Having agonised for the last few days over the big trout i lost on the Irwell, i decided to return to the scene of the crime for an evening session with beefed up tackle.
The river was 18inches higher than normal after heavy rain earlier in the day. I have previously called the Irwell Manchester storm drain, as all the run off from the roads, peoples roofs etc all ends up in the river. This means that the river can rise feet in a matter of hours after heavy rain, but also that the water levels can fall nearly as quickly, and whilst i fished for only a couple of hours yesterday evening the river dropped a good 9 inches in height.
However i should have thought about the effect of the cold water flushing through the river system as i endured a poor session, catching only a few small roach and chub.
I am going to blame river conditions for my poor catch rather than the stronger tackle that i have now decided to use.
I used the centre pin reel that Big Dave so kindly bought me for my birthday for the first time, and despite a couple of birds nest tangles i found it quite easy to use. It is most enjoyable to play fish on the pin as every thump and movement of the fish is amplified through the rod and reel to the angler - great fun - now i cant wait to catch a cracker on the pin, as i bet it will be a tremendous experience.
As always i stuck it out till nearly dark in the hope that a better fish might decide to take my bait in the failing light, but it wasnt ment to be.
Big Dave came down to the river to watch me fish for a few hours, and drink my tea and it was a pleasure to have such an experienced angler chatting and giving me tips as i was fishing.
Yet again i had trouble with bumping fish off the hook whilst playing them, size 16 BS520's have always been a favourite of mine, but i think i am going to start having an experiment with different varieties. Mayber a wider gape hook will be better when fishing double maggot as the bait will be less likely to wrap itself over the point of the hook. I did think that maybe the rod i am using is not forgiving when catching smaller fish, but i use a 15ft Drennan Floatmaster which is designed for using light lines. Again i am going to have to experinment until i come up with a solution.
I hope to get out again on the river bank of Tuesday evening, and if i can get the fish feeding i will have a good mess about with different terminal set ups to see if i can make any improvements.