A Little Something For Your Ka Sir ?

How much would you pay for a seasons fishing?

I contributed to a thread (you may have to register) recently on a forum about what the maximum would be you would pay for a day’s trout fishing. I thought if it was a one off special occasion on a special river I may pay up to around £50 (Even though we paid £30 on the Don and it was terrible) As long as it was not a ditch with fish I think that would be a reasonable amount. Opinion on the thread was split with some people insisting they would not pay more than a fiver and other people taking other considerations into account like myself.

It got me thinking about how much I would pay for a season. Trout Rivers in Scotland are mostly all reasonably priced. The Kelvin is £15 for the year (not that many people pay it) and the Clyde is £28 for some amazing trout fishing. We also have the Cart, the Avon and many more all with cheap day tickets and season permits. I think this year I spent just around £100 for all my permits – a bargain even if I do say so myself.

However, I know that in England the cost of fishing can be huge. This is because of the lack of trout streams as well as the high demand for what there is. My pal Emmanuelle, after moving to England, is hunting for a reasonably priced trout river near Hull. He needs somewhere to visit close by his new home for a couple of hour’s soul soothing (not a couple of hours drive and then a quick cast). – he thinks he has found one in the Foston Beck – the only problem is he does not know how much it costs to join, how to join or whether there is a massive waiting list of hospital consultants.

We have heard horror stories of these little streams costing around £1000 for a years fishing- not really in the realms of a mere mortals pockets. However, how much is reasonable? I think for a years fishing – you are desperate mind – all other rivers are around one and a half hours a way and your beloved will not put up with that a couple of times a week …..I think I would pay around £500 …..I might stretch to £600. I would pay that kind of money if I was desperate – I mean it is almost like medicine isn’t it? Medicine for your head, your soul – something to soothe your Ka in the hum drum of work life – they have got you nine to five, Monday to Friday, you need something to look forward to at the end of the day….don’t you?

How much would you pay for a season if it was a desperate situation?


  1. suburban bushwacker · November 3, 2007

    The odd thing about all this is that the perception of cost is what keeps many people away from trout fishing, it certainly worked on me.
    Since you pointed me in the direction of Jeramiah Quinn i’ve started to ask around.
    In west london at Mortlake (where they have the boat race) i’ve spoken to two guys who said they’d had trout in the last week. At the other side of the city in depford creek, where the ravensbourne meets the thames, has a proven trout population. I’m campaigning for a Wychwood GT for my birthday so i can get out there too.

  2. James · November 3, 2007

    I am pretty tight fisted when it comes to paying for fishing. My Kelvin permit is the only annual one I buy. It’s only 5 or 6 quid to fish the Tummel and I am quite good at finding decent water that doesn’t cost much, if anything. If I go on holiday to France, a Departmental tourist fishing card is ridiculously cheap, and sea fishing costs nothing. I reckon £50 a year will cover my non-Kelvin fishing in the UK. Add £25 for stuff in France, if I happen to be there.

  3. Kbarton10 · November 3, 2007

    I think it must depend on how many days per year you can get on the water. A local stream that’s within 15 minutes drive, you may be able to fish 50-75 times per year. I would pay much more for the extra days afield, then attempt a higher cost fishery that I was only able to get to 5-10 times per year.

    Fishing is partly catching, but the environs are as much of the experience as the fish. I think exceptional surroundings would also be worth additional fees, as they’re “caught” everytime you put your foot in the creek…

  4. jeremiah · November 3, 2007

    As with restaurants, you should always have a thin about the price/quality ratio for a river. Healthy fish stocks are going to help, setting is massively important if the place charges a lot, and we’re all biased towards places we did well, while we now we can never step in the same river twice. Also, if they have a species unique to the system, and it’s big, well, I’d pay nearly anything to go just once and catch one, as with marble trout in Slovenia. But there’s this pressure when you pay a lot (do you guys feel it?) you start to get tetchy and judgemental, frustrated and antsy because things aren’t going right. It’s the opposite of what you want to feel when you go fishing. That’s why you feel extra magic when you get a good fish in the city. You paid next to nothing, and did well.

  5. alan atkins · November 3, 2007

    We are fortunate in Scotland to have wild, unspoilt fisheries that require little management in terms of stocking or habitat restoration, ansd that are, on the whole , lightly fished. So, my fishing (trout) for the season consists of permits for the Klevin, Clyde and Avon, so a total of around £60 , for probably what equates to over 50 miles of river. There are always going to be stretches that are fihsed hard on these waters, but such is the diversity of the fishing that you can always find a quiet and often more productive spot for day’s fishing.So, on the whole , very good value. However, we are spoilt in Scotland and if i was living in England in an area where the nearest trout stream was an hours drive away and i only had the opportunity to fish a couple of times a week during the season , teh i might pay £500 – difficult to say. My other permits for the season include £135 for a season on the Teith and then probably another £300 – £400 for various days on various sea trout / salmon fisheries. Add to that £15 for a grayling ticket and there you have £500 spent. I think itn all depends on what is on offer, as i ‘ve said before £500 spent on a season’s fishing in Scotland will give you far more variety than in certain areas South of the border. It’s all a matter of priorities !!

  6. Alistair · November 3, 2007


    Did you ever manage to have a bash on the Wandle before it was killed off with pollution a few months ago ?


    Nice meeting you again down on the Forth n Clyde – how did you get on ?
    Lets say you moved somewhere where the river 15mins from your door cost £500 – the only other reasnable fishing is 1.5 hours away – with a new baby would your wife go for it or would it be a no go ?

    Kbarton10 – yup it that local stream I am talking about – knowing as well you will not be able to get away for a good session very often – kind of ups the stakes doesnt it !

    Jeremiah – some people dont pay anything to fish the Kelvin so they are on a winner ! You going to be paying us a vist this year you think – if the Kelvin is out of action could take you to The Clyde as well – now that is good fishing !

    Alan – £500 for Salmon – you are a bloody toff 😉
    Just wait until we are catching those Pike for nothing….


  7. James · November 3, 2007

    Hi Alistair
    No luck on the canal. Too weedy for my plugs. Might have to fish a bit deeper, too.

    £500 for the local river? I could probably justify it to my wife, but not to myself. I wouldn’t necessarily see a 1.5 hour trip as an obstacle. A jolly up to the Tummel would involve that anyway. I’m not snobbish anyway – quite happy to harass chub, perch or any other sufficiently foolish fish, in the absence of reasonably priced trout.

  8. suburban bushwacker · November 3, 2007

    No, sadly i missed the action on the Wandle, after all the hard work those guys put in, its really bad news.

  9. jeremiah · November 3, 2007

    I will pay you a visit on The Kelvin next season. Although I have it on good account that ‘this is Glasge, we’ll set aboot ye’. Perhaps you don’t know, but John Smeaton is a very keen fly fisher. And if he chins a man on fire as recreation during a fag break, heaven knows what he’ll do to a sassenach ponce like me taking up space on his river.

  10. Alistair · November 3, 2007

    James – Like I say – there are other parts of the canal with a little more boat traffic – it seems to keep the weeds at bay

    SBW – I put the Wandle on my list of places to fish – now it looks like a little more long term – what other rivers are close by that do not cost an arm and a leg ?

    Jeremiah – I did not know he was a fly fisher actually – Stewart Ferguson the policeman that was involved is a fly fisher as well – maybe it is something to do with fly fishers being just that little bit crazy ?


  11. suburban bushwacker · November 3, 2007

    The Darenth, although technically not always an urban river, is looking good.
    A guy I used to work with had had very good results dead baiting for Pike, and these sites look promising
    Six feet from where the kids are standing in the pic (top left) I’ve seen a trout of 12-14 inches.

    Farningham; where if the faded sign is to believed Charles Dickens fished regularly.
    I’ve also seen everything from fry to the 12 mark and numerous Roach.

    But for absolutely free fishing
    Under the QE2 bridge is rumoured to be a great place for estuary Sea Bass.

    For those of us with a fascination for ‘extreme urban fishing’

    As mentioned before I’m keen to get into the Ravensbourne, Jeremiah tells me that the accidental angler has said there are no trout in it, I relayed this message to a guy I know from a local environmental group who gave it an unequivocal
    “bollox, I’ve seen Thames water electro fish a stretch for a survey and there were defiantly trout in the catch”
    email me for details of access.

  12. James · November 3, 2007

    I’ll try somewhere further along the canal somewhere next week, maybe with more success. Actually, some parts of the Kelvin upstream of Garscube look as if they might hold a few pike. Do we know if any have ever been caught?

    That’s bad news about the Wandle. I hadn’t heard the story until it was mentioned here. I’d heard a lot of good things about the river’s recovery. Still, if the situation is handled correctly, with the right kind of habitat management etc, things might recover more quickly than you might imagine. No guarantee of that, though.

  13. Alistair · November 3, 2007

    SBW – top links there – Eynsford looks like a lovely stream…….

    James – let me know ho you get on !


  14. Robert · November 3, 2007

    re:price etc. Travel costs have got to be taken in to consideration as well as permit costs.if you are on a low income as iam and the price of travel equals a day permit on some waters it can leave you pretty skint after just one days fishing.

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