The weeks following our first visit to the brook were very tormenting. Heavy rain and strong winds made the already extremely difficult fishing even more so. Tactics and strategies became a hot topic as we began shaping our approach on how to tackle this difficult water. The more we visited the brook the more we realized that we were, and had been spooking fish left right and center.
We began focusing on the section running through the woods as we could use the cover of the surrounding woodland and foliage to our advantage. The dam soon became an issue as we were losing around 200 yards of water. We were concerned of its long-term negative effects to the ecology of the brook. We contacted the land owner and explained the situation and in return for the free fishing offered to tidy the brook up and take care of any tree work in the woodland.
Shaping the future.
We decided it’d be wise to partly remove the dam to increase the flow rate and aid clearing the back log of silt. On initial inspection we were surprised how water tight the dam had become. After a few cuts and a bit of persuasion the dam let go. The remainder of the fallen tree will provide a home for the floating debris as they are removed.
A huge black plume began snaking its way down the brook along with a generation of leaf debris. It wasn’t long until the water level above the now removed dam began showing signs of falling and the clarity of the water started to change. I couldn’t believe how fast the changes became visible. Within an hour there was a 3 feet wide golden channel of sand and gravel which was quickly growing in length and width.
On my return around 3 days later what i saw was amazing. Sand and gravel running the entire length of the section that was once black and motionless coupled with a strong steady flow of water passing through. Moving on, approaching the dam i was met with shock and amazement. In the strong flow passing down the side of the remaining dam were around 5 small brown trout sitting intercepting flies from the surface. A feeling of achievement and success came over me. Had we just removed a problem which had plagued the population of WBT in this section of the brook?. Would new fish now move up? I now had a lot of questions that only time could answer.
We continued to watch how the brook changed and observed the fish. To our amazement the run between the dam and above appeared to become a hot spot for the local residents. Eventually we decided things had settled and we’d try our look at casting a line again. What came over the coming weeks was probably some of the most enjoyable fishing we had this year. Maybe that was partly due to the satisfaction of seeing something shaping itself for the better.