Monday 31 August 2015

River Tonge & Bradshaw Brook 30 Aug 15

Went to Leverhulme Park where Bradshaw Brook joins the river Tonge to fish and check out a "No Fishing" sign on Bradshaw Brook that Dave Bendle had asked me about. I also did my usual and photographed the invasive weeds on both waters, there is lots of it down there.

I decided to use a 7 foot rod and with a BWO dry fly, the Tonge is  not that wide and a 7 foot can get you just about anywhere that the fish are. There is also lots of tree cover so anything longer can get you in the trees more often than in the water, not that I don't get in the trees anyway. 

The first part of the river above the road bridge is not that deep but there is plenty of silt and rubbish so I do not get into the water until a bit further up where the bed is clearer and safer for wading.
Doesn't stop me casting a fly and catching fish, but it has to be done with care as the bank side under growth is very lush.
 It started quite well and caught two fish just above the road bridge but nothing else until I got to where I could wade.

The wading stretch looked fine with plenty fish on the rise, hooked and lost a couple and had plenty fish come for a look at the fly but nothing to the net.
 I don't understand why some days it is like that and on other days most everything stays on and gets to the net.

I was now up to where Bradshaw Brook joins and I branched of that way, it is a lot narrower than the Tonge and very overgrown. Fly fishing without wading is just about impossible except for the odd spot.
   Try casting between the bush and the Knot Weed, which I did and caught the two below. 

One problem that I was having, which can be seen in the picture above, was that I was getting a lot of twisting in the tippet. Some days it does not happen and on others,like yesterday, after a couple of casts I was getting some awful tangles. I had to replace my tippet four times during the day even though I was checking for twist on a regular basis. I only fish with one fly but I might try a very short dropper to see if the stops it happening. Any advice would be very welcome.
 One of the less overhung stretches, still not a lot of room. As I said wade or don't fish.

 Three casts got me these three in quick succession, very different from on the Tonge

I carried on up the brook and behind Firwood Chemical Works? without seeing the sign or catching any more fish and then back down to the Tonge.
The first bit of the Tonge just above the where the brook comes in has some nice fish, how you get to them is another story.

  I was not having much luck until I got to Giant Hog Weed Island
You do not want to tangle with this stuff.

But a least I caught this one and lost what felt like a much bigger one which took my fly.

Took a load more photos and then made my sweaty way back to the car and home.

Saturday 29 August 2015

Eagley Brook 28 Aug 15

Another day of fishing and taking photos of invasive weeds.
 Not a pretty place where I started, sewer pipe and a weir, and the smell from a leaky manhole cover. 

A couple of small ones from below the weir.

I moved above the weir and caught nothing until I got to the deeper and faster water a bit further up.

Once under the bridge it gets a lot darker with tree cover and I stopped serious fishing and started serious invasive weed photographing.
 Unfortunately the brook has lots of Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knot Weed and up here it is really rampant. The Giant Hog Weed is also present but not as yet as massive problem as it is further down stream, it won't take long before it becomes one.
   Balsam goes up to the top of the valley wall.
Japanese Knot Weed with a bit of Giant Hog Weed.
 More Knot Weed.
Giant Hog Weed among the Balsam. This unfortunately at the top of where I went to and it is sending seeds down to the rest of the brook. 

Thursday 27 August 2015

Bradshaw Brook Fly Fishers Beat 27 Aug 15

No fishing for the last couple of weeks but I am still finding time to take photos of non native invasive weeds for the plant tracker web site . If you are not able to photograph and add records to the site do go and look at the results up to now, it is not a pretty picture. The amount of Balsam, Knot Weed and Giant Hog Weed spread over the country needs to be seen to be believed. They are just three of many many more plants that are spreading across our country. If you can spare some time to add some records please do.

After and whilst taking the photos today I managed to catch a few fish. The brook is still running very dirty, why we are getting this dirty water from Jumbles Reservoir I do not know, it has been happening all summer long. Fortunately it does not seem to be bothering the trout.

I started with a 7 foot rod and an Adams dry fly, plenty fish coming for a look at it and one pricked but nothing in the net. Changed fly to a Olive and caught a fish first cast.
 Only a little one but it's a start.
Came from under the bridge.

Couple of pools up stream before I had another fish, it was going to be my last cast with the olive when this one took. 
 Much better fish.

and then another from the same bit of water, things looking up.

Couple of small ones and then another fair one.
Ferom the pool below.
 Yes it his looking dirty. 
 Caught this one and a couple of very little ones from a stretch that I do not usually bother to fish, I will not miss it out in future.

 This one looks lick it could do with a good meal, quite long but very slim.

One or two more small ones but nothing worth a photo. The very top of the beat which is quite dark with lots of tree cover usually has one or two good fish, produced not a thing today. That's fishing sometimes the fish are where you expect them to be and sometimes not. Some days they will take anything you you put on the water other times nothing is good enough for them.

Tuesday 11 August 2015

Irwell Ramsbottom 11 Aug 15

More Photos for Plant Tracker and some fishing of course.

Last time I was here I had a good day, today started poor. I fished down stream nymph to begin, as the only easy access to the beat is up river. Eight foot rod floating line and a Goldhead Copper John
usually gets me some fish, changed to a Hares Ear then a Pheasant Tail. Not a thing from any of them, but at least I was now at the bottom of the beat. Sat and had my lunch, just an apple as usual. 

I had seen fish rising on the way down so I was very hopeful of catching on a dry fly on the way back up. Changed the tippet and put on an Adams, cast to a couple of rises with no result.
 Moved up to faster moving water and tried casting to likely spots with a good result.
 I was very happy to net this lovely fish, quick photo and back into the river.
 If you have a water proof camera might as well give it a go.
 To say that we have had very little rain I was surprised to see how much colour was in the river.

I was soon into what I am sure was a very good fish, but not for long. I took line going up river then turned and came back passed me. It then went deep and the tippet parted, no head shake just off. I thought that it must be one of the the knots, until I checked the tippet. I still had half the tippet, must have snagged on something sharp is all I can think.

New tippet, I have been using 4lb line, and another Adams got me the one below.    

I had a couple of other takes the first one was another good fish that took my fly and tippet, snapped at the knot, perhaps I was to heavy handed. 

I do not understand quite what happened with the second one. The fish was in shallow water and I saw it take my fly. When I lifted I felt nothing and thought I had been to quick, until I saw that I did not have a fly. The new tippet was complete and I had only just tied on the new fly. Yes I always do check the knot, very strange, but that's fishing.

Saturday 8 August 2015

Bradshaw Brook Jumbles 7 Aug 15

I have been out photographing invasive weeds again over the last few days I have taken more than 1000 photos, not all plants some fish as well. Again thank goodness for digital cameras. The Plant Tracker site must be wondering what is going on, when I start on something I really go overboard for awhile, I think the ones from yesterday will be my last, in any great number, for now.

As well as photos up to Jumbles I also did some fishing and caught a few.  

  I tried to start with an Adams dry fly, but even on a very sunny day, as it was. The tree cover is so thick I was having trouble seeing my fly, it is alright lifting every time you see a rise near where you think your fly is but I soon tired of it and changed to something that I could see with good results.

Nothing very big but they came thick and fast for a while.

The banks up here are so overgrown most of the time there is no option but to wade to move up stream. There are odd places that you can fish from the bank but not many and they are mostly the places where the dogs go for a swim, not recommended for catching fish. Moved up to another likely pool and was soon into a few more,

   Not always that easy to get your fly to the fish as it is very rocky and the pools tend to be quite small, the fast water at the top of the pools is usually good for the best fish.

Up a bit further and of we go again.

I never cease to be surprised how hard trout fight to keep out of my net.

Back to an Adams as there was a a bit more light up here.

Decided to call it a day I had been out for over 5 hours and still had a good walk back to the car. Could not stop taking more pictures of weeds on the way back.
Himalayan  Balsam lines the path all the way back to the car.