River Wharfe - Buckden

Brief description of fishery:

Game fishery with brown trout only. As with all BCAA waters, this is strictly a Catch & Release fishery. Only barbless or de-barbed flies may be used. The water winds through Upper Wharfedale upstream of Kettlewell and Starbotton. It has a largely gravel and pebble bottom, with occasional larger boulders. The length contains both shallow runs and deep pools, with some parts in the top and middle sections lined with trees. Since it is towards the head of the river it is subject to rapid rises in water level when the weather is wet, which drop quite quickly afterwards. When clear, the water carries a brown tinge for the extensive peat in the catchment, typical of the River Wharfe.

On the right bank, there is an 800m reach approximately 800m upstream of the bridge between Buckden & Hubberholme, but the majority is downstream and starting ~50m below the bridge, marked by a limit sign (plus some ancient ones half eaten by a tree!). Anglers may then fish downstream for ~3.2km, missing one field near the bottom limit, again marked by limit signs.

On the left bank, there is an 800m reach which starts ~300m above the bridge, with top and bottom marked by limit signs, as well as a short (2 small fields) reach downstream ~800m.

NOTE: Kilnsey AC has reaches interspersed and opposite ours so please do not stray onto their banks.

Open for fishing:

25th March to 30th September (trout season only)

Catch returns:
After fishing please complete on-line Catch Returns for this water, it’s easy and helps with fishery development. Catch return input can also be done via the members section.

Other remarks:
This fishery is immediately adjacent to the Hubberholme fishery.
The river fishes best when water levels are higher, once any turbidity has cleared. Traditional flies are suggested, with north country spider patterns and nymphs typically used by many anglers.
Special Rules for this fishery:
1. Fishing is by Fly and upstream worm only.
2. Fishing is allowed from 25th March to 30th September, since this is a trout only water.


Online Google Maps link:  BCAA Buckden fishery

Nearest postcodes:

BD23 5JA (Heber Farm, Buckden)

There is limited on road parking near the access bridge.

The water can be accessed, both upstream and downstream, by gates at the side of the bridge. No cars or motorbikes may be taken down to the riverside.


Water levels:

Level gauge at Kettlewell about 1 ½ miles downstream



  • Brown trout