Bigland (Otter Tarn)

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 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 2lbs 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. 


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


Fishing is allowed from 8.00am until sunset. No access to the site is permitted before this time. No Night fishing 

Bigland Fishery Rules 

  • Bigland is open all year round and daily from 8.00am until sunset. No access to the site is permitted before this time. No Night fishing 
  • No access to the site or fishery before 8.00am. Night fishing is strictly prohibited. 
  • Strictly fly only. 
  • Sight/strike indicators are not permitted. 
  • When fishing sunken line tactics the fly must be continuously worked. 
  • Catch and release is permitted provided that barbless or de-barbed hooks are used. 
  • The bag limit is two fish. Anglers may not share the bag limit. 
  • No wading, no dogs, no radios, no barbecues. Please ensure that you complete a catch return before leaving the fishery.  

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

Day Tickets

Day permits are £22.00 for a two fish limit (2019), catch and release is permitted and, as with all our other waters, barbless or de-barbed hooks are essential.

The nearest permit agents are Newby Bridge Motors, five miles away on the A590 at Newby Bridge (open 7.00am until 10.00pm daily) or Bowness Bay TIC near the steamer pier at Bowness. 

Day tickets