I have laid aside business, and gone a'fishing.

Izaak Walton

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A new direction...

Work (what the chuff else) has once again kept me from the water. Managed two trips since my last post, shameful really. One trip to Lymm Dam saw me tease a 10lbs (ish) Pike from the depths. The next saw me blank, and get soaked.

Like others, I've been keeping a close eye on the posts from our mutual friend , Mike Duddy. His superb Blog, Manchester Fishing Fiend is a must read, especially for the 'urban' fisherman or woman. Anyway, his tales of pulling Brown Trout from local rivers that not so very long ago were little more than open sewers or chemical baths, are inspirational.

I've been tempted to join Mike along the banks of the Irwell, but never quite made it. So, not having much of a clue about river fly fishing I thought I should get some expert tuition.

Cutting a long story short, a little while ago I found myself on the banks of a local river with none other than John Tyzack. An expert in the art of fly fishing, a great guide and generally all-round nice bloke. The only blot in his copy book - he supports City. Ah well, can't have everything.

John took me through everything I needed to know (and more) to get me started - choice of rods, lines, leaders, fly etc. etc. etc. He took his time in explaining how to start to read the river and where I should place myself, and my fly. I lost count of the times he pulled the leaves from my fly or waded into the depths when I got caught up, or got stuck in a tree!

John gave me an awful lot of help and advice, some of which I'm still digesting. Needless to say, I'd recommend his guiding services.

We ended the day with a number of fish, including my first Grayling - about 1lbs (ish). Hooray!

Actually, we really ended the day in the Pub, the best place to end any days fishing. John went over the day with me, gave me even more advice about nymphing for Grayling and left me chomping at the bit to get out there and begin a new chapter in my fishing life.
Cheers John.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Enty after work...

And so to Enty,
A busy Wednesday at work was good enough reason to head up to Turton for an evening spell.

On arrival the usual hordes of joggers, walkers, and combo's of joggers & walkers with dogs were everywhere. The sh*t situation is getting a bit out of hand with most owners letting their flea-bag pooches relieve themselves all over the show, without even attempting to clear up the foul mess. Even those that do quite often bag it and then shove it into the walls, do they imagine someone will come along and clear it all up?

Anyway, rant over.

A few nights ago, the reporter on Look North said we were in the middle of a drought, she was right. Walking round to the far bank it wasn't hard to see the levels had dropped quite a bit and quite a long stretch of the stones were exposed.

At least it afforded a long space between me and all the dog walkers. Gradually as the evening wore on the all the doggies were taken home to stink out their owners places and a kind of peace was restored.

Almost flat-calm, I decided to try a few of my favourite buzzer patterns - all to no avail, not even a take. A change of plan and out came my current favourite dry-fly pattern. I've no idea what it's called, it came in a bit of a luck dip bag I picked up at a game fair a few years ago. (Answers - please).

Five minutes after tying it on the fly disappeared into a splashing take and a nice pound and a half Rainbow was soon on the bank.

As the sun began to fall the Herons flew home to roost in the trees just behind me. Their chicks kicked off with a terrible screeching din. It didn't put the fish off and soon number two and three were on the bank. Another fish rose about 10 yards out, I cast to it, (not a bad effort for a change) and head and fin appeared as it took my fly. The last of the night was about the best, not far off two pounds.

Time for home, just be careful I don't step in any dog sh**!

Monday, June 14, 2010

For the last several weeks I've been grounded from fishing activities. We've had a new kitchen fitted and other general building works have kept me away from the waters edge. Finally, the builders have gone and the job is all but finished and Ayesha (she who must be obeyed) informed me a shopping trip to Boundary Mills was on the cards.

Of course, I thought back to my recce to Roughlee Trout Fishery as previously mentioned in this blog.

So, to Boundary Mills in Colne. After dropping Ayesha so she could buy more stuff, I turned the trusty Shogun towards Roughlee, a short ten minutes drive away. Yippee!

Roughlee is only 2.5 acres, but it's the perfect oasis for the fisherman (or should that be fisherperson? Answers on a postcard, please). Terry, who owns and runs the fishery has provided every comfort, including a small lodge complete with coffee and tea making facilities as well as a microwave to heat any food you might bring with you. There are also toilets on-site, which is of course, very convenient.You can only fish from one bank, but there's plenty of room for your back-cast and every few yards there are chairs and benches to take the weight off, again, most convenient.

After a brief chat with Terry I was fishing and there were fish showing everywhere. Ten minutes later Terry shouted over and asked if I'd like a cup of tea, I did, and a few moments later he carried it over to me. Now, I ask you, when did you last visit a fishery where the owner not only made you a cup of tea, but carried it down the bank to you?

I remember years ago (1980's) traveling down the M6 with an old fishing chum for a day on a commercial coarse fishery, something quite new in those days. You bought a ticket and found your peg.
An hour or so later the fishery owner appeared on the far bank riding a quad bike. He stood up and screamed "Get your f****ing tickets out, so I can f****ing see them". It was the weekend, and the place was full of Dads with young sons. It put me off the commercial match type fishery, and I never went back. Call me old fashioned, if you will.

Anyway, pretty soon I was into a nice Rainbow, no monster, but it put in a nice performance and christened my new light fly rod, so I was happy enough.

I got the rod from a site on eBay for £50.00 (including the reel) with the idea of a bit small river fishing, hopefully I'll get round to giving Mike Duddy (he of Manchester Fishing Fiend, fame - a wonderful blog) a call for a few tips on his beloved River Irwell.
He seems like a very knowledgeable type, even though some of his 'friends' say he isn't - plus, I'm not sure about that hat he wears. (Just joking Mike, honest).

Anyway, I reached the 'top-end' and after yet another cup of tea was carried down the bank to me, I took Terry's advice - 'they like a big white dry-fly'. I found such a fly in my box, tied it on and chucked it out. Two fish saw it straight away, one won the race, sucked in my fly and once more a nice Rainbow was on the bank.

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All too soon I knew I had to leave, Ayesha would be pushing a trolley full of stuff towards the exit and expecting me to be on the other side. I called it a day for Roughlee and headed back down the bank. Back at the little lodge, I broke down my rod, put away my reel and made myself a brew. I sat down and basked in the sunshine for ten minutes and drank my tea.

The fishing cost £10.00 (a sporting ticket is always my choice). An oasis, indeed. I'll be back, just as soon as Ayesha needs to buy more stuff - thanks Terry.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Enty Delivers

Entwistle Reservoir

Arrived to find 'Enty' ice free, reasonably mild and just a light wind. What a change from the last few visits.

With no sign of any other anglers I headed up to one of my favourite swims. Nothing was showing on the surface so I plumbed for an intermediate line and a black, gold-headed lure. And, within a few minutes I was into a very lively Rainbow. Safely landed and around 2lbs.

Moving around to the far side I ended the morning with three fish, all returned, I lost a few too. Hopefully, this sees the start of another season and all the snow and ice is behind us!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pikin on the Cut

Every morning, as I drive to work, I travel over the Bridgewater Canal in Stretford. This morning I'd thought I'd stop and chuck a few lures around, just to see if I could tempt a Pike or two. No such luck.

A couple of jacks snapped at my lures and I even hooked one for a moment or two, until a leap from the murky (and I do mean murky) depths threw the hook...ah well, there's always tomorrow.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A fox’s nose touches twig...

So, there I was, watching John Bailey on the Fly on Discovery Channel, happy as Larry. Suddenly, there was a scream from upstairs. Angie (she who must be obeyed) had shouted - Fox!

We live in Chorlton, a busy town not far from Manchester city centre, and here is the much talked about urban fox. He, or she, seems to have set up home just above the shed.

Bold as brass and totally unconcerned about all around.

Blimey, is that Simon King in the foliage, camera at the ready!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Shopping can be fun....

Angela (she who must be obeyed) had decided it would be nice to 'spend' an afternoon at Boundary Mills, which for those who may not know is a big shop in Colne.

Obviously, I was chuffed beyond words at the prospect of 3 - 4 hours of elbowing my way through hordes of shoppers.

Anyway, a quick flirt through Google and I found a new prospect, Roughlee Trout Fishery. Leaving Angie to her shopping, I headed off for a bit of a recce. At only 2.5 acres you shouldn't get lost at Roughlee, and you can only fish from one bank, but there is a decent car park.

I had a chat with a local guy, you can just see him - top right, and he said it wasn't a bad little spot and had caught 5 that morning. At the end of the day boys, which would you prefer - a shopping expedition - or an afternoons fishing?

I must get myself a travel fly rod to leave in the boot, any recommendations?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Curley's Saves the Day...kind of

Ever the optimist, I took another trip to Entwistle, I needn't have bothered.
The snow began to fall as I climbed away from Bolton town centre, great! Then, as the wind picked up it decided to 'fall' horizontally, double great!

Pulling into the car park at 'Enty" the omens weren't good
The walkers, ramblers, dog-walkers etc. were all dressed for the Arctic. Even the dogs were sporting this seasons latest hot numbers, in quilted overcoats.

I only needed a quick look to see 3 foot waves, white horses and not another angler in sight. So, back to the motor for Plan B.

I ended up at Curley's, a commercial trout fishery in Horwich, Bolton.
They have a cafe and a tackle shop on site, lovely. After a quick cup of coffee and a chat with Steve, I bought a ticket and got stuck in, despite the snow and the wind chill.
Anyway, a few hours later I'd had a few missed bites and one Rainbow, around a pound and a half. It was freezing day, and I'd not done much, but, I'll be back!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fish Supper


The plan had been to take a day away from work and try to catch a Pike or three from the Irwell. Some of the swims I've seen look very 'Pikey'.

However, it all went pear-shaped and I soon found myself behind the wheel, not en-route to the river, but to work!

When I returned home that evening, Angie (she who must be obeyed) thought she'd have a laugh.

It was fish for tea.

I've confined her to the shed!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Mersey
All you ever gave me was Scarlet Fever!

The picture at the top of my embryonic blog shows the confluence between the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal in Irlam.
(I copied it from Wikipedia, so I hope that takes care of all acknowledgements etc).

Anyway, any lad who grew up near the river and who'd caught the fishing bug back in the 70's used to look at the Mersey and think, if only this was a half decent river what a time we'd have. I'd daydream its deep pools were full of Barbel and the long glides were full of Chub and Trout.

Instead, of course, all it was full of was........ a lethal cocktail of god knows what and usually it had about 3 foot of foam on top. And just to top everything off, it was quite often on fire!
Titter ye not, for it is true.

These days the Mersey has improved and we've all read the reports of growing fish stocks and even Salmon leaping, for god's sake. I wonder though, if I were to cast my lure into these waters, would it be a nice fat Pike that I'd pull from the depths or a trolley from Tesco.

Only one way to find out boys.........

By the way, can anyone tell me how to align the image at the top?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

First Day and where are my skates?

Fly Fishing Venue.

I started fishing Entwistle Reservoir back in the late 70's and early 80's and the 'first day' was always a highlight in my fishing calendar. After some years away, (work, life etc. etc.) I returned to the fold.
Monday the 1st March, and I was up and away to 'Enty', only to arrive at a skating rink. As with so many waters this winter/spring, the whole place was covered in an inch or more of ice!

Anyway, it was the first day, so I setup and headed for the top where a small stream runs into the reservoir, where I hoped I might find some clear water. Up at the top I met the secretary who told me no stocking had taken place yet, not exactly the news I wanted to hear.

I did find some areas where the ice hadn't taken hold and gave them a go for a few hours. And a few hours later, with no sign of a fish and not one pull on my line I called it a day.

I'm looking forward to a bit of milder weather and some ice-free water.