Bigland (Otter Tarn)

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Bigland (Otter Tarn)

This beautiful 11-acre fishery is set in the low fells to the south of Newby Bridge. Bigland is a fascinating water to fish with its many islands, spits and hidden corners not to mention a varied, and at times, prolific fly life. Bigland fishes well to all methods but, in particular, those anglers who prefer an imitative style of fishing will find this water well suited to their tastes – as will those who enjoy a stalking-type approach to their sport. 

The early season buzzer hatches provide exciting surface sport during April, usually followed by good hatches of olives from early May. Later in the year trout rise freely to the big sedge hatches that occur on warm summer evenings (along with clouds of midges!). Terrestrials are always on the menu especially beetles, hawthorns, black gnat and heather fly-in season. Caenis, damsels, and daddies add further variety. The largest food source at this lake is there a massive abundance of hog lice and shrimps which provide year-round food for the numerous rainbow and brown trout.  Fish can often be found cruising along the banks and it often pays to fish along the margins. The fishery is stocked regularly with rainbows averaging 2 lbs along with a good mix of blues and larger fish in the 3-8lb range. As with most fisheries, the warmer summer months can be tough going at times but by early September the trout are normally hard on the feed once again. Given a mild winter, Bigland can provide surface sport through into December and generally fishes well even in the coldest weather. 

We have introduced Electronic Catch returns on all our waters, for further information please use the following link: Catch Return Instruction


All members and day tickets please be aware parking is in the signed area only, opposite the cattle shed, with no access beyond. There is a gateway at the end of the parking area, which takes you down to the lake; there is a fishing hut will be on your left. The hut is for the members and day ticket holders to use as they wish. 


Bigland is open all year* to WADAA members and day ticket anglers. 

*As a result of the increasing impacts that climate change is having on summer trout fishing, WADAA has developed a detailed set of actions, triggered when conditions become critical for fish health. These may result in the temporary and short term closure of venues. Closures will be indicated using the traffic light system on the homepage of the club website and in your MyWADAA account. Further details can be obtained from the club on request.

Please note that there is no longer an honesty box at Bigland. Tickets must now be purchased online or at one of the ticket outlets before the commencement of fishing. The club apologies for any inconvenience, however, this option has been abused by anglers recently so we have had no choice but to remove it.


Access to the site is from 8.00 am until sunset. No access to the site is permitted before 8 am. No Night fishing 

Bigland Fishery Rules 

Permit holders agree to read and comply with the fishery rules as printed below and/or displayed on the fishery notice boards and to comply with the Environment Agency Fishery Bylaws. Failure to do so renders the permit invalid. You must carry this permit with you while fishing.

For full rules please follow this link:  Bigland Fishery Rules Updated Feb 24     

Float tube dates for 2024 

Please ensure that anyone float tubing shows consideration to other people fishing, especially on the bank.

May 11th and 25th

June 1st and 15th

July 6th and 20th

August 10th and 24th

September 7th and 21st

October 5th and 19th

Take a look

A video of Bigland by The Student Fisherman.(


To find Bigland take the A590 from the roundabout at Newby Bridge towards Ulverston. Turn left after a mile and keep following the road uphill for approximately 3/4 mile until you come to a T Junction turn left. After 1/2 mile turn left over the cattle grid – signposted ‘Otter Tarn’. Follow the tarmac track past the farmhouse to the fishery car park. 

Postcode: LA12 8PB 

Co ordinates: 54.2392837, -2.9822255 

Interactive map

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