Friday 27 September 2013

Irwell Kersal 27 Sept 13

The banks of the river had been cut so there was lots of flotsam floating down. I fished a 10 foot rod with sinking line and Goldhead Copper John. Nothing for quite a long way down the river then I thought I was caught in weed but then I felt a fish shake its head, off it went off  down river. I was fishing in a strong current and the fish used it to stay well away from me
Took quite a while to get it to the net and I was well pleased when I did.
A 15 inch  Irwell brown trout, I just wish I could catch a few more on each trip.

One worry I have, is that I do not catch any small trout on the lower Irwell. Could it be that the Sawbill Ducks and Cormorants are getting them all, but not the larger fish. 
There are plenty of very small fry in the river, today I must have seen thousands. What they are the fry of, I don't know. They can't all be minnows, or perhaps they are. But then if there are lots of minnows there must be food and conditions for all kinds of fish one would think.

Thursday 26 September 2013

Bradshaw Brook 26 Sept 13

Started at 7 Acres park, went up stream from bridge caught two small browns with blue winged olive, missed a couple as usual.

Brook is still running dirty and was down from yesterday. After I caught these I moved down below the road bridge, it did not look promising, nothing rising, so went to Eagley Brook by Union Road. Only the second time I have tried there since a lot of work had been done under the railway arches. Again not impressed  so Bradshaw Fly fishers beat was my next port of call.

Couple of cast with the B-WO got me nothing so put on a little bug that I don't remember having bought, somebody must have given it to me. Instant result.
Nice fish not sure what happened to the picture. Moved up stream same fly and another fish.
 Had a few more casts caught a very small one, checked the fly, it had come apart so that was the end of that.

Went to see the sewer work site, as you can see the middle section is now finished, the near section must have been completed today and been left to set.

Just the piling to be cut and some tidying up and we should be able to see if there is any chance of fish being able to move up river. I am not that hopeful it looks far to high to me.

When this is completed there are two other jobs which need to be done, hopefully with out as much mess and time as for this one. 
Will report with photos later. 

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Bradshaw Brook Flyfishers Beat & sewer works 25 Sept 13

The brook was running dirty as it has been since the sewer repairs started, not that the trout or the flies seem to be bothered.
Started going down river with a copper john nymph. Tried a cast at a rising fish below the footbridge it came but I missed it, gave it a couple of minutes and then tried again. It took as the nymph hit the water and was hooked. Nice fish just 10 inches fair fish for me on the brook. Carried on down stream,  had problems with the trees, so decided to put a dry fly on, Adams, and stared back up.
 I have never fished the stretch above the footbridge where the stream runs along the bottom of someones garden. Decided that I would today. No takes until I was at the top of the garden where there is a nice pool. Missed two or three rises before I hook this small fish.
 Had three other fish all small in the same pool then moved up. 
At the next pool I struck at a fish missed and ended up with my fly in the trees behind me, trying to clear it got me snagged even worse. Clear at last but had to change the tippet and a new fly,B-WO. Then another member came passed so had a chat, then he went to fish further up stream. caught two more small ones, another tangle so moved up to the sewer pipe and took some photos.

 If you have been following the works you can see that the repairs on the left are finished and the piling cut level.
 You can't see here but the middle portion is also finished just needs the piling cut down.

  Not to pleased with the height of the concrete no fish will get up this bit. The middle section is supposed to be four inches lower than the rest, not sure that will be enough to allow fish to move up stream. Time will tell.

Moved up stream caught couple more small fish, but was having problems with the tippet getting very twisted and tangled. So changed to a different tippet line but continued with the same problem.

Moved down to the pool below the works some fish rising caught this one and couple of others.
Still having problems with the tippet twisting and tangling, if I untangled it and had two casts it would be twisted and tangled again, so I decided it was time for home.

Brought the reel home and checked that the fly line was not twisted, didn't seem to be. will try it tomorrow with a new leader and tippet. 

Monday 23 September 2013

Irwell Ewood Bridge 23 Sept 13 & Radcliffe 24 Sept 13

The weather forecast was for white cloud and plenty of sun, what we got was complete cloud cover and drizzle. Am I surprised, not at all. At least it wasn't to cold.
Drove to Ewood Bridge using the top road above Ramsbottom, Peel Tower on Holcombe Hill was shrouded in low cloud.
 The fishing was poor, only one fish on a Adams dry, there were several fish rising in the pool in which I caught him, but his jumping and splashing, put paid to any chance of catching them by the time he was in the net.
Nice fish thought just on 11 inches.

There was a fair rise in progress at the time but it did not last. Two or three fish rising further up stream but no takes to either a Adams or b-wo's even tried a nymph still nothing.

To top of my day  I had a puncture, on a narrow lane with no where to stop, on the way home. So I now need a new tyre.

Tried the Irwell at Radcliffe today, got nothing to the net and only hook one fish.  Which unhooked is self after its third jump. At least the weather was an improvement on yesterday, warm sunshine almost all day.   


Sunday 22 September 2013

Eagley Brook 22 Sept 13

Had a couple of hours in the Valley this afternoon, dry fly again same tackle and method, mostly, as yesterday.
Had plenty of snatches at first then landed two about six inches and then one no more than three
Walked down river looking for rises and seeing nothing. So went home to listen to the football, that was worse than the fishing. Never mind there is always tomorrow.

Irwell Bury Ground 21 Sept 13

After taking the photos of the sewer pipe repairs I went to Bury Ground, river up more than I was expecting, must have rained during the night.
Tackled up an eight foot with floating line and a blue winged olive so I could fish down river dry fly in the long riffle below the weir. I had an extra long, for me,two and a half pound tippet on a nine foot leader.

Nothing at the top end in the broken riffles until I got to the long riffle with the fallen tree half way down. Had a good rise felt the fish but did not hook him. Then my first fish of the day.
It did a lot of jumping and splashing in the shallow water so I had to move down a bit before I got another take. This one was a little better than the first, but I tried to hand him out instead of using the net, slipped through my fingers and was away. Live and Learn, or do I?
Fish down to the slack water and cast at one or two rises without a take, then started back up. Had a couple of fish look but never felt them when I struck. Until I was above the fallen tree, where the riffle is at its quickest I caught my second fish.

 And then my third very soon after.

Didn't fancy fishing back down again so I went to the Roch at Gigg, saw one fish rise but no other sign of fish and I did not catch any or see any flies. Rather strange as it had got warm and sunny as the afternoon went on. They must have had a good feed when the river was up and have been having a rest, who knows what the fish do, not me that's sure. 

Bradshaw Brook Sewer Repair 21 Sept 13

Went to see the works from the other side of the brook and see how they were getting to the work site.
Storage Compound 
 The mud slide from the storage compound to the work site.

 Although it has been graded the mud is more than 6 inches thick in places and very soft. 

and then you get there.
It will take nature quite some time to repair this mess.
The far concrete is now higher than in the pictures from earlier in the week which I did not expect, I thought that it was high enough before the increase. The bit with water on it is hopefully not going to be any higher as this is supposed to be low enough to allow fish move up river. 

More pictures when the work is finished hopefully next week.

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Bradshaw Sewer Works & Ewood Bridge 18 Sept 13

Lots of rain for the last few days, so no fishing until today. Still heavy showers and some sunshine.
Decided to check out the local  waters to see the effect the rain had had.

Started at Bradshaw Brook went first to the Bradshaw fly fishers beat, as I expected it was not up very much and still running pretty clear, one or two fish rising. Went to look at the work on the sewer pipe.

 Pleased to see that the work was moving on, the first half of the concrete is done and the middle section,  that will be lower than the rest to allow the passage of fish, should be in this week. Was informed that the final piece should be completed next week, forgot to ask when the pilings would be cut off. I will have another look next week and report.

Next to 7 Acres, brook running higher than above due to run off and a couple of little streams that flow in.

   Not pleased to see the muddy run off coming from the pipe which brings water from the road into the brook.

Next Eagley Brook, in the valley, expected it to be muddy and high, but it wasn't bad at all, again couple of fish rising. Thought if these two are fishable perhaps the Irwell will be OK.

Bury Ground did not look to good but, not as high as I thought it would be, so decided it would be worth a trip up river to Ewood Bridge, and it was. So I tackled up and decided to fish dry fly, blue winged olive.

Missed one below the bridge and then sheltered from a very heavy shower before moving up to the motorway bridge. Caught this on before the bridge, nice fish, ok not that big.

Moved up above the bridge caught this one and lost one at the net.

The rain was setting in and it was cold and windy so home for tea.

Friday 13 September 2013

River Irwell Kersal Friday 13 Sept 13

Day started badly, a cormorant and three goosanders were fishing the river as I arrived, they flew off but that doesn't stop them fishing for long. 
It was overcast and quite cold, didn't expect there to be flies emerging and I was right, just the odd one
Tied on a GH Copper John and started off down river, had to be careful as the river was up from last week but still running pretty clear. I didn't think there had been enough rain to make a difference.

The first hundred and fifty yards runs fast and I had not a touch, then the river slowed a bit but is still moving at fair pace when I got into my first fish. He came for the nymph and missed but two casts later he was hooked. Took off down stream them went to the river bed and stayed there so I had to wade down to him to get some line back on the reel. Changing the direction of pressure made him come up and he was soon in the net.

Nice 14 inch fish well pleased.

Was soon into another one took a while to get him close, he saw me before I saw him and as he turned and took off the hook pulled free. Well that's fishing. 

Moved down ten yards and was into another, good hard fighter like the first two and a better fish.
This one went 16 inches.

The next fish broke me off on the strike so I had my lunch, an apple, and tied another GH Copper John.

Moved a bit down stream and was soon into another good fish this one was about 15 inches, not much between the three of then really, still I would be very happy to be catching their ilk any day of the week. 
The rain had set in whilst I was playing the last fish but I was not for stopping, had another fish come to the nymph and miss before I decided to move..
I went further down stream to a fast run where I had caught fish before but I only got one fish to try for the nymph and he missed and wouldn't try again.

The way I fish the Irwell is with a floating line and try not to let the nymph go deep, so when the fish strikes  you normally see a good swirl and splash. Two reasons for fishing shallow are that the Irwell has lots of weed at the moment and even where it doesn't the rubbish in the river can cost you lots of tackle.

Didn't see the devil birds again just a Heron and they are OK with me.  

Wednesday 11 September 2013

River Irwell Little Lever 11 Sept 13

After taking the photos of the work on Bradshaw Brook I went to Mytham Road where there used to be a large mill by the river, which was demolished I think early last year or maybe the year before. I fished there a few times last year but only managed to catch one fish. There is a large weir above where the mill used to be which fed water to the mill via a goyt which is still there and running with water.
I fished from the bottom of the weir down to where the remains of the mill  prevent access to the river. The area looks as though there should be plenty of fish but I only manage to catch one, on a pheasant tailed nymph.

Looking up at the weir (sorry about the scrap iron)
 Looking down towards where I caught the fish
Looks OK bu not far below.
  Is this.
At the moment the bottom of the concrete wall is so overgrown that it's not possible, for me, to get down to the river side. Even when you can the river needs to be pretty low as well. When you are passed the end of the concrete the bank is steep and and over grown.

 The Giant Hogweed forest below the old mill base, you don't want to mess with this stuff, early spring is the only time this area is fishable and them only with much effort.

Had a couple of hours then moved to Ladyshore which is about a mile up river. By now the rain had set in but as I was dressed for it I carried on fishing. Ladyshore fished like it usually does, yes no fish. Well there is always tomorrow.

Tuesday 10 September 2013

Eagley & Bradshaw Brooks 10 Sept 13

Went to fish at Eagley Mills, surprised to find it quite low but with some colour.

Tackled up with a 6' 6" 3 weight and fished a blue wing olive, one of a batch that I ordered from a new supplier. The flies looked very good and they had put me in a couple of extras, very kind of them.

Had a rise to my first cast, saw him coming to the fly and struck to early, nothing wrong with the fly just nervous me. Caught four very small fish and decided to move to Bradshaw at Seven Acres.

The brook was running very dirty and no fish rising despite plenty of flies coming off the stream. Tried a Copper John to no avail, until I came upon two chaps trotting maggots.They had had nothing either but said they had seen fish rising now and then. Carried on a bit further down, still nothing, so I packed in and decide to see where the mud was coming from.

I knew that United Utilities were working on the Bradshaw Flyfishers Beat making good a sewage pipe that runs across and in the stream. So I thought that they would be the culprits and went to have a look.
I was very surprised to see what they were doing.
I had thought that it would be quite a small work site, not the case. They had driven steel pilings in the the stream bed and were blocking half of the flow prior to, I believe, concreting around the pipe. Then doing the other half of the pipe in the same way. They said the piling would remain but would be cut down, which I would think will give us a small weir.
Not good if that is turns out to be the case, as the removal of weirs that prevent fish movement is part of the European Directive on improving rivers and streams.

I did not take a photo of the site but I will tomorrow. Watch this space.
Here's the Photos
 This is looking up stream.
 Same but closer.
 The ramp and piling.
  Its not very clear but the pipe is between the piling.

Most of the stream is running under the wooden ramp. The water between the pilings will be pump out and concrete poured around the sewer pipe. Then the same to the other half of the pipe.