PEOPLE who enjoy fly fishing are finding themselves in deep water following a rule change at Keighley Angling Club.

For the first time in over 150 years, anglers have been given permission to wade out into Keighley-owned stretches of the River Aire, helping them to search out obscure recesses of the river.

Chairman Bob Granger said: "The sight of a fly line looping through the air before settling on the water is one of the most iconic images in our sport.

"Fly fishing requires a completely different discipline to coarse angling and it has seen a surge in popularity over the past couple of years.

"It is wonderful to see an increase in the number of people taking to our waters but we want to encourage even more to get out into the river.

"Until recently fly fishing had only been sanctioned from the river bank, which was restrictive, especially in stretches lined with trees and bushes.

"But we listened to those who asked for a rule change and we hope this will make fly fishing more adventurous and attractive.

"The River Aire is a perfect environment as it is home to plentiful brown trout and grayling and with so many natural flies hatching in and on the water, the fish are constantly feeding."

The chairman’s remarks come with an additional word of warning to anyone wading into the river though.

Granger said: "It is important to choose the right spot and not get into difficulty.

"As with all waters, there can be hidden dangers lurking beneath the surface so it is vitally important to keep your balance and not overstretch or wade too far out.

"It is often a good idea to partner with someone who can help if there are any problems."

As the month of June came to a close, one of the Aire’s most elusive fish was caught using a nymph suspended from a floating line using a slow retrieve.

The river is home to several barbel but they are notoriously difficult to catch. The 2lb specimen was netted by the fly angler near Steeton.