Thursday 31 July 2014

Ewood Bridge & Bradshaw Brook 31 Jul 14

Some rain over night and lots more forecast for tonight and tomorrow.

Went a day early to Ewood Bridge for the August kick sample, the river was up a little and had colour. The sample was pretty much the same as last month but still well down on last years figures. One difference was Water Snails, the first time that any had turned up in my sample.

Although it did not look very promising I decide to have a fish.

 As you can see it is pretty murky.

Gave it half an hour of nymph for no result, then drove up to Townsend Fold to check Langwood Brook which was running clear.

    I was surprised to see blue barriers in the stream, could they be from when the diesel leaked from the Tesco petrol station and polluted the river. I hope that they are not going to left in the stream.

Went next to the river Limy near Crawshawbooth very little water so back to Bolton and Bradshaw Brook.

Fished the bottom beat in the park, a little bit more water than last week but not very much, still the same colour. Didn't do much better than in the Irwell, hooked and lost several fish but only managed to net one.

 The fish came from the faster water above, a deep pool but full of snags.
 Beautifully constructed wrens nest under the bank of the brook. 


Tuesday 29 July 2014

Eagley Brook 29 Jul 14

Cooler today plenty of cloud and some drizzly rain. Decided to visit Eagley Mills having not been there for quite some time. The brook was as low as I had expected after no rain to speak of for a while.

Fished a Copper John Nymph and after a couple of snatches I hooked a good fish which turned out to be a chub.
 Not what I was expecting but very welcome after catching no fish on my last couple of outings.

Two young lads turned up to fish the other bank, one had a 5 foot spin rod with a cheap reel with very little line on it and the other had fished with a pole, which  was longer than the width of the brook. They where fishing with bread which usually works as people come to feed the ducks with bread.

After a couple of casts the lad with the short rod caught a nice looking trout, about 12 inches which I would be pleased to catch. I heard him say that it had swallowed the hook and he could not get it out. I told him to hang on and that I would come round and give him a hand to get the hook out. It meant that I had to go back to the road bridge to cross to their side. The fish was not looking to well by the time I got to it but with the help of my forceps we got the hook out and the fish back in the brook. With a little help it soon swam off. I removed the barb from his hook and moved down stream.

About five minutes later they came down to me with another fish that needed unhooking, it was bigger than anything that I have caught on this stretch, a fat 16 inches caught on bread again. I must admit that I thought , what am I doing catching small fish when these boys are catching the big stuff.

I did catch few small trout further down stream but nothing even as big as the boys smaller one, never mind. 

This is the best trout that I could manage.

Not a lot of water, plenty of rocks and trees and not many fish.

Went back to the car and moved down river to the valley to another stretch that I have not fished for some time. I had to fight my way into and out of the river the Himalayan Balsam is every where and so are the brambles. Caught another couple of small ones before the rain  sent me home.

The Giant Hog Weed seems gets every where, some how it seems to be able to move up stream.  

Rain showers are forecast for Thursday, Friday and Saturday I hope they put down more than the ones today.

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Bradshaw Brook and River Tonge 23 Jul 14

Another extra hot day promised had me up and out much earlier than normal to try to start in the cool of the morning rather than around lunch time. Plenty of rising fish on Bradshaw Brook, but no sign of flies on the water. Started with dry fly, three changes and still no fish. Changed to a couple of spiders, two snatches but no fish in the net. Tied on a Hares ear nymph and caught the one below.
The only fish of the day.

Family business at lunch time did not take as much time as I had expected and left me time to check out the Tonge. Not much water, I could see a few fish but had trouble getting anywhere near them. Again dry flies raised no interest and a nymph did no better.

The weather forecast for the next four days is sun sun and more sun with maybe some light showers on Sunday so I don't hold out much hope for better fishing this week.  

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Irwell Summerseat 22 Jul 14

Manage to fit in a couple of hours fishing this morning at Lower Summerseat, very very hot and bright. Couple of fish rising below the road bridge tried them with dry and nymph to no avail. Moved above the bridge to get in the shade under the Sycamores and caught one and lost one to a hares ear nymph.

I have taken pictures of the Sycamores that grow in the walls along the bank before and probably put them in an earlier blog but here they are again.
When I think about the millions of twirling seeds that the sycamores produce each year and how most never get to grow, even the ones that land on good damp soil and still never get to germinate. Why would the ones that landed in the gaps in this wall get to produce full grown trees in this totally unlikely position. As unlikely as it may seem they are not the only ones in the wall just the biggest of over a dozen or so. I must point out that the wall is a retaining one and is only three feet high on the land side so the trees are rooted in soil.

The fish I caught and the one I lost came from under the trees in the picture above.

Irwell, Roch and Bradshaw Brook 17 Jul

Not getting out to do much fishing at the moment the weather is either very hot and sunny or raining all day. Did get out last Thursday and went to look at the Irwell and the Roch and then back to Bradshaw Brook. Did not fish either the Irwell or the Roch but took a few pictures of the Roch in Bury.

Yes I know it looks great but on this stretch I have never caught fish or seen a fish rise.

I ended up on the Bradshaw Fly fishers beat by the cricket club at least there were fish rising there. Did not catch much and had dog trouble, a couple bring there Alsatian for a swim most days it seems. Or is it only when I am there, anyway what can you do but get into an argument or say nothing and move. Caught 6 very small ones on dry fly.  

Tuesday 15 July 2014

Ladyshore Little Lever 15 Jul 14

Just over a couple of weeks since my last visit when I had caught fish on spiders, so of course I tried the same again. The river was rather dark in colour, not muddy more peaty. We did have some rain last night in Bolton which doesn't mean that the Irwell got any.

First thing I saw when I got to the river was a dead trout in the water, moved it to the side and checked it, could find no sign injury or damage.Don't think it was as a result of the week before lasts pollution as it look very fresh.

Put on two spiders and started below the broken weir. Nothing rising and no takes, moved up river and down again with the same result.

Sat down to eat my apple on the remains of the weir when two other anglers turned up. Seems they had read my blog and had come down for a look. As always I was into a chat about this and that. Turns out they were ex army same as me, joined when I was demobbed.     
   At least they brought me a bit of luck as I caught my one and only fish after they arrived.
Didn't stay much longer hope you caught after I left. 

Sunday 13 July 2014

River Douglas 13 Jul 14

The week before last I was looking for places to fish the Douglas way down stream of where I usually fish. Today I went looking much further up, through Horwich near the Rivington Reservoir.

The river runs under the main road just outside of Horwich and was narrow and over grown, I drove down a road that runs alongside the river and found a bridge and locked gate, but access for walking along the bank.

    Although it did not look very inviting I tackled up a six foot six inch rod and put on all my gear for wading. Mainly for pushing through the high undergrowth which was still wet from the nights rain, saves me from getting stung as well. Glad I did too, it got pretty nasty further down.

 OK it doesn't look too bad in the photos and I did get a line wet but there was no sign of fish.
At the end of this pool was the weir below.

 I did see one fish rise in this pool but not to my fly.

After the two pools it got really overgrown as can be seen in the photos below
 The river runs under that tree, honest.
No chance of fishing here, I carried on down for a couple of hundred yards and it got worse so I turned round and back to the car.

Still early and although I was hot and sweaty I wanted to fish, off I went to my usual spot on the Douglas.

Same tackle same gear started with a Iron Blue Dun dry fly, fish on the rise but not to my dun. Changed to a Greenwell's and straight into a fish and a good one. Photo? I tried to hold it up and take one but I dropped it in the river before I could click.

The next one I made sure of a photo and took it to the bank.

     Couldn't get to the bank for this one too deep in the river so took it in the net and then in my hand
 The weed in the river is getting to be a problem it is coating ninety percent of the river bed in places there will soon be no open water for the fish. Also you can lose fish if they get into it and I did more than once.
This one I had to dig out of the weed to land it.

I was getting tired, all the fishing has to be done in the river and wading up stream through the heavy weed was taking it's toll Although the water, most of the time, was up to the top of my legs and more in places. The weed and mud was often above my knees, causing a high stepping walk. I just hope that I do not get the cramps in bed tonight.  

Saturday 12 July 2014

Irwell Bury Ground 12 Jul 14

The river still did not look to good, mind you the long pool above Bury bridge weir never does look pretty. I had to force myself to tackle up and fish.

Started with eight foot rod floating line non tapered leader and two spider flies. Never got a touch fishing down river across river and up river. Changed to tapered leader and two and half pound tippet with a Blue Winged Olive dry fly.

Not much sign of fish rising fished to likely runs, first take was a good fish not that it stayed on for long. Nearly decided to pack in, had one last cast hooked another that came straight at me and left me with line all around me and no fish.

Moved up a few paces hooked and landed slim 14 inch brown, the picture would have been below if I had not forgot to take my camera. As always when you catch one had to keep trying for another one, which did not come, so back to the car.

Up by the middle weir was man spinning in the bottom pool, he came for a chat at the car park and showed me pictures of trout that he had caught with Rapala lures in the Irwell. Made me think, am I doing the wrong thing trying to catch with fly. All of the pictures were of fish bigger than most that I had caught, including a couple well over five pounds.

Friday 11 July 2014

Summerseat 11 Jul 14

Went to check the Irwell at Summerseat today after last weeks diesel spillage from Tesco's filling station in Haslingden

As I said in an earlier blog the Irwell in Bury on Wednesday looked very sick, glad to say that it looked OK in Summerseat today, no sign of dead fish or diesel, in fact trout were rising.

I set up with an eight foot rod sinking line and a copper john nymph. This was before I had seen fish on the rise. Although I had another reel with a floating line in my pocket I decided to continue with the nymphs.

The copper john was producing nothing, changed to an hares ear with the same result. Next I tried a nymph from my brothers old box, no idea what it is called but it caught me a fish.
 The first and as it turned out just about the biggest one of the day

I changed to two spiders after a while and caught this one.

I moved up under the restaurant catching nothing worth a picture on the way up.

 Before moving back down river I changed reels and put on three spiders on a long level line leader
This was the best one on the way down..

Back under the restaurant I had this one.
 Caught it just where the water starts to speed up
 Caught a couple more in the pool under the trees.
 And one at the top of this pool.

All the fish except one that I caught on the spiders took the point fly which makes me wonder if there is any point in putting on three or as earlier two flies.

On the way back to the car I met Jules the dog walker and fly fisherman, he fishes Entwistle and the Irwell and lives in Summerseat. I think it's the first time I have seen him this year. We had a chat about flies and methods. 
Good to see you Jules.
If you want someone to walk your dog in the Summerseat area his email is