I had an hour free between appointments this afternoon so i used the time to explore a new river only 2 miles north of Phils house. After climbing down a steep embankment i discovered this lovely stream.
I still find it amazing that i can come across streams/rivers such as this where relatively few people visit and even fewer fish in the centre of an urban connurbation such as Manchester
Trout and Chub were rising in the shallow pools and i disturbed a kingfisher which was catching its dinner.
After following the course of the river downstream i came across a young boy fishing, who told me he had already taken three trout to about a pound using worm and stick float. He told me that other than his friend he had never seen anyone else fishing this river.
Unfortunatley i got a little carried away, and forgot to check my watch – i arrived at my appointment late, a little more disheviled than usual, with mud all over the bottom of my trouser legs and shoes. Good job ive known this client for a while now !
I cant wait to give this river a try tomorrow evening after work.
The Quays are the point where the River Irwell joins the Manchester Ship Canal, and like the rest of the river basin, its only been during the last five to ten years that the water has had a sufficient oxygen content to enable it to support a population of fish.
During a lunch-break walk around Salford Quays earlier this week, i saw shoals of carp, rudd, bream and also the occaisional pike. The clarity of the water was amazing, and it was possible to see the bottom 20+ft down. To say that it was similar to watching fish in an aquarium would be an understatement – i have never seen fish in the water as clearly as this before.
My grandfather used to work as a policeman at these docks during the Second World War, i am sure he could never in his wildest imagination believe how this place has changed.
Its been over a week since i have been fishing so it was a good feeling to finish work early and get out on the bank.
The skys were clear, the sun was out and i could see shoals of fish patroling in midwater around the Quays.
I was quickly into a couple of small perch, then a few nice Rudd and a smallish tench.
When Phil arrrived at 6pm he must have but some sort of a voodoo curse on me, as i didnt catch another fish for the rest of the evening. Phil however proceeded to catch6 more tench including a new personal best of 4lb 3oz. Congratulations Phil.
It was amazing that my bites dried up like that, i changed to a smaller hook and finer line but i couldnt buy a bite. At the same time Phil who was fishing less than 10feet away was catching fish after fish. The difference in our tactics was that Phil was using a float set up with slightly less resistance as his weights were attached using a running link whereas mine were attached directly to the main line. However he was using double maggot on a size 16 hook and i was using a finer hooklength with a size 20 hook at the end and still couldnt get a bite. I never put things down to being one of those days and am going to have bit of experimentation with set ups similar to Phils running rig before i go again.
It was a nice change to coarse fish on still water again, but its off to the river again this weekend.
Typical river brownie
Tony gave me a great shrimp imitation, in a light grey colour and also a peeping cadis. We then set off to fish the faster flowing riffles casting far more upstream than i normally do.
I caught more fish on both flies, but unfortunatley none of them came from the upstream part of the cast.
The largest fish of the night fell to Tony of about 3/4lb and i had the pleasure of catching the smallest (it fitted in the palm of my hand).
By the end of the evening we had both caught 5 fish. Yet again i had good fun, the ever changing condition of the river makes fishing unpredictable, today the river was rising again and filling with colour after more rain.
Am looking forwards to taking Matthew fishing next weekend as his rugby season is now over. He is keen to catch a trout on the fly so i think a trip up to Pendle View will be in order.
After seeing the tactics he was using, i started to psyche myself up for a return trip to try for these large mullet that inhabited the harbour, but Lucia pulled a face when i told her we needed to find a tackle shop, so i guessed that it wouldnt be a wise move to spend too much more time fishing this holiday.
After an incredibly busy couple of days in the office, my head was in a different place as i packed the car to go fishing after work today. Not only did i forget my waders, i also left my boots and camera at home, so turned up at the riverside in a pair of white running shoes – not the ideal footwear for fishing, its a miracle i remembered my rod.