Fishing the tiny River Medlock and beyond

Fishing the tiny River Medlock and beyond

Sunday, 26 January 2014

The land that time forgot

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.

Sadly the tell tale signs of a good swim


  1. Hi,ive started fishing the Tame in the last 6 months ,I am 55 and only just stared the hobby ,I thought I would try it as it is a mile away from my home and free ! When you are staring out that counts.
    I have caught trout most times I have been out, I started out on worm ,ledgering and float but got nothing ,I found it hard with float as it is quite fast and trotting an avon is harder than it sounds,then by the Roaches Lock bridge I watched an old guy who got 40plus trout in a couple of hours ,he was feeder fishing maggot and it was a fish a chuck. He gave me some maggots and I broke my duck and got three myself. After that I used feeder for a bit but found that they were taking the maggot down and I couldn't remove the hook too well.If I am not eating the fish I don't want to potentially kill it so I went on to light spinners and have some nice fish ,not as many ,after two the swim seems to go dead but it is fun.The best day was when I bought a 5ft rod from a charity shop for £2.50 because it looked like the light spinners the Americans seem to use (I think its just a 70s kids rod) anyway I stuck a tiny spinner on and in shallow water on new swim got a great trout ,first cast as it hit the water ,two casts later I got his brother ,I have tried big and small plugs jig heads ,deadbaiting with no luck but had trout on sweetcorn and luncheon meat. I am still finding my feet really but seem to think about fishing all the time lately and if i am not on the bank i am making lures and spinners.I missed two fish last week on diy flying c,s just as I lifted them out at my feet on a reservoir that shall remain nameless for now

    1. By good fish I mean 10 to 12 inches ,nowt like you're catching yet, would love to hit something like that .I have also tried floating flies (gnats , mosquito ,muddler) on a bubble float but no luck yet. Is it free on the meddy and if so what tactics would you recommend to start with?

      Cheers Bry.

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