Angling: Teamwork tackling fight for the ‘forgotten waters’

Paul McBrinn
Paul McBrinn
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It doesn’t seem that long ago that every Working Men’s Club had its own fishing section and Sunday coach trips to out-of-the-way river venues were the highlight of a workman’s week.

As WMC’s closed in their thousands, the knock-on effects have been felt right through the sport, with the Country’s Angling Associations seeing memberships plummet, tackle shops close and, inevitably, once-favourite river sections becoming forgotten and neglected.

Last week I mentioned a slow, but sure change in trends, but with small, once-popular Yorkshire rivers suffering from balsam and hog weed explosions, access to the water’s edge becomes almost impossible.

This creates its own backward step, with only barren banks getting attention, but becoming overfished or battered in the process.

One group of angling volunteers has taken things into their own hands, with members of two local clubs, Forum AC and Swarcliffe, teaming up to re-establish Leeds & District’s Hammerton Mill on the River Nidd as a viable fishery once again.

Once a favourite with clubs and good enough to hold the annual first big Leeds open of the season, the venue, over the past 10 years, had become almost impossible to anyone not armed with a machete or power strimmer in their tackle.

Team leader, Dave Rushton, told me recently that good access to pegs have now been provided and will improve as anglers use the river once more.

He has also secured the go-ahead with ‘riparian owners’ (see Environment Agency list) to create on-bank parking further down the river close to the railway bridge.

Along with match organisers who have a duty to provide safe fishable stations, other small groups have been hard at work clearing once-famous pegs from their favourite Ouse and Ure, with some remarkable fish getting caught in forgotten, stunning scenery.

As word gets out, midweek knock-ups are reappearing. Linton-on-Ouse – normally fished through the winter and written-off through the summer – provided some respectable weights in red-hot conditions last week. Barnsley’s Dennis White won with 8lb of silver fish to pole and pinkie, and Durham’s Eddie Brydon took second with near 7lb on the same method.

With anglers willing to travel from South Yorkshire and the North East to compete or pleasure fish our local rivers, it proves that hard work pays off and membership of all controlling clubs could rise for the first time in years.

The tidal Wharfe continues to surprise as Nick Smith more than troubled the scales with the best weight from the venue this year to easily win the John Smiths Trophy.

Drawn peg 4 over the stakes, Smith castered his way to five good bream, a small chub and a whopper ide for 26lb.

Ray Barraclough claimed second from just above the railway bridge with two barbel for 11lb.

Though big fish were dominating the prize lists at Ulleskelf, further upstream yet still on the tidal, the once-popular Cock Beck to Euston Farm stretch seems to have burst into life with reports from pleasure anglers taking some massive weights of dace and dog roach to stick and maggot or caster.

l CORRECTION: In last week’s angling column, owing to technical problems the wrong image was imported into the page. We apologise for any embarrassment, confusion or inconvenience this may have caused.

Results

Leeds & District John Smiths Trophy Ulleskelf: 1, Nick Smith 26-04; 2, Ray Barraclough 11-09; 3, Steve Reed 9-10.

Mirfield Calder League: 1, A Miller 39-06 (9 chub), S Clegg 33-12; 3, G Scollick 23-12; 4, P Dwyer 19-08; 5, M Ward 17-06.

Linton on Ouse Midweek: 1, Dennis White Barnsley 7-15; 2, Eddie Brydon Durham 7-0; 3, Tony Hewson Leeds 6-01.

Listerhills AA Leeds & Liverpool Canal Rodley: 1, Billy Mason 17-12; 2, Tony Towney 11-03; 3, Richard Thorne 10-11; 4, Paddy Woods 6-09; 5, Roger Movley 6-07.

Birkwood Oscars Midweek: 1, R Francis 114-0; 2, A Rymer 39-05; 3, A Rymer 37-04.

Birkwood Oscar’s: 1, A Jackson 38-01; 2, M Jukes 36-04; 3, A Rymer 34-03.

South Leeds Viking Fox: 1, A Longbottom 82-10; 2, G Williamson 68-12; 3, M Jackson 53-04.

X Gates & District Tollerton Kingfisher: 1, D Utley 53-0 ; 2, S Kay 50-10; 3, M Johnson 47-08; Visitor C Foster 70-06.

White Horse Pudsey AS, Brafferton Ghost: 1, P Robinson 37-02; 2, J Jones 35-02; 3, G Brier 31-06; 4, G Raper 30-04.

Fox & Hounds Alders: 1, D Foggerty 46-02 ; 2, S Smith 40-07; 3, J Bywell 34-09; 4, T Morgan 34-08; Juvenile, D Horrocks 19-08.

Wetherby AC Poppleton Railway: 1, T Kozaczek 139-00; 2, R Knighthead 98-12; 3, K Bell 95-12.

Barnbow Poppleton Horseshoe: 1, P Riley 78-01; 2, J Mathers 63-08; 3, D Pape 56-03; 4, T Pittman 55-12; 5, G Fenhill 50-02.

Fulford AC Poppleton Lakes: 1, Gav Peake 108-04; 2, Andy Hatter 90-06; 3, Gordon Fennel 89-12; 4, Roger Holmes 82-10.

Poppleton Midweek 3-hr: 1, Dave Pollitt 77-06; 2, Tom Bainbridge 76-10; 3, Rob Harbour 66-10; 4, Paul Carter 61-14; 5, Steve Pearson 60-08.

Park Piscatorials, Rakers, Horseshoe: 1, C Broadley 47-00; 2, D Gunby 45-08; 3, E Cross 38-12.

Armley AC at Pool Bridge Norman’s Lake: 1, M Cooper 57-12; 2, J Lavery 57-04; 3, J Cooper 45-07; 4, D Fish 38-08.

Colton Sports AC, Poppleton – Railway: 1, K Gale 78-07; 2, S Pickard 66-06; 3, M Durkin 58-15; 4, A Senior 53-04.

Rodley Barge, Farview: 1, L Hook 59-09; 2, R Parker 46-13; 3, D Lawson 41-11.

East Dene (Viking Deer): 1, D Gibbs 84-09; 2, R Bramer 23-13; 3, M Frostwick 21-04.

South Elmsall (Viking Fox): 1, G Clark 79-00; 2, P Shepherd 72-03; 3, A Brown 69-04.

Clayton AC (Viking Hawk): 1, K Armitage 62-00; 2, K Murgatroyd 44-08; 3, R Malone 42-12.

Swinefleet AC (Viking Hawk): 1, S Lythe 58-06; 2, M Gelder 53-07; 3, N Pollard 45-06.

Outwood AC (Viking Fox): 1, I Guthrie 105-14; 2, R Hicks 87-03; 3, G Tipple 71-11; 4, M Smith 63-03.

Harehills WMC (Viking Deer): 1, D Parker 118-07; 2, G Crane 73-06; 3, C Dunn 68-11; 4, R Smith 52-10.

Angel Lakes, Open Lookout Sunday: 1, John Foster 184-13; 2, Glenn Appleby 80-10; 3, Dave Hodgson 76-05.

Angel Lakes, Open Bowes Saturday: 1, Jonny Maven 99-03 (over a net so over a ton); 2, Norman Laing 89-07; 3, Alan McGuire 87-12.

Angel Lakes, Open Lookout Friday: 1, John Foster 118-02; 2, Jonny Maven 93-14; 3, Dave Pearson 43-03.

Angel Lakes, Open Bowes Wednesday: 1, John Foster 83-12; 2, Alan McGuire 71-13; 3, Alan Simmons 45-07.

Match Diary

Saturday

Kippax Park: 27 pegs, tickets £20, contact 07967000746.

Feeder Master Qualifier: River Aire, Beal, contact Angling Trust 0115 906 1301.

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.

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

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.

Leeds DASA: Moor Monkton Pools, contact 07967000746.

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

Monday

Woodlands over-50s: 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: 3-hour evening opens, contact Roger 07425 146677.

Chapel Allerton's Andy Hampson is presented with the Horseshoe Trophy.

Angling: Irish eyes smiling on Leeds ace Hampson