Urban fly-fishing report: River Tame, Saddleworth

Rich with Saddleworth trout

In bitterly cold conditions that he could only describe afterwards as raining, snowing, sleeting, absolutely everything… 

Urbantrout editor-at-large (and key consultant on Trout in Dirty Places) Richard Baker spent his northern opening day fly-fishing the urban upper reaches of the Mersey system controlled by Saddleworth Angling Society.

When his fingers had thawed enough to feel the keyboard again, here’s the report he sent us:

Remember last year’s t-shirt weather on opening day? It was completely the opposite this year! 

Attached is a pic of a 1lb 2oz (14”) fish weighed and measured. It took a size 18 spider on the dropper in one of the deepest corner pools on the river – the one you know well which always holds big trout (I’ve seen a 3lb fish in there eating bread). 

I was sure that was the one I’d hooked at first – I must say it’s always such a thrill catching a 1lb fish from a small stream, and I was crapping myself thinking it would get off.  That’s always the way in early season on the Tame, and always from the deep pools. Thinking about it, I haven’t had a big Saddleworth fish from shallow water lies where you wouldn’t expect them for some time.  

Shame that there was no hatch whatsoever, and no chance on a dry. All fish were taken pretty deep, and large patches of the river (the shallower bits) were quite barren.  Still, fishing conditions were awful!

Saddleworth trout

If you fish an urban river that’s featured in Trout in Dirty Places – or even if it’s not – why not send us your own fishing report to let us know how it’s getting on?

(Photos: Richard Baker)

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