Fishing the tiny River Medlock and beyond

Fishing the tiny River Medlock and beyond

Thursday, 14 July 2011

The demise of the Medlock (and Reggie's Pond)

Yesterday afternoon saw me back to the River Medlock in an effort to salvage something from the day after a poor morning on the Irwell. As if things could get any worse. Well they did, much worse. In fact they got as bad as things could get right now in my world of fishing. The river was blue from pollution. There was an oily deposit all round the banks right the way through Woodhouses, and a nasty foam below the weirs.
Even worse was to follow. As I hopelessly tried to still find signs of life in the river, fishing the swims that usually produce , it became apparent that not even the minnow were there as has been the case for a number of weeks now. I didn't see a single living fish all afternoon and I still stayed hoping beyond hope for three hours or so. I did not have a single nudge on the tip.
I don't know when the contamination occurred but it was sometime earlier in the week and after last Wednesday as it was in pristine condition when I fished it last week. All the golfers were talking about it. I only came across one dead fish but it was a large trout of between 2-3 lb. I am sure there will be more.
On the way home I noticed that the pond on Reggie's farm is no more, drained and filled in. I used to sneak on here in the middle of the night as a kid, trying to tempt the big perch. It has fallen prey to the commercial world, as has the Medlock it would seem. A sorry day all round.

The digger above is putting the finishing touches to Reggie's new look pond. I went to the pub in the evening to sink a couple of real ales and try to make sense of it all. For those of you who have a favourite venue that you fish, you will understand my feelings right now.

Mixed fortunes

A return trip to the Irwell saw me in the City centre a little more organised and ready to catch my biggest net of chub yet. With only one other angler in sight ( the chap below) I baited up the swim and began trying to build another huge net.
What I hadn't banked on was the shoal of Chub had moved elsewhere, and three hours into the session I only had one trout of about 1lb to show for my efforts. Just goes to show nothing is predictable in this game. However as I decided to wrap it up and packed my gear away I did have one stroke of luck. In the mud , dirty but in one piece was a £20 note. Not a fortune but it sponged up well with some soapy water and an hour or two on the radiator. More than covered the cost of the bait.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Shower dodging

I returned to the Meddy today for a prolonged morning session. On arrival I knew instantly it was going to be a tough morning. The clouds were getting darker and the river was as low as I have ever seen. You could see the bottom right across the river in most places and the water was crystal clear. Every swim looked to be full of minnow.
I did manage to catch a couple of  trout in the lulls between rain bursts, but aside from watching three good sized chub move up and down a shallow run, there was no sign of the bigger stuff.

The most interesting moment today was when there was a flurry of activity in the foliage on the far bank. Out ran a whole family of ducks frantically heading for the water followed closely by a fox. The fox stood and stared as the ducks swam for their freedom. On spotting me reach for my camera the fox retreated into the bushes, too quickly for me to get a shot.
No fishing planned  this weekend, although that could change .