Thursday, 22 August 2013

Evening Meanderings

Got the kids off to bed last night and jumped on the bike to go and see what was happening down at the river. No decent fly hatches to speak of although I did get the odd eyeball and mouthful of midges. It was encouraging to see plenty of fry around, but I'm not so sure Phil Clayton & Adam Mack will be pleased to see an armada of goosander in one of their favorite swims.

I followed the river down through Salford into Manchester and then onto the Medlock and the Ship Canal. I didn't string the rod up, didn't see anything to cast at, but it was nice to be out and great to see a young heron fishing in Castlefield and a kingfisher flying down the Medlock at Potato Wharf.
The relative rude health of these urban waterways and the return of fish stocks has brought about this abundance of fish eating birds, but the balance is fragile and the damage a flotilla of 30 cormorants can do should not be under estimated. If the fish are gone then so are the kingfishers and herons.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Ship Canal Migration

The annual Serengeti style Ship Canal migration was in full flow last week, a highlight being a couple of huge ghost common carp. In the picture above you can just about make out that the river is thick with bream the size of bin lids.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Costa del Salford

Just stumbled across this ale at lunch time. If you want to sample it, you'll find it in the beer tent at the Manchester Food & Drink Festival in Albert Square.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Keep Broughton Tidy

When enjoying the free fishing on our lovely river, if you're going to be civilised enough to make a bankside fruit juice cocktail while smoking slim panatellas, be a good chap & pick your fucking litter up.

Monday, 3 September 2012


No special effects here, just caught this on my phone as the changing light illuminated a part of our damp isle

Friday, 31 August 2012


The lack of fishing opportunities has led me to finding my fix elsewhere.  Trout , by James Owen is a smashing read charting the history and geography of the species and piecing together trouty gems of literature from Izaak Walton to George Mellie, notably an extract from Hooked!, his book about fishing, where he described landing a trout, then lying down in the undergrowth and masturbating into a large dock leaf.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Salford Friendly Clubhouse in Telegraph

" There’s a monthly book club in the snug and the Salford Friendly Angling Society has been meeting here since 1817. "

Friday, 6 July 2012

"Ahh it's raining!"


I'm starting to get that melancholy feeling that the season is slipping away, washed off downstream towards winter with the days already drawing in... Christ, it's only July.... stop fucking raining!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Is it possible to catch a trout on your lunch break in the city centre?

This has been a challenge I set myself this season, that from leaving my desk in central Manchester I can get to the water, set up, fish, catch, tackle down & be back at my desk within the hour.
So far I've had several failed attempts but yesterday I failed my mission in spectacular fashion!

The method to achieve the goal is part spinning class, part Clark Kent style speed changing, single dry fly set up to target a rising fish between 1-2pm when there's a hatch coming off. That translates to10 mins hoofing it across town on the bike, 5 mins to set up, 30 mins fishing, 5 to tackle down & another 10 to get back to the office.

To succeed you'll need a bike, a rod, chest waders, knowledge of the river & a good measure of luck. I would advise caution also, it pays to keep your wits about you as river courses through urban areas tend to be the more secluded places especially the more trouty ones and naturally these out of the way places are a magnet for a variety of miscreants. On a recent failed attempt a 18 stone man looking like a cross between a bad transgender & an escaped mental patient came lummoxing towards me down a cut off bit of river bank in a wig, ill fitting dress & hob nail boots  & was only deterred by me picking up a brick & telling him to fuck off!

Colleagues love a stinky net

Bike stashed in river for security

So with a weather front coming in on Friday I decided Thursday would be my best chance for while. Following the method set out above I got to a stretch where I'd previously spotted a fish and luckily there it was sipping down upwingeds. On was tied a jingler, a fly that I've been loving ever since Matt Eastham espoused of their effectiveness( First cast the fly was supped down with a large swirl and then all hell broke lose for the next 20 odd minutes as a right chunky brownie tore all over the river.

 What a beaut!

A proper chunk at 4lb 11oz

I eventually got back to the office after a hour and a half, completely buzzing much to the bemusement of my colleagues. So again I failed, this attempt my time keeping let me down... Oh well. 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Urban Trouting


Grayson Perry with a trout

I concur

Friday, 1 June 2012

Humpy Boggart

He uses Humpys & he's a Boggart...

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Super Sunday

Started a nervy Sunday with Tom & a few tins until Yaya settled them...
It was then to the river(via the New Oxford) to meet Adam, another of the Salford Friendly crew to show him how to chuck a fly. At the river we were met with an incredible hatch of LDO's & caddis. Amazingly the fish Tom snagged below wasn't the best of his day...
He managed to present his EHC perfectly into the back of an unsuspecting Adam Mack's head
We fished into the evening catching & losing some beauts & then rounded off the day down the club house.
Adam should have had his hooked swede checked out as you can see, later on, the side effects of urban trouting can be pretty gruesome

Saturday, 24 March 2012

A Facial Study Of The Various Emotions Of The Angler



Discover the reason why:                                                                       

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Happy 2012

Wading into position to pop a fly on this fish I didn't realise my phone was taking a dip in my pocket...Yet another f**ked crackberry  to be sent back. Tom asked if the phone was OK?  my answer - "to be honest I couldn't give a £#*k, a trout on the dry is worth a thousand phones!"

Friday, 9 March 2012

flotsam & jetsam

I didn't want anyone to think the TITT Urban Conclave weekend was wasted on the SFAS so I thought I'd drop a quick post before the season starts. We've been busy recruiting, training & recording the efforts of a growing band of kick samplers throughout the catchment; Irwell, Roch & Croal.  It is also nice to see the river itself has been giving a helping hand by securing some Large Retail Debris (LRD) along the banks.

And here's a little treat for Dr Gaskell; A Babby's Yed

A delicacy in Wigan I'm led to believe! 

- Anyone found a more sinister piece of bankside jetsam?
- A prize will be given at our AGM for this years best entry.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Salford Friendly Anglers' Society AGM booze-a-thon

Had a great night at the AGM at the Kings Arms last night. Really enjoyed having a pint and swapping stories with the rest of the lads.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Dickensian Salford.

Extract from Oliver:

Workhouse Boy:(Me) [Woken by boy pacing back an forth] Tom, give it a rest will ya? We're trying to sleep (Fish)
Hungry Boy(Mike): Can't sleep(fish). Too hungry. 
Workhouse Boy(Paul Carr): We're all hungry. 
Hungry Boy:(Mike) Yeah, but I'm scared. 
Workhouse Boy:(paul) Scared? Of What? 
Hungry Boy: I'm so hungry(Not had a f'kin sniff of a fish all day) I'm scared I might eat(poach the peg) the boy(Paul) that sleeps(fishes on the next peg) next to me. 

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

New Zealands Giant Long Finned Eels

Just watched the episode of River Monsters with Jeremy Wade. In this episode he is in New Zealand chasing up a tale from Captain Cooks journal of giant man eating Eels that inhabit the Islands. There's a bit in the programme where he rubby dubbys himself in fish guts in an attempt to prove the brazen man eating nature of the beast. This reminder of my chance encounter with these leviathans, has led me to scouring the loft for the last hour to find & scan the picture above.

My Kiwi bud & I had hiked up to Lake Daniels deep in the Southern Alps for some Trout fishing, the lake is a good 3hr hike up out of the main valley following the Alfred River up to the Manson-Nicholls hut where we had planned to stay the night giving us the chance to fish into the dark.
The place is amazing & after exploring the lake, casting to the resident Rainbows we decided to stop for dinner & wait for the evening rise. As my rucksack is always full of fishing/camping gear & booze, I pretty much gambled on catching dinner, luckily this wasn't a problem. So as I was gutting & cleaning the fish in the margins in my shorts I suddenly got this feeling of encroaching large dark shadows behind me... I turned around, shit myself & left the water like a Jesus Lizard in one swift movement.

Some of the Eels in this gang were as thick as your thigh. Not wanting to miss the opportunity I swiftly rigged up some trout guts on a large hook & bagged the bugger above!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Salford Friendly Anglers' Society

Any readers interested in joining the worlds oldest angling club for free?

Well to find out more about us & to join, visit;

You can catch up with what we're up to through the blog;  or you'd be welcome to pop down to one of our meeting at the 'clubhouse' the excellent Kings Arms in Salford.