Colne habitat works revisited
Posted on October 04, 2011I had a really lovely trip up to East Lancashire to meet with Graham Counsell (who had kindly sourced some very useful pieces of metalwork for driving rebar pins into submerged logs; thanks Graham). We took the opportunity to fish up along the section of river that the Trout in the Town branch run out of Colne Water Angling Club have been restoring and protecting over the last few years Colne Habitat restoration video.
I am really glad that I did because we were privileged to encounter a large number of super-healthy, totally wild brownies from tight up against the superb overhead cover provided by the log and brash bank revetments. These soft revetments are structures that the club have installed to slow the “too rapid” rate of erosion in grazed sections of their river. The brashy margins have re-vegetated really well, providing additional bugs for the trout to feed on. Not only that, the trout have a plethora of new and very secure lies beneath the bankside logs and shaggy vegetation.
Sadly, I could only manage about an hour and a half of actual fishing before returning home to the office. However, in that time I contacted 24 fish (landing 14 of them — and practicing some unintentionally slightly premature catch and release on 10 fish!). The best of the session came from hard up against the revetment installed by the angling club working parties following the initial Wild Trout Trust practical training day. All in all, fantastic proof that the wild fish populations here are booming.
This is all the more gratifying because of the re-negotiation of a scheme that would have raised a downstream weir to impound much of the section that we fished through. Inputs from WTT and the Angling Trust as well as Colne Water Angling club helped to find alternative water sources to preserve a valuable lake and wetland habitat adjacent to the river — but without degrading the river habitat. Well done to everyone involved in that campaign.
Lovely wild fish that took the fly 6″ from the edge of the log and brash revetments visible in the background