You could be forgiven if you know nothing about Ashton-under-Lyne. I live just three miles from this quite large town and until a cruel illness rendered my father hospitalised in the local hospital for some months now, I rarely ventured inside it's boundaries. Once famous for a thriving night life, most of the bars are closed and the shops are slowly moving to the trendier retail parks near the new tram lines. The market hall was completely raised in a huge fire some years ago, and the town planners have performed miracles to preserve the historic atmosphere within the rebuilt Phoenix from the flames. The fire could have signalled the end for Ashton, along with the declining disorder problems on Saturday and Sunday nights. However almost in defiance the town is slowly regaining popularity. Monthly farmers markets, Xmas markets, Leisure parks, Ikea, metro link tram station, refurbished train station replace bric a brac stalls, barren moss land and scruffy industrial buildings. Through the turmoil that is Ashton flows a quite beautiful river that never changes, except that just as it's host town improves, so does the River Tame. Now renowned for large Barbel downstream in Stockport, little is written about the fishing upstream within Tameside and Mossley. I can tell you it is alive and well , and on Tuesday I visited a stretch that I had not fished for more than twenty years. The fish are much bigger and healthier than those days. I spent a cold Wintery afternoon stick float fishing in the shadows of the railway aqueduct, and amongst the harrowing sounds of the abattoir. The river gave up three brown trout, all sleek and strong. The biggest pictured below. One fish slipped the hook at the net which was much bigger, however I was not down hearted. People pay decent money down South for this standard of river fishing. No sign of any chub today, or perch for that matter, but a lovely afternoon nonetheless. The river seems not to be so secretive locally though judging by the rubbish left by the bank by less contentious anglers. My father, himself up until last year a keen angler all his life, and my original inspiration would be proud to know I am catching good river fish in his present home town.