Saturday, 1 January 2022

Small Brook Fishing Pt.20 - Crepehangers and Currycombs

Sam wanted a fishing fix for this first session of 2022 and I asked him what he wanted to try and catch and he said.

"Bullhead, I want to catch a bullhead"

The problem is our bullhead banker swim isn't available to us anymore however we have caught them from other areas of this forgotten stream which is one of the cleanest stretches of river I fish when the river is at normal levels. When this brook is well up obviously the banks turn it from gin clear to chocolate. 

Now in pre-industrial days before the evils of pollution and abstraction began to affect our waterways, innumerable small rivers and streams provided fine trout and coarse fishing. Even in the comparatively recent pre-war days, many streams were unaffected by pollution, their waters running clear and sweet over beds of sand and gravel. 

And most of them held fish even the tiny, shallow streams that ran close to a motorway or through a town. 

Today, alas, the picture is very different. Many such streams have fallen victim to what we call industrial 'progress', poisoned by effluents or seeping sewage. 

Others have been allowed to become completely overgrown, or silted up, and are no longer fishable. 

This is not only a loss which the countryside as a whole can ill-afford but also short-sightedness on the part of many landowners to whom a properly-managed stream could provide a useful source of additional income, as well as pleasure to many local anglers. 

Nowadays, every mile of fishable water is in demand from an ever increasing number of anglers, and many clubs are willing to pay high prices for the privilege of fishing in a few miles of a stream or small river. 

No matter how small or insignificant a stream may appear, or how overgrown it has become, it can in many cases be made to pay its way. 

If it already contains fish, the landowner has only to ensure that it is kept clean and, if necessary, made fishable by the judicious cutting back of encroaching vegetation. 

If there are no fish in the stream, it can be stocked with either trout or coarse fish, or even with both provided it is not polluted. 

This might mean additional work and some outlay of capital, but it is surely better to invest in improvements of this nature than to allow the stream to become neglected, or even worse, to have it dredged and made into a straight, featureless, ditch containing no fish at all. 

Its surprising just how fast the levels falls and the clarity improves so to be honest it wasn't perfect conditions for brook fishing but the first swim brought a couple of trout, dace and roach we knew it would be an ok morning, well before the rain started to tank down that is.

Still Sam and I love this sort of fishing and we decided to start in a familiar area and then go off the beaten track a little to see if we were missing out on another area we could try.

To be honest it was much of a muchness but its quite an eyeopener on how many fish are in this waterway and how quickly they find the bait.

I find it best to fish it when the levels are high because when its low you need to find the deeper swims and they are few and far between. In summer it is barely a trickle, in winter the anglers fortunes change. 

The usual worm tipped with a maggot approach was swapped for a couple of red maggots and to be honest it didn't make much of a difference in bites. We wanted to try and catch a bullhead though so the size 12 hook was swapped for a size 18. 

After a few missed bites the fish were queuing up for the grubs and every swim we fish produced bites. One swim produced a varied quarry, one just roach and then another only bold biting minnows. Luckily plenty of fish were caught before the rain started to tank down and we made a swift retreat. Only a smash and grab session, but another enjoyable one, we'll be back. 

1 comment:

  1. Love that pic of the three laying down, variety the spice of life as they say!

    As for the condition of our waterways, the banging of the drum is only now starting to see attitudes change, but is it too late? I don't personally think so, but need to keep focus and bring all those accountable to the table and if there is no compliance or not enough it is seen and made public that they will be will be/ have been taken to task, fines, prosecutions etc so that others are under no uncertain terms as to what faces them if they breach licensing regulations, pollute etc.

    Personally I feel Fish Legal and the Angling Trust are doing a great job, but they need more resources and hit the largest companies hard and show the world we actually mean business in protecting our natural resources, no point telling the Brazilian Gov to stop cutting down their rainforests when we can't look after our country first!

    Anyway, my rant is over for now.

    Glad Sam enjoyed his trip out, can't wait to get Heidi out on the banks.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...