Thursday, 8 March 2012

Back to the Medlock

 After several weeks of no fishing I decided it was time to get back out and have another go at the River Medlock. Thanks to advice from the Meddy Man I was sure I would have more luck this time.
 So armed with a tub of maggots a large flask of coffee and a couple of sarnies it was off for the number 171 bus  and the journey to the Bay Horse, a journey that seemed full of bad omens , such as the bus driver getting lost, seriously.
 Needless to say after finally arriving at the river I wasted little time in scooting along to a peg I'd seen on the Meddy Mans blog , yeah I admit it , I jumped in one of his favourite swims but after seeing some of the fish he's had from that spot who can blame me? I spent maybe an hour trotting a double maggot hookbait through the swim on a size 18's hook to 4lb line under yet another homemade crowquill topper ( can i really class it as a homemade float as I took parts of broken floats and put them together to make it? to be honest I dont care, it looks good and works, thats good enough for me )
Topper made from a broken pole float and an old crowquill
After getting absolutely no bites trotting I figured it was time for a change of tactics and dug out a maggot feeder and my last size 16 hook. Altho I had my little tipping rod with me I was determined to catch a Medlock Whopper on my 12 ft Aspindale and considering how light and whippy the tip on the rod is I decided to ledger with it. Have you ever tried casting a fully loaded maggot feeder more than 6 feet using a centrepin reel? it aint easy but after a few terrible failures i finally got my bait more than halfway across the stream and settled down to play the waiting game.
 Then I made a mistake , I picked up my flask and started to pour a coffee as the tip slammed over and the whole rod started to bounce! Somehow I managed to lift the rod and strike without spilling any of the hot coffee or dropping the flask only to find myself battling what felt like a submarine. After a heart stopping 30 seconds that felt like 30 mins the fish finally surfaced , I knew instantly that I was into my personal best brown trout ever...Eventually I manoeuvred the beast into my net, unhooked it , then spent a few minutes holding it in the current to recover while admiring its graceful lines before collapsing in a heap with a well earned smoke.
First fish of the day.
 An hour later and I was beginning to think the swim had died when the tip trembled , unsure if it was a bite or the wind I took the rod out of its rests and grabbed the line with my left hand ,sure enough I felt a frantic but somewhat gentle tugging on the line so struck into what suddenly felt like a brick but before I even got a look at the fish it was gone.Convinced I had been snapped I reeled in feeling dejected as that was the only decent sized hook I had left in my bag, it was either pack up or tie on a size 18 or a size 6 carp hook, niether of which appealed. So it was quite a relief to find I had simply been given the slip by a truly wily fish.
 I refilled and cast back out towards the bridge and had barely moved my hand from the rod when the tip was bouncing again and yet another fantastic medlock brownie was giving me some excellent sport.

Unsure as to which fish was largest but thats a Leeds pin so judge the size for yourselves.

 After that the swim really did go quiet and after an hour and a half of no action at all I decided to finnish the day with 30 minutes or so on the wee weirpool I'd enjoyed so much on my first trip. I caught just one tiny little trout so small I didnt even bother to take a pic. With 45 minutes before my bus was due I figured I would pack up and take a slow stroll back to the road and up the hill looking for new possible swims along the way. 
 For some reason I chose to walk up the path rather than take the shortcut and there taped to the railings i spotted an official looking notice. What I read made me wonder about the rivers future as it appears the EA have decided that the wier no longer serves any useful purpose and is , in fact, a 'hindrance to the movement of fish stocks' so they are going to remove the central part of the wier completely and use the stones they take out to possibly make seating for users of the vale.
 I cannot help but think that this will have quite an effect on the rivers flow and that the job will entail more than just removing stones , surely they will also have to dig out some of the riverbed above the wier to bring the upper reaches to a level closer to that of the upper water levels of the lower reaches? Otherwise there would still be a waterfall there albeit a more natural one. Im also thinking that the removal of the wier would increase the flow of water from the upper reaches for a short period until a new balance is reached, what impact this will have on overall water levels remains to be seen. 
 To be honest I'm hoping that these plans don't have as much of an impact on the river as I fear they could. Only time will tell.
 Tight Lines All.

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