When Peter Walker took me on his Swallows and Amazons tour of the Lake District we stopped at Esthwaite Water where Arthur Ransome often went fishing. I wonder if he had it is mind when he wrote about Roger’s great fish, the terrifying pike hooked in Shark Bay.
‘I understand Ransome fished it with his friend the Vicar of Finsthwaite.’ Peter went on to explain that Ransome’s last book Mainly about Fishing is dedicated to Rev. Roland Pedder of Finsthwaite – whose father was the Rev John Wilson Pedder of Garstang.
Peter wrote from Kendal to tell me that Esthwaite Water was up for sale on eBay – for £300,000. This did not seem a great deal as it covers some 280 acres, but this was the price for a 15 year lease. Apparently the trout and pike fishing is excellent. The full details appeared on this lakeforsale site
As I looked out through the reedy habitat I could just imagine Jeremy Fisher frog also in residence. I felt sure that Beatrix Potter must have painted him there. Although originally set on the River Tay in Scotland, Peter tells me that the final illustrations for The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher were sketched from the shore of Esthwaite Water in 1906. The original cover for the little book certainly looks as if she must have enjoyed doing this.
Tom Murphy of the Westmorland Gazette said that it was indeed Beatrix Potter’s favorite lake. It is just below Hill Top, the farm where she lived. Please click here for his article.
The Daily Telegraph also picked up on the story: ‘Lake District lake which inspired Wordsworth’
Can anyone tell me if Ransome wrote about fishing on Esthwaite Water in his book Rod and Line? ~ please use the comments box below.