This beautiful lake is the second largest lake in Cumbria at more than seven miles long and just over half a mile wide. Ullswater holds perch, perhaps an odd pike together with schelly, an endagered and protected whitefish relic from the last ice age. However the only serious pursuit of fish is directed at Ullswater's stock of wild brown trout.
The best of the fishing is from March through to late June with the mayfly hatch being the highlight of the relatively short season. The lake can be fished from the bank in one or two areas, notably along parts of the western shore, but to make the most of it a boat and engine are essential. Unfortunately very few suitable boats are available for visitors (the boatyard at Glenridding has a couple for hire) and as a result most angling activity on the lake is by locals fortunate enough to have their own craft - and they are not easy to bribe.
Traditional loch style is the most productive approach with the favoured drifts being over the shallower areas and close to the shoreline. Deeper water is generally unproductive. Regulars have their own preferences but visitors won't go far wrong using standard loch style patterns. The trout are fairly willing and probably average just over half a pound with a fish or two around the pound mark in most bags. Trout over a pound and a half are uncommon.although they do turn up from time to time.
In most years the fishing slows markedly once the mayfly is over.
Ullswater is adjacent to the A592 Penrith to Windermere road. The approach from Penrith is much shorter, the other way involves a long trek over Kirkstone. There are several car parks and access points along the A592 shore. On the opposite shore vehicles can be parked at Howtown and the shore south of here accessed on foot.
Bank anglers favour the shoreline around the mouth of Aira Beck.
Fishing on Ullswater is free. A rod licence is all that is required.
Boats are available for hire from Lakeland Boat Hire and Ullswater Marine, both at Pooley Bridge on the northern end of the lake. For anglers the best bet is St Patricks Boat Landings at Glenridding. There are only a couple so book well in advance on 017684 82393.