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II were to ask you which species you have never caught, I would haz­ard a guess that it might just be a beau­ti­ful grayling. Would I be right?

I had a re­ally lovely ses­sion on the River Dane re­cently with Steve Col­lett, and we en­coun­tered some splen­did grayling dur­ing a truly mem­o­rable morn­ing’s fish­ing.

Th­ese grace­ful fish, with their splen­did, big dor­sal fins, fight strongly for their size. The main tip I would give would be to make sure that your hooks are al­ways sharp, be­cause their boney mouth means keep­ing them on is not al­ways guar­an­teed.

If you have never en­coun­tered a ‘Lady of the Stream’ (not sure if there is a name for male grayling), do your­self a favour and go and find some – they’re awe­some crea­tures. a case of get­ting to know this length of river and its moods for con­tin­ued suc­cess. Tac­tics? A rov­ing ap­proach will usu­ally pay off here, with a lightly leg­ered larger hook bait such as a lob­worm, bread flake or meat. I pre­fer meat my­self, with some flavour added.

Alexandra Park Lake

Where? Old­ham, Greater Manch­ester, OL4 1SH. Day tick­ets £5. Tel: 07753 414838. What’s be­ing caught? With shorter days now, it makes sense to stay lo­cal at this time of year. This mu­nic­i­pal park lake can pro­vide some de­cent roach and skim­mers sport, with a bite a cast once you get them go­ing. Tac­tics? Bread punch can work well to start. If bites tail off, fol­low up with mag­gots and cast­ers. Pole fish­ing at around 11 m is ef­fec­tive for best pre­sen­ta­tion, un­der a lightly shot­ted rig, and size 20 or 22 hooks. Wag­gler or a light feeder may be best when it’s windy.

Brad­shaw Hall

Slack Lane, Bolton, Manch­ester, BL2 4JW. Day tick­ets £8.50.

Tel: 01204 307197.

The Canals are still pro­duc­ing up to 80 lb of carp. Lots of roach, bream and ide feed­ing strongly on lower Lodges.

Just trickle feed in at first at this time of year. Let the fish dic­tate what they want, and aim to build up slowly to­wards a more pro­duc­tive af­ter­noon. Use cast­ers and mag­gots for the sil­ver fish, with soft 4 mm pel­lets on a pole for the carp.

Cop­pull Mill Lodge

Where? Mill Lane, Cop­pull, Chor­ley, Lan­cashire, PR7 5BW. Day tick­ets £3.

Tel: 07708 262322.

What’s be­ing caught?

This deep wa­ter is ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing some worth­while roach sport, as well as some de­cent perch to 1 lb.

Tac­tics? Try pole with red mag­gots over a light brown crumb ground­bait, which should quickly in­duce the fish to feed. Typ­i­cally, ac­tion will im­prove after half an hour, de­pend­ing on how cold the wa­ter is. It makes sense to keep lines fine and hooks small – size 20 to 0.10 mm.

Hamp­ton Springs Fish­ery

Where? Shay Lane, near Mal­pas, Cheshire, SY14 8AD. Day tick­ets £8.

Tel: 01948 820789.

What’s be­ing caught?

Day catches of up to 50 lb can be ex­pected here, with still a good few carp to 8 lb ea­ger to feed, de­spite the colder con­di­tions. Def­i­nitely worth a ses­sion on any of the pools. My choices would be Mead­ows or Rock Pool.

Tac­tics? Fish to suit the pre­vail­ing con­di­tions. Cur­rently do­ing well is pole and mag­gots down the mar­gins, but that could all change quickly, so bring a wag­gler or a feeder rod to fish fur­ther out if re­quired.

Holm­ston Hall

Where? Hick­hurst Lane,

Lit­tle Bud­worth, Tar­por­ley, Cheshire, CW6 9AY. Day tick­ets £7. Tel: 01829 760366.

What’s be­ing caught?

Carp and Moat pools still worth a Novem­ber day ses­sion, par­tic­u­larly for sil­ver fish as well as a few de­cent-sized carp. How­ever, you will have to work that bit harder and be a tad more pa­tient.

Tac­tics? Just keep in­tro­duc­ing half-a-dozen hook bait sam­ples ev­ery chuck, and make fairly fre­quent casts on straight lead or feeder. If it’s calm, just keep mov­ing the rig gently on a pole un­til you start to get a re­sponse from the fish.

Ling­mere Fish­ery

Where? Ling­ham Lane, More­ton, Wir­ral, CH46 4TB. Day tick­ets £7.

Tel: 0151 677 7911.

What’s be­ing caught? Sport is still pretty re­li­able. It may be­come trick­ier if we have fur­ther frosty nights, but for now there are plenty of F1s and a few carp to 10 lb. Catches to 40 lb achiev­able with a pos­i­tive ap­proach. Try near the mar­gins and by the is­lands.

Tac­tics? Soft pel­lets are worth us­ing, as well as mag­gots and cast­ers, which will be­come in­creas­ingly ef­fec­tive over the next three months. A pole or a light feeder will bring plenty of fish. Match your ap­proach to the con­di­tions on the day.

Meadow View Fish­eries

Where? Whit­bar­row Road, Lymm, Cheshire, WA13 9BA. Day tick­ets £8.

Tel: 01925 757985.

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