions are gradually being lifted ,if not so yet , will watenalth be opening for fishing soon ?

Andrew Campbell - replied on 26th Jun 2020 at 8:42am

Is Watendlath open for fishing?


Mr Sweeney - 16th May 2020 at 8:31pm

With coronavirus travel restrictions being partially lifted , do you see yourself opening for fishing soon.

Crawford - replied on 17th Mar 2021 at 9:14am

Guys, I can categorically state that most of these 2020 fishing C19 restrictions were driven by the local paranoid farmer who, to keep anglers 20 metres+ away from his farmhouse, bullied the National Trust (who own the site) info closing half of the lake and restricting gated access past his farm, along with restricting fishing to 5pm...right when the fish often start to feed. The NT are to blame for allowing this totally unnecessary restriction. Stan, the operator, was helpless and did his best to keep the fishery open as near normal as possible, albeit sadly at the same cost as a for the fully open amenity - bad move Stan.

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G Kendal - Reviewed 12nd Sep 2022 at 7:14pm

Customer service is terrible,the fella on the phone was blunt and very unhelpful,when we turned up we’d hired a boat that was full of water and had no anchor.There was another boat already hired which did have an anchor and the two fishermen in it anchored it to the left/best side of the tarn and didn’t move one metre all day. The only ticket available was from 9-5 for £25 ( the boat hire was £15)you could keep 2 fish but no discount for catch and release. As for the fishing itself it was actually very good with most the fish on the top and lots of rising fish,if I ever went again I wouldn’t hire a boat and fish from where the boat was tied up or walk left to the other side provided its not already busy with other fishermen. It was very frustrating when we had to pack in when the trout were rising most frequently.This place is a good fishery but could be so much better with someone just a little more pleasant and helpful who would actually give some useful information,also the 5pm closing time is very annoying.

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Pete Cook - Reviewed 12nd Sep 2021 at 8:25pm

Dont believe everything you read. Fished in a boat for four hours in the afternoon last Tuesday. Very sunny but a nice breeze blowing. Water very clear. We managed 7 fish all but one on dry flies. Excellent fishery with cracking views. Prices are very reasonable.

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Roger B. - Reviewed 6th May 2021 at 8:48am

Don’t bother visiting. The ridiculous 2020 National Trust imposed fishing restrictions on the guy who operates the fishery, promised to be lifted in 2021, are still scheduled to be kept in place during 2021. These include the prohibiting of anglers accessing the most productive east shore over a 40-50 yard strip of scrub, not allowing walkers and anglers to use the public gate that passes the farm building from the car park which accesses the east shore (high risk of outdoor spreading of Covid 19!). The advice is to go around the barbed wired and the dangerously boggy west shoreline to access the east side, probably tearing your coat as you climb over - If you spend more money and hire a boat you can row past and bypass the 50 ish yards the farmer has blocked. Crazy. Also there is a restriction to the fishing; stop after 5:00PM! A higher Covid risk during the evening? People are freely milling about in the vicinity of the lake at sunset. Paying anglers aren’t allowed to and have to leave the lake. I can walk anywhere in the lakes National Park, including around the lakes, at any time of the day or night, but not this one anymore. All this for the original hefty ticket price. Don’t waste your money....find a more accommodating fishery.

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Chi chi La rue - Reviewed 12nd Oct 2020 at 1:45pm

Helen as always,a marvel.

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Andy - Reviewed 16th Sep 2020 at 10:17pm

What a disappointment reading the above reviews. I have been coming here for decades and planned a visit or two next week. Not now, I’ll have to go chasing the small brownies on the Derwent or in the main lakes :(

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Rick - Reviewed 8th Sep 2020 at 1:42am

Been coming for over 20 years but it just is Used by the owner as a po box collecting his cash, the fishing is disgusting now, like casting a fly into your bath, stock properly or pass it on to someone who will, It's a disgrace

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Robert Parks - Reviewed 31st Aug 2020 at 10:07am

It remains a fishery with good sized hard fighting rainbows but it has deteriorated since my last visit about a year ago. There is no website and the phone isn't answered but when you arrive after a long journey you find they have stopped issuing 2 fish tickets for £18 and you can only get 4 fish tickets for £25 and you must leave the water at 5 pm on this ticket not 9 pm . A lot of the bank on the east side is now closed off for fishing so there are limited places where you can fish from the bank. There is also a new notice saying that all fish over 4 lbs must be returned and that fishing is by barbless hook only. There are also problems with swimmers and people using inflatable boats. This should all have been made clear on a website which can be seen before you set off to fish

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JV - Reviewed 15th Aug 2020 at 2:20pm

i wouldnt advise anyone to fish here now. I have fished here for uears and it has been a productive great little place. I rang to go today the very arrogant lady on the phone (is always that way) wanted 70 quid just for my girlfriend to sit on the boat with me. I then turned up to bank fish and half the tarn is closed off you can only fish the side with trees and high banks to snag on. Didnt even see a single fish rise looked like it was probably stocked some 12 months ago, its always packed with fishing lads and today there was 1 other person.. sums it up really. Save your hard earned money and go elsewhere lads.

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Fisher - Reviewed 13rd Aug 2020 at 4:29pm

Do not bother, with the onset of the end of Covid lockdown what has always been a great days fishing has dropped to an afternoon dodging blowup kayaks, swimmers and kids throwing stones into the water. Until the national Trust get a grip on this dont waste what is a hefty fee.

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