About the Friends of Malham Tarn

Season 2024

Welcome to the Friends of Malham Tarn website! If you fished with us last year, you’ll know that after an enforced three-year closure due to the Covid pandemic, FoMT took over the fishing lease for Malham Tarn in 2023.

Working closely with the estate owners, The National Trust, FoMT have restructured the fishing access model to allow the long tradition of day-ticket fishing on Malham to continue. After a hugely successful first season, it gives us great pleasure to announce that The National Trust have extended our lease and backed FoMT to manage and protect the fishing whilst maintaining the bio security of the tarn for the foreseeable future.

With the quality of the support extended to us by The National Trust, we hope to be able to serve you, the visiting angler for many more years to come.

The wardens have been humbled and encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive nature of the feedback received from visiting anglers last season and look forward to seeing you all again in 2024.  We did receive some feedback last season which indicated a little frustration at the unpredictable nature of the booking system. We took on board all comments and suggestions proffered and discussed the subject extensively at our AGM.

We fully appreciate that booking your first-choice dates is not always possible, but the constraints of the current access model and the biosecurity rules make it difficult if not impossible to devise a perfect system. For now, the booking system will remain the same as last year, but please rest assured we will endeavour to make improvements to this aspect of our model when and if we can.

A recurring theme in the comments from the day-ticket anglers was that the quality of the fishing, the service and equipment provided, is, at £25, an absolute steal!

While it was pleasing to hear, and we do operate as a non-profit making organisation, we concluded at the AGM that a £5 increase in the day-ticket price was necessary to maintain this level of service. The wardens also voted unanimously to keep our ticket prices in line with the public. The warden and public day-ticket in 2024 is now priced at £30 per person.

We think you’ll agree that for your permit, boat, engine, battery, net and drogue, and 8 hours fishing on the finest wild brown trout water in England, this is indeed, still ‘for a song’! Please help us keep our pricing low by taking good care of the kit that we provide. Leader material and fly lines wrapped around the propeller was a common and very time consuming problem for our wardens last season, which, as we all know is easily done but also just as easily avoided with a little care and concentration.

If you do foul the prop, please let the duty warden know at the end of the day, or sooner if your propulsion is compromised. Also, we were surprised at the number of damaged nets! Please don’t leave nets in the bottom of the boat where they are easily trodden on – extend the handle slightly and straddle across the middle of the boat where it is both easily reached and safe from harm. All equipment will be checked by the wardens upon your return and damaged or lost equipment may result in an invoice!

Tight lines to all, and thank you all for your continued support!


How the Fishing Works

It is essential that you read and digest the following information prior to purchasing your day ticket:

The Friends of Malham Tarn is a non-profit making group of 10 members or ‘wardens’. The wardens are all experienced and highly knowledgeable wild brown trout anglers with vast collective experience and knowledge of fishing Malham Tarn. At least one warden will be on site each fishing day to issue your permit, equipment, keep you safe and help you make the most of your day.

Fishing will not be available on every day of the season due to the way the fishing access model has been restructured post-pandemic. In essence, a boat will become available to the general public whenever a warden is on site. A quick look at the calendar on the booking page will show public availability for the season. If available dates are not suitable, more dates may become available through the season as wardens set down their commitments, so keep an eye on the calendar for available dates. With only two boats on the tarn (one boat per day available to the public and one boat available to wardens) advance booking is essential.

The major change to the pre 2023 system that you will notice is that visiting anglers must now be checked in by a warden at the start of the day and out at the end. The Tarn is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), so FoMT and its wardens are also charged with protecting the biosecurity of whole area. For this reason you must arrive with CLEAN AND DRY kit: waders, boots, boat seats, rods, lines and flies etc.

On the day of your fishing, the duty warden will meet you at the West Boathouse (see directions page) where you will be issued with your ticket, engine and battery etc. Parking is available on the road directly above the boathouse. Only one visitor car and one warden’s car may be parked in this space. If you arrive in two cars, one must be left at the National Trust office car park, on the left immediately after entering the estate. The warden will also explain our biosecurity protocols which you must adhere to. You will meet the warden in the boathouse at the end of the day when your equipment and catch returns will be collected.

Wardens will arrive at 8:15 to prepare for your arrival. Please ensure that you arrive no later than 8:30. Fishing commences at 9:00 am, but permits, parking passes and equipment must be issued, and rules/biosecurity explained.

If for any reason you are late, you can expect the wardens to have left the boathouse at 9:00 sharp and commenced fishing! Alert them to your arrival by standing on the bank to the left (east side) of the boathouse, waving and whistling. Your warden’s boat will be will be watching out for you but please don’t expect them to be hanging around. The warden will come back to the boathouse area at regular intervals until noon,  but after that, will assume that you have abandoned the day.

Arriving early is not a problem! Pour a coffee and take in the sights, sounds and solitude of Malham, and unload your gear and take it down to the boathouse in readiness for the arrival of your duty warden.

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Check availability and book your boat and day ticket in advance.

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