Malham Tarn fly fishing

Fly-fishing on Malham Tarn, Yorkshire Dales

Malham Tarn Fishing 2020

With the current situation regarding the Coronavirus outbreak and in line with government guidance on limited movement and the need to limit face to face contact, it is with regret that we have had to take the decision to cancel the 2020 fishing season at Malham Tarn. While the National Trust is, where possible, keeping open as many of its outside spaces for free, fishing on the Tarn cannot be conducted without face to face contact with staff and the use of shared equipment.

If you have already made a booking for this season, this will automatically be cancelled. We apologise for the disappointment that this will cause but hope that you understand and appreciate that our concern for everyone’s safety is our top priority.

Many of our staff and Field Studies Centre staff are currently working from home, so if you do need to contact us about this, please do not phone, but instead email

Malham Tarn is a popular place for fly-fishing, set in a stunning location. Not for the faint-hearted as it can be a hard place to fish, but the rewards can be great. You can fish for brown trout and perch from one of our four fishing boats, but everything you catch must be returned to the water.

Fishing Season
Fishing season is daily from 1 May through till end September.


£18 Boat hire
£21 per person (£10 concessions)

Weekends & public holidays
£24 Boat hire
£24 per person (no concessions)
To book a boat
Fishing is only allowed from the boats that can be hired through the Field Studies Council.
To book a boat, please call the Field Studies Council on 01729 830331.  Please familiarise yourself with the fishing rules below before you book a boat.

On arrival
You will need to go to the Field Studies Council and they will issue you with a permit and buoyancy aids if you would like to borrow them. (We strongly recommend that you wear buoyancy aids).

We also ask all fishermen to complete a ‘return’ to let us know what you caught.

NEW FOR 2019 - Biosecurity
Malham Tarn is a national nature reserve and we are very careful about what goes into the water. Before you will be allowed to fish on the tarn, you will be asked to complete a Biosecurity Declaration when you sign in. Please familiarise yourself with the contents of the declaration to ensure you comply with its requirements; unfortunately if you do not meet the requirements you will be unable to fish on the tarn.

Thank you for helping us keep Malham Tarn protected.

Fishing Rules

  • All anglers must have a valid Environment Agency Rod Licence which must be produced before you will be allowed a permit.

  • Anglers are advised to check weather conditions for Malham Tarn at the Met Office website before setting out: ( Note that The Field Studies Council reserve the right to not issue permits if wind speeds are or are forecast to be above 12 knots (14mph) that day. Experienced anglers of Malham Tarn may be allowed out using electric outboard motors, with wind speeds up to a maximum of 17 knots (20 mph).

  • Follow 'Check, Clean & Dry' protocol for all equipment before arriving on site; complete Biosecurity Declaration on arrival.

  • Fly-fishing only is permitted.

  • No worms, spinners ground or live bait.

  • Only barbless hooks are to be used.

  • Catch and release policy - All fish must be returned alive, unless badly injured.

  • Please complete the fishing return provided even for a nil return.

  • Bank fishing is not permitted.

  • Fishing is only permitted in certain areas – these are marked on the map on the permit.

  • The Field Studies Council and the National Trust accept no responsibility for loss or damage to equipment or personal injury sustained by the hirer while in the boat or on the property. The hirer is liable for all loss or damage to boats or gear.

  • Age Restriction: an adult must accompany persons under 18 and a buoyancy aid must be worn at all times they are out on the tarn.

  • Only persons who hire a boat have permission to fish. Boats are hired for fishing only, and charges apply to all users of the boats. Maximum of 3 people per boat.

  • Anglers must not land on the shore except at the boathouse. In an emergency, beach the boat well up the shore and inform Field Centre staff immediately.

  • Boats are available from 9.00am (no earlier), and must be returned by 9.00pm.

  • All litter and excess fishing tackle must be removed from site.

  • Vehicles must be left at the Field Centre car park, or as otherwise directed.

  • Anglers must not be accompanied by a dog nor carry any firearms (catapults included), radio or stereo, nor light any fires

  • The boats are all rowing boats, so you may wish to bring an outboard motor - outboard motors must be electric only.

  • The fishing permit does not allow the boat to be used for any commercial purposes whatsoever.