Sunday, 24 August 2014

River Bollin Discovery and Step up to the Plate WAA...

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update I hope i find you well and your nets wet.  I thought i would get straight to the point this week and get the bad or should i say disappointing news off my chest straight off the bat and unfortunately as with most of the few and far between bad news stories on this blog it centres around Warrington Anglers.  I have done without the delights of the Warrignton Card for the best part or 2014 and i can't say i have particularly missed the litter and human feces strewn pegs that surround the pits and the carp filled puddles that they own that much but as winter approaches and the arrival of our little boy grows near you have to start thinking a little more local and incorporate shorter sessions and the miles of untouched canal with its pike fit the bill perfectly for me so rather than listen to the hordes of people on the public forums who claim you don't need a licence to fish the canal as you never see a bailiff i chose to purchase one and put it to one side for the months to come.

Anyhow licence in the bag i settled back into my Free and Northwich anglers card fishing and basically forgot about the warrington card altogether and lets face it as a river angler the numerous rivers on the Warrington card are not worth the paper they are written on with a list like Barnton River weaver, River bollin, numerous river Severn and the newly acquired and really really shallow river Alyn being pretty much a waste of time due to either poor river location, low or nill stocks or impossible to access areas of the river.  As i have said before it all looks good on the card but in reality, well i will let you travel to them but just think how many times you see reports from these waters from the club. p.s if anyone does go barnton to fish the river weaver do let me know if you do actually to see the river as last time we went well lets just say a machete would not have got you near. 

  Anyhow i do digress and the main point i wanted to make was around the fact that this week i received my begging letter from the club stating that i had not renewed my licence and as the club had purchased leases and stocks EXPECTING me to have signed up again then would i kindly cough up the full price of a year card for 4 months fishing.

Now my gripe is not so much with the letter being sent out, although it most certainly screams of desperation and i can only imagine in horror the amount of widows that receive this terrible letter each year and have to go through the torment of letting something as insignificant in life as an angling club know of their sad news, but is around the spending or more wasting of money on this act of mailing everyone who has not renewed to cough up for their spending through the year. Add this silly cost to the fact it would seem from this that the secretarial skills of this club are about as up to date as their "diverse" fish stockings it leaves a lot to be desired.  I mean another year and how many silvers stocked this year?  I have been off the Facebook page for over a year now and still the 1000's are being spent on carp and the silver anglers get what?? fairness and equality is all i ask for, hell at this point i would settle for them stocking the value of one 20lb carp of silvers into one of the rivers, alas what am i talking about, what would i know about rivers and the fish stocks in WAA waters, only wasted my time fishing all the rivers on the card barring the Wye and i can tell you compared to free fishing and other smaller clubs their rivers leave a lot to be desired, i am a big river man and i certainly would not recommend this card for the rivers and yes there is more to rivers than the river mersey match length, which could quite possibly be the only river where keep nets are not allowed, well apart from matches of course and then its a roll of the dice for who plonks on and lands 2 or 3 bream to win the match.

Take this blog update for example and although when i get going i can rant there is logic behind it, it is my belief that this club owes it its river men to provide at least one of their rivers that can offer the river man a solid days sport with plenty of chub, dace and roach, perch, gudgeon and dare i say the B word.   They have the potential available already on the card to do this as take the tiny small and insignificant river bollin that this club openly admits to only keeping in case the fishing ever becomes good, well i am sorry powers that be but....rain check!...if the fish are not there it is not going to get any better what are we talking here waiting for a passing heron to lose a male and a female fish from its grasp? or eggs to drop from a ducks feet? come give me a break its not as if we are asking you to build an ark here just to stock some fish into a river.   And before the old rubbish answers like "not everyone wants to sit in one swim and catch silvers" or "its up to nature with rivers" or "its up to the ea" or "cormorants will have em if there not 3lb carp" any of the other gems raises its head, you take our money and as such both carp and silvers should get a fair whack. And guess what also happens with stocking fish into river? well these amazing, hardy and weather worn men called river anglers hear fish are being caught and guess what swims are built through the Himalayan balsam to create swims and as such the river is reopened to anglers by anglers, bait starts going in year on year and before you know it you have thriving river, 

So what can be done with this little, insignificant, tiny and useless river bollin?? what could the potential results be?  well take a long hard look at last weeks, this weeks and the midweek blog update to come next week and you will see what can be done as all these nets come from the river bollin and this is a river that does need a stocking from scratch just think what could be done with an already established river like the river alyn near rossett which is perfect barbel country,  enough of the excuses, rather than make excuses i get out there and provide the FACTS about what is possible with the rivers on this card the only unfortunate thing is i have to fish waters not on the card to prove it.

Moving on to the good news and it was great to receive my Pondip Tackle Box in the post recently, arriving home from work to the two boxes on the coffee table i was excited to see their contents.  I started with the carp tackle box and was pleased to see yet again the box followed the theme of providing a box that all comes together to make a use able rig, this week is was probably the most used rig of all the bottom rig and i was also pleased to see that the company has got the confidence to provide quality over quantity as the bulk of this weeks boxes cost was made up with some quality Vardis sinking coated braid.  It would have been so easy for them to fill the box with a lot of cheaper items but i am certainly all for quality over quantity and with hooks, lead, quick change links, fluoro carbon leader and a free sample of CC Moore baits again you not only have a box of tackle but a usable box that comes together.

Moving onto the coarse box and this box also contained a spool of 6lb line from Krystonite which i instantly had plans for a future chub session as the diameter compared to the line strength was impressive.   It was also good to see that the boxes also seem to follow a theme from month to month with a hook tie in last months and two sets of spade end hooks this month.  Also contained in the box was a set of three pole rigs, size 9 stot refill, a collection of depth plummets and bandit corn method rigs.  Again i was left impressed with the coarse box as in my opinion it is the hardest box to put together as coarse fishing covers such a vast area of angling compared to carp angling and it was great to see as many areas of angling where provided for as possible in the box, carp pole fishing, silver fishing and heavier duty fishing on rivers with the thicker line, all in all a great two boxes to recieve this month.

If you are interested in receiving a monthly Pondip Tackle Box check them out on this link you wont be disappointed: Pondip Tackle Box

In either the midweek blog or next weeks blog i put to use some components of these tackle boxes to put together a rather special net of chub.  I am also currently writing a guest blog for Pondip each month on all aspects of angling so if my blogs are selected i will post the links to it on my social media pages or the following weeks blog update so keep and eye out for that in the coming months a really exciting and nervous experience to actually write a blog to be published on another site but will be really proud should one of my blogs get published.

Finally before we get into the fishing, come on i have missed a few introductions with product reviews there is a back log haha, i thought it would be nice to share some pictures from recent trips we have been on when we just loaded up the car, armed ourselves with a bag of bread and headed off for a walk along the river or around some local ponds with our daughter.  I must say she is coming along great and its crazy to think she is 2 years old in September, how time flies! what is great is the fact she is certainly showing an interest in fishing and recently we have spent some special moments at the computer looking through Daddys fishing pictures, that time is near!  I am sure at this point she would be able to hold a small pole and lift it but i want to wait that little bit longer till she can relate the float going under to catching the fish and experience the magic that comes with that small float moving away and lifting into her first fish, i can not wait.

All set for a days feeding ducks and stomping in puddles!!

Our first trip was to Ackers pit to feed the Ducks.

and then we had a walk along the River Tame to see the wildlife and the big weir.

On to this weeks fishing escapades:

River Bollin Stick Float Fishing: Change of Tactic

Last week i decided to rove the banks of a Private stretch of the River Bollin we have been given access too and was quite success full taking a few fish from each swim before moving onto the next but it was the first and the last swim i fished that i fished that grabbed my attention with its big dace and not forgetting late on it produced a chub for me.

Selecting a venue to go to is really providing us with an headache each week and that is testament to what a fantastic season we have had so far on the rivers and each week we have to choose between the Dane where we are getting solid 10lb plus nets as well as the odd big perch or the Dee where dace nets are on offer with the chance of a pike turning up or the Bollin where we are slowly learning there is some quality fish, its a good headache to have i am not going to lie.

As always we arrived on the bank with the moon still high in the sky.

This arriving and setting up in the dim early light with torches and lamps does offer a more advantages than just getting the swim you want to fish it also means you are fishing near enough in the dark and making the most of that early morning darkness where the better fish are expected.  I do not set up a feeder for these early exchanges but feel for the bite with my finger tips as i trot the float down, with chub and nice dace you feel the bite more than see a float go under and its also a great way to get your mind focused for when its light enough to trust looking at the float.  The fish below was caught near enough in the dark as you can see.

With my sessions i always have a plan for the day ahead and today it was to fish the first swim till bites dried up and it is to be expected with such a small river as eventually either through the commotion of fish being caught or the light levels increasing too much the fish eventually spook and sometimes they can just either go right of the feed or move completely out of the swim, sometimes of course it can be the opposite and its just bigger fish have moved in once this happened i planned to move up to below my uncle where the cover offers more protection from the light.

The first dace of the day always gets my confidence level heightened as you never find a dace on its own so i was confident of crossing paths with a few more of its shoal.  A few more plump dace and then the float slammed under with an unmissable bite, striking it was solid and then came the dart for the cover which saw my hooping the rod over and down under the water to try and keep the line out of the far bank brambles.  The key here is to keep the pressure on as much as possible and don't give an inch in the fight on these tiny rivers and eventually the fish will move back into the flow.  Once the fish is out in the main flow my mind then turns to minimising disturbance of the swim so the rod was hooped back over to my right to try and coax the fish up the swim and not play it on the top only lifting when the fish is under my feet and scooping it up, it worked a treat and in the early morning light i took a moment to admire this chubs brassy flanks.

The thing it seems with chub on this river is they are very much like their dace friends they share the river with as they are rarely alone and as not fished for very much do not seem to spook out of the swim like they would on say the dane and this was proved again as very next cast i was looking down at another chub in the net between my legs, very similar in size.

The chub joined its friend in the keep net and it was back to into the rhythm of casting in, feeding and running the float through and although it was not one a chub fishing what i was catching was quality and believe it or not the dace below is the average for this tiny waterway.

I probably started fishing about 4.45-5am on the day and by 8am i was starting to trot the swim with not a touch so i knew the time to move was close approaching and i was literally about to pull the float back at the end of the run when it zoomed under and at first i thought it was another chub till all hell broke loose with a trout jumping clear of the water and flapping on the top right over my hemp it was making a right mess, eventually i got this slippery customer to the bank, took its picture and put it back into the river.

Lovely fish but boy do the make a mess and i knew then that there was no coming back for the swim after than, i did trot through a few more times but even the minnows had gone. I placed my rod down and set about photographing the fish.  The 3 hours work had produced 8lb of quality dace and two chub i was more than made up with the sport.  It is not a river you can spend all day on unless you travel the banks but for fast paced action it takes some beating.

I slowly moved up the bank to below my uncle and plopped my gear quietly down and i knew with the light the fish would have moved further  down the river to a piece out of reach of my uncles swim.  I checked in with him and he had caught well with a few chub and dace and i think he said he had caught a perch.  We knew this was only ever going to be a morning session so i quickly to back to my peg and began introducing some bait as i set my box up.

My uncle had been trotting down for the past half hour without a touch, similar to me in the other swim, so he decided to go for a wander for the hour we head left.

Well what can i say apart from it was a great feeling to have read the fish so well as first put in i banked a 3lb 5oz chub and was easily the biggest we have had out of this river so far and then i went on to catch two more chub in the next two casts for three of the best succession of bites i have ever had it was explosive and i could not believe it. That was it on the chub front but for the remainder i put together some nice dace to pass the time between us leaving.

not a bad bit of work for the last hour or so of a session.

My uncle returned having fished two more pools taking a chub in each and a solitary trout.  He let his fish go from the morning and again it was a quality net.  Hard to believe so many fish from a river you could jump across and i go back to the introduction on this blog, open your eyes WAA it is possible with the right mentality and not being scared to stock silver fish into our rivers, cormorants do not eat every silver fish in our rivers.

till next time i wish you all tight lines and look out for a midweek update from this river which blew me away..

Tight lines



  1. Well, Danny. That was a rant to rival, and perhaps surpass one or two of my own. WAA are not perfect and I admit I would rather they not spend large amounts of money on buying large carp ( although it probably does attract membership). I am not so sure about stocking rivers either though, and my reason is that I do rather like catching truly wild fish, native to that river. Fish born and grown up where I catch them. Not a view I would impose on others, just my own take. Ah well, now back to writing, rather than reading blogs. It does at times become a chore, but the end result at least pleases me, if no one else.

  2. lol JAYZS i was in a roll when i wrote this for sure, feel better now. The trouble with WAA is no one will stand up for their beliefs in it, all i ever have asked for is fairness and over the past 5 years hundreds of carp have been stocked costing 1000,s of pounds with very little silver fish stocked.

    I agree with you on stocking rivers, a natural river should not need stocking and natures should be able to populate naturally. The problem comes when you have rivers like the Dane and bollin that have suffered fish kills higher up the rivers and had their fish stocks damaged, both these rivers run into bigger rivers with huge fish stocks, especially the Dane with the weaver but these fish can never populate upstream due to the impassable weirs so sometimes nature does need some help.

    With Warrrington their disregard for rivers and river angling is scary and as one of the biggest North west clubs we really do run a risk of ending up with countless kids only knowing how to tie a knotless knot, cast out and wait behind an alarm. The bollin is a local river where youngsters could learn trotting and river craft and this whole arguement about just haivng waters in case them come good is quite frankly pathetic.

    It is about time they stepped up and where made accountable for spending equal amounts of money on rivers as carp.

    Rant over lol Danny

  3. Danny i am pretty sure when Bay Malton used to have the stretch opposite or next to the WAA length they did stock some silvers , that was a few years ago. You are right about the weirs on the Bollin , i was bought up in Hale in the early 80's and the river was right on my doortstep it was still polluted but was starting to support fish life . Down below the weir at the Swan with 2 nicks at Dunham Massey there was some good fishing think it used to be on the Lymnn card (now national trust so no fishing) Above the weir there was very little although there must have been trout from the Birkin in the system.
    I think its a very underated river and i dont think anyone really know's whats in there these days (apart from big trout). The Birkin and Bollin (fly club) anglers say they have a 6 mile stretch i think (they dont say exactly on the website) starting at Hale Golf Club downstream , i didnt see anyone when i was there last year which is shame as there is a good variety of runs and deeper water and some nice overhanging trees.
    The Bollins main issue like you say is the accessibilty ever changing banks , the vegetation (hogweed / balsam etc) it's also a river where a club would need a decent stetch so the angler could roam a bit. Think there is some great opportunity to do some wading in some sections. It will never be an easy river to fish which to me would be an attraction rather than a put off.
    I agree with what you say about WAA and the carp obsession but at least they have kept the stretch of the Bollin . Bay Malton , Dunham Massey and i am pretty sure Altrincham Anglers have also given up lengths of the Bollin recently....i am intrigued to see how you go over a a few visits.

  4. Thank you for taking the time mate to write such an well thought out and interesting reply. I do understand why they are so carp orientated as it is what the majority do now and that is fine by me and i guess some of the times when i get going i do seem like i am having a go but it really does sadden me the fact i feel that we are in what is being called the golden age for angling where fishing has never been so good and yet we are witnessing the dying of a form of fishing that is so pure and close to nature, really saddens me that in years to come the banks of rivers may be even less populated than they are now.

    i read my blogs back sometimes and think i should not be so ranty but i really do want the best and am willing to do the work to make it happen but the club are not interested one bit.

    it does wear you down in the end and you do think whats the point even mentioning it any more and to just enjoy my fishing but i fele that is so selfish of me.

    i hope you enjoy the blog that has just gone live tonight as it really goes to show what is possible on the bollin given the right habitat.

  5. I agree with you Danny about the carp obsession it detracts from other species and techniques. Its good to hear about small river fishing and not some sponsored angler waffling on about spending 3 days behind bite alarms with his mega mash bolilies in some syndicate water.
    I have been in Australia for quite some time and carp are considered noxious pests over here and are knocked on the head and thrown up the bank ! Might not go down too well with some carper's in the UK...
    Loved the latest update what a great session !.

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  7. Hi, I'm really interested in hearing more about the Bollin, it's v near to me and I'm thinking about which club(s) to join to get access (I don't fish commercials). From what I know, WAA and DMAC have the rights to the river in the Bowdon area, whilst Lymm have the Tanyard Farm stretch just up from the M56.

    It looks like it's hugely under-fished and that there are decent chub, grayling - I think - and some barbel though I've heard they're more localised around Heatley Warburton.

    Any thoughts on which clubs have the best parts? I like roving so walking the bank doesn't bother me :)

  8. I live in Bowdon and not far from the River Bollin.I have often gone down to the river to check what is living in it. Never seen a fish in it yet, nor have I seen any aquatic insects or snails.It seems to be sterile. Pollution has reduced but it does not seem to have recovered. Trout have been reported in Birkin Brook, so why have fish not returned beyond its confluence with the Bollin?