The Brook – improving the flow

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Flow, well this has been a problem down the Brook for the past year or so now. Since the clearing of a lot of silt, the bed has become wider and in turn held less depth. What was once a continuous steady flow of water seemed to become a near motionless pool. Slightest movement sends great ripples rolling up the brook alerting your presence to any resident trout. If you manage to avoid the previous problem you will then be confronted by the problem of a lack in flow to carry your fly. This in turn gives the Trout a huge upper hand, allowing them to inspect your fly at their own leisure.

Trying to make it easy?.

the main reasoning behind trying to increase the speed of the water is not to make the fishing easy but to hopefully produce a better habitat for the fish. The silt had began to collect in the areas which had once cleared, and the clear beds of gravel were slowly becoming choked with silt and other debris. So over the past couple of months Myself and Jase and occasionally Jake have been putting some time in down the Brook narrowing selected sections to increase the flows speed and power. With the goal that gravel will become clear and a bit more depth will appear due to the increased speed. Who knows, new fish may move up which would be an added bonus.

Section 1.

The start of the slow silty pool is quite wide for the brook, but very shallow with little to no flow what so ever. We’ve used woody debris, logs etc held in place with stakes to form an aggressive narrowing. This has held the water back slightly which has increased the depth in the section higher up. Where the water escapes through the narrowing the gravel has cleared to the next diversion visible in the picture below. The initial depth has increased by a foot or so coming through the narrowing and the flow speed is significantly more as expected. Unfortunately its not possible to see the power of the flow in the picture. I will try get some better ones in the future.

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A major player in our campaign to promoting flow in what was once a very slow silty pool.

Section 2.

The next section is a long sweeping left hand bend. There is a deep trough on the outside of the bend which in the past has been a great place to catch from. When I say deep with the Brook in question I’m talking around knee to thigh deep, which is deep for the Brook. On the inside of the bend there is a deep section of silt which has collected and will eventually become a bank with some work. So to avoid losing this and to concentrate the flow continuing around the bend we have pushed it away from the silt slightly. Now the water rushes down the structure visible in the picture below and runs around the trough in the bend with much more force. Already more silt is beginning to collect behind the structure and along the inside of the bend.

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Pushing the flow away from the silty inside bend

Section 3.

The last section we have been working on is what was once the hole behind the original dam. After releasing the dam last year a small pool formed out of a huge bed of gravel and at the exit it trickled off down a gravel slope into another pool. I’d previously attempted to increase the flow on the exit but always thought it needed more doing to it. This particular area is a huge bed of gravel which appears to have been washed down from further up. The water at the exit of the pool has run out of steam and literally crawls over the last rise in the gravel pool. After some thought we decided to extend the narrowing I’d previously done and manipulate the direction the flow is pushed. The change in this section has been probably the most interesting and exciting part to watch unfold. Especially with all the extra water from the rain this past couple of weeks. The silt which had fell to the Brooks bed has now dispersed and been pushed elsewhere and a channel has formed which is constantly changing with the moving gravel. Beneath the bend which is now sort of an S shape the gravel has been pushed down into the next pool, and where it stops has created a 2 foot drop off.

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It’ll be interesting to see how things change over the coming months/years. Already we’ve seen what seems like increased numbers of fish again. Not only more fish but fish in areas we’ve never seen them before. As well as an increase in trout we’ve began to notice bullheads in and around the areas with the strongest flow. With extra holes punched in the woodlands canopy allowing light through onto the gravel we’ve also seen an increased appearance from fly life which is a big plus. The future of the brook is shaping nicely and will be an interesting journey.



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