Irwell Barbel Quest part 11

You can't keep a good quest down - I know they're there and one day I will finally achieve my goal. Today wasn't that day.

Other than chasing dreams on the river, I've been roach fishing up at Maceys in Bury, and on the Old River in Irlam. Fishing caster shallow at both venues I've been very frustrated missing a high % of bites. A switch to a wider gape hook saw me improve my bite to fish ratio but theres still a long way to go with the fine tuning of my rig before I'm happy.
One very pleasing thing I've discovered is incredible growth rate of the roach in the Old River, last spring we couldnt catch roach any bigger than half and ounce - this summer the fish are averaging 4oz - looks like it will be a cracking fishery again in the near future.

I also had good sport on the Old River with pike, taking 6 fish to 6lbs by fishing a sleeper rod live bait just a foot or two past the end of my keepnet. Great to see this place making such a good comeback.