Fishing the tiny River Medlock and beyond

Fishing the tiny River Medlock and beyond

Thursday, 19 July 2012

A tale of two rivers

On Tuesday, spurred on by my trip to Wales I finally found the urge to visit the Medlock for the first time this season. Since the close season I have not bothered as the river has changed completely due to the demolition of a large weir. This has really changed the shape of the river through the Vale in Clayton. Swims which held good chub are now just a inches deep. I couldn't hide my disappointment as I walked the river with a local project manager to talk about the river and the fish holding areas.
The weather was fine for a change and on the one deep hole left I set up a maggot feeder rig and cast under a far bank tree. The fish were biting and within minutes I had a brownie of about 12oz. I backed this up with nine more fish including a couple of chub, and one decent one.
As the bites dried up and with no alternative swims to move to these days I decided to drive into the city centre and try a stretch of the Irwell new to me. I arrived about 3pm and decided to stick it out all afternoon. The only problem was the rain arrived pretty soon afterwards, and persisted for hours. With no cover and concrete banks it was a case of grin and bear it. It didn't stop the fish  from showing up though, and I managed to build up a tidy bag of fish including a chub of 3lb all caught on maggot feeder three quarters across the river. An interesting spot in the middle of the city drew quite an audience at times as the fish were being played in. From the offices opposite I could see the surprise as each fish came to the net. The only hazard is the rate of rise in the river level. To wade here you have to be confident, and in the pouring rain I had to remain vigilant. At 8pm I decided to call it a day with around 10lb in the net of roach and chub, and a solitary perch. Not bad for a first day out on the river. I could have done with some coaching from Derek (Salford friendly fame) today on stick float fishing as only one fish fell to this tactic. I am sure Del would have bagged up. I like to think I am proficient in the art of stick float fishing but had to revert to long range tactics. There's always another day.

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