Sunday 30 September 2018

Small Brook Fishing Pt.4 – Flat heads and Fartleberries

At least she was attempting to clean up the mess I suppose, in clear view a huge ‘shart’ had tainted her rather hairy and now visibly bedraggled Rough Collie. The predicament she was in, is one of the reasons why I’ve not got a canine friend for the family despite the earache. You see, apart from another mouth to feed, I know for a fact once the novelty had worn off, it would be me walking it, me filling the poo bags, me paying the vet bills,

The easiest thing to do would be to dangle his backside in the cut whilst holding his collar and then using a cupped hand drench his derrière, easier said than done I suppose because this wasn’t a small dog, neither was its excrement of propulsive proportions. Plastic bags, wipes and kitchen wipes littered the towpath where she was stood, ‘please ground can you open up and swallow me whole’. Sam pointing and sniggering did help because I don’t think she expected anyone to around this quiet part of leafy Warwickshire.

“Morning, nice morning isn’t it ?” (Walks through a wall of stench)

“Errrr, yes it isn’t it”

I asked Sam where he wanted to fish the weekend and after going through the venues, “The Brook Brook”, “The Alne Brook” and “The little Brook” he settled on the latter. He remembered that he caught some minnows here just by dangling the float in the margins with a single red maggot, and as long as he is getting bites he doesn’t mind staying a little longer than he normally would if we are struggling for bites.

He gets restless just like I do !!!!

I’d caught some Bullheads when I fished here on my own and it was a species that he wanted to add to his catch list, as well as a Stone Loach and Stickleback which should be here judging by the gravel bottom and clear water. Decent Dace and small trout I’d also caught here which considering it’s a tiny tributary it’s got a surprising amount of fish in residence that happily call it their home.

Now the finned dwellers, lurkers and sprinters of our rivers and streams are as varied and fascinating as any wildlife on dry land in my opinion.

The Bullhead with a gaping mouth and fan-like pectoral fins, the bullhead, or miller’s thumb, lurks beneath stones and is a fearsome predator of a small stream, despite being only a few inches long.

It was the Stone Loach I wanted to cross off my list just like Sam because a report I found online showed that there should be some in this small brook. A small, slender fish, the Stone Loach can be found feeding on the bottom of clear rivers and streams, often burying itself into the gravel or sand. It feeds on small invertebrates, such as mayfly larvae and freshwater shrimps, especially at night when it uses the 'barbels' as whisker-like sensory organs around its mouth to find prey.

Could we catch one on rod and line I wonder !!!!

I've always wondered the British recorded for the species as I assume most are caught with a net and not by design.

Tackle well, Sam had his float rod, I had my little wand rod with a link ledger and small hook. Both with red maggots as bait.

Now I did think the brook would be low but not this low, easily the lowest I've seen it and clear as well, upstream and downstream of the little holding pool you'd be able to walk across it with the gravel clearly visible because it's receded so much. I did think about going somewhere else but we stuck to the plan.

Bites were forthcoming though, mostly from minnows but we managed a couple of brownies. Dace nowhere to be seen and after a Bullhead that was clinging on fell off from hook to hand it was time to call it a day. Even a trip to the 'The Brook Brook' was dismissed by now bored Sam, so a bit of wasted trip as despite getting back quite early, there probably wasn't enough time to get the tackle together to try and go to somewhere else. Even getting bites he wanted something other than minnows to be biting.

That's the problem with these small waters, the window of fishing opportunity can be very small indeed. The Alne I checked this morning it little more than a trickle, Bahhh !!!

Winters on the way though, hopefully the levels will increase to add some colour and the fish can start to move around in confidence again and we can have a go at the specimens and ickle fishes that these small rivers and streams hold.


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