Anglers keep a watching brief on latest Skip Bridge work

Holmfirth's Steve Frost with a 3lb 8oz trout from the Upper River Calder.
Holmfirth's Steve Frost with a 3lb 8oz trout from the Upper River Calder.
0
Have your say

I’m old enough to remember the old flat V weir built on the River Nidd at Skip Bridge in 1979, and more than qualified to give an angler’s opinion on its disastrous effects on the fish stocks and general demise in angling quality on the river ‘above and below’ after its construction.

After hundreds of complaints from anglers who realised within months that the weir could, and would, be the death of the river due to its height restricting free movement of all migratory fish, the authorities, as usual, listened and acted immediately on our behalf.

In 1999 – numerous surveys and 20 years later – the weir was removed to improve fish passage and the gauging facility was converted to ultrasonic.

A decade later still, the river, angling and fish stocks are all showing significant signs of improvement; plans to start work all over again have been announced.

With the new river season only a few weeks away and the Nidd being a fishery that draws those chomping at the bit to get out on opening day, they won’t be surprised to read that work starts on the new Skip Bridge project bang on the magical 16th.

Considering that the present monitoring system can be up to 25 per cent inaccurate, and Skip Bridge is an important station in the fight against flooding, I won’t give it the thumbs down just yet. Looking at the plans, everything looks pretty basic with the emphasis on increasing the river’s flow rate through two narrowing concrete sides to reduce fine-silt build-up and enable the ultrasonic measuring equipment to give more accurate readings.

As in the 80s and 90s, anglers on the bank and catch returns will prove if the designers and environmental impact assessments have got their sums right. I just hope next year I am not asking: “What’s wrong with the River Nidd?” A rainbow of 4-15 falling to the rod of Mr John Peck claimed best fish of the week from the prolific Fewston reservoir, a a trout of 4-10 was banked by Vincent Jones to a black beetle, and wardens report that fish are feeding freely on the breeze around the spillway.

Catch averages on returns from Thruscross and Fewston remain constant at about five fish per rod. Pole and waggler-fished hemp is the surprise method of the moment on the lower Swinsty water and has been responsible for some big early-season roach catches as the sun moves the fish on to reachable shallower swims.

The north and east of Leeds would be the direction normally travelled if a wild brown river trout was your target for the day.

If recent catches are anything to go by, I can see new ‘fishy postcodes’ hitting car sat-navs and more and more heading towards the Pennines. The River Calder, usually associated with Bradford No1 and Mirfield’s thriving match calendar, has tongues wagging at the moment with the upper reaches above Elland easily out-fishing the dales rivers of North Yorkshire.

Day tickets and club books are obtainable and well worth a look.

Latest results:

Dragon AC @WholeseaFisheries: 1, Danny Doyle 138-03; 2, Chris Wyles 76-08; 3, Terry Doyle 62-00.

Park Piscatorials, Langwith, Emmas: 1, T Spooner 17-08; 2, D Hicks 14-03; 3, G Buckley 13-05.

Pudsey Angling, White Horse AC, Tollerton Coot: 1, D Brier 55-12; 2, H Good 54-12; 3, J Jones 41-00.

Viking Saturday Open (Deer): 1, J Brown 69-15; 2, S Gibbins 54-15; 3, F Williamson 51-07; 4, R Scott 50-09.

Morley Nelson (Viking Hawk): 1, G Ashcroft 67-12; 2, I Ingle 56-10; 3, B Macmillan 52-02; 4, R Lister 42-08.

Fryston AC (Viking Deer): 1, S Lupton 68-06; 2, D Lumb 64-03; 3, J Copley 54-14; 4, I Roebuck 48-13.

Blankers AC (Viking Fox): 1, R Scott 66-08; 2, S Gibbins 39-00; 3, D Hoggard 30-00.

Armley AC at Raker Acorn: 1, R Atkinson 83-04; 2, M Cooper 75-03; 3, J Burnett 74-12; 4, D Fish 71-04.

Angel Lakes Open Lookout Sunday: 1, Chris Owers 91-06; 2, Brian Hall 77-00; 3, Ethan Baley 64-13; 4, Martin Craig 54-08; 5, Norman Laing 51-06; 6, Derek Fox 50-14.

Angel Lakes Open Bowes Friday: 1, John Foster 154-14; 2, John Dryden 81-00; 3, Peter Wilson 70-10.

Angel Lakes Open Bowes Wednesday: 1, John Foster 201-06; 2, John Nailer 91-13; 3, Rob Emery 79-10.

Mahons Festival, Loch Erne, Enniskillen: 1,T Hopkins, Wales 72kg-060; 2, M Buchwalder, Ireland 64kg-700; 3, S Hemingray, Leicester 62kg-400; 4, N Mallinson, Wakefield 54kg-950; 5 B Nudd, Browning 52kg-830.

Poppleton Spring Series, Horseshoe: 1, D Pollitt 93-14; 2, C Coombes 76-12; 3, W Burker 60-10; 4, G Peake 45-00. Overall League, 1, G Shepherdson; 2, D Pollitt; 3, G Peake; 4, T Bainbridge.

AJ Tackle, Rowland Road, Tollerton: 1, R Francis 113-15; 2, L Grimmet 66-11; 3, T Hardcastle 58-11; 4, A Talbot 55-09.

Bradford No 1, 24-hr Carp, Knotford: 1, Justin Longbottom 67-11; 2, James West 58-05; 3, Gary Walker 47-13.

Aire & Calder Spring League, Pollington: 1, B Clarke 14-05; 2, S Allison 11-01; 3, S Aldridge 10-12; 4, B Armstrong 8-13.

Moor Monkton Pools: 1, D Pollitt 85-03; 2, S Jeffreys 73-14; 3, G Brown 56-15.

Kippax Park, Osprey: 1, A Broomhead 78-15; 2, M Shorter 75-03; 3, J Redmond 54-12.

Kippax Park, Lapwing: 1, P Cromie 81-05; 2, P Carter 66-00; 3, A Broomhead 56-0.

Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Rodley: 1, P Woods 2-07; 2, R Thorne 1-13; 3, B Mason 1-06.

Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Rodley: 1, John Mason 30-06 (6 bream); 2, Paddy Woods 6-15; 3, Bill Mason 1-11.

JT Rodgers Summer League, Tollerton Coot: 1, S Phelan 50-02; 2, A Conboy 46-11; 3, A Rose 37-03.

JT Rodgers, Round 7, Forest Lane: 1, A Smith 55-01; 2, I Jordan 42-01; 3, A Conboy 38-15.

Doncaster AA, Southfield Reservoir: 1, M Turner, Stainforth 30-08; 2, T Pickering, Preston Innovations 23-11; 3, D Tait, Doncaster 22-12.

Oaks at Sessay, Ash, Beech & Sycamore: 1, C Kendall 190-05; 2, I Bowman 170-04; 3, C Hall 169-04.

Vickers Street Angling AC, Poppleton: 1, A Hirst 102-02; 2, R Brown 72-00; 3, D Pullien 60-08.

Poppleton Evening Open, Railway: 1, P Carter 96-02; 2, D Pollitt 92-00; 3, R Harbour 70-12; 4, C Coombes 70-08.

West Yorkshire Wagglers AC, Forest Lane: 1, James Slater/Jasper Scarlett 25-11; 3, John Stark 20-02.

West Yorkshire Wagglers AC, Birkwood, Oscars: 1, John Stark 389-08; 2, Jamie Brierley 24-15; 3, Jasper Scarlett 16-03.

Match Diary

Saturday

Viking Saturday Open: Hawk Pond, 30 pegs, £16, contact 01405 785206.

Kippax Park: Saturday Open, Lapwing or Osprey, contact 07967000746.

Poppleton: Saturday Open, pools £15, draw cafe 10am, contact Roger 01904737279.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscar’s, draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Moorfields Farm: 54 pegs, tickets £16, contact 07710817150.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Birkwood Farm: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01132 80609.

Tollerton Ponds: open match all ages, (Kingfisher 20 pegs, Coot 18 pegs, Heron 32 pegs), contact 01347 838115.

Sunday

Leeds & Liverpool: Kirkstall, contact Roger Movley 01132 772215.

Listerhills: Leeds & Liverpool Canal ,contact Eddie Harrison 07518721051.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Oak Tree Leisure: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01347 810686.

Poppleton: Sunday open, 50 pegs, draw 11am Cafe, contact 07425 146677.

Monday

Woodlands: over-50, 30 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01845 520110.

Langwith Lakes: over-60s, 30 pegs, tickets £10, contact 01904 431874.

Tollerton Ponds: over-50s, tickets £16, contact 01347 838115.

Tuesday

Kippax Park: over-50s, draw 10am, tickets £10, contact 07967000746.

Wednesday

Leeds & District: Moor Monkton Pools, draw 10am, contact 07967000746.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscar’s, draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Tollerton Ponds: open match, all ages, contact 01347 838115.

Thursday

Poppleton Lakes: Thursday evening, draw car park 5pm, pools £11 contact Roger 01904 737279.

Darren Starkey with big tench

caught from Leeds & District's Knotford Lagoon.

Governing body’s been lagging behind in ‘opinion poll’

Netsmen Paul Clark and Dave Pollitt show Weeton Lakes to have good mixed stocks of healthy fish to specimen sizes.

Angling: Fisheries flying high in tip-top condition