Ahh the River Erewash, it lends its name to many things locally, The Erewash Canal, Erewash Borough Council, The Erewash Valley Trail and lets not forget Erewash Golf Club. But as a fisherman I am only really interested in how the Erewash has been used for fishing… Well the short answer seems to be… It’s Not Fished!
For various reasons it seems to be very difficult to find any information about the Erewash River as a fishing venue, large stretches of it are on private land, owned by farmers or are inaccessible by car. The urban areas of the Erewash through Ilkeston seem very difficult to get to, the course of the river runs behind industrial estates then into farms and farmers fields.
There are a few spots which I’ve seen on Google Earth which might be worth investigating, more on that later…
My memories of the River Erewash.
Growing up and living in Ilkeston I have always known of the river, however never really fished it. I grew up down “larklands” (an residential area in the south east of Ilkeston). The river runs adjacent to the Erewash Canal and in some points is litterally 20ft away. I used to spend many summer evenings fishing the canal at Potters Lock, the River Erewash is a stones throw from the canal bank here, yet it is still very difficult to access. The local name for this part of the river is “Thunder Bridge” because of the train bridge which runs over the river, as kids we used to sit under the bridge by the river waiting for the noise of Thunder as trains passed just a few feet above our heads.
In the 1990’s the Erewash was in a poor state, pollution seemed rife and the river itself was full of rubbish. I remember seeing parts of old motorbikes, oil drums and calor gas bottles littering the stretch near potters. This of course effected the fishing in a terrible way, nobody was catching fish from the Erewash River, it was simply unheard of.
“The Brangwens had lived for generations on the Marsh Farm, in the meadows where the Erewash twisted sluggishly through alder trees, separating Derbyshire from Nottinghamshire.”
DH Lawrence, The Rainbow
In the early 2000’s the River Erewash saw some much needed conservation work which has helped to clean up the water removing the pollution and as a result the river is slowly recovering, back to a fish-able standard. Much of the work was done by The River Erewash Foundation, they are the ones to thank for the restoration of the river in my opinion.
Regular working parties were held to clean up the river, the results are truly amazing, the Erewash has been saved, the future looks good!
Now… The Fishing!
The fishing has improved a lot since the work was done by REF. Here are some of the fish which have been caught, not sure exactly which stretch.
Places to try
There are a few places which seem to have been mentioned on various forums, Stanton Gate seems to be the hotspot locally for Barbel.
The problem with this river is access, I have identified a few places where I can park the car and walk to, they seem to be open to the public too.
Gallows Playing Field.
This seems to be the best opportunity, it is open to the public with great access and parking. Here is a satelite view of the area.
Here is an update… I went for a walk down Gallows Playing field and shot a video of what I saw.
Images courtesy of River Erewash Foundation.
As you can see there are some nice Barbel in the Erewash.