Syon Park Trout Fishery
Syon Park Trout Fishery in London claims the title of the only the small Stillwater trout fishery in London, Situated only 8 miles along the A5 from Marble Arch this is reachable for many of the capital city’s fly fishing enthusiasts for an evening session on long summer evenings.
Syon Park Trout Fishery boasts “a spring fed lake of around 6 acres set in an oasis of woodland that seems a lifetime away from the hustle and bustle of London“. The fishery is open all year round, except Christmas day and contains Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout around the 2lb 8oz mark. Research on t’interwebs suggested that “Buzzers, Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear and Sedges are popular flies with regular anglers.
In a beautiful parkland setting, Syon Park Fishery is situated in the 200 acre grounds of Syon House, a seat of the Duke of Nothumberland. Just across the River Thames from Kew Gardens, Syon Park is only eight miles west along the A4 from Marble Arch.
This is a unique opportunity to sample superb fly fishing on a small stillwater only minutes from central London. Originally constructed by Capability Brown in the 1760s, the six acre lake is regularly stocked with rainbow trout from Albury (and brown trout in season) of an average weight of 2lb 8oz up to in excess of 10lb.
Syon offers easily accessible trout fishing for the novice and more experienced angler alike in a beautiful environment on the outskirts of London.
This water enjoys prolific hatches of olives, alders, sedge, buzzers and damsel flies.
So, up and at’em, leaving Dover for another ungodly amount of hours on the motorway, hauling through traffic heading to the Rugby at Twickenham, as well as three west London football teams, one local derby (Fulham v QPR) and Chelsea being at home. Why on earth was I doing this crossed my mind more than once.
Yes, Syon Park Trout Fishery was another Bucket List venue, it’s long canal like form and regular in the Trout Fishing press had always amused me, considering it’s locale, just across the Thames from Kew Gardens, right in London.
Technically, it’s in the London area, but so is Walthamstow. Hind sight is a good thing, I think Walthamstow would have been more fun, considering the traffic – but, I was there for the fishing.
Pulling into the car park of a fancy “Waldorf Syon Park Hotel”, and a posh garden centre was a little unnerving – considering the age and state of my chariot – the beloved Blue Beer Taxi, sporting a post winter coating of grey funk. I wandered down to the fishery to see what’s what. A grass banked canal, greeted by a hersuit old man, somewhat not dressed like your “regular” Fly Angler, said, “just fish and they’ll” find you… oh, ok.
I wandered back to my van, chucked the wellies on, grabbed a couple of rods and headed to the lake – it’s 6 acres of gently rippling waters snaking into the distance.
I had spied that many of the anglers were fishing with their backs into the wind, but I was shocked at the lack of clarity, near tea stained waters. Spring fed? That’s a term best left to places like Chalk Springs.
Said old fella suggested Blue Flash Damsels, and Cats Whiskers… Thanks, but, no shit sherlock. Those two flies have done more for me over the years than many a fancy buzzer, emerger or olive pattern.
The Board in the shed, proudly displayed the 6-8lb’ers caught and what they had been caught on – namely BFD’s and Cat’s. Cat’s taking the lions share. Pun not intended.
I tackled up by the wheelchair platform as you first come to the fishery – easily plopping the damsels into the far margins. Off I strolled down the bank, spying a few fish moving toward the bridge, that weren’t being covered by the anglers about.
I cautiously flicked the damsels, tied to 4lb Drennan (.20mm) Flurocarbon tippet, to snatches but nothing really grabbing. It was hard to differentiate between the draw of the weeds and plucks, since the lake was very shallow.
I moved on down to an area where all the population of birds, ducks and coloured geese had amassed. A note, I have never seen such tame feathered friends. Chucking the gold headed Cat (short tied on a 10 Klink hook), it seemed as there was a bit more depth to this area, third tug of the retrieve, using a clear intermediate #6, about half way across, returned a sharp bang – a 3lb ‘bow graced the net.
Certainly not the easiest place to catch, but easy to fish, since the back cast in the near stately home surroundings meant that chucking 10m+ lines presented chances from the middle the lake.
If Parakeets, and the aroma of aviation fuel is your thing – then you’re in for a treat.
I saw fish caught early, when one was catching, others were; and vice versa. I fished on a bright clear day, and only fished the left bank.
On returning to the car, I saw a few fish moving right beside the hut, which I covered with the Blue Flash damsel I retrieved from the trees, losing/dropping three fish in quick succession – to a blunt hook.
I was however somewhat stunned by their pricing structure – that you have to pay for a membership – £12 then a permit to fish, or take the fish; so is actually £32 for a 2 fish ticket, for a visiting angler, this isn’t clearly explained, but since I will be visiting other Albury fisheries – I can appreciate it. If I were a one time only angler, then I could be left a bit WTF.
Will I be going back? Probably not, alas it was a bucket list trip – one and done. Not because I didn’t enjoy – but I did drive past a number of fisheries that I’d like to visit before it’s carp fishing season.
Did I enjoy the fishery and locale? As a smart,clean fishery, yes it’s certainly that, and I can see that if you’re London based and in need of a fly fishing fix, and East London is a foreign country to you, then Syon Park Trout Fishery is a handy venue. Would I call it class? Certainly Avington and Chalk Springs, Frensham and others are higher up a list of venues, but again, if I were london based, and no transport to Meon, Avington or Dever, then It’d do.
Other near by options also include Halliford Mere and Walthamstow which I hope to review in time.
Syon Park Fishery information
Open every day from 08.00 until dusk, except Christmas Day. Just start fishing, they come round on a quad and sell tickets and flies on the bank.
Please note they don’t take debit or credit cards.
For GPS users use TW7 7BB which will bring you to the Park entrance in ‘Park Road’ Isleworth.