Today I ventured into the city centre to try one of my favourite swims on the Medlock at Potato Wharf.
As I had to drive through Clayton to get to town, I decided it would be rude to pass the Clayton Cafe without stopping for another large brekkie. The fishing started badly, and my patience was stretched to breaking point. There was a large snag on the river bed which quickly accounted for three feeder rigs and 5 hooks. After an hour of this and no bites it was decision time. This swim is a Summer swim, but it is nearly impossible to access then because of brambles and thick undergrowth, but I would doubt I will try it in the winter again.
So it was back to the Bay Horse, where midweek I had caught a few chub. This section comes with it's own jungle to negotiate, looked fantastic today as the sunshine broke through.
What an inspired decision. Not only was it averaging a fiver an hour in lost tackle at Potato Wharf, but first cast I was into a decent trout. These trout know how to fight, and it was to huge relief the fish finally came to the net after a prolonged battle.
Another smaller, but no less welcome trout came to the net before the first decent chub of the day showed up.
The bites were uncharacteristically slight on the tip, just little knocks. Maybe the fish were affected by the big frost, and the water temperature , which was noticeably colder today. My feet were feeling it as I was stood in the margins all day. As I was missing more knocks than hitting I switched to stick float tactics. The result was instant. First trot through the swim brought a fantastic bite, which preceded a fine scrap with what turned out to be a probable personal best chub from the Medlock. For a river this size these fish seem totally disproportionate, what a clunker.
I fished until sundown but couldn't top the chub. What a wonderful afternoon after a shaky start in the morning. I exercised some self control today as I headed back past the pub to the car, although the second chub was worth celebrating.
Great end to a decent week. No fishing next week as England have a couple of friendly matches, including a chance to test ourselves against the World champions. No chance to take the rods as the family tag along to Wembley these days.