So prized is the Lathkill that the Estate insist the entire valley floor is preserved as a sanctuary for its waters. No additional fertiliser or herbicide of any description is added to the meadows; the results will let you step back in time.
Haddon owns most of the summer river, divided into three parts. From above Conksbury Bridge down to the village of Alport is the famous Dukes Beat. Much has been written about this beat that can boast the clearest water, whatever the weather. Draining through limestone it has a high pH making a rich environment for plants and fish. No Rainbows or Grayling can climb the weir at Alport so only Brown Trout swim here and these trout are special. Described by Charles Cotton in the 1670's as the ‘reddest and best trouts in England', our Lathkill Browns are stunning fish, but not daft. The huge hatches and falls of Blue Winged Olives bring the trout to the surface and give skilled anglers the chance at sight fishing that is second to none. With a central fishing hut, complete with log fire and vehicular access along a private, woodland track, a day on the Dukes Beat will be a memorable experience. The following video shows a typical summer spinner fall over Raper Weir on the Dukes Beat.
Fished by no more than 12 rods the Lathkill Syndicate is one of England's best keep secrets and an utter joy. The Alport Beat follows the flow through private land and wildlife reserve from the road bridge above Alport Mill to the B5056. Enjoy rainbows, grayling and browns; the fishing is very good but is enjoyed most by the naturalist. Off the tourist trail, with habitat to suit all manner of wildlife, nature gets on with its comings and goings around the members. Our Rods report Kingfishers perched on tip rings while they nap, Fallow Deer drinking from the same pool as they creep along and Peregrine teaching their young to catch wood pigeon carcasses, high up in the late afternoon sky. Sedges and Willow Flies follow summer hatches of olives, which follow Mayfly and Hawthorn. Early season rods will imitate Large Dark Olives for hungry fish. This is weir pool, dam and glide fishing and the following video shows the late summer Alport Beat.
The Lower Lathkill Beat is the second half of the Syndicate Water and rods alternate between it and the Alport Beat each week. Our work never finishes here, with constant coppicing to allow light to the lime green ranunculus beds. This section benefits from extra ground water springs and holds some superb fish that will inspire anglers of only a few summers and relight a fresh interest in the souls of more experienced Rods. 1.43 to 2.35 of the following clip shows the Lower Lathkill. The rest is on the Dukes Beat.