Friday, 11 April 2014

Wildlife And Childhood Memories of Wiggs Island

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update I hope I find you all full of the joys of spring the fields are awash with all the colours of spring from bright yellow daffodil's to ivory white blossom on the trees its a great time to be out and about in this wonderful country of ours and even better when your wetting a line at the same time.  I passed a field on the way to the water I am fishing for the Carp Quest this year and it was a joy to see a whole field full of early season rape seed a field of bright yellow situated amongst empty barren fields it was a joy to see but alas situated right on a 50mph country road with no lay byes I will have to wait till I spot another opportunity elsewhere to capture a similar image.

In all honesty my time over the past week has been crammed with all things around the Carp Quest 2014, preparing rigs, buying gear, pluming depths and actually fishing the venue have all dominated my time of late with all things angling and as such I was left on Friday night with a decision to make.  Do I go fishing for silvers and put a net together for my normal blog update on a Friday night or do I go "all in" and risk it all to devote a day and a half to just the quest hoping to get a quick result on it, I decided to go with the "all in"  mentality and devoted all weekend to the quest.  Most of my spare time away from family life has been spent putting together the introduction for the Carp Quest 2014 and also beginning to write up the first few sessions i have been fishing on it, as of right now the Introduction is wrote and needs pictures adding and the first two session on the bank are ready to be added in the next day or so.  This weekend I am certainly going to be dividing my time between the quest and I actually feel like doing some fishing for some tench on one of the Northwich Anglers waters.

To keep up with the Carp Quest in more detail you can follow this link here: Carp Quest 2014

Regular readers of my blog will know how much I love my Rivers and trotting them but will also know how much I feel it hinders my ability to capture on film the beautiful sights and special moments I see with regards British wildlife,  many times on the river I will see a kingfisher or a bird of prey but not have time to grab the camera, these few carp sessions already have provided me with so much opportunity to capture some special memorable moments.

The moment I walked onto this new water I instantly fell in love with the wildlife and tranquil nature of the place from its location I knew i was going to be treated to beautiful sunrises over farmers fields and special sunsets as the Sun drops behind the far bank trees I was not let down when the time came to spend some early mornings and late evenings on this water.

Sunrise and the rods are out:-

The sun beams through the trees at sunset.

On my first visit when i was just plumbing depths I was delighted to see a pair of swans that had decided to call this place home, my mind thought back to the pair I had become so attached to over the years on Almere Ferry on the River Dee and it was another piece of the jigsaw that made this place the right place for this Quest.  Over the next few trips either fishing or just drooping in for signs of fish locations a routine emerged where the swans would travel out to the middle of the lake in the middle of the morning and early evening and putting on a display of perfect symmetry.  One one of the following trips I was delighted to capture on camera one of those special pictures that I feel sums up spring time, a time where all wildlife is most certainly 'twitterpated'. (props to anyone who gets that word).

Being such a small water and swans being so territorial it came as no surprise when the male swan became instantly angered by the arrival of any other swan intruders on HIS lake.  On one session on the Saturday I counted 20 individual swans he saw off.  The lake may contain a fair number of king carp but in reality this is where the royalty of the lake reside, i wonder how long it will be before she begins construction of her nest castle.

The next daily arrival on the pool are a pair of Canadian geese, they arrive at 10am and 6pm every day, they land on the lake and then walk to the farmers field along side to water eat and then leave.  I wonder what it is about this grass that appeals to them so much and it left me wondering how many fields they fly over to get to this one patch.  I am almost certain they are the same birds each day.

Wildlife wise I saved the best till last in my opinion and it may surprise you as there are so many of these about but over the few sessions i have managed to befriend a drake.  I have called him Ashley on the grounds of the similarities to the amount of diving both him and his name sake Ashley Young of Manchester United do.

I must say I felt sorry for this guy as there are two pairs on the lake of ducks and drakes and he is literally the gooseberry of both of them, smaller in size than his rivals every time one of the females is ready to mate he takes a right pasting from the other drakes.  Dejected and looking down in the dumps he drifted over to me and I treated him to some of my sweetcorn, it seemed to perk the little fella up and I'm thinking of spiking my next batch with some body building power bulk him up a bit ha ha, poor fella.

More to come on the wildlife on this water and others I visit over the next coming weeks I am sure there will be plenty of arrivals as spring progresses.

The next bit of news I wanted to add is that the competition for blog followers to win a free Canvas of their own design from has gone live on the blogs Facebook Page.  Entering the draw is simple you need to fill the following criteria:

1) Be someone who LIKES Dannys angling blog page on Facebook
2) LIKE and SHARE at least on of the posts advertising this competition over the next few days.

Link to the blogs facebook page is here:

Closing date for entries is midnight Wednesday 16th April and winners will be announced in that weeks blog update and on Facebook. Good luck!!

This week me, my little girl, my dad and brother took the rare opportunity for us all to be together to take our Cocker Spaniel, Pipper Wolfey ey for a long afternoon walk.  We chose Wiggs Island as our destination and it brought back so many childhood memories especially when we reached the lost canal.

As a kid the whole of Wiggs island was open for people to walk on the land and you could walk from Wiggs island to Warrington along the road.  Venturing off the beaten path playing foxes and hounds as a kid you would see plenty of wildlife and also you would come across the lost canal.  A stretch of water that was tinged with a slight bit of colour and was alive with fish from roach, tench and crucian carp it was a childhood dream fishing spot and we spent many a day on its banks.

This all paints a pretty picture of rabbit filled meadows and trees full of birds but the true reality of this places sinister past was highlighted in the 1990's when fencing went up across the path and first field and a gate was erected to only allow waggons through.  As mischievous teenagers we learnt that at low tides you could walk around the gate and come up the wall the other side and we many a time snook in the back route.  What we saw still is clear as a bell to me this day as we came across many blue barrels with corrosive signs on them and many deformed rabbits, may have been myxomatosis looking back.  Venturing to the lost canal i remember it being a vibrant brown copper colour all along its length, it looked dead.

Over the years I have looked into wiggs island's history and it was actually a site in the war called Hush Hush where mustard gas was produced for the World Wars and upon speaking to my dad it turns out that his mother and my grandmother actually worked in hush hush during the war efforts. There is also a landfill site on there that explains why access was still needed by the lorries and also a great amount of the site is owned over the years by I.C.I.  The canal apparently was a testing site for the mustard gas bombs or maybe for the manufacturing process which may explain the unusual colour of it.

In recent years the site has been radically transformed into a nature reserve of all things, paths have been built, bird hives have been erected and the fences taken down.  Its a beautiful place to look at and contains a vast amount of wildlife now and when I visit I always take a second to think whether any of the people walking those paths knew it as I did and its past.  So what of the Lost canal, well it is still there today as you can see and was actually recently stocked with fish again it is now gin clear but if you look towards the far end you can still see the odd sign of brown copper leaking into the canal.

This week I also noticed that the blog had passed the 150,000 views mark, I must say when I started writing these rambles its a situation I never thought I would ever reach but I guess I treat it like I do my fishing, I put 100% into it and try to make a conscious effort to update it whether I catch or not.  I am immensely proud of this blog I publish at thoroughly enjoy thinking up of new ideas for its content each week, where it will lead god only knows but all I can say is so far its been a joy to write it each week and long may the fun continue.

till next week I wish you all,

Tight lines


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