The second day of our walk we continued from Congleton Train Station at 11am with the intention of arriving in Macclesfield around tea time (6pm)
We parked the car near the Railway Inn
Walked under the main road underpass where my family tried not to appear “gangsta”
And were soon out into the open countryside
The sun was out, and we were looking forwards to another great day. Spring has really sprung, catkins on the trees, hawthorn sprouting leaves, and daffodils adorning the we cared for canal side gardens
In general the condition of the towpath was good, however there were a couple of muddy sections which made us glad that we were wearing our hiking boots.
These sections would have been impossible with our usual push chair – so it was proof that our new ATV pushchair was worth the money
The curse of the dreaded thorns returned with a vengence
5 punctures in less than a mile !!!!
This brought a premature end to the day just north of Bosley Locks. We called a taxi from Congleton and got stiffed for a £20 taxi ride (we had no choice)
Tommy had a great time throwing stones in the canal from a bridge
We aslo had a great picnic sitting on some recently sawn logs. They smelt wonderfull.
Next weekend we will have to park a car at Bosley Locks and the other in Macclesfield so we can walk the remaining 6 miles of this section and drive back to our starting point. Theres no public transport to Bosley Locks so two cars are necessary
Then it will be another long section from Macc to Marple
I’ve bought some kevlar tape to stick between the pram tyres and innertubes – hopefully this will cure the puncture problem which has become more than frustrating
Fishing has slowly become something I used to to in a previous existence – pre child – but like swimming or riding a bike its something that can always be put down and picked back up again when the time suits.
I’ve been doing a lot of walking recently, pushing little Tommy around various fishing venues wistfully wondering about wetting a line, and noting some likely looking spots. When I say I’ve been doing a lot of walking – I really mean A LOT.
Hardly a lake, towpath, river bank hasn’t been covered over the last 18 months in his pushchair – which now has more miles on the clock than a 10 year old taxi.
The battered state of my youngest childs transport hasnt gone un noticed by my families operations director – so a new all singing all dancing go anywhere all terrain vehicle has been purchased.
Look at the gleaming chrome on the wheels here – this won’t last long with the sort of places we like to go walking
We have decided to walk the Cheshire Ring. Starting off at Kidsgrove we decided to walk towards Congleton (about 6 miles) where we could take the train back to the car which was parked in Kidsgrove town center.
All good walks should start and finish at a pub – we chose the Canal Tavern in Kidsgrove.
A lovely early spring day, a bag of bread for the ducks, and a bag of jelly babies for the adults.
There are mile posts along the canal towpath, and after a while we realised that we manage a steady 2 miles an hour.
There was lots of bankside activity, birds building nests, and judging by the freshly dug earth and the pungent aroma a set of fox holes on the far bank.
Lots of lovely rolling Cheshire countryside, early flowers and budding trees
As we approached Congleton we managed to pick up a thorn in one of the tyres – first day out, first puncture. It made pushing the pram awkward as it made it veer to the left all the time. Then amazingly we picked up another thorn in the same flat tyre. The canal and rivers trust had been trimming the hedgerows and the towpath was covered in hawthorn twigs.
No wonder we didnt see many cyclists !
Next to Congleton station we found a corner shop for some sugary snacks and also a DIY store which sold some tyre repair stuff.
A complete waste of £3.99
So despite it being still early – we decided to call it a day.
The trains run once an hour back to Kidsgrove – the train pulled in about 2 minutes after we read the timetable and sat down on the platform. Great timing.
It took 7 minutes on the train to cover the distance we had walked in 3 hours.
Next up will be Congleton to Macclesfield – about 12 miles.
Here is an obligatory picture of the Canal – we only saw one fisherman all day – he was blanking.
I only got out a handfull of times during 2013, so much happening domesticaly that going out fishing became nothing but a flashback to a previous life. A couple of trips out on some local venues (mostly the Rochdale Canal) my fishing kit gathered dust in the shed.
Now the Diddy Duddy isnt so diddy, I’ve decided to pick up the fishing sticks again and get a little more fresh air.
I’ve no intention of returning to being the prolific blogger I once was, but am looking forwards to sharing my fishing adventures with you once again.
So, this afternoon, armed with a stick float and pint of white maggots, I drove north a couple of miles to fish the Irwell for an hour our two a mile or so south of Bury town centre.
The river in this area has been re-stocked earlier this winter with 10,000 mixed roach, dace and chub so I was expecting to bag up on silver tiddlers. But like most of my fishing plans, this plan didnt go to plan and I didnt see a “silver” fish all afternoon but did have the pleasure of catching 4 out of season brownies on single white maggot on an 18s hook.
I had them at 3lb, 2lb, 1lb and 8oz – not bad fish for a cold winters afternoon.
It was great to get a bend in the rod again, and hear the screech of the clutch on my pin.
Here the biggest
And the littlest
A very enjoyable couple of hours – its good to be back.
My life revolves round bottles, nappies and a pram at the moment – and after waiting for so long for little Tommy to decide to come along I’m not in any rush to get outdoors with a fishing rod in hand at the moment.
The poor little lad is only 8 weeks old, and hes already been round Clifton Marina, Broughton Park, Drinkwater Park, The Rochdale Canal, The Bridgewater Canal, and Salford Quays with his dad. This afternoon my sister who has been desperate for “a go” took him out with her kids for a walk in Heaton Park and I was suddenly presented with a couple of free hours.
After wasting an hour dithering about trying to decide whether to go on the MSC tip fishing for bream on a new spot I’ve discovered, or punch fishing on the Bridgewater Canal, I ended up with my lure rod in hand on the lakes behind home Drinkwater Park.
There were half a dozen other pike anglers out in the Autumn rain – with nothing much doing apart from a 4lb jack between them. I did a circuit of the front and back lakes, then a trip up the valley to Waterdale with nothing to show for my efforts. Both lakes are still too heavily weeded for lure fishing to be effective – a few hard frost will improve things no end.
Nice to be on the bank – even if it was only for an hour or so – but then again – I’ve got a new little pal at home and I’d rather be staring at him than a float.
There’s been a lot going on at Fishing Fiend Towers recently – a new son Tommy 6lb7oz and the other Tommy (aged 76) in the family being hospitalised for the last month. So with yours truly being both a dutiful father and son, fishing time has been non existent recently.
A weeks “paternity fishing” was wrecked by the incessant rain – with river levels not being conducive to good sport. So with a return to full time working hours beckoning – today was my last chance for a bit of bank time.
I’d promised Paul S ages ago that I would accompany him to a fishery of his choice – and he chose Ginghams near Horwich. To be honest, I’d never heard of the place before – but hey ho I’ve been desperate to get out fishing for ages now so despite yet another rotten weather forcast I gave it a go.
Heres a link to the fishery – http://www.ginghamfisheries.co.uk
Set on the slopes of Winter Hill – its very picturesque.
The banks of the fishery are very steep, and the water quickly drops away to 10ft only a couple of meters out, so i fished top 2 plus three pole sections, corn as hookbait over a bed of hemp.
Peg 7 – my home for the day
I had a couple of roach and skimmers early on, and then had a run of 4 smallish mirror carp to about 4lbs.
Great fun to watch the 16’s elastic stretch out with the fish being able to run in the open water. Then to stop things getting absurd – the pulla bung did its job as the fish came quickly to the net once tired (I’ve recently re-elasticated all my top kits – so the laccie is still a little slack allowing the fish to give a good stretch on 16s)
As the morning progressed the weather turned, and the forecast wind and rain arrived – at the same time as the bailiff – £4 – not bad for a commie.
I had a few more fish – (all carp) but they seemed to arrive a couple at a time – then nothing for a while. It was only when i added a few pellets to the hemp i was feeding that the fish arrived and stayed.
The last half hour saw a run of 6 fish in 6 put ins – with the float burying nearly as soon as it had settled. The effect of getting the feeding right made such a massive difference with the last fish being nearly double the size of anything I’d had earlier in the day.
Paul S, had a similar day – catching carp intermittently on pellet waggler, as did his friend also conveniently named Paul, and Luke who also tagged along with us – did very well on method feeder catching a good stamp of skimmers regularly throughout the day.
So would i go back to Ginghams – absolutely – I think I’ll organise a club match on here sometime between now and the end of November – It will give me something to look forwards to in the midst of all the sleepless nights and dirty nappies.
You can’t keep a good quest down – I know they’re there and one day I will finally achieve my goal. Today wasn’t that day.
Other than chasing dreams on the river, I’ve been roach fishing up at Maceys in Bury, and on the Old River in Irlam. Fishing caster shallow at both venues I’ve been very frustrated missing a high % of bites. A switch to a wider gape hook saw me improve my bite to fish ratio but theres still a long way to go with the fine tuning of my rig before I’m happy.
One very pleasing thing I’ve discovered is incredible growth rate of the roach in the Old River, last spring we couldnt catch roach any bigger than half and ounce – this summer the fish are averaging 4oz – looks like it will be a cracking fishery again in the near future.
I also had good sport on the Old River with pike, taking 6 fish to 6lbs by fishing a sleeper rod live bait just a foot or two past the end of my keepnet. Great to see this place making such a good comeback.
I spent the evening on a local stream with Pete. My first time on this particular water I had no idea what to expect. Pete told me that i had the chance of trout, roach, perch, chub and dace.
He wasnt wrong – we caught the lot in less than an hour.
I found it to be a beautiful bit of water, lots of fish to be caught amongst the Starwort
Even the rain didnt see us off.
The rivers been unfishable for large parts of this summer – and during the windows when the river has been fishable yours truly has been under the thumb, dressed in decorators garb brush and roller in hand.
I’ve been trying to get out for an evening on the river with Adam (Rawtenstall Kick Sampler) for ages now, and we finally made it out fishing together on Saturday evening.
A nice bright evening – the fish were initially thin on the ground, but as the evening wore on and our ring rustiness wore off we started to get amongst the fish.
My old favourite the “irwell imp” accounted for the largest fish of the evening, which despite coming in at less than a pound ran me all over the river on our light tackle.
A cracking evening, doing something I’ve really missed.
My early season decision to target specimen fish hasnt come to fruition, as i seem to have been sidetracked organising and fishing a series of matches. Not my favourite form of fishing, but I’m glad to report that I’ve finished in the top half of each match, and managed to win one of them (my first ever match win).
A Diddy Duddy is due at the end of August which I’m sure will curtail fishing activity even more effectively than the bad weather, so I cant see any of my early season targets being acheived without a huge dollop of luck.
The blogs been quiet recently – that doesnt meant I’ve not been fishing though – lots of sessions with nothing really worth writing about – and a couple of big fish getting off have numbed the urge to write.
Please visit Waterfeature…
…and if you watch the video at the top, then read the background to the Kelham Island hydro scheme and wish that the good folk of Sheffield would learn from the terrible consequences of hydro schemes elsewhere and reverse the decision to plough ahead with their own hydro scheme, please vote on the petition at the top right hand side of the blog. You need not be a citizen of Sheffield to vote. All you need to be is a citizen of the world and care about the life in and around the world’s rivers.
|…the terrible consequences of hydro schemes elsewhere…|
The river Don, a natural salmon river, has suffered about 400 years of abuse. It is an amazing example of how a river can come back to life if folks stop abusing it. The saddest aspect of this scheme is that, after a few short years of improvement, the river Don is going to be set back to the impoverished state it was in, when really it should be getting all the help it can to keep on coming fully back to life.
You can give the Don some help by registering and voting your disapproval on http://waterfeature1.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/screening-and-cleaning.html
(Lifted from Regular Rods blog but well worth the copy and paste)
Another problem is that the noise from these small scale hydro-electric schemes may be scaring off migrating fish, preventing them from reachng their spawning grounds. See this article on the Settle Hydro:
Of course this problem is also very critical locally, where three hydro schemes are being installed (one already generating) on the Goyt, which has a nascent salmon run, not yet properly established. The hydro scheme may well ensure that the salmon run NEVER gets to be of any significant size.
The track down to the Lagoons is best described as “a bit rough” – which also happens to be a good description of a few of the locals down in deepest darkest Salford. But as you turn left at the end of the track – you get a glimpse of a wildlife haven in the centre of one of the UKs dirtiest industrial areas. Its a real green oasis – which you have to see for yourself to really appreciate. My description of the locals might be a little off putting – a better description would be hard outer shell – soft inner centre – like chocolate eclairs. The work these lads have done is incredible and the transformation they have made to the lagoons incredible.
The Lagoons have been over run and neglected for years prior to Salford Lads Angling Club taking an interest a couple of years ago. 1000s of tyres, a few cars and a couple of tons of scrap metal have been dredged from the depths by a couple of dozen volunteers and theyve now turned the place into a cracking little fishery which is available to everyone for a £2 day ticket.
I set up on one of the central pegs on the main lake, fishing slightly to the right of a big pad of lilys. I used finely chopped spam as groundbait, and fished lumps of spam and 4mm soft hooker pellet on the hook to catch a steady stream of rudd, skimmers tench and crucians. A very enjoyable evening. There are a few lumps in there too waiting to be caught – as i got busted a couple of times by big fish which ran me straight into the lily beds.
Am looking forwards to coming back again.
From the lack of blogging activity you might think that I’d not done much fishing this month – but then you’d be wrong.
I’ve fished a couple of Salford Friendly fundraising matches winning one match in a howling gale on the Rochdale canal with a single skimmer bream on a match that was abandoned after only 2 hours as being unfishable. The next Salford Friendly match on the Old River in Irlam started well with lots of bites and missed fish in the first hour, then as the match went on the bites dried up and i ended up with 12oz of tiddlers to claim 6th. And the last match on the Rochdale canal on a red hot sunny day I had a 5th place again with a few ounces of tiddler roach.
The matches we have fished so far have all been on rock hard venues, and I am beginning to lose the will to live. We’ve booked another 5 matches – this time on venues with better stocking density – so hopefully catches will be higher and moods lighter.
In between all this match fishing, I’ve been blanking on the Manchester Ship Canal – while those fishing around me have been bagging big bream, and on my last trip to Drinkwater Park – suffered a blank in a swim which was alive with fizzing bubbles from bream.
The only saving grace has been a few good sessions on Sainsburys Pond – where even a numpty like me can bag up.
I’m going to get out this long weekend for a few hours at various venues – lets hope i can get a decent bend in the rod for a change.
Instead of driving into town, or to my office I often walk or ride my bike alongside the River Irwell which is a much more pleasant vista than the A56 corridor. It is rare though to see any sort of fishy activity – as the trout never seem to actively feed at the surface on the lower river. So when I noticed fish rising in the same spot twice in the space of a fortnight it really gave me an itch to get out trouting.
In the past I’ve had a couple of absolute lunkers from this area whilst lure fishing for pike, but have yet to take a trout from this section of river on the fly – for some reason I cant reconcile fishing a big urban river with the delicate fly fishing presentation needed to tempt the trout – I much prefer fly fiishing small streams and pocket water so on the Lower Irwell I tend to use small lures or wait until the coarse season starts and catch them on maggots.
So this evening after work, I ventured down to the river with my lure kit in hand to the spot where I’d seen the rising fish. I had a take from a good sized trout after only 15 minutes or so but it threw the crushed barbs on the copper bladed mepps I had tied on. Undeterred i carried on moving down stream losing a couple of spinners on the river bed iron mongery but still seeing the occasional fish rise which kept my confidence up.
Moments after missing that fish, I was joined by Irwell dry fly master Nick – who immediately spotted rising fish and started a stealthy move upstream to cast to them. His arrival was fortunate, as it wasn’t much later that I had a second take and a lovely little brownie took a shine to my mepps.
Both of us were overjoyed to see trout in this part of the river, its only 100 yards from my office and less than 5 minutes away from Nicks front door.
Within 5 minutes of returning my little fish, I looked upstream to see Nicks rod bending into this cracking Brownie.
An Irwell brownie, nudging 2lbs, caught on upstream dry fly in the Bronx of Lower Broughton – Urban Trouting at its best.
I cant believe that trout have moved into this area of the river in numbers – only 100yards from the office – its going to be hard concentrating on work this summer 🙂
With the evenings getting longer, its now possible to work til 5 and then get a couple of hours fishing.
I visited a local tench pit (the one behind Blackley Sainsburys) for the last two hours this evening, and fished soft hooker pellets hard up against the central reeds to catch a couple of small tench, loads of roach, and this tiny little carp just as the light was failing.
Great fun, and only 5 minutes away from home.
For anyone who wants to give it ago, take care choosing the hook you use, I started on a fairly fine wire pattern, but despite getting lots of bites wasn’t happy with the narrow gape of the hook and thought that I might do better on a wider gape hook, so I switched to a drennan super specialist wide gape size 18 hook. This pattern, though a wide gape resulted in bites drying up, I think the fish were put off by the weight and thicker gauge wire of the hook. As soon as i moved back to the finer wired narrower gaped middy pattern, the regular bites returned. I’ll have a mooch around the tackle shop later this week for a light wired wide gape pattern in a size 18 and let you know what i come up with.
I had high hopes for catching my first BIG ray, during a week away in Tenerife. I’ve managed to pick up on the location and method that regularly produces Butterfly and Sting Rays to over 200lbs from a local shore mark.
But as ever, taking fishing time for granted during a family holiday isn’t always guaranteed, and this week proved that, so the best i could manage was an hour or two catching colourful little parrot wrasse from the rocks in front our hotel. Suicidal little things which launch themselves at anything on a size 16 hook. Fun for a while but not what I had in mind when packing my telescopic beach caster and reel loaded with 80lb braid.
Always theres always the next time……..
I don’t often recommend peoples products, books or businesses – but having recently bought this book I’m going to make an exception to the rule. BUY THIS BOOK.
These photos were taken in Stoneclough this afternoon behind the Grapes Pub.
If you ever see anything like this please report it to:
Environment Agency Emergency Hotline on 0800 80 70 60
FFS things like this are just not on anymore.
No reports of any dead fish (yet)
At the back end of 2011, myself Nick and Paul had a day on camera with the BBC. Trying to catch fish on the Manchester Ship Canal outside their new Media City offices.
You can see how we got on here
we are on for 5 minutes at 1.27.30 or part 18 if you click on one of the blue squares down below.
Sadly all references we made to remarkable resemblance of a passing Asian tourist to Kim Jong-il hit the cutting room floor.
The piece was made to encourage people to use the internet – rather than as a film about angling – which is probably a good thing seeing as though we didnt even get a bite.