Fishing the tiny River Medlock and beyond

Fishing the tiny River Medlock and beyond

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Return of the Chub

Went back to the River Medlock this morning at Littlemoss. I didn't have a full day so wasn't venturing far, and Josh, another Droylsden fan (yes there are a few of us!) had said he may be on there this morning trying for his first river fish. I arrived around 10am to find the river low and clear. The weather today was much better and I thought there was a chance of a few fish. I found Josh wading down the river and we headed for the swim under the waterfall, always produces something. I managed the trout below and lost a similar size one, then caught a very small trout, which is significant as I catch very few smaller fish on the Meddy, which concerns me for the future. All the bites were on maggot feeder.
As the bites thinned out we moved upstream and found this gem of a swim below. I have never fished it before but looked at it a couple of times. As the river was too low to fish on the stick float effectively, I decided to give it a whirl on the feeder.
I dropped in right under the tree and waited, intrigued to find out whether there was anything lurking. Meanwhile Josh caught his first river fish, not the quarry we intended to catch! A tiny minnow.

It didn't take long before my tip bounced into action. The bite was more definite than the frantic tip movements that trout produce and I instantly knew I was into a chub. Didn't even see it as it lunged into the tree roots and snapped the hook length. More determined than ever I beefed the hook length up and tried again. It was about twenty minutes later the tip eased round. This time I was going to give no quarter as the fish headed towards the tree's roots again. I managed to bully the fish into the open river and quickly brought this fantastic chub to the net.

Well pleased I sat back and Josh had a crack at the same swim, managing to lose two sizable chub to the undergrowth. Maybe it was not going to be his day. We moved upstream for the final hour or so and bingo, Josh hooked into a good fish. This belter came in pretty quickly but a fine fish for a novice river angler.

Again this little stream had shown the enormous potential it has , and given up a couple of super fish. We ended up with three fish a piece, not one of my best days but enjoyable nonetheless. Off to Salford tonight to learn a bit more about Manchester's improving rivers from some more established anglers than myself. This fishing game is hard work, good job tonight's session is a meeting in a pub!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Early morning on the river

I was up at 6am this morning to try the river early morning. In truth it was the only way I could get out today as I was committed to a shopping trip in Manchester and an appointment with Jack Wills (teenagers will understand). A brisk walk down the valley from Littlemoss soon brought me to my senses at this unsociable hour. I only had until 11.30am so I needed to head to a spot with two or three close swims, so I could rotate between them after catching (positive thinking). The river was tinged with a muddy brown colour after the week rain but was clearing and was dropping to its normal level.
I tackled a couple of the swims, and after a bite less hour settled on the swim pictured above. this river never ceases to amaze me, and after a few casts I hooked a fish which was fighting like nothing I had hooked before in the Medlock. It took me several minutes to even see the fish. A prolonged battle ensued, and on fine lines I knew I had to tire this fish out rather than bully it. When it came into view I realised I had hooked a large brownie which was in no hurry to see daylight. It seemed an age before I slipped the net under a personal best trout.
I managed to catch a couple of smaller trout from a tiny swim that I had never considered before, both burying the float, quite unlike the earlier specimen. The swim is pictured below.

 Not bad for a cold winter morning, and a few leftover maggots from Thursday. No chub today unusually, which was my main aim. However I did lose a large fish at the end of the session which felt a little more sluggish than the trout. Not a bad morning's work in my book. This river has got right under my skin. I don't know what I am going to do when the season ends, I will have to dust off my pole and seat box.
There is still a few weeks to go until then though so back to this week and I should be out on Tuesday, though I am fancying the River Tame for a change. I plan to attend the Salford Friendly Anglers meeting on Tuesday evening so I won't be travelling far. Looking forward to this meeting, and learning more about Manchester's rivers. Off to Eastlands on Thursday as well to catch up with the blues in their European campaign. Lots to look forward to.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Posh grub, trout and chub.

It was off to the Medlock again today accompanied by the big(gish)  fish specialist Andy AKA Stretford Red. Anyway to cut a long story short I always seem to be talking about the fish that he caught so I was determined to turn the tables on home turf. It was Andy's first visit to the Meddy even though at one point it virtually flows past his back garden.  A quick tackle up and Andy dropped a maggot feeder set up in to a small hole at the end of a short glide whilst I began trotting a single maggot down the swim above. Second cast and I was immediately into the action as a fish took my bait right at the head of the swim. This fish was powerful. I guessed it must be a big chub. After a short battle it came into view. Strangely a smaller chub than normal but a right scrapper. Then ping, the hook sprang out of its mouth as it lunged to safety. The swim went dead as they do on these small streams after a fight with a fish.
Consequently we moved swims to try a couple of fishy looking glides but to no avail. I was again wondering whether I was going to shake my smaller fish syndrome problem. We tucked in below the waterfall, a swim never tried before. I lobbed a maggot feeder just off the fast water and after a few seconds had a real pull round on the tip. A trout, followed by another, followed by Andy tackling his first Medlock fish, another brownie. Was it to be another day of all trout?
Not much room for two of us to fish in, but enough to get a few bites and catch some real hard fighting fish. These fast water fish know how to resist the net.

Tried a couple more swims before moving back to the first swim we fished. In the process I hooked a much larger specimen, only to see it finally wrap my line around a branch on the far bank and snap my hooklength. Determined not to miss out on a chub, I walked back to the small footbridge swim that I had previously banked a cracking chub two weeks ago. The light was beginning to fade and time was running out, then second trot down I was into a bigger fish. Bingo, a chub. Not a monster but the biggest of the day. That was what I was after.  Job done. knowing the swim would die for half an hour it was time to call it a day. Five fish today and Andy banked three. This river is not prolific, but offers fantastic sport with the chance of a decent fish.
Today's events were proceeded by our now customary visit to a cafe for a slap up. This morning we found a belter. If you are in Droylsden I can recommend the Roma Cafe. Large breakfast and a cappuccino with a fancy cinnamon biscuit for a fiver in a proper bistro type establishment. Very nice. Good job I burst my waders last weekend as I would have looked out of place wearing them in this gaff!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Who has hooked up with a big fat trout?.....

Today saw us back to the River Etherow in search of an elusive big river perch. Not before we tucked into one of Glossops finest breakfasts at Scott's Cafe, near Glossop Caravans. Well worth a stop if you are up this neck of the woods. Set us up nicely for the day.

Went with fellow maggotdrowner Stretford Red (Andy).  The weather was wet to say the least, but the river looked in beautiful condition. It was higher than we had seen it on recent trips but had obviously been much higher earlier in the week. We both opted for stick float tactics with maggot as the flow was not too strong.  Joining the river half a mile above Woolley Bridge we toiled for a couple of hours without success on swims that generally produce. Today was beginning to look like a repeat of my last visit when finally my float dipped sharply and I was into a fish. Turned out to be the only fish for an hour on one of my favourite swims. A small Brown trout.

By the time we get to this swim we are generally catching regularly but the river was a bit slow today, but at least I had not blanked. Faith restored we moved 100 yards down to the footbridge swim which almost always produces decent fish. I am constantly told by locals to expect chub here but have yet to catch one myself. After a couple of  runs through the swim the bites came, and the fish followed, all trout, no perch or chub.

Andy was fishing a swim down, and under much pressure to halt the possibility of a blank being recorded for the world to know about. However Andy has an uncanny knack of catching the biggest fish of the day every time we venture out. Finally he hooked into his first trout of the day.

Safe from recording a blank the fish kept coming, then true to form he hooked into the fish below, a big old brown trout which weighed in at 3lb exactly, bearing a few battle scars. A belting fish though from a lovely stretch of river, the best I have seen out of this river in a long time. There must be bigger.
Somehow today I managed to puncture my waders, I could feel one foot getting colder by the minute. The rain kept coming, my foot got wetter. We both managed a few more fish before it was time to admit defeat to the elements. We retreated to the car, drenched full of optimism for the coming years outings. Gave my new ABU 706 closed face reel its inaugural outing today and was really impressed with the improvements on the new models. I had one of these reels 25 years ago and loved it, but the new model is a classy bit of kit. I need to test it properly on the Medlock though.  Midweek sees us tackle the Medlock in search of a monster chub to test. I am convinced they are there.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

You're never far from the Medlock

Last Sunday I ventured on to the river, knowing it would be mission impossible. Something always tells me there is a chance as long as you can cast a bait in. Not the case on this occasion. The rain had been relentless for 3 days and the river was muddy brown and flowing through at a fair rate of knots. As I sat watching my idle tip I realised today was a good day for gaining a few brownie points (shopping)!  However the chance was gone so I had to think how to get a plus from a day that was proving unfruitful, and packing the gear into the car and driving to the Ashton canal at Audenshaw would normally be the answer. Three hours later and biteless I finally admitted today was not going to make good reading.
On to Tuesday and it was off to Copenhagen to watch England take on Denmark. Normally a great destination for fishing, unfortunately my short trip did not allow enough time to get to a river, and as the weather was pretty cold I wasn't grumbling. However the trip started off on top form with a trip to The Medlock.!... a bar in terminal 3 on this occasion.
Anyway if you can't get a bit of fishing in , as long as you are on the water I feel you have done a trip some justice. So a boat trip around the harbour, up to the little mermaid and around the canals of Copenhagen was some consolation.

I did manage to get a little impromptu training session from the lads on the art of reeling in a fish, whether I should take their help seriously is in serious doubt! Mind you this was at about 1am after a few Tuborgs.

So on to the match and  a 2-1 win finished off a great midweek trip. The next away game is Wales and with it being in the close season for rivers, I have to wait until Bulgaria away in September for a bit of fishing combined with the footy on the River Iskar on the outskirts of Sofia on this occasion.
 Back to the fishing on Sunday and a trip to the River Etherow is planned. I have invested in some new gear including an unhooking mat and a lovely ABU 706 reel from the much talked about 'Anytackle' on Ebay. I have to say their price and delivery time was second to none.
Not a bad week after a poor start on the river. Heres hoping the Etherow is on form tomorrow.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

A rainy day on the River Medlock

Now recovered from my fruitless reccy to the Rever Etherow I decided to stay local this morning. Having saved half a pint of maggots from Sunday's trip I figured with a Warbies loaf I should have enough bait for a day on the Meddy. I was under the impression that angling was a real family pastime, but my family didn't seem too impressed by the noise of the food processer liquidising my bread at 8 o'clock this morning. I got this beauty for my birthday, could have chosen anything really, but thought I would get this in preparation for the summer months. With half a loaf liquidised and the other half for breadflake I was determined to better Sunday's dismal result.
I headed upstream from the Vale. The river here is much more pretty and tends to hold bigger specimens. There are some deep holes created by the current as the river meanders through the back of Woodhouses village down to Clayton Vale. On a previous trip I had fancied one such swim pictured below, but not bothered as I only had a float rod with me. Today I set about tackling this swim convinced there would be a couple of clunking chub prepared to mop up my breadflake.

I persevered for a couple of hours on the cage feeder filled with liquidised bread to the back of the swim under the broken trees to no avail. I wondered if today was going to be a repeat performance.  I am not patient enough to watch a stagnant tip all day and opted to try a different swim. I set a float rod up and moved to a swim I had caught two chub from on a previous visit this year. First cast the float buried, one of the most definate bites I had seen in months. The result, after a frantic scrap was a nice brown trout. I had set up with a very light 0.10 silstar superteam hooklength and size 22 hook, as my confidence was at a low and this trout tested my rig well.
Now buoyed up by my new found success I was expectant in this swim of better fish. I should have known though that any other fish would have been spooked as the trout set about its acrobatic bid for escape, and true to form the swim produced nothing more, either on tip or float. Determined to better my previous trips I moved to a canny little swim that  I have passed on many occasions but never tried. The river is very narrow here but looks deep as it runs below a low footbridge (on which I banged my head walking under more than once).
After a few tentative bites on the first trots through, I managed to catch the chub below, a really chunky fish, one of the better fish I have had out of this section of the river. My patience had paid off.
This turned out to be my only chub banked today as the wind really got up, and the rain began to drive against the flow of the river. The weather was turning horrible, but I wanted to go back to the first swim and try on float. I hooked into a bigger chub than the one pictured and managed to maneouvre it away from the snags at the back of the swim only to see it turn and dive unexpectedly and snap my hooklength. Oh well, at least the fish are biting again. Let's hope the frosts stay away for February, and the fish keep feeding. I will be back out on Sunday although not sure where yet. No fishing next week as I am back on international duty watching England play a friendly against Denmark in Copenhagen