Bourn Brook is a charming picturesque little waterway that joins the Cam just above the weir at Byronís pool. We have the motorway side of the Brook, upstream toward the motorway to the pump house, and downstream through the gate to the river.
Upstream from the bridge to the pump house. Access to this section is through the gap in the hedge. Few people fish this narrow part of the Brook, so there may only be a couple of swims cut out near the bridge to start with. The straight running from the bridge halfway up to the pump house is surprisingly deep (5 Ė 7ft), and is best fished in the winter. At the end of the straight the Brook narrows and shallows up considerably, and isnít really of interest to the angler who sits on a box for several hours. There are however some very interesting looking swims with overhanging bushes that may be rewarding to the roving specialist looking for Chub, Perch or even Carp.
Downstream from the bridge to the river. Access to this section is through the gate and along the track. This part of the Brook is wider, maintains a good depth and is fished all the way down to the river. The swim nearest the bridge is one of the deepest parts of the Brook and has produced some good perch in past winters. Through the gate and along the track youíll come to the point where the Brook is at its nearest to the track. The deeper water under the near bank and overhanging bush is worth a look in the winter. Next, thereís the big wide bend with a tree at its apex on the far bank. Some good nets of roach have been caught here in the winter. Off the bend, the narrow straight sees little angling until we reach the last few swims from the ďwhite postĒ down to the river, which are popular throughout the season. The last swim shallows up as the brook enters the river.
Whatís it really like? Itís a challenging venue that might seem at times to be totally devoid of fish, but do the right thing at the right time, and you should catch. Itís certainly wise to be savvy to the conditions, and have a flexible approach. The Brook has produced some cracking nets of fish in the winter when the conditions and the weather have been on our side, but it has been a struggle with the weather extremes weíve experienced in more recent years. Last winter was an improvement of the one before, but it wasnít as good as it can be.
Summer. The Brook tends to be clear and still in the summer, and can sometimes be covered in floating duckweed during a long dry hot spell, but there will often be areas which are kept open by the wind. Itís certainly a lovely place to spend a couple of hours on a warm summer evening and should really make you appreciate that sometimes there can be much more to fishing than simply catching lots of fish. Fish light lines, small hooks and small baits close to cover, or in the middle, and you should catch. If you catch 20 or so shy biting roach for a couple of pound, youíll have done well. You may even latch onto a stray Trout this summer!
Bread punch, pinkie, maggot, and worm should all work to some extent, and a light textured groundbait mix (something like Supercup, Special, etc) could be useful.
Winter. If itís been mild and wet, and thereís colour and flow, the Brook can produce catches of decent roach on 4 or 5mm bread punch. It may be hard to believe, but double figure nets of roach have been caught both sides of the bridge when the conditions have been spot on. If itís been very cold and bright, and thereís less colour and flow, fine down to the most delicate float, smallest hook, 3mm punch, and fish the last couple of hours before dusk. Itís like a switch being turned on, youíll start to get bites, and hopefully take a decent net of fish in a short time.