Brook Trout

Tuesday, 7th June 2005


5 p.m. Horbury Bridge

There's a beam of sunlight reaching Coxley Beck, down in the old mill race near the canal bridge. I've been told that there were trout in the beck here but this is the first time I remember seeing them. There are three or four, possibly more, facing upstream as if they were together in a small shoal. They're six or seven inches long and covered with brown spots, even on the pectoral fins. The background colour seems quite light to me; I think of trout as being darker, and perhaps a lot of them are.

Tickling trout

A schoolboy friend of mine used to be able to catch a trout from the beck by tickling it. He'd lean over the bank on a bend in the stream and carefully feel if there was a trout there - they like to hang around in such places - and he could gently tickle it and then make a grab for it and catch it.

This was back in the 1960s and there were some serious pollution incidents which I assumed had killed off all the trout, but here they are. Trout were re-introduced to the brook in the 1970s when Coxley Dam was stocked by fly-fishermen.

No wonder the heron often touches down by the beck.

Slow Start to Summer

Barbara and I have our first meal outside this evening but it soon starts dropping cooler.

hummingbird hawkmothHummingbird hawkmoths are about; I get an e-mail from Thwaites Brow, near Keighley from a couple who were amazed to see one in their garden this weekend. I haven't heard of any this year except for a report I had from Driffield, at the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds, on the 17th March. I wonder if they're now overwintering in Britain.

We saw one, just one, in April in Mallorca, they're amazing creatures and unmistakable when you do see one. Hope we see one in the garden. If it warms up a bit. Next Page

Richard Bell,