Fishing the tiny River Medlock and beyond

Fishing the tiny River Medlock and beyond

Sunday, 18 November 2012

River Etherow Woolley Bridge

The problem with my fishing and blogging  is that it often needs some inspiration to get me up and out or writing. My life is so busy that days off are increasingly about doing nothing. I have decided that from today it has to stop. My new found blogging inspiration has come from the blog of a good pal and fellow Salford friendly member, . Some terrific fish from the Irwell can be found on this blog, if you ever needed some inspiration the fish on his latest post should provide it. My fishing inspiration came from a couple of emails from a reader of my blog enquiring about the River Etherow, cheers Rob, I owe you one.  Manchester's rivers really are thriving and the Etherow is an old favourite, which flows between the edge of Greater Manchester and Derbyshire out of Bottoms reservoir in Tintwistle down through Tintwistle and on to Compstall to join the Goyt and Mersey river system. I decided to try an area I had previously had little success in, but ever the intrepid I tackled up at the confluence of the Glossop brook and the Etherow in a lovely deep glide. The water in this river has a lovely clear but rusty colour, just looking at it excites me, it doesn't take much these days! In the winter this river guarantees a fish or two. They may not be as big as the Pecheurs urban monsters, but every last fish I catch in this river is special to me as they all bring back great memories of our trips on the bus, followed by a pint in the Pear tree pub.

Today was not going to disappoint either. It wasn't long before the tip was bouncing round in a way that only trout can make it move. The bites were unmistakable and the fish came to the net one after the other. The perch and chub have all but disappeared from the higher stretches of this river, but the trout thrive. A steady dozen or so trout later as the bites slowed and the light dipped I decided to move to a swim higher up the river.
The move to a glide by Rossington Park trading estate brought the catch of the day. I have fished this river over thirty years and reasonably regularly but in all those trips only managed one Rainbow trout before. This little beauty may only be small but no less exciting than any of the huge Medlock brownies I have caught. Rainbows are not really prevalent in the local river system, nonetheless they are there.

So in early fading light, on a really windy , overcast day nineteen fish is not to be scoffed at. This river will always keep you busy if nothing else, it,s a great place for the beginner or younger river angler. On a sadder note, as the river continues to progress, the surrounding area seems to be declining. The pub by Woolley Bridge now a mere vandalised shell. The Spring tavern further down the road, once famous for hearty meals and genuine German lager also closed. The road to the river now boasts a huge municipal dump facility and a host of industrial units where once green fields prevailed. The price of progress I suppose. Fortunately the bank side of this river remains unspoilt and it really is a beautiful stream to walk along. Anyway, next week has to see me searching for some of those Irwell chub rather than playing about on the Etherow with the tiddlers. Just goes to show though, its about the fishing sometimes, not the catch.


  1. This world of ours gets smaller and smaller my friend , I know the Pear Tree and have fond memories of the old 'Spread Eagle' as my grandfather lived not a mile from there. My first ever experience of river fishing was on the Etherow as a very young lad at his side.
    I've not fished there for a few years now but everytime I do I spend that time in pleasant memories.
    Good to know the trout still abound in the river , the first time I saw one caught was the day of my grandfathers funeral and the gentleman that caught it said "that ones for you Jock" as he slipped it back into the water. A memory I will treasure.. think its about time I picked up one of the old fella's rods that he left me and took a little bus ride...
    See you on the back some day , tight lines my friend, Dave

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