The western lakes are less frequented and can offer a quieter, but no less productive alternative, to their busier counterparts in the more popular areas of the national park.
Buttermere is just over a mile long and the top lake in a chain of the three. It offers mainly bank fishing for wild brown trout with fly, spinning and worm being the permitted methods. Pike are present but not in any great quantity or size. Similarly char and very late season sea trout and salmon enter the lake but again not in sufficient numbers to warrrant any determined angling effort.
Larger fish turn up from time to time but typically most brown trout will be in the half to three quarter pound range. The fishing is best from early season through to June and, like most of Cumbria's natural waters, benefits from overcast conditions and a good breeze. The normal approach is a team of three traditional wets and it is essential to keep on the move continually covering new water.
Most of the bank is accessible, if rather rugged on the southern shore . Although boats can used on the lake it is difficult to actually find somewhere to put one in - and you need to supply your own, without an engine. A pity really, this would a lovely water for a shorline drift or two.
Nevertheless, even if the fish are uncooperative, you will still have had a good day in unparalleled surroundings.
From the north and east Buttermere is reached by way of Keswick. Take the B5285 Borrowdale road which leads eventually to the spectacular.Honister Pass and then down to the lake..
From west Cumbria its via Cockermouth then the B5292 before turning right on to the B5285 through the Vale of Lorton and along the side of Crummock Water.
Day permits cover Buttermere, Crummock Water and Loweswater together with a short stretch of the River Cocker.
Available from the ticket machine at the National Trust car park in Buttermere - have a sackful of £1.00 coins!