Fishing the tiny River Medlock and beyond

Fishing the tiny River Medlock and beyond

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

In the shadow of the Etihad

Driving by the Etihad blink and you may miss the River Medlock. Stop to look and you may be dismissive of it, but to ignore it is your loss. Amidst the regeneration of this once run down suburb of City centre Manchester flows a rubbish strewn river that at first glance you would think must be barren of fish. However as this blog has shown on numerous occasions that is far from the case. I n fact the fish go big in parts. As usual I went to bed last night with a carefully thought plan, today's was to fish the canals in the city cenre looking for Pike. On getting up I changed my mind and decided to fish the Medlock and try to realise an ambition, to catch a chub within sight of the Etihad stadium. Things didn't quite go as expected. I did catch fish within 200 metres of the stadium but they weren't chub. The first came on the first cast and a beautiful fish it turned out to be. After a ten minute battle it was landed, a lovely brownie.
Little was I to know what would follow. The fish got bigger and bigger. I caught eight fish of varying sizes wrapping up with the biggest in the evening as I was about to turn it in.

Note I have finally sussed the timer on the camera, which was a good job as I would have been dissappointed not to get a picture with the final fish below.

If you like a scenic location urban fishing may not be for you but the rewards for trying awkward , unusual locations can be worth the effort. Some of the best fishing can be in the most unthinkable places. The police helicopter circled twice during the day and a police van arrived on the road bridge at one point. Not the quietest spot but at least the vandals around here have a little class though!

 This fish is a personal best trout from the Medlock and what's interesting I lost three fish that I never even saw. They could have been bigger. One thing I noticed was these fish fight hard as they live in a culvert with fast flow. Getting their heads up in the water is hard work. By the end of the afternoon my wrist was aching. Two of the fish took over fifteen minutes to net. This is a complete difference to their tamer cousins upstream in Clayton. This unusual river runs through a complete diversity of areas into steep gullys in the City centre, and this is the lowest spot on the river I have caught on, other than Potato Wharf. I have found a nice spot lower down in Beswick though and aim to try before the close season starts.
At this point I usually predict my next trip, which then turns out totally different. However Sunday is the Salford friendly anglers pike fish-in on the Irwell, a day not to be missed, and hopefully a chance to find a few specimen fish and sink a few real ales. Roll on Sunday.


  1. blue-tiful fish! with a lovely Silva hue. I must take a Toure of these waters with you sometime and keep you Kompany. I think i know Aguaro-bouts you were fishing... under that useless Bridge!

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