Saturday, 19 February 2022

Small Brook Fishing Pt.21 - Spotties and Splanchnology

Storm Eunice really was quite 'lively' yesterday as lorries were blown over and trees were felled after England was hit by the some of the strongest winds on record where millions of Britons were urged to stay at home. Gusts must have been up to 70mph I'd imagine in Bards country as living here for well over a decade that's the worst I've known it, well for the length of time it took for the storm to pass anyway.

The top speed of 122mph at Needles on the Isle of Wight was provisionally or matches ( I think) the highest gust ever in England which meant Storm Eunice was worse than the 1987 Great Storm when gusts peaked at 115mph in West Sussex. 

28,000 homes in the South West were without power, the O2's roof suffered quite significant damage, trains, planes and lots of public transports cancelled, schools shut and one dramatic video I saw showed pilots battling to land in extreme crosswinds at Birmingham Airport, where a Vueling plane from Paris violently rocking from side to side as it approached the runway in 60mph winds. 

With lots of snow up North, I'd have preferred that to be honest, but to be fair, I do like it when it's windy as its very unpredictable. Locally quite a few trees down and the regulars at the Kings Head pub in Aston Cantlow were peeling their rather large and huge professional gazebo from the roof when I drove by after the session to see that the River Alne was looking like. 

Anyway where to go ? what to do ? well to be honest I didn't have many choices but one that sprang to mind was a visit to the local tiny brook Sam and I have been fishing. My PB dace came from this little brook that winds itself through the Warwickshire Countryside a year ago and with the locals rivers mostly out-of-bounds this diminutive waterway can offer a fishing option.

Back in the day here from what I know coarse fish removals were formerly undertaken by the National Rivers Authority and fingerling trout stocked in their place. This has not occurred since 1998 apparently though, and no trout stocking currently takes place. 

A survey over 13 years ago indicated that in addition to brown trout, dace, bullhead, stone loach and minnows were present, along with the occasion chub and roach. 

Now I've ticked off many on that list where dace, roach and trout seem now to be the mainstay, but its the dace that can offer the specimen hunter a target quarry. The brook is underlain with clay and there is abundant gravel present in most of the channel. 

Generally the habitat is very good, with a meandering planform, an excellent pool, a small weir and riffle structure. There is a good variation in depths, natural channel features such as gravel shoals and side bars, and good cover in the form of tree roots and low overhanging vegetation. In the summer when I've come to have a look there are numerous shallow, faster, gravel-bottomed sections of water which are where most river fish species choose to spawn, including trout.

Does anyone else fish it ? 

Well I've yet to see an angler on this section yet despite much of it being a well trodden route with public access. But who fishes these sort of forgotten waterways ? I'm in a small minority I'm sure, especially in these neck of the woods where these brown water brooks are not exactly the Southern chalk streams are they.   

To be honest the bites were harder to come by than I expected but there is a good reason for that, you see it was far far lower than I thought which means those slack areas where the fish usually shoal up were not really a sheltering hold, as the main brook wasn't flowing 'that' quick.

Still the trout were up for a feed and in a couple of hours I managed five or six small ones but enough to keep me interested as they really do mad when they get hooked. They all came to worm tipped with a red maggot, almost my default bait in coloured water.

On of the more sheltered and almost static swims did produce some dace though. Ok nothing massive with the best probably only 4 -5 ounces but I know from experience the bigger specimens really do show themselves when the brook is well up and bombing through.

In-fact I've found the best time to target it is when its almost bursting its banks and those slacks are few and far between. An enjoyable session though so be fair, well until the bitterly cold rain started. 

There are >12 ounce dace here I'm sure, I just need to pay a visit again when the conditions are more favourable for a proper'un.

The weather is all over the shop for the next few days but I'm sure I'll find somewhere to fish in the morning. The Stour is well within its banks that could offer a bite or two I'm sure. 


  1. Yes I fish it occasionally Mick, usually when I'm lure fishing the lower canal section. When I eventually get to it I take the lure off and substitute a float and hook off a pole winder. This with the 7ft light lure rod makes it ideal for an hour, then just reverse the procedure and carry on up the canal. Haven't tried a worm yet, usually take half pint of pinkies.

    1. Caught anything of note John ?

    2. Hi Mick, not sure if you meant from the brook or the canal. Canal, zander 8lb 3oz which was a PB at the time although I beat it with 9lb 4oz from the GU. The brook mainly small fish which I don't mind although over the years I've had a 1lb trout and a couple of roach maybe 14 or 15oz but no big dace yet. Something interesting though, the first time I fished the brook (1961/2ish) I had a gudgeon but never had one since and the same day had a trout from the canal (swim before cross over bridge). I've followed you hook wise over the years so have now changed to circle, thanks for that, all doubts about using them have gone.

    3. On the brook I meant John, but wow some nice Zander then, both crackers from the cut.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...