Salford Friendly Anglers Junior Photo Comp

The club has bought ten x 9ft pellet waggler rod and reel combos to give away to junior anglers this summer — all you have to do is send in a photo via our facebook page…. and the club committee will be giving prizes away on a regular basis all summer long.

The size of smile being more important than the size of fish……

Our first winner Isabel Fletcher visited the Old River in Irlam with her dad…. and caught two cracking tench…. whilst her dad caught none….. great fishing Isabel – a worthy winner first winner of this summers prize giveaway

Isabel with a 4lb+ Tench

Take you kids / grand kids fishing this summer – create happy memories — send in your photos and win prizes

We Need Your Help

help needed

We don’t ask for much from our members – other than for you to respect our waters, our fish, and other users of the waterside.

However – this is a call to arms from the committee to you our members. We are having a real struggle to maintain our waters this summer – as new jobs – family commitments – illness – overtime and loads of other excuses mean that those members who organise events like matches and work parties have been unable to commit as much time towards club activities as they have in the past. We are aware that this can’t carry on.

New waters are being offered to the Society on a regular basis – for example Gregsons, Blackleach, Lankies, The Rat and The Cow ponds – we’d love to take them on – but we need to be able to manage our waters properly before we take on any new commitments – as at present – all these commitments fall on the shoulders of a few.

Therefore we are asking you as a member of a fishing Society to stand up and be counted for you local lake – be it Drinkies – Waterdale – The Old River – Broughton Park, Springwater Park Lodge,  The Quays or the Rochdale Canal – we need your help managing them.

We think that it would be a good idea for anglers to come forwards and say “I’ll be happy to give a few hours a month to help clean up and maintain my local fishing venue” – it really doesn’t take much.

Our intention is to create a list of members – who can be called on to get involved in the fishery management of each of our venues – its great fun and in a way its a bit like looking after the biggest garden pond you’ll ever have.

The club regularly cobbles together funds/money/grants for restocking and the members who stand up for their local venues will be supported in developing a management and restocking plan for each venue.

So – our next club meeting is going to be Wednesday the 22nd August at the Star Inn, Back Hope St, Salford, M7 2FR when we will be discussing this further. If you would like to put your name down to be involved more actively in the management of your local venue – please email the club via or make us aware on our facebook page. AND PLEASE COME TO THE AUGUST CLUB MEETING!

If we can get more people involved in the day to day running of our venues – then we will be happy to take on new waters.


The 1903 Challenge Fishing Match

In 1903 – Broughton Angling Club issued a challenge to Salford Friendly Anglers Soc to fish an inter club match at a local venue – where the losers have to purchase tea for the winners.

115 years later – we have thrown down the gauntlet to Broughton Angling Club to re-run this match on Sunday the 10th June 2018.

The match to be fished at Broughton Park Lake, Salford…..

Challenge Letter From Broughton Anglers 1903

Challenge Letter From Broughton Anglers 1903


A venue that was once North Manchesters premier tench fishery but has fallen on hard times in recent years – we are working with Broughton Anglers to restore this lake to its former glories as a fishery.

Supported by the Angling Trust and by Salford Council – we have recently restocked the lake with carp and tench… and started a program of introducing new oxygenating water plants….

Here’s a view of some of our new fish




Website Upgrade In Process

Please bear with us – we are in the process of upgrading our website – all our pages still exist – see drop down menus – however the way the content is being displayed for the next 48 hours or so isn’t as user friendly as it used to be.

Oh No

We should have things right in the next 48 hours (or so )

Don’t forget that our next club meeting takes place Weds 17th January – 7.30pm at the Railway and Linnet Pub in Middleton M24 1GQ – everyone welcome

Wallness Social Angling Society Spastics Effort 1962

Like many old angling clubs the long lived but now defunct Wallness Social Angling Society was based at the Wallness Tavern, Wallness Lane, Salford (less than 200 yards away from the current Salford Friendly Anglers HQ).

The Wallness Social Angling Society featured regularly in local angling club matches and are mentioned in many of our clubs historical documents. Sadly the pub was demolished in 2012.

As we have been digitising our Societies records we came accros this amazing poster of a fishing match which the Wallness Social Angling Society organised in 1962 on the Macclesfield Canal at Higher Poynton – a charity match in aid of the Manchester and District Spastics Society.

Macclesfield Canal Angling Championship 1962 Poster

Macclesfield Canal Angling Championship 1962 Poster

The Spastics Society still exists under its current guise of the charity Scope.

The County Palatine Angling Association amalgamated/morphed into the Northern Anglers Association during the early 1970s – and N.A.A. still own the fishing rights on the Macclesfield Canal between Marple and Macclesfield.

However the canal at Higher Poynton is no longer suitable for match fishing as it is extensively used for the mooring of narrowboats.

As we searched through our records – we also came across the financial breakdown of the match, the list of angling clubs and individuals who took part in the match, and the companies who sponsored the prizes. A great find.

Financial record of the Macclesfield Canal Angling Championship 1962

Financial record of the Macclesfield Canal Angling Championship 1962

The match raised a total of £173 for the Manchester and District Spastics Society  – a fantastic effort seeing as though that translates to £3,580 in todays money taking into account inflation.  The £5 winning prize money is now worth £100 in todays money.

This is an amazing record of North West Angling Clubs in 1962  – sadly many of them no longer exist, nor do any of the tackle shops listed who contributed to the prize fund.

Canal Championship Matches used to be quite commonplace in the North West until the mid 1980s….. I can remember taking part in a number of Rochdale Canal Angling Championships (sponsored by the Manchester Evening News and their Angling correspondent Don Bridgewater)  – it could be a bit of fun reviving it.




Manchester Monsters Of The Deep

Looking at old photos of the canal in the city centre of Manchester, the industry, the grime, the sheer Dickensian background,  you’d never think that it would have the potential to produce the fish of a lifetime for a local angler -a  huge beautiful leviathan of the aquatic world, a 5 foot long sleek powerful predator – the apex predator of the waterways.

Old Castlefield Dukes

Indeed – when sections of our local canals get drained down to allow for repairs to take place, you’d scarcely believe that anything could live among the filth and debris that us humans throw into their murky waters.

Dirty Manchester Canal

Despite its outwardly looking murky grey appearance, the shopping trollies, traffic cones, chairs, bikes and umbrellas, the source of the waters for our local canals comes from high up on the hills and moors above Littleborough and Saddleworth – and is some of the cleanest water in the country. Untainted by the pollution of our cities, industries and the poor agricultural practices of our nations farmers – it flows like a clean bright ribbon through the centre of our city.

Anglers have known this for years, and are aware that our local canals, the Rochdale, the Ashton , and the Bridgewater are fantastic fisheries, stuffed with species of fish such as Roach, Perch, Rudd, Tench, Bream, Gudgeon and Carp…. an angling mecca.

These clean water corridors also act as nature superhighways through our suburbs and city centres.  They’re  ribbons of high quality habitat allowing nature such as Kingfishers, Otters, Herons, Water Voles and Dippers to make their homes and thrive in the most unlikely urban locations.

At the top of the food chain in this watery sometimes murky ecosystem is a super apex predator Esox Lucius – commonly known as the Pike.

Huge numbers of small jack pike live in our canals – in many areas comprising over 10% of the canals biomass.

Rarely exceeding a couple of feet in length they are greedy customers for anglers worms and lures its not too difficult to catch up to a dozen in an afternoons fishing if you know what your about and the conditions are right… However catching the bigger, wiser older Pike who prey on the jack pike is an altogether different task.

Huge, cunning old pike can grow up to 5 feet long and reach nearly 50lbs in weight. Our local canals in Greater Manchester have been known to produce the very occasional exceptional Pike of up to 30lbs

A 20lb Pike from a Greater Manchester canal is a real specimen,,,, the fish of a lifetime. The vast majority of our regions thousands of anglers have never seen a 20lb pike let alone caught one.

One or two might be lucky or sufficiently skilled to tempt one of these huge underwater leviathans – most probably from a larger river or lake where the Pike have the space to grow large… but catching one from a canal is the challenge of a lifetime, and a serious undertaking in terms of time and planning.

Catching two of these supersized fish is a special achievement – something that garners the respects of your angling peers.

Catching three is something most anglers could ever dream about..

But catching four – then you quite rightly achieve an inconic status and are revered, acclaimed and envied by anglers on a national basis.

This leads us to young Kaden McCarthy – a 14 year old boy from an inner city estate in Salford.

Kaden sent me this photo today – of yet another remarkable pike he has caught in the canal that runs through city centre Manchester.

Kaden Fish Of The Year 2017 v1

A fantastic specimen fish – the Pike of a lifetime for mere mortal anglers.

However young Kaden has developed into a special angler, with ability and instinct far beyond his 14 years.

He has a developed a special aptitude for catching big fish from Manchester waterways.

Heres a picture (below) of another monster Pike he caught last year in Manchester City Centre – which gave him the accolade of being the youngest angler to win the prestigious Salford Friendly Anglers “Fish Of The Year” award in 2016.

Kaden Fish Of The Year 2016

And then sandwiched between the capture of these two huge pike – he has managed to catch two more – taking his total of 20lb+ pike  to the mystical 4 – A remarkable achievement for someone so young.

Kaden Pike YMCA Kaden Key103


But the story regarding this young anglers abilities is still far from completely told…..

In addition to the capture of these amazing Pike,,,, young Kaden is proving himself to be an all round angler – catching great fish of all species…

Like this bream, again a great fish from an urban canal, and this carp from the River Irwell.

Kaden Bream Kaden Carp

The exploits of this excellent young fisherman are now coming to be recognised on a national basis,,,,, a firm friendship has developed between Kaden and local fishing legend Ant Glascoe Jnr…….. and the UKs most famous angler Matt Hayes name checks Kaden on his Facebook posts on a regular basis…

So — This article was written in November 2017 – and only a couple of weeks later in December – our young angler caught this great fish from the canal system in the city centre of Manchester..

Kaden - SFAS fish of the year winner 2017

Kaden – SFAS fish of the year winner 2017

What a belter – and a week later Kaden was rewarded by becoming the first angler ever to with the prestigious Salford Friendly Anglers Society Fish Of The Year Competition for a second time…… he attended the societies annual Xmas dinner and was presented with a new pike fishing rod as his prize by Sky TV Angling Expert Ant Glascoe Jnr…..

Kaden Prize Night

And then to cap off a fine year  (or maybe not) young Kaden headed out to the canal bank the very next morning and caught this whopper of a pike with his new rod

Kaden Dec 17 Piike lower res

We all wait to see what this young angling prodigy is going to do next !!




Update On Recent Reported Pollution Incidents

We have a long, and ever growing dialogue with the Environment Agency regarding the large number of pollution incidents which take place on the River Irwell system…

In addition to this dialogue with the EA about incidents… we are also in regular contact about the long standing poor (but improving) chemical content of the water…… and the frequency and volume of legal discharges of raw untreated sewage from our local utility company

Here is an update on some of the recent pollution events.

Crown Oil, 10,000+ litres of heating oil allowed to escape into River Roch – – a 2012 Category 2 (significant) incident resulted in the company receiving a formal caution. A 2014 incident was attended but not substantiated

Briggs Demolition – long term effects of poor enforcement? (Diffuse pollution from illegal landfill site, already prosecuted by the EA and let off by courts with reduced fine to enable environmental clean up which has never taken place. Ongoing pollution from this site results in massively depleted kick sample results downstream of this point.) Our enforcement was completed several years ago. This is now a contaminated land site for which queries should be addressed to the local authority   – a further update on this site is that UU are considering remediation works to enable access to their sewer network – this has to be good news

 Bradshaw Brook 2013 UU contractor HCL acid – hundreds of fish deaths – Prosecution complete nearly £1m in fines

Warth Fold Hydro – built without a fish pass! – regularly breaches abstraction consents by running all the river flow through its turbine and sometimes taking more flow than the river has, thus depleting pool above, then drying out river below while the pool above the weir refills. Also EA have allowed the hydro operator to but batons on top of the weir to increase the head of the retained pool of water above the weir, and direct more flow through the turbine!!! How can any of this be legal? – No response from the EA – update 2017 The EA cannot enforce a fish pass be constructed on these dreadful schemes (example Bury Community Hydro)  

Ringley Waste Water Treatment Works  split main 1 2013–massive amount of eaw sewage entered the watercourse during low flow dry period….. category 2 (significant) incident United Utilities accepted a formal caution

Ringley Waste Water Treatment Works / Rhodes Farm split sludge pipe 2 2013 same area – different pipe – (a second low pressure pipe rupture under the River Irwell – Category 3 (minor) incident warning letter

Bury Waste Water Treatment Works –  no screening on inlet (EA no comment – UU’s comment was that they don’t need one because the EA have never asked them to put one in) Assessment of the impact of this is ongoing in order to establish what improvements if any are required under forthcoming AMP schemes – SFAS will be asking for this practice to be reviewed in the next round of United Utilties Asset Management Planing 6

Fly Tipping in Bury and Radcliffe – using river banks as landfill – plus other industrial related fly tipping (neither EA nor Council take any responsibility) Not an EA Matter – Matter for Bury Council
 April 2014 Irwell turns green – then white – no feedback – no prosecution of building site (EA claim no knowledge of this incident despite EA and UU responding) Polluter not identified no further action
April 2014 Wince Brook (EA investigated and found no evidence of pollution despite photographs from anglers showing source of pollution and the river running milky white) Polluter not identified no further action
July 2014 Tesco Haslingden 10,000 litres fuel (no comment – ongoing criminal investigation) Guilty pleas entered sentencing due summer 2017
Dec 2014 Irwell turns white (again) – anglers locate source of pollution to Rakem Chemicals – Category 2 incident (significant but discoloration only – effectively a white dye) formal caution accepted by Rakem Ltd 
SFAS have asked angling club members to report the worst/most foul sewage overflows – we have then taken this information forwards to UU and to the EA and asked for these locations to be investigated and prioritised..
We are very glad to report to members that our views and observations are both listened to and acted upon.
Some of the worst performing pipes are cleaned immediately… others are noted as being “in need of improvement”
We are pleased to inform you that the sewage overflows at Nuttall Park in Bury, Moses Gate in Bolton, Bury Bridge and Elton in Bury are now high on the list for remediation in the next round of capital spending from UU….. there are many more locations where the sewage system is going to upgraded which will improve the water quality of our rivers……… many many thanks to our members for highlighting the grot spots so that we have make those responsible aware,, and to encourage action…
Well done to all our members …. please keep the reports and photos coming in…
Shit pipe 004 irwell pollution 1
Irwell pollution againirk orange

Salford Friendly Anglers Rules 1904

These rules printed in 1904 reflect the fact that Salford Friendly Anglers Society had dropped the financial side of their activities after the banking crisis of the 1890s.

The club continues to run to very simple set rules to this day – we prefer anglers to enjoy fishing in their own style – to use common sense and not be hamstrung by a huge list of pre-determined does and don’ts.

Salford Friendly Anglers Society Rules 1904

Salford Friendly Anglers Society Rules 1904

We Have Won £1000 !


Thanks to everyone who voted for Salford Friendly Anglers project in the recent round of funding from the Salford Council Recycle & Reward Scheme

Our project received the most votes – so WE WON £1000 to spend on fish to restock into the Old River..


Christmas Social Fish In – 31st Dec Old River

We will be holding our annual Christmas “fish in” at the Old River in Irlam on Saturday 31st Dec

Our event will start at 8am – and finish when everyone has had enough of the cold/ice/brandy/blanking etc….

Everyone welcome to attend – this is a free event

Most people will be targeting pike – but its just a day to get out doors – have a chat – a brew and meet other club members

Old Riv 2