Malham Tarn
Malham Tarn

Malham, Yorkshire, England

About this water

Brown trout
OS Grid Ref: SD 89393 66769
Latitude: 54.096715
Longitude: -2.1636791

Malham Tarn is a glacial lake near the village of Malham in the Yorkshire Dales, England. It is 377 metres above sea level, making it the highest lake in England. The lake is one of only eight upland alkaline lakes in Europe.

Its 150 acres of limestone bedrock are a perfect habitat for invertebrates which are prayed upon by a population of fast-growing large wild brown trout.

Traditional "loch style" fishing is successful, with long drifts being accomplished due to the relative overall shallowness of the tarn. Remember to bring a drogue, the boats are fairly light weight and the tarn is exposed. An electric motor can be very useful too, otherwise get ready for lots of rowing.

The Tarn has the reputation of being England's best wild trout fishery. Not an easy place to catch but perseverance and patience can be rewarded with a fish of a lifetime.

Malham Tarn Field Studies Centre occupies a large Georgian country house, leased from the National Trust. The centre is run by the Field Studies Council.

Fishing is only allowed from the boats and there are four boats to choose from housed in two beautiful stone boathouses; Boathouse West and East.
To book a boat, please call the Field Studies Council on 01729 830331.

On arrival you will need to go to the Field Studies Council office and they will issue you with a permit and buoyancy aid.
We strongly recommend that you wear a buoyancy aid. The tarn is exposed and becomes choppy quickly.

You will be invited to look at the catch returns, which can be very useful for formulating a plan of attack.
Please remember to make a note of the length, weight, species (perch also swim the tarn) and the successful fly, so you can complete your 'return slip' and post it back into the Field Studies office before you leave.

The boats don't have outboard motors but you are welcome to use your own electric one.

More information can be found on the National Trust website.

Water map


Contributed by

Steven Cook

Wind enthusiast, tippet collector and leader length obsessive. Steven knows only trout. His education was hindered by his lack of attention to anything that wasn't trout fishing. If you can find him he's usually at the front; over the furthest headland, bay or peninsula, pulling a team of wets and whistling the theme to The Littlest Hobo.

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