Today saw the first day of the new season and what a day it turned out to be. Despite adverse weather forecasts which , with the exception of two short lived downpours, proved to be wrong, the day turned out to be glorious. The fishing matched as well. Found a new tackle shop today as well which is much nearer to the Medlock, and opens Sundays, Ashton Angling Supplies. I went to get some maggots there first thing, and was greeted by the manager with "Do you want a brew?". Now in my book that is customer service at it's very best. I had aimed to do the first cast at midnight thing this morning but decided against it , preferring a good nights kip.
Anyway after a quick bacon buttie it was on to the Medlock. It looked fantastic. The greenery on the banks and the trees was a stark contrast to the winter, and the river though low had a nice muddy tinge to it.
So the anticipation was immense as I settled on my favourite swim under an overhanging tree at the end of a long deep bend in the river. I have had some decent chub from the roots of this tree and it wasn't to disappoint today either. Within a minute the tip was pulling round in typical fashion, the fish were hungry. After missing a couple of quick bites I then hit a good wrap on the tip and was into a lump of a fish. It was not hanging round either. It dived for the roots several times before I could steer it into the open water. Then it came into view, and I had a personal best chub from the Medlock in my sights. The relief as I slipped the landing net under it was immense. This was a cracking fish. Weighed it at 3lb 4oz. What a start to the season.
Simple double white maggot on a size 20 Kamasan 911 hook had accounted for this chub and the tiny hook was dwarfed by the fishes huge lips. After a brief pause to consider my catch it was back in to try for another. Immediately the tip was on the move again and I had a nice brown trout that fought all the way to the net.
As always on the Meddy after a couple of fish the swim tends to go slow, so it was time to move downstream to a swim that has yielded some huge trout in the past. Again almost immediately after banging the maggot feeder in I had a strong bite and hooked into a good trout. Now these river trout move at a speed unlike anything from the canal, and stopping them getting into the trees is a job in itself. This trout was having none of it and it managed to get into the roots and break the hook from the line, on 4lb 12oz hooklength as well! Undeterred I know they go big in this swim I put a larger hook on and put back in. Two minutes later I was into another, but much bigger. The fish jumped and it was a huge trout. Bigger than anything I had caught over the winter. I bullied the trout away from the trees and kept it in open water by yielding huge pressure on the rod. After a prolonged battle it was in the net. Forgive the photo it really does not do it justice. This was a monster, just over 3lb.
Then came the rain. After the prolonged shower I moved upstream around a few swims catching in each. I caught another large trout later in the day pictured below.
All in all a great day. I finished up catching nine trout and a couple of chub, a great return for a river that resembles nothing more than a stream in most parts. I had taken all manner of particle baits but didn't use anything other than the humble maggot in the end. The three month wait had been worth it. Today I also saw plenty of small stuff from off the bridges, which bodes well for the future, both trout and minnow. I will get back to the river on Saturday evening to try to tempt some bigger chub on mini boilies I was reluctant to use them today, as the big trout were active. Until then tight lines everybody.