Thursday 20 July 2017

The End of the River Tonge 20 Jul 17

That's where I fished to today to the end of the Tonge. 

It is not a very long river, starts in The Valley in Bolton where Eagley Brook and Astely Brook meet.
 Astley Brook comes under the bridge, Eagley Brook from the right.

 It ends when it meets the Croal in Darcy Lever just south of Bolton.
 This the Croal where it meets the Tonge. A quite small and often polluted stream, as it was today.

This is the Tonge a much bigger river before it becomes the Croal.

I didn't start at the top of the Tonge but at Lever Bridge not that far from the end. First time that I have been to this stretch this year, in fact I am not sure that I fished it last year. 
Difficult to get into the river and not that pretty when you do, invasive weeds all the way down. Caught one fish on a nymph, going down, and that was it nothing for dry fly coming back up. It's coming back to me why I had not been there for some time, won't be rushing back.

Only good thing was that Bradshaw Brook joins the Tonge not far up above the bridge. Soon into fish there.
 Caught a few like this one and a bit better.
In places like this.

Then this one made my day worth while. Sorry about the photo, was in a rush to get the fish back in the stream.

Thursday 13 July 2017

Dirty Urban Fishing 13 July 17

Went fishing a very dirty urban river with my friend Dave B. I had been for a look at the place Dave said we should go, I had not been impressed by what I saw. Anyway Dave said "trust me" and off we went.
I didn't take photos of the surroundings not just because it was pretty awful with sewer pipes and rubbish, not to mention the smell. We do not want to advertise where it is, when you see the fish we caught you will understand why. We hooked and lost a few, struck and missed others. What we did catch is below.
  This one went 3 1/2 lbs, I am still smiling.

Dave's was not as big but still a very good fish.

Some of the ones that we saw made these two look like nothing, we shall return.

 Not saying where it is, is not just about keeping it to ourselves, wading up stream we found a descent sized dead trout with a mouth full of maggots and a hook deep in it's gullet attached to a few yards of strong line. Not pleased.

Wednesday 12 July 2017

Checking the Irwell 12 July 17

Decided to visit Ramsbottom, Summerseat and Burrs near Bury to see if there was any recovery of the insect life after the pollution incident and any sign of trout.

Started at Nuttall Park just below Ramsbottom, got in the river and fished up stream dry fly, where I have caught fish over the years. A good shoal of minnows as I waded in but no flies coming of the water. 
The river bed is very different from when I had last fished there. The repairs to the bank and the grading of the river bed by the Environment Agency had changed the places that used to hold fish. As you can guess I caught nothing and found no insects in the river. Not sure what the minnows are eating. Also saw some very small fry, of what I do not know. 

Moved down the river to Summerseat again the river was much changed by the EA flood work and again no signs of life.

On to Burrs which is not to far down river from the other two places where the river had looked clean and clear. Only to find the water murky and looking quite sick. No insects, flies or fish to be seen as before.

Feeling despondent about the state of the Irwell went for a quick pick me up and a hour on Bradshaw Brook where I had six fish. One, that pleased me no end, was  a nice fish that I had hooked before but never landed from a tricky little spot.  

Tuesday 11 July 2017

Bradshaw\ Brook 11 Jul 17

Rained in the night and was forecast for the rest of the day, the forecast was right for a change.

Takes lots of rain to make fishing the brook a problem as the main flow comes from Jumbles reservoir and is controlled. We only get high water when the reservoir overflows which is very unusual in the summer.
Started above Printers Lane, first visit of the year, hard to get to and lots of tree cover and woody debris. not much overhead casting up here.

It was raining quite hard most of the time and when it wasn't it was coming of the trees. Despite the conditions it was dry fly as usual, infact the same actual fly from last week, a battered Coachman.
 Mostly shallow fast water with some deep glides. Nothing until I was passed the branch in the water, where a good fish hooked itself with no help from me and then got off, with help from me.
Never mind was soon into plenty of others, mostly quite small ones, as is usual for the brook.

 Caught a few others much the same as the ones above.
 This one is a bit better.
 Came from here.
 Just a bit more room but you need to fish under the trees on the right.

 Couple more much the same.

The rain just kept on coming, even though I was dry underneath my face and hands where getting cold and damp, glad I was getting near the end of the stretch.
 Pleased that I carried on though, as the best fish of the day was the second last that I caught. Came from a nasty bit of water with a fallen tree in it, thought I had lost it when my line got stuck on a branch. Had to wade in and get it free. 

 Had one last cast in the same water and was surprised to catch the one below.
 Both with very bright red spots.

I would usualy fish back down the brook but with the rain decided to take the path home. 
Plenty of fish on a miserable wet day very pleased with the results.
The first Coachman fell apart, sad to see it go, replaced it with another one and carried on catching.

Thursday 6 July 2017

Not much until Thursday 6 July 17

Fished every day this week on Bradshaw Brook caught some, lost more than I landed and missed plenty, all with dry fly. Decided at the start of the week to try a Coachman as they had been ignored in my box for a long time. They worked each day, to a point.
 This 12inch fish was as good as I got, not a good photo.

Today,Thursday, decided to have a change. Different rod for a start, 7 foot cane, which like the Coachman had not been out for a while, and up stream nymphing instead of dry fly.
Bad planning from the start, set the rod up at home without really thinking. Went to the top of the lower beat under the road bridge, always fish there. 
 Couple casts and I new I had a problem the cane rod was a 6 weight and the line on the real was far to light, casting like a mad man.

Back to the car, my 3 weight rod was there ready to go with the same fly I had had on all week.
Back to the river but above the road bridge this time, not my favourite bit of the brook but it was close by.  

Not very deep and runs quite quick, watch out for the trees. nothing rising that I could see.
Lost one second cast and then caught this on from the same ripple.
Fished every bit of water no matter how fast or what depth, did quite well.

 Lost a few on the way up, shallow water jumpers nearly always seem to come off. All caught before the bend.
 This is the bend, deeper water under the trees, should hold good fish,but not for me.
 Round the bend, wall all the way up on the right hand side to the weir, I am a left handed so waded up the wall side.
Water a bit deeper and not all as quick as before, same fly getting scruffy but still catching.

These two in the first bit lost two others.
 Moved up and caught this one under the tree.
 Lost a couple more before I got to the weir where I caught the one below.

Wearing a new set of chest waders today "ORVIS" from Glasgow Anglers ordered Tuesday arrived Wednesday by UPS. No postage charge, could have paid £10 for next day delivery GLAD I DIDN'T.

They seem OK, not as sturdy as my old Simms(the cheapest ones), will have to be careful. My Simms are looking very silly with lots of Aquaseal on them and they still leaked a bit, mind they are over 5 years old. They will do for work days on the river.



Sunday 2 July 2017

Irwell Kick Sample and Nuttall Park 1 July 17

Did my monthly sample at Ewood Bridge on the Irwell, number of insects going up as expected as the river warms.
 Went down to Nuttall Park on my way home.
Looks perfect, this bit used to be an eyesore, see below, until the Christmas 2015 flood damage caused the Environment  Agency to order the repairs.
Hard to believe that it is the same place but it is. 

Not all good though. The Times on Saturday listed the Irwell at Nuttall Park as a good free spot for trout fishing. I am not saying that there are no trout still, but the poison that got into the river below
Ewood Bridge killed most of  the insect life in the river all the way down to Manchester.

My reason for the visit was to get into the river and check for insects. After a half hour of lifting stones in the river all that I found I could count on one hand. As for fish I saw nothing at all, a chap I chatted with told me he had seen minnows and that the Heron still came to fish in the river. We live in hope.