Fishing In Middlesex
Ian Drury may once have given us reasons to be cheerful, but by some oversight he seems to have omitted mention of fishing Middlesex. For anglers of all types, this is a county guaranteed to bring good cheer in spades.
Take the Grand Union Canal at Hayes, for example. This is a coarse fishing venue offering roach fishing without equal; and you'll find oodles of bream to keep you happy, too, as well as generous numbers of carp, chub, eels, perch and pike. This stretch of the canal is controlled by the Central Association of London and Provincial Angling Clubs (CALPAC) and ranges in depth from two to five feet. The standard method of obtaining success here is to use a pole with bloodworm, breadflake, casters, maggots or pinkies. Nearer Southall, the Havelock Road section of the Canal offers plenty of perch, roach and hybrids, with even the occasional carp making a rare appearance. Stretches of the far bank overhung by trees and bushes seem to harbour the heftier specimens. Most of the fishing along this stretch is free, although it would be wise to check with the Hounslow Angling Centre first.
You could be forgiven for thinking that a rather meagre river without much depth would prove to be something of an angling desert but, contrary to appearances, the River Frays turns out to be one of the better reasons to try fishing in Middlesex. A little patience and perseverance will yield catches to boast about shamelessly in the local later in the day: there are roach weighing up to two pounds, chub to four pounds, and barbel tipping the scales at eight pounds. But there's more to fishing in Middlesex than a canal and a small river.
There's the River Colne at Uxbridge, for example. This stretch of river is heavily dominated by large shoals of chub, but you'll also find plenty of barbel in the eight to ten pound range, from the pegs by the walkover bridge at the weir.
In Yiewsley, you'll discover two generous man-made lakes constituting Lizard Fisheries. When the weather takes a turn for the warmer, you'll be in for some awesome coarse fishing here. The main species are bream, carp, roach, rudd, perch and tench, with Lake One in particular rampant with carp. Bream and tench make plenty of appearances to anglers fishing the margins and roach sport is excellent on both lakes bags of 20 lbs and more are a regular occurrence. Any angler who prefers stillwater fishing will love Bedfont Lake near Feltham, a beautiful day or season ticket coarse fishing lake. Fishing season lasts for ten months, and it's brimming with bream, commons, crucians, rudd and tench.
There's also a wonderful opportunity to fish all those bits of the River Thames that used to be off limits for the everyday angler, the Environment Agency now offers Lock and Weir permits passports to the very sites on the river which attract fish like magnets. The water is richly oxygenated in these places and you're guaranteed to find barbel, chub and pike by the barrel load, as well as zander. The permits cover weirs and locks along a fabulous stretch of the Thames running from Teddington to Oxford (there are no less than nineteen superb fishing spots along this course). For anglers, fishing in Middlesex means plenty of reasons to be cheerful.