Monday 24 June 2013

Week Ending 30 Jun 13

Monday:   Thought I would have an evening fish for a change.
Went to the river Roach, it was up a bit from the last time, but not much. The rain had done some good though, the brown slimy algae has mostly gone which pleased me no end.
It's been a windy cold day, except for when the sun bothered to shine, which was not often enough for me.

Anyway I dressed accordingly and got in the river, plenty of flies about but not many fish rising for them. Started with a Goldhead Pheasant Nymph, caught a smallish brown, well small for this river, near the car park. Two fish started rising so changed to a Greenwell's, nothing doing. Got out of the river and walked down to the bottom of the beat, what I call the beat anyway.

Started back up, still flies coming down river but no fish rising, waded through four places where I have caught before, nothing moving apart from two black head gulls that were having there fill of flies. Almost back to where I started when I found what looked like six or more fish rising at the head of a pool. Didn't want the Greenwell's changed to a Grey Dun with a flash. Many casts then a take, ten minutes later I netted this one:
                                                         Just short of sixteen inches.

Got him back in the water, of course nothing was rising any more, so I moved back up below the car park for a last try at the risers from earlier. One of them took but I managed to loose him, so I called it a day.

Tuesday:   Spent the morning down where the Croal meets the Irwell to get more pictures before the weir at   Stoneclough gets taken out. The first picture is looking up the Croal from the Irwell.

This is what goes into the rivers when the sewers get overloaded, raw sewage. Sent copies of the pictures to Mike Duddy who will be seeing United Utilities (the company who bring our water and take away our waste) next month
My afternoon was spent at Ladyshore, caught two browns on Pheasant Tail Nymph, nothing special, but it is better than I usually do down there.

Whilst at both locations I list flora and fauna for the Greater Manchester Record Centre. I then do a report in the evening. Any one can do it just type in RODIS on google and of you go. That's if you live in Greater Manchester of course.

Wednesday:   Fought my way through head high Stinging Nettles, Himalayan Balsam, Brambles and a sticky plant (must find out what it's called)( its Goosegrass. Galium Aparine) that made it very hard work getting to the river Roach at Heap Bridge.
Was it worth it, yes and no, only caught one medium brown, but I do enjoy being in the river. I wasn't looking forward to fighting my way back, so I thought I would wade as far up river as I could, to be nearer the car park. With the river being low I managed to to get all the way to the motorway slip road flyover where the car was parked. Much easier and no more Nettle stings.

Thursday:   Raining other things to do no fishing.

Friday:   Lots of rain today, went to the valley in Bolton to check Eagley Brook. was running nice and high but very dirty.  Tried  up stream and down stream nymph, just ended up with a dirty nymph. Rain came on hard, yes off home, called it a day.

Saturday:   Went to Bury Ground at lunch time. River Irwell was coloured and up 3 or 4 inches. Still fish rising and lots of flies about
.Crossed below the weir and fished down stream Nymph, Goldhead Pheasant Tail.
Had five browns in a fast riffle, best about ten inches, lots of snatches and also lost more than I hooked.
This one was is darker than the light coloured ones I usually catch in the Irwell.
Had one small one in the calmer water then nothing.
Moved back up to the top of the riffle, changed and lengthened my tippet and fished a Goldhead Copper John caught one more fish and missed a few more.

Sunday:   Is British Grand Prix day which I will be watching, might fish might not.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Week Ending 23 June 13

Monday:  No fishing, went to my first Bradshaw Fly Fishers meeting. One of the members had caught a trout that I would not have believed had he not got a photo to prove it 4 Pounds a think he said, "oh my memory." But what a fish for such a small brook.  

Tuesday:   Went to Stoneclough on the Irwell, hadn't fished there before, turned out that I hadn't missed much . I might try again when we have a bit more water. I waded up to the weir, just for a look.

 That evening I went to Salford Friendly Anglers monthly meeting  in Irlam. Very good turn out. Mike Duddy told me that the weir is due to be removed on 10 July. I was surprised as I thought it was the one further down stream that was to go.
Mind you its not surprising really as it is in very poor shape. I don't know the area above the weir that well but I do know that the River Croal joins the Irwell not that far above the weir, so the removal will change part of the Croal as well as the Irwell. I will try to get some more photos before and after it is taken out.
I hope the removal brings the improvement to fishing that other removals have done.

Any way after Stoneclough I had a hour at Gigg, nearly went through every type of my dry flies before I got a take, well worth the trouble though. Grey Dun.
Very nice fifteen inch Brown who did not want to visit my net, I thanked him and slipped him back in and called it a day.

Wednesday: Had to cut all my grass so decided I would fish local, in the afternoon, for a change.
Went to Eagley Brook in the lower valley, quite a few fish rising but only in very shallow flat water, making it almost impossible to get anywhere near them. So I fished dry fly up into the riffles. Had three small browns and lost as many.
Had not fished Seven Acres on Bradshaw Brook for quite a while so went for a look. Had two nice browns and one small one above the  road bridge, again in the riffles, same method. Above the bridge is not very nice at the moment, four mattresses a micro wave oven and a large scooter, not motorised, have been dump in the brook.
Moved down stream, caught one small fish, the stream looks very  healthy.  Water crowsfoot in abundence and in flower, makes it harder to fish but it has got to be good for the fish and.the brook.

Thursday:   Went to fish the River Croal at Moses Gate Farnworth. Had two small browns and a lot of hard walking.
I wanted to get down to 'Nob End' (honest it is really called that) were the Croal meets the Irwell and get the photos I mentioned on Tuesday. When I got there I could not get down to the river, the bank was too steep for an old man like me, best I could get was this

The Irwell going left and the Croal coming in from the right, yes OK not very good I know.

Every river and brook around here has weirs some quite small but not all, this one is about a mile up from the picture above and there is another one about a mile further up again.

 Not sure if I will be fishing tomorrow as I have a delivery coming, if it's in the morning I will get out somewhere.

Friday:   Delivery came in the afternoon, so still had time for two hours at the Bradshaw fly top beat.
Three browns on a Adams dry, 6' 6" rod, one was a nice fish the others were quite small.

I seem to be loosing more than I net, part striking to early as you can see them coming up and also they are out of the water a lot with it being so shallow.

Tomorrow I am thinking of River Douglas just off the A6, if the weather ain't to bad, forecast is rain, which we badly need,

Saturday:   Yes it was the River Douglas. Weather, warm cold rain sunshine windy. sometimes all at once.
Went down for a look first, looked ok so geared up for wading. Started up stream from foot bridge, dry fly had three browns best below.

 Changed to Goldhead Pheasant Tail Nymph and started down stream caught lots of nice condition browns, in fact I lost count of how many, but it was lots. Couple of the better ones, the best was 12 inches not massive but its only a small river up the top where I was fishing.

 I hit what I thought was going to be the daddy trout of the river, until it came close and I saw this.
I did not expect to be catching Chub, especially on a nymph, but was well pleased to see it. Kept in the fast current and head down fought more like a brown than a Chub.

Not an easy river to fish fly unless you get into the water the banks are quite high and the vegetation very overgrown.
 This is typical of the area that I fished, had to be careful as there are some deep bits and also some mud. Very little rubbish which was pleasing and unusual for rivers around here.

As I was finishing met another chap who was trotting from the bank, he said he was doing as well as I was, and had fifteen trout, not as brain dead as me, he could keep count.

The forecast for tonight and tomorrow is lots of rain so I will wait until the morning to decide where or whether  I fish, you will be the first to know.
Mike Duddy of Salford Friendly told me ages ago that the Douglas was full of fish, just wish I had got there a bit sooner, thanks Mike.

Sunday:   Well the rain that I have being asking for arrived during the night, and it is still here now. When the rain sets-in in Bolton it RAINS. Admin and reading this morning see what it is like this afternoon, ever hopeful.
Stopped raining so went to see what effect it had had on Bradshaw Brook, not much. A few fish rising could not see to what.
Went to Eagley Brook at Eagley Mills, was running a little higher and with some colour. Had a few goes with a nymph,caught one very small brown. Walked down to another chap (Dave Reay) who was also fishing nymph, seemed to be doing better than I had been Had a long chat about where to fish in the area.

Walked down stream for a look did not fancy it and I was getting cold so walked back and went home.
Had a look at the river levels on line, the rain has brought the Irwell up a bit, more rain tonight and tomorrow should do more. Sorry that's rubbish, little rain tonight and none tomorrow.
That's it for this week.


Wednesday 12 June 2013

Week Ending 16 June 13

Monday:   Had a couple of hours in the evening on Bradshaw Fly Fishers beat. not much movement, no fish.
Pulled a lot of Balsam out in and around the brook, it's a loosing battle, but I keep pulling. At least we don't have the Giant Hogweed, YET.

Tuesday:   I went to see the work being done by the Environment Agency on the River Medlock in Clayton Vale in Manchester. (see my blog Restoration Revolution). The River looked very poorly we really do need some rain for all the rivers and brooks.

Wednesday:   Fished the River Irwell at Lower Broughton at the Boddington slipway and further up by Peel Park. Caught no fish and saw no sign of them. At Boddington slipway the river looks dead and yet at Peel Park about one mile up stream the river has a long stranded weed (Ranunclulus Batrachium maybe?)   and looks quite health.
Still need that rain and, as I write we have been having some, looked quite promising for a while, but it has stopped again. Never mind the forecast for tonight and tomorrow is for lots more, lets hope its so.

Thursday:  Well the rain came but not enough, still plenty of black clouds about so we may get some more tonight.
Fished Eagley Brook at Eagley Mills. First time down there this year, little bit of colour in the water, plenty of fish rising.
Started with dry fly one small brown then nothing. Fished czech nymph and had 2 small browns and then a two pound CHUB. What a surprise, I did know there are chub in the brook, but did not think I would catch on nymph, but then why not.

Moved to Bradshaw Brook at Firwood Fold. First timer again, had two small browns on a Pheasant tail nymph and then home.

Friday:   More rain today ,not enough to do much good, we still need more.

Started the day at Ewood Bridge on the Irwell, the river was as low as I can remember ever seeing it. Nothing moving until I was passed the motorway bridge and then not much.
Tried nymph and a couple of dries to no avail. Lots of rubbish coming down the river so I could not see what they were taking. Also had to keep sheltering as the showers were quite unpleasant at times
Moved down river to Nuttall Park in Ramsbottom nothing rising and did not get a touch again.

Not a good week for fish, never mind still got Saturday and Sunday.
 Its Raining as I type so there is hope for tomorrow if it continues.

These photos I took today just to show some of the problems we have on the Irwell. Surprisingly I usually catch some good fish just below this outlet.

The Bridge is the Motorway.

Saturday:   Went to the Irwell at Bury Ground. Bury Ground used to be an area of mills, factories, a slaughter house(Blacks) and lodges(mill ponds), now it is mostly grass. But for how long, the new Police Headquarters and a office building went up a couple of years ago and last year a new Fire Station. What next?
There are three weirs at the moment, two of which could be removed in the near future. The bottom weir which is just above Bury Bridge, which carries the roads to Bolton and Ramsbottom, and a few other places.

Looks pretty OK in the photos, but its not as good as it looks.

The top weir is in a bit of a mess and needs to be removed pretty soon as the next flood could do the job.

 The bridge is an old railway line that used to go Greenmount and I am not sure were else. Its a walk way now.
When the top weir goes it will, in my opinion, be a great improvement and should make the fishing a lot better.
Removing the bottom weir could be good but I am not that sure, will just have to wait and see.

The Middle weir is much larger than the others and has a Environment  Agency measuring station above it, so I don't see that one being removed, pity.

Any way I caught three trout, one below the top weir and two down by pictures two and three of the bottom weir, all on dry fly, Greenwells again, eight foot carbon Young's Pridex .

Sunday:   Started at Springwater Park were the Irwell and Roach meet. Did not look very good to me, the Roach was running brown and the Irwell was not?
The photo, is near ground, Roach far Irwell, even without the mud they are always of a different colour.
Had a walk about and a few casts with a nymph then off  to Bury Ground again.

Caught a small brown on dry fly for a family who thought the Irwell had no fish, cast at a few that were rising, to what I know not, stood in the river to cool my feet for a bit. Took a photo of a family of swams that had just walked a couple of hundred yards from the one remaining mill pond to the river.
Wondered what the police were doing, must have seen the swans across the road.
Well that's it for this week

Sunday 9 June 2013

Week Ending Sunday 9 June 13

Strange week for fishing mostly warm to very warm no rain. At least I  got a good tan, if only to my face and arms.

Mid week tried the Roach near Bury caught 2 good browns but lost a very fine fish at the net. Had him on for over 25 minutes, mostly he just sat on the bottom and I could not move him. I waded up behind him to get him to move which he did, but just farther down river. In the end I had him half in the net when he flipped over went behind me and was gone.
I keep telling myself that I didn't rush him, but perhaps I did.
Trouble is that, I don't want to over play and stress the fish to much, it's a fine balance that I don't seem to have got right at the moment.  

I was using my large net which is 21 inches long and he was quite a bit longer than it. I was in shock and just went back to the car and off home. Was using my 9 foot Masterline carbon with a Shakespeare multiplier (made by JW Young) and a Greenwells Glory dry fly.

Friday tried Ladyshore, after the one that keeps braking me off, no luck.

Today fished the lower beat of Bradshaw Fly Fishers stretch bottom end, 3 boys playing in the stream, left them to it. Moved up to the bend with the sunken trees, took 3 small browns on a dry brown midge.
Had a few takes moving up to the road bridge, but only managed to get 1 to net.. Had 2 better fish under the bridge, still under 8 inches. Used my 6' 6" three weight carbon with a JW Youngs 3 inch Beaudex.

Decided to have a look at Eagley Brook in the Valley, only been there once this season. More water than I expected, but it looked oily and slow, still had a few takes and netted three small browns and had a chat with a couple of watchers. People are still surprised to see someone fly fishing, as long as it stays that way I have it pretty much to myself around here.

I do like Youngs old metal reels, although I do have some of their later composite reels 1400/1500 series, like the Shakespeare multiplier I used on Wednesday.

Monday 3 June 2013

The River Irwell : Restoration Revolution

Just a quicky, if you want to see me in a film  made for the Environment Agency about the rivers around Manchester click on the following.

Or an updated version on Vimeo

Sunday 2 June 2013

Kick Sampling 1 June 13

Been fishing  ever day this week, trying places that I haven't been to for a while. Some good some not so.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I fished at Ladyshore for part of each day. On Wednesday I got busted off twice and never landed anything. So on Thursday went back with a stronger leader and got bust once again. I don't like leaving flies in fish.

Friday returned with 8 pound tippet, of course never got a touch. That's life. Will be back there later next week.

Saturday is my day to Kick Sample at Ewood Bridge. I expected the insect count to be up on last month but it wasn't. The river is running low and has lots of brown algae over the bed, maybe that is the problem.
Fished up river from the sample spot had five brownies to 11 inches on dry fly, pleasant day with plenty of sun for a change.

Sunday. Thought I would try Kearsley below the weir, cold wind and not much sun and no fish. I can't understand why I don't catch fish there. It looks good plenty of water, an island for some variation in the flow. So why no fish?
Last year I caught two fish, or maybe the same fish twice, just below the weir and that was it. Well if we understood what it was all about we probably wouldn't fish at all.

Gave up on Kearsley and went  to Sion St Radcliffe had a good fish on a Copper John Nymph and then home for tea. Grilled Salmon and a baked potato, my lady wife has gone to see CLIFF RICHARDS, yuch, in Manchester thank God she didn't want me to go. Now I can watch the football in peace( England v Brasil for my none UK followers).