|I was initially astounded to find out how many fishing lets/sites there are in Methley and as you could write what I know about angling on a pinhead in braille, I am therefore indebted to Michael Johnson and a few others for some ‘groundbait’ on the subject.
My only interest was as a kid using a net for sticklebacks and redbreasts from Fleet Beck and bringing them home in jam jars from the muck tip washed out in the iron stream. One amusing incident to recount was the day a crowd of us returned with some minnows and poured them all into an old stone sink used for watering the hens at Neil Seage’s house. Noisy arguments continued as to ownership of the biggest specimens and finally, all her patience gone, Mrs Seage came out of the house shouting that if we didn’t stop the row she would drown the ****** fish.
At about this time (1950) there would have been a few fish in the oxbow lakes but very little elsewhere. The rivers and canal were too de-oxygenated with chemicals from upstream to support any life (although we used to swim in it). Compare this with fishing opportunities today:-
- Oxbow lakes – leased by Bradford No.1 Anglers and Walton Angling Club from Mexborough Estates.
- Calder – from Methley Water Bridge to the confluence, on the Methley bank.
- Aire – from Boat Lane to the confluence on the Methley bank, leased by the Allerton Bywater Collieries Angling Club.
- Lemonroyd Locks – to Boat Lane on the Methley bank (the Aire is now naturally stocked with roach, perch,bream chub and trout). Proof of the restored fish stocks is the presence of of cormorants on both rivers – they have fished these stretches for a few years now but give scant respect to fishing season rules.
- Lafarge pond – this has recently been stocked with non breeding trout by the Methley Fly Fishers Syndicate and appears to be progressing well. Anglers here are allowed to retain a certain number and return the remainder of the catch.
- Pit Lane/Cutler Lane – I am not sure if these are managed sites.
- Watergate – behind the old orchards, angling for tench and perch etc. can be arranged through David Lodge, at Hazel House Farm @ £2.50 per day.
- There are other small fish ponds in the village in private ownership.