Having recently been chosen as a venue for the new Angling Trust RiverFest competition, the River Calder at Mirfield is a proven water which attracts anglers from all over the north.
The thing about this river is that one swim can be totally different to next depending on where you fish. As there are areas where bream dominate, while in others its chub and roach. However, don’t let that put you off as with a little local knowledge along with common sense you can pitch yourself on a peg where you can have some idea of what to expect and plan for them accordingly.
At the top of the stretch above Pear Tree Inn Bridge, on Old Bank Working Men’s Club water, it is all about the chub, dace and roach. Here you can fish a stick float or 3BB waggler depending on flow and use a strung out shotting pattern, loose-feeding caster, hemp or maggot over the top. Nets to 30lb can be achieved on a good day and the chub go up to 4lb in here so expect a fight if you hook some of the bigger fish. Below the bridge where Mirfield Angling Club’s water begins, you can sometimes find bream in these shallows and these can also be targeted using a waggler with maggot or caster. Further down at the Calder Road Bridge the fishing gets even better. These are deeper at around 6ft and hold bream to 8lb. a 40lb bag is achievable here using either a slightly heavier waggler with caster or maggot or a light feeder setup. Then there is The Ship Inn Bridge. Here chub nets to 50lb are not uncommon from the pegs 200 yards below the structure going down to the bend. There are also plenty of chub in the swims on the weir. Again it is waggler tactics which are most productive, so fish a float of around 3BB with strung out No.8’s and feed caster or maggot over the top, using a double red maggot or caster on the hook. The chub in here average around 2lb so expect plenty of bites when the fish are feeding. There are also some big perch to 2lb in here and of course roach.
TIP: Fish a straight 3 or 4BB peacock waggler for extra bounancy, particularly when the river is flowing. Take some heavier models in case you need to search for fish further out or if its windy.
Prices: £3 a day from local tackle shops, Old Bank Working Mens Club and Mirfield AC
Contact: Calder Angling Supplies, 01484 711063
Location: River Calder, Wood Lane, Huddersfield Road, Mirfield, W Yorks, WF14 9DL
Rules: No litter, rod licences required, all fish to be returned