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Near Hunderthwaite, Co. Durham


Revised Press Release will be posted week commencing 17th February. In the interim if you have any queries please contact 0845 1550236.

High in the upper reaches of Teesdale, lies Balderhead surrounded by open moorland. Situated in a delightful picturesque valley with typical dale farms and heather grouse moors. Enjoy a tranquil day roaming the banks for 'wild' brown trout in a reservoir where the trout descend from the original upland brownies, which lived in the streams before the dam was built.

Consession £7

Full Day Permit £9.


There are few more tranquil and relaxing ways to spend a day's fishing than roaming the banks of Balderhead waters located within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. To get the best out of this water you need to keep on the move. Brook fishing methods with sparsely dressed spider patterns work well.Enjoy the wild trouts lightning-fast reflexes and hard fighting. Unique colours and markings, these fish are a joy to catch!

Dates & times: The season is from 22nd March to 30th September and fishing times are from 8am to 9pm or sunset (whichever is sooner).Fishing commences at 8am once anglers have signed in.

Try it days: During the season on Tuesdays and Saturdays Derwent reservoir offers fishing tuition. This can be for novices or anglers keen to improve their skills in the art of both fly fishing and muti-bait fishing. The price ranges from £15 for a junior and £30 for an adult and includes all tackle hire, rod licence and three hours of tuition.

Fly: Spring and Autumn, When fly fishing, an intermediate line may be required on the colder days in March and April, when a small Black Tadpole on the point and drab Palmers on the droppers should get plenty of action. From May onwards, use a floating line as the trout are usually at the surface, often free rising to all manner of terrestrial insects and the prolific hatches of small Black or Olive Buzzers which are evident throughout late spring and summer. At this time, small traditional patterns such as Black Pennells, Invictas and Spiders are consistent fish catches with dries including Hoppers, Sedgehogs and Cul-de-Canards doing very well when fish are rising Fly Fishing Tips at Balderhead Light tackle (waistcoat or small backpack is best). Remember a Trout which snubs an imitation, for whatever reason, are more likely to respond positively to a change of fly on the next cast.

Disabled access: There are small car parks either side of the dam. There are no disabled facilities.

Shop: The nearest shop is at Grassholme visitor centre open daily from 8.00am. You will find all the fishing equipment you need to get you started from scratch including a range of bait and flies for the day. Snacks, ice creams and hot and cold drinks are available daily along with a range of leisure items for the entire family to enjoy their day out. Fishing starter packs are available from the shop which includes everything you need to enjoy a fantastic day's fishing. Our friendly team of rangers will be on hand to offer you advice and assistance.

Access & facilities:
A large car park near the north eastern corner of the reservoir from where a rough moorland walking route can be followed along the shore. There is also a smaller car park on the southern end of the dam.

Non Fishing Activities:
A public footpath runs along the shoreline and the Pennine Way crosses Blackton Bridge at the eastern end; this is the halfway point of this famous 250-mile route from Derbyshire to Scotland. The different habitats surrounding the reservoir attract different species of interesting bird and plant life throughout the year.Balderhead Nature Reserve.

Online Permits: All permits are for a day only and catch limits must be shared if more than one person is fishing. All anglers aged 12 or over must also be in possession of their own valid individual Environment Agency rod license, which if not already held can be bought from the shop.

England/Stillwaters Beat

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No days available online through us at this moment. There may be some later, at which point a booking link will appear here. To be automatically emailed when rods are added, please go to our rod alert page

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Booking Conditions


Contact Details

Fisheries Manager,
Grassholme Reservoir,
Near Grasshome,
County Durham,
DL12 0PW

Mon-Fri 9-5pm 0845 155 0236
Other times: 01833 641121