All Our Yesterdays

A photographic history of Grafham

Grafham Water was opened in 1966 for water supply.


It covers an area of approx. 1600 acres. Because of the availability of relatively cheap trout fishing and the influence of writers such as the late Richard Walker, it’s popularity increased and quickly became the premier trout lake in the country. Other reservoirs have opened since 1966 when Grafham first opened to trout fishing, including Anglian Water’s own Rutland Water and also a myriad of smaller waters have come in on the coat tails of Grafham, but in our opinion, Grafham is still the number one fishery in England.

the fleet

One half of the excellent boat fleet lined up in the harbour.

Another view of the boat harbour.

Cormorants became a countrywide problem and because Grafham is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, legal restrictions were applied.. As a result, in recent years Anglian Water have been stocking with a large percentage of fish around the one kilo mark. As the season progresses some cracking specimens are available to be caught.

Fishery Records

The largest rainbow of 13lb 13oz was caught in 1992 by GWFFA member the late Dave Barker, pictured below. He caught it on a Minkie, a fly originated by him.

Dave Barker

The largest brown trout caught on a fly was a fish of 17lb 2oz caught in 1994 by Stephen Jacques, seen below.The cased fish which was caught on a Viva, can be seen in the Harbour View Restaurant.


The largest trout caught from Grafham was a 19lb 12oz Brown on an any method Pike angling day in 1996, caught by Graham Nichol.

Zander and Pike Fishing

Although Grafham is a trout water, pike and Zander have come into Grafham with the water that is pumped in from the River Great Ouse. They can be fished for with fly under strict rules, (information from the Lodge).
This fine pike of 27lb 8oz, illustrated below, was caught by the late Charles Bettell.

Charlie Bettell 27lb 8oz - 4magazinea
Specimen Perch also feature in catches, as do huge Bream that seem to be making a comeback.