Risby Park stocked to perfection

There aren’t many commercials that are steeped in history but the story of Risby Park started over 250 years ago.

It was way back in the 1760s that the colourfully named Eaton Mainwaring Ellerker owned the picturesque East Yorkshire site and, as was the custom then, created a huge lake in the grounds of the estate.

Apparently, the water was initially 1.5 miles long, with a grand building erected on the banks of it to give visitors and anglers a stunning view of the site.

Fast forward to today and a lot has changed but the current owners have worked hard to maintain the charm put in place over two-and-a-half centuries ago.

The big lake that was first created has now been split in to four, with the ruins of the historic building still standing proud next to Folly Lake.

Gillen Springs, The Gorse and Orchard Pond complete the quartet, each of them sat deep in the middle of a tree-lined valley. Wildlife is also abundant, with waterfowl, birds and deer calling the spot home.

But all that aside, it’s the quality of fishing that is ultimately going to decide whether you pay it a visit and the complex definitely delivers on that front.

Fully aware that the modern angler craves more than just carp, bosses have committed to a mixed stocking policy, with big roach and perch, chunky crucians, fin-perfect tench and large slabs all thrown in to the mix.

Add to that a café that serves a range of delicious treats and ample parking and you’ll struggle to find a reason not to give Risby Park a bash.

Two anglers to have fallen for its charm are matchmen Harry Bignall and Scott Rispin. Most people have their favourite lake that they fish almost religiously but when I contacted the duo to see what all the fuss was about, there was a big discussion over which water we would use to display the venue.

“I’ve fished all four lakes and they all offer great fishing. The beauty of it is that they all provide something different,” explained Harry.

“Gillen Springs is home to lots of big carp, Orchard Pond is good for a mixed bag and Folly can be brilliant for tench, skimmers and crucians at the right time of year. But today we fancy a crack at The Gorse.”

This lake is locally known as the Tench Pond and although there is a good head of that species, it is the big roach and perch that would prove more reliable feeders on the dire winter day we visited.

Although the trees were bare and the reeds had a wintery yellow tinge, it was clear that once Spring arrived the whole place would be awash with colour.

“It may be raining heavily today and blowing a gale but that won’t put the fish off – action is guaranteed,” explained Scott, as he rigged up a waggler.

On the other hand, Bag’em Matchbaits-backed Harry had decided to fish the pole at 6m and 12m, feeding casters regularly over both spots. With the wind making presentation almost impossible on the long line, it was the backup swim that was more fruitful, producing over 20lb of big roach, quality perch and the odd tench during the four hours of action.

The result was no different for Scott who presented the waggler both on the deck and shallow to keep the silvers coming throughout the session.

If Eaton Mainwaring Ellerker is looking down on his creation now, there’s no doubt he’d be proud that the breathtaking spectacle he once built up is proving such a hit with the angling community.

Prices: Adults £6, concessions £4
Location: Risby Park, Dunflat Road, Risby, nr Beverley, East Yorks, HU17 8SS
Rules: Keepnets can be used for up to six hours, barbless hooks only, no radios
Contact: Call Anthony on 07860 255981 or visit www.risby-park.co.uk
Facilities: Café, toilets, parking

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