This important canal fishery connects the northern end of the Aire and Calder Navigation at Leeds with Liverpool, a journey which takes it over the Pennines via Shipley, Skipton, and Gargrave into Lancashire and then on, southwest via Burnley, Blackburn, Chorley and Wigan to Liverpool. At 127 miles, it is the longest single canal in Britain. It was one of the most expensive to cut and took 40 years to make, work commencing around 1770, final completion of the main line being completed in 1816. Later, branches were added. The fishing varies a good deal, the quality being greatly dependent on the amount of re-stocking which has been done. In the Yorkshire sections, small roach predominate with the occasional bream or tench. At one time, extremely big trout were reported from this section, especially round Gargrave, but little has been heard of them recently. Fish remain small in the first sections encountered in Lancashire but lower down, where massive re-stocking has taken place, constantly improving sport is being reported. The Aintree-Maghull sections have been widely praised with fish to the pound (roach, tench and bream) becoming ever more common. The canal is also becoming more popular in the Wigan area, the section extending north from this town to Johnson’s Hill Lock above
Chorley, being known to locals simply as Haigh Canal. Carp -some of them big – are also a feature in some sections though they are difficult to control for, typically with canal fishing, light tackle has had to be employed to get bites.
Access to the canal is good. The Yorkshire sections are controlled by a grouping of associations known as the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Angling Association. In Lancashire, a number of associa-tions, notably Liverpool and District AA, Wigan and District AA, and the Northern AA, have control. Ticket fishing exists almost everywhere though seasonal membership is clearly a gdod proposition for those wishing to fish the canal regularly. Rod licences: YWA, sections upstream of Foulbridge Tunnel; NWWA, sections below downstream end of this tunnel. Chorley, LancsC24 miles from Chorley to Halsall, near Ormskirk (includes Haigh Canal)TP DT:B