Fishing the tiny River Medlock and beyond

Fishing the tiny River Medlock and beyond

Sunday, 9 January 2011

A brace of pristine Medlock chub

I decided to try the swim on the River Medlock I blanked on at new year this morning. Having previously lost a big fish here I was fairly confident I could find a fish or two here. The river was carrying a little extra water today and much more colour. The river here runs in a valley between Clayton and Newton Heath, and really is an oasis in the Manchester inner city suburbs.

With the steep banks it really is essential to wade in the river and a lot of the river is inaccessible. The peg I fished below is tucked away in the valley but is overlooked on the far bank by a footpath. It really is comical to see the bewilderment on the faces of passers by, as they watch me stood in the once polluted river.
After an hour on a straight leger set up without a single tap I changed to stick float tactics. Trotting a single white maggot on a size 18 hook brought a bite second cast and immediately I was into a large chub. These fish can scrap as well and really are powerful. I was not going to allow the fish to swim under the far bank raft, unlike the previous week. A few minutes later I slipped the net under this beautiful chub.
This week decided to stay on the same swim for the day and lost two more fish to the far bank tree, before landing the second slightly larger fish below.
Only hooked one more during the day but fell foul of the snags on this difficult swim again. I didn't have the river to myself today though, there was another angler looking for the bigger fish with worm as bait but to no avail. All in all a very satisfying day. This river never ceases to amaze me, as not so many years ago it was heavily polluted, and until more recently it would not have been worth considering for a day out on the bank, similar to most of Manchester's rivers. Tuesday is my next free day and I plan to get out early and try the River Tame below Ashton-Under-Lyne, near to Portland Basin. I hope the water is a little warmer then as my feet are still freezing as I type this.

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