Steve Parton: Northampton Style part 6


Northampton Style is a big water style. I estimate that the minimum area needs to be at least 500 acres otherwise the drifts are too short to get set up on. Also you need petrol or diesel powered boats to get back up a long drift - which does except odd waters otherwise suitable in principal. There are a few waters appropriate and happy with the techniques involved. There are more to be exploited - especially by the oncoming crop of pike fly specialists!

I shall keep on bladerunning occasionally for the foreseeable future. I love it. And I know how to use it responsibly and in a sporting manner. Mainly I shall be continuing to try for pike and other species and larger trout whenever I get the feeling that there is a significant population somewhere that is not being exploited.

There are very definitely such populations at Grafham - it's such a pity that they'll live and die substantially useless to fishermen!

Rutland with the sad advent of disease has very definitely lost its form as a rudder water given that the fish have only been catchable before the weather warms up into late June and after it has cooled in Autumn. It is still worth fishing but the browns that really powered it initially have never been restocked in significant numbers. And given that the current overwintered rainbows are in significantly short supply one need not expect to have much chance at significant numbers of even middleweight fish to fall back on. It is maybe a very expensive place to go to learn Northampton Style on and that is a fact! There will be blanks aplenty!

Most of the real rudder devotees are fishing happily these days at Draycote. Folks like Bob Wallinger, Ron Blackwell and Max Hill - proper sportsmen all. There are a few signs that some of the younger folks are teaching themselves as well, if my sales of rudders are anything to go by!

For certain on calm days in estuaries and on sands like Morecambe Bay and even Solway there may be no better way of getting to grips with Bass and in the deeper sea lochs of the Scots West Coast pollack, coalfish, cod, and mackerel might be more than just casual fun apart from the occasional seatrout.


Thanks Steve! This series has been both fascinating as well as invaluable to me - as I'm sure it has for many others. I'm really looking forward to trying Northampton Style on the New Zealand trout waters next season (that's why I asked for it!). A few years ago Camo-Guy and I, whilst peering into the deeps of Lake Hawea, saw the biggest wild trout either of us have seen before or since, a trout which we conservatively guessed as to being twenty-five pounds. There are a couple of other lakes perfect for this technique and next year I'm going armed to the teeth!

For anyone else interested in boat fishing – for further reading I would whole-heartedly recommend Steve's brilliant book. I first read this book in the 80's and it completely changed the way I set about lake fishing. It's not simply about technique; it's about the organised and disciplined approach that brings success. In many ways Steve's “Boat fishing for trout” and Arthur Cove's “My way with trout” are very similar, and both had - and still have - a profound influence on me – Paul.

Steve Parton needs no introduction to the UK readers. Midlands reservoir angler, obsessional float tuber, author and "in the trade", Steve owns Sparton Fishing Tackle (drop by for a visit!) and is well known in the UK for his in-depth flyfishing knowledge.

Return to whence you came
Return to home page