The Old Trout Fly – is now outstanding coarse fishery


The water

This gravel pit is positioned on the East side of the site and on the left hand side as you drive down the approach road. This water is approx. 4.5 acre and has been left as traditional deep water gravel pit. The Lake has reed fringed margins on all sides, gravel bars and steep shelves that tumble down into depths exceeding 30 feet.

For many years, and prior to us buying the site in 2016 this lake had been exclusively used as a fly fishing venue but now this water is a new edition to the sites coarse fishing from 2018 onwards.

The North bank of this Lake is dense woodland only accessible by boat, the remaining banks originally had 11 wooden jetties erected specifically for the fly anglers and over the Autumn months of 2016 all of these timber structures were dismantled and replaced with solid clay hardstanding and large areas flattened off for safe access. We also opened up new areas on the South bank in the dense woodland to gain access to the water. The lake now had a total of 20 good pegs with gentle ramps but the decision was made to leave a large portion of this lake off limits to anglers giving the Tench and Carp a safe sanctuary away from angling pressure.

The average depth of water at one rod length out is around 10-16 feet, the middle of the pit averages around 22-25 feet and in remote areas the depths plummet down to beyond 30 feet. Part of the long term works programme is to map and record lake bottom and underwater features.

The Residents

The lake is truly wild and unexplored water and will take many years to uncover what actually lives in there. The winter fish scanning surveys have produced colossal shoals of natural fish 10 feet thick and 40 feet long and as the water has warmed up over spring of 2019 hordes of Roach and Rudd have gone on the feed. There are a lot of small fish but larger baits select the better stamp and we have seen Roach and Rudd over the 1lb mark but it very much numbers game.

The nets full of skimmers that were transferred into the Old Trout lake from Clay Pool in 2016-18 have packed on weight, and now we are seeing small numbers of Bream coming out in the 2-3lb range and lots around the 1-2lb mark that are now turning Bronze along with the ordes of smaller skimmers, so again a larger hard bait do deter most of the smaller fish – this lakes will be another outstanding Bream, Roach & Tench water going forward and just to be sure we introduced a further 450+ Bream in the 8-16oz range in Feb 2019.

The lake has a good head of Green Tench with fish to over 7lb and very few small Tench. A additional 60 No Tench in the 3-7lb range were introduced in June 2019 and we will continue to stock Tench into this lake going forward.

There are a few large pike in the lake but day to day lure fishing or pike fishing is NOT permitted, however we will arrange an occasional pike day over the winter months with limited access to those anglers that support the fishery throughout the year
Perch are present in his water, fish close to 3lb have been caught but given the numbers of silvers that reside in that water and a lack of small Pike there is a real chance of specimens and time will tell.

The lake does have a small head of carp and when anglers are Tench fishing they can be a nuisance at times, a lot of these fish are natural commons in the 7-9lb range and a few a bit heavier but we are not a Carp fishery so limit the amount of anglers on the lake, the site has lot of rig rules in place for fish welfare and we don’t allow night fishing. Dawn to Dusk fishing is available to anglers staying on site in The Lodge.

What to expect

Throughout the spring, summer and Autumn when conditions are favourable expect the skimmers to come thick and fast along with a scatterings of Bream to 3lb, bags of 50lb + are reasonable to expect along with big numbers Rudd and Roach to 12oz and the occasional larger fish.

If the bait actually reaches the bottom or larger baits hard are used to deter the Silvers then catches of half a dozen Tench 3-4lb have been fairly common 2019 summer with a few bonus fish to 7lb plus the occasional Carp into double figures.

Over winter we expect the Bream and silvers to continue feeding and a few larger Perch and anticipated once the silver rates slow down as fish move to deeper water.

Baits, Tactics and Presentation

Bream, Roach and skimmers can be taken on short pole with depths reaching 12-14 feet a rod length out and fishing to hand, but you may find it hard getting baits to the larger fish nearer the bottom with anything less than 2 grams as there are so many mouths to pass as it drops through the water column.

Hybrid pellet feeders and cage feeder tactics 4-8rods lengths out get a quick response as fish move over the baits and presenting a 6 or 8mm pellet or wafter as a hair rigged or banded hard bait will catch several fish before a bait change and there is always chance of picking up a bonus Tench or Carp.

If you are into float fishing this is an ideal venue for fishing a 15 foot waggler rod, or standard 13 foot rod presenting a slider, Polaris or even float ledgering with a cage feeder to get the ground bait onto the deck quickly.

To target the Tench and avoid the silvers try fishing a larger 12mm pellet or mini boilie over a bed of 8mm pellets, but don’t be surprised if you end up with an over ambitious larger skimmer.

Run of the mill baits such as maggots, casters, soft pellets and corn will be devoured very quickly at most depths on all methods and will keep you busy all day though the warmer months. During the winter months fine down the presentation in the deeper waters fishing small naturals and maybe bread punch over mashed bread for winter Roach and Bream, and not forgetting the worms for the large Perch.

Starcarr Lakes Angling Regulations

Summer Fishing times 07:30- 18:00 latest and not past dusk.
Summer Fishing days are Wednesday & Saturday.
Winter Fishing times (Oct – March) Pre-book only via Face Book.

The measures below are in place for the safety and welfare of the fish and apply to everyone fishing or visiting the site-NO EXCEPTIONS. If you won’t comply, you can’t fish. No fishing after dark. Site gates are locked at 18:00 each night and will not re-open until 07:30. Anyone caught fishing on site after dark will detained for poaching.
Anyone seen or caught moving fish, stealing fish, killing or deliberately injuring fish, (including use of live bait) will be prevented from leaving site until the police arrive. Anglers are asked to report such activity immediately by calling 07912 677302.


  1. Maximum 2 rods per person and anglers must have a current EA rod license.
  2. Strictly one angler per peg – unless an angler is accompanying a child that is fishing.
  3. Each child angler 15 or under must be accompanied by experienced adult angler at ALL TIMES.
  4. No litter will be tolerated (including cigarette butts) pegs are inspected each morning and evening. If you find litter left by the previous peg user please report it.
  5. No nets, slings, mats or cradles to be brought on to site – only our fish care items only permitted
  6. All fish must be returned immediately to the pond they were caught in – do not move fish between ponds. No retaining fish unless instructed to do so by the fishery owner.
  8. Any fish that are weighed must be in a Starcarr weigh sling.
  9. Do not lay fish on the ground, do not lay nets with a fish in on the ground – put it on the mat provided.
  10. Bait boats are NOT permitted.
  11. 1 x Barbless single hook ( MAX SIZE 8 )per rig, No Braid Hook lengths NO FIXED or BOLT rigs, NO safety release clips, use 100% free running rigs, No multiple hook rigs.
  12. Do not leave baited tackle in the water unattended.
  13. No pike fishing, No live baiting, No dead baiting, No spinning or lure fishing of any description.
  14. Fishing distances are half way to the next peg if that peg is occupied or becomes occupied or to the middle of the pool. All pegs are numbered – do not move or remove the peg numbers.
  15. No open cans or tins on the bank, please put tinned baits into bait boxes prior to fishing.
  16. All pegs are numbered – do not move or remove the peg numbers.
  17. Banned baits – tinned cat food or tinned dog food. Do not use excessive numbers surface baits or throw slices of bread into the lake unless it is wet and mashed up into sinking bait.
  18. Do not throw in large lumps of uncut meat into the water and do not discard unused baits onto the banks or bushes – please leave unused bait in the buckets at the bait station, we will feed it to fish in the clay pool on closed days.
  19. Do not fish close to snags and endanger the fish. If you find a snag please report its location to the manager or bailiff and we will attempt to identify it and remove it.
  20. If you are unsure of anything – please ask, do not just assume

Download Clay Pool and Gravel Pit rules – updated October 2019
Download Health & Safety and Registration – updated Feb 2017