This is a peaceful and scenic stretch of the Trent & Mersey Canal that I have visited many times in the past, always having a really enjoyable time.
Set in the Staffordshire countryside by the junction of the A51 and A513 at Wolseley Bridge at Colwich (between Stafford and Rugeley), the canal runs alongside the River Trent and is at the gateway to Cannock Chase, an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Area of outstanding natural beauty
The canal here is not too wide, between 8-12 metres, and has a good towpath, although parking is somewhat restricted. I usually park on the roadside by bridge 70 on the A51.
Walking back towards Stafford from the bridge you are opposite open fields, but as you get closer to Colwich you face a number of very impressive large private gardens on the far bank.
Sanctuary to large chub and perch
There are lots of lovely looking pegs with features such as reeds, bushes and cut-backs, all of which offer great sanctuary to the large chub and perch that this stretch is well known for. This is especially true around the old 'concrete bunker' peg, where I once witnessed two of the largest chub I have ever seen appearing around my float before disappearing towards the bushes as I moved my pole out of harm's way. I was only fishing with a light line and small hook for roach at the time!
A variety of fish are usually caught, mainly roach, chub, perch and the odd bream. Best baits are bread fished in conjunction with a small helping of liquidised bread feed or a combination of casters and worms, which the chub and perch have a real taste for.
This is a great stretch of canal and has the added advantage of a great country pub, the Wolseley Arms, only 100 yards away, which offers tasty meals from a varied menu. Alternatively the Wolseley garden centre on the opposite side of the road has its own café.