You have to see this river to understand it. Almost throughout its length the Monnow it is a fast flowing, shallow river with riffles and pools between steep banks suiting trout and grayling more than coarse fish.
Our Pwllholm stretch is different because of the Osbaston weir. The weir was built at the end of the 19th century to provide a head of water for Monmouth Forge and later the Monmouth electricity generating station which still operates today after alterations in 2008. The weir was never fish friendly and has always been an insurmountable obstruction to almost all fish migration. Much later, in 2008, a fish pass was eventually constructed but a lot of salmon and sea trout wont use it and still try to get up the weir failing time after time until they give up exhausted.
Above the weir the water is deep and slow flowing. Up to 14 feet in one hole, averaging about 7 or 8 feet elsewhere. Further up the valley the water shallows and resumes its normal characteristics. Ranunculus is pretty much the only weed that can grow in fast shallow water upstream but the deep water here does not suit it at all and is absent. With no weed that likes slow water growing in the faster upstream waters, none has become established down at Pwllholm. It fact it would appear that there is no aquatic weed growing here at all. That must impact upon the food chain. Similarly there are no rushes or reed-mace here either. No fish refuge there either but it makes fishing easier.
Perhaps the first stocking that takes place should be an imported aquatic weed. I don’t see N R W agreeing to that. The weir needs altering to make it fish friendly but I don’t see that happening either. We really need many more members to try this beautiful stretch of water to see what they catch. To see what is in there. Yes it is that underfished.