I feel the fee is very good value. Who will look after our rivers and streams, if we didn't have the EA? Having a go at the Environment Agency seems to be in fashion these days. Yes, I too have complained about the EA when it's been deserved. But before complaining about the agency you have to give them the chance to act on your complaint. What I find difficult to understand, is that most of those who complain about the service they get, have never been in touch with the organisation. There have been many occasions I have called the EA on 00800-80-70-60, in every case they have been at the scene within three hours.

Recently Alan Roe of LYTHAM ST ANN'S Blackpool and myself were fishing the river Aire opposite the Keighley golf course. It's a Keighley AC water, 2-00 a day 20-00 a season. As we sat fishing, a tractor and trailer turned up on the opposite bank and dumped a load of soil on the bank. In the next hour this happened three times. Having taken some pictures I called the EA on the free phone number 0800-80-70-60. The call was answered promptly. I was told an inspector would be in touch. Within thirty minutes the EA called me back, an hour later the EA inspector was on the river bank having travelled from Leeds. Seeing the dumped soil, he took some photographs, then off he then went to the golf course. I say well done to the Environment Agency. If you see anyone dumping soil, grass cutting, garden refuse or any other rubbish at the water's edge call the EA on 0800-80-70-60. Don't leave it too the next guy.

I am sure, if we anglers spent some time with our local EA, we could achieve a lot between us. I feel we are the eyes and ears of the waterside. We cannot expect the EA staff to be on every river and stream twenty four hours a day. Before you complain about the next licence increase, check out how many pollution prosecutions the EA have carried out on those involved in farming and industry.

On this day in question Alan and I had some good fishing for pike, chub and bream, the two bream weighed 5-8-0 and 5-12-0 both fish taken on crust. The bites were hardly noticeable, just a slight movement on the rod tip. In fact most anglers would have ignored the bites thinking it was minnows. We also caught some excellent chub on floating crust. The best two weighed 5-4-0 and 5-7-0. Several pike were caught by Alan on fresh sprat bait. Keighley AC season ticket at 20-00 and day tickets at 2-00 are certainly excellent value for money. (Available from KL Tackle in Keighley.)

On Sunday I spent a few hours fly fishing for pike on the river Aire. It was tough going, the river is so low and clear. If we don't get a lot of rain shortly. I fear a pollution incident, it won't take much for a fish kill. When I write about a lot of rain, I don't mean just a couple of days but a month of steady rain. The rivers are full of clodorpha weed and farmer rubbish, especially black plastic and feed bags. What did surprise me on the river Aire were the roach, caught by Peter Smith of Leeds, weighing 1-9-0 and 1-12-0 float fishing sweetcorn bait on a size 10 hook to 3lb line. It's the best brace of roach I have seen from this river in a long time. Giving up fishing time to do bailiffing duties certainly has its benefits. If I had fished all day I wouldn't have seen those roach.

Rutland Water: John Franks and his mum Sheila, from Pocklington, Yorkshire, took nine fish off the Normanton bank, fishing black buzzer and hoppers, John's best fish, a rainbow of 4lb 6oz was also the best fish of the week. Season ticket holders also found fish off the bank, Oakham's Brian Bonner, and Vic Faulkner, had fish up to four pounds apiece, with black tadpole and minkies taking the fish. The best brown of the week was a 5lb Brown taken on Saturday. Elsewhere boat anglers have found fish in front of the lodge, the sailing club, Yellowstone to Inmans Spinney, Armley Wood, and the transformer in the north arm. Flies that are pulled, ie, boobies, humungus, minkies, and sparklers, fished on floating and intermediate lines, seem to be the best tactics. Anglers are reporting that "as long as you keep your flies moving, the fish are interested".

Scottish anglers, Messrs Smith and Reed, recorded eight fish in a morning session, "with lots and lots of follows", using a booby on the top dropper, followed by a minki

Competition news: The final rounds of the Major Fly Fishing Clubs leagues were fished together at Rutland Water on Saturday, with 64 anglers representing 16 teams in blustery conditions. Taking most of their 146 fish on the surface with slime lines proved particularly effective and three fish of just under 4lbs were taken during the 7 hour match. The league groupings look about right as group 1 averaged three fish per rod, group 2 two fish and group 1 one fish per rod! All of the anglers thanked league secretary Peter Firth for his hard work during the year running the league competitions throughout the country.

Final placings - Group one, Queen Mother Flyfishers, Group two Soldier Palmers, Group three Hanningfield Flyfishers

High levels of boat bookings continue in response to top quality fishing for grown on bright silver rainbows and some fine browns. The most consistent sport from the bank has been had from the harbour in front of the lodge where fry imitations have accounted for many fish in excess of 3lb. These powerful fish have been attacking the huge shoals of coarse fish fry seeking refuge in the harbour. In line with autumn tradition the best of the boat fishing has been at the west end of the reservoir. Drifting and anchored boats have been equally successful. On floating and intermediate lines, weighted minkies fished with nymphs on the droppers have worked well whilst the 'Humungus' lure on faster sinking lines has been equally good.b

Best boat areas: west end of reservoir best bank areas: harbour in front of Lodge best methods boat anglers - floating and intermediate lines, weighted minkies fished with nymphs forthcoming events2 November winter bank league 8 December Fur and Feather

Pitsford Water
The best bag of the week was caught by Phil Tomlin of Great Glen who had a 6 fish limit weighing 18lb 14oz, topped by a rainbow of 4lb 12oz. Season ticket holder Malcolm Eade of Northampton, has again done well, this time catching the best brown of the week at 5lb 7oz, again from a boat, using a sinking line. Fish have been coming to the boats on a variety of methods from nymphs and buzzers on floaters, to lures and tube flies on intermediates, slow sinkers and Di3's. Lures on slow sinkers being the favourite method, whilst the trout are still in the top few feet of the water feeding heavily on daphnia. The best time for bank fishing is during the evening with various coloured buzzers, hares ear, or corixa patterns on floating lines the best method, although a white lure on an intermediate is also worth trying.

Competition news: Water Industry Game Fishing Championship qualifier

This is an annual flyfishing competition between Anglian Water and the Environment Agency. The team event was won by Anglian Water. The best method was the 'bung', two diawl bachs and a black buzzer, fished static. This winning method was used by Charles Bowers, aged 17, from Spalding, who took his 8 fish limit by 1.45pm. His 8 fished weighed 23lb 12oz. John Marshall, Anglian Water's fishery manager, who was Charles's boat partner caught 8 fish with time bonus, using different tactics - a Di3 line and a minkie pulled slowly, this put him in fourth position. Second place was taken by Chris Evans who took his 8 fish by 1.15pm. His methods were a small cat's whisker on the point, diawl bach and a buzzer on the droppers. In third place was Martin Hearth from Oakham who caught his 8 fish on orange blobs for 18lb 1oz. Congratulations go to Chris Evans, Colin Lea, Nigel Savage and Ray Jenkins, for qualifying for next year's W.I.G.F.I.C final in Wales. They will join Jon Marshall, Paul Jones and Richard Slaughter to complete the Anglian Water team.
Ravensthorpe Reservoir Frazier Duffy of Daventry used his experience to good effect on Saturday 5 October, taking nine fish (returning 8). The fish ranged in size from 1?lb to 8lb plus. His successful flies were buzzer, hopper and minkie, interchangeable with both floating and sinking lines during the day. C Cook of Bedworth brought in the biggest fish of the week (4lb ), returning another. The best times to fish seem to be from opening until about 3pm. With the weed dispersing and thinning in places around the water, bank anglers have fished near the dome bushes whilst boat anglers have found good sport drifting along this shoreline.

New Reel Service

Have you noticed how easy it is to get your washing machine, television, car, hoover or cooker serviced. What do we do when our fishing reels need a service? It's a problem I have had for some time. My Mitchell reels made in 1952 badly needed a service. All my friends keep saying "I can hear your coffeee grinder today". During a days fishing with Bob Tomlinson of Blackpool I discussed the problem of getting reels serviced. A few days later Bob called me with the telephone number of the Reel-doctor who lived at Bispham near Blackpool. Mike Graham is the reel doctor, he will service your multipliers and fixed spool reels. Mike's telephone number is 01253-591917

TidalFish.com

TidalFish.com is a fishing site that provides all the information that a light tackle, fly or offshore angler needs, especially us visitors from the UK when we visit the U.S. of A to fish the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding inshore and offshore waters of the Mid- Atlantic region.

The site features weekly fishing reports, articles by regional/national/international expert writers, guides and captains. TidalFish.com has a growing community of over 6300 anglers who exchange information on a daily basis via the message boards. In addition the site features a classified ads section where anglers can advertise their used fishing equipment. The site is fully customised so you can set the front page to bring up whatever you want to see on a regular basis on Tidal Fish. TidalFish.com also offers Tidal Fish hats, t-shirts and other Tidal Fish gear. Soon to be launched is a full line of Tidal Fish lures, flies and fishing apparel

The Cheshire / North West branch of the Barbel Society have an evening with Trevor West on Thursday 7th November at the Boars Head Middlewich. Doors open at 7-30pm for an 8-0pm start; tickets 2-00 members, 4-00 non members. Further information from Bob Massey 01270-610732 or Steve Mulligan 01260- 271706


It's Tough On The Rivers

It's been hard on the rivers in the north of England for both coarse and salmon fishing, in fact with the low water levels and salmon in poor conditions. I feel we shouldn't be fishing for them. In fact my season for this species ended in September. I spotted several fish on the Hodder and Ribble that were quite red. I decided I shouldn't fish for the rest of the season. Hopefully they will make their way safely to the spawning reds. The weather forecast for this week is a mixture of rain, frost and snow on the hills. In the south of the country and south Wales its given lots of rain, so hopefully the rivers Wye Teme Severn and Avon will get a good flush out. If they do I will be down on the rivers in the hope I can catch a few barbel.

This week I've been guiding for a couple of days, both my guests caught personal best fish. Phillip Johnson of Darwin near Blackburn joined me on the river Aire near Silsden as a 40th birthday present. I chose this stretch of river in the hope a few fish might be found in the deep water swims. The week before, I caught a couple of good bream and some nice chub. Hopefully Phillip would catch a good bream or chub. He tried a dozen popular swims, but didn't get a bite. One banker swim under a willow bush produced a good pull, Phillip connected with a good fish but sadly it got off. Late in the afternoon he had two good bites, both missed. The third bite connected with another good chub which again got off. Then followed an exasperating time, in half an hour he missed five good pulls on the rod tip. I decided he should fish a big bit of breadflake on a long tail, a bite quickly followed and he connected with a nice fish, which I quickly netted. It weighed 4-2-0, a personal best chub for Phillip.

Two days later I had Mike Holgate of Wigan, who is Director of the Centre of Excellence at Macclesfield Town, for a days fishing on the river Aire at Silsden. The river was low and clear with masses of weed and rubbish. Not the best of conditions to help someone catch a good chub. The target weight was 4lbs. Mike, fishing with an Avon action rod, fixed spool reel 6lb line and a size 4 barbless hook, using crust as bait caught two personal best chub. His first fish weighed 4-10-0, this was followed by a five pound chub. Both fish were caught on legered crust. Mike worked hard on the low gin clear river trying some dozen swims, but his perseverance paid off in the end when I put him in a deep water swim near Kildwick.

Peter Williams of Bingley fishing the river Aire near the town of Bingley had a good session taking nine chub averaging over 3lbs using a swimfeeder filled with hemp with three gentles on a size 12 hook to 3lb line. Peter's best chub weighed 4lb 11ounces.

John Thompson of Skipton fished the Leeds And Liverpool canal for pike with sprat bait on a size 6 treble hook to 15lb line, catching two good pike of 9-14-0 and 13-6-0. The 13-6-0 was a personal best fish.

On the river Wyre some nice chub and bream have been caught on float fished bread flake. William Davies an electrician of Lancaster fishing lobworm bait on a size 6 hook to 4lb line quiver tip rod and fixed spool reel had a good chub of 4-9-0

Pendle View Fisheries on the A59 near Clitheroe

Fishing has improved after a quiet couple of weeks due to calm weather conditions and bright sunlight. The exception has been the trout lake where catches have been very good. In the Nash Day Ticket carp competition, the leaderboard is now headed by Carl Gore with a 32lbs common. This week has shown some improvement, Andy Hurst catching a 27lbs 14ox common. Silver fish are now being caught in the main bay area, which indicates that they are moving back towards deeper water.

Catches on the trout lake are still very good, the only real complaint concerns the amount of weed in the lake. To help combat this weed, two grass carp have been introduced. These carp are both about 12lbs and will take a fly so anglers have been warned. Fritz, Montana and buzzer still continue to produce results. It is intended to keep the fly lake open throughout the winter for this year.

A series of open carp matches are scheduled for the next few months following the success of the first match organised by Tracey. Details of dates etc are available from the fishery telephone 01254-822208 - please contact Tracey for further information. Whilst every effort is being made to provide more safe parking around the main lake we do insist that anglers park their cars off the road to ensure others can safely pass. Cars must not be parked on the perimeter of the trout lake, or on the grass.

The fishery has now reverted to winter opening hours. This will mean the gates are open at 7.00 am and locked at 9.00 pm. These opening hours will remain until Spring 2003. Catering times will remain unchanged. If you're one of those anglers who doesn't like to fish a fast, high and coloured river then this fishery could be for you. It's certainly very popular with many anglers