Thirlmere (pike)

Thirlmere is a large and very scenic lake alongside the A591 between Grasmere and Keswick. Helvellyn towers over the eastern shore while to the west conifer plantations dominate the fells. Thirlmere is a water supply reservoir providing Manchester with much of its supplies – with the result that water levels can drop dramatically over a dry summer. However at normal levels the lake is a spectacular wild fishery and for most of the year quiet and undisturbed.

Thirlmere holds brown trout, pike, perch and char. Despite it's size this is not a rich lake and the biomass of fish of all species is comparatively small. This feeds through to the pike population which although healthy is present in nothing like the size or numbers to be found elsewhere in Cumbria. Typically they will run at 6-8lb with an occasional fish into the teens. Dismiss the idea that you may find an under fished eldorado full of large, naive pike. If it was that good we would all know by now. But nevertheless, it is still a unique place to fish and far from the madding crowd.

The usual feedback from anglers is that the pike take some finding. In that respect a boat is a big help for lure fishing, while bank anglers can only keep their fingers crossed that they've picked the right spot. Please note that groundbait or freshwater dead baits are not permitted.

The western shore of the lake is the most accessible with several car parks and a footpath running the full length of the lake shore. Boats may be launched at Armboth car park on the western shore. Please note that outboards (petrol or electric) are not permitted.

Please note that the whole of the southern shore from Wythburn church round to Wythburn Beck is a conservation area and access is not permitted.

Map & Directions


Thirlmere is adajacent to the A591 between Grasmere and Keswick. You can't miss it.

A minor road gives access to the full length of the western shore.


Contact & Details

Type of fishing


Rod licence only required.

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