The promise of light winds and a sunny day tempted me onto the river this morning. I started at Poundbury and made my way up to nearly the top of the Club water then I returned by walking down the Wrackle.
The river sparkled in the April sunshine and the blackthorn blossom was magnificent. A few grannom were about but very few fish were rising.
During my walk I only saw three rises and these were from small trout. I did do a couple of casts to one of them but nothing came to my fly.
Those members who have been fretting at work thinking that they were missing a great grannom hatch may be relieved to know that the river was very quiet. Perhaps it is the cool weather but this has been one of the slowest starts to the season that I can remember.
I escaped from work yesterday afternoon , the sun and the prospect of my first visit to the Frome this year were too great to resist.
I arrived at the middle water at about 2.00 and walked half a mile or so below Louds Mill , the river looking great ,with just a tinge of colour. There were a fair number of Grannom about – though not as many as I have seen in previous years. The Trout were on them well though , with some good fish rising , often close under the banks .
The best one landed was around 17 inches – with a really nasty heron peck deep into its shoulder, but otherwise in good condition. I don’t rate the shop bought grannom imitations , and so relied on a size 14 cdc olive emerger instead,which deceived a few. I would be interested to hear what other grannom imitations work well for members.
Otherwise , Swallows , Martins, a Kingfisher and a chain of new born ducklings reassured me that spring is springing after all! Now then , back to work !
All good wishes
I was on the river yesterday (15th April) and at about 11:30 had the great pleasure of meeting Jim on his travels above the town (see ‘Jim’s Trip’).
Jim will be interested to know that things began to look up shortly after he left. I’d visited the river at Bockhampton the previous afternoon (Monday the 14th). The weather that day was showery and mainly cloudy, but with some bright intervals and a blustery but manageable breeze. I saw plenty of grannom about, especially when the sun was out, but found only half a dozen rising fish, none of which showed any interest at all in my artificial.
Yesterday (15th) I tried the upper water above the road bridge. Unlike Monday, it was bright and sunny, although still fairly chilly. There was only a gentle breeze, making casting easy even for a duffer like me. I bumped into Jim at about 11:30. Like him, I’d seen very little sign of fish – just one rise, in fact. There were some grannom about, but nowhere near as many as below the town on Monday. It was a lovely morning, though, with the blackthorn blossom still out under a practically cloudless sky.
An hour or so after parting company with Jim, I spotted a fish rising about 50 yards below the railway bridge. He was in an impregnable position, protected by overhanging branches on all sides. After that the river began to come to life. Between 1 o’clock and 2 o’clock, as I worked my way upstream, I got another three larger trout, including a nice one of at least a pound. I also lost a pounder at the net. Between 2 o’clock and 2.45, I managed to pick up a 12-inch grayling and a slightly smaller trout. So I ended up with six fish altogether, and another one lost, all within the space of a couple of hours. All went safely back into the river. The most successful pattern was Pat Russell’s grannom dressing in size 14, which took all the fish except one. However, I watched the pounder investigate this and refuse it several times, so I changed to my own GP Dun, also in size 14, which he took at the first offering!
I’ve fished the grannom hatch on the Frome on quite a few occasions since the early ’90s. My observations lead me to think that the middle of the day – literally the lunch hour – is the best time, even though grannom can be seen in large numbers throughout the rest of the day as well. I’ve also noticed that the hatch is more prolific in sunny weather than when it’s cloudy, and that’s also when you’re most likely to see fish feeding on them. It even applies during very short sunny intervals on otherwise overcast days, as I experienced during the equivalent hatch last year. Yesterday’s conditions were pretty much ideal, and after the slow start reported by Jim, things duly livened up around lunch time.
By the way, if anyone is interested in Pat Russell’s dressing of the grannom, I can let them have it. The same applies to the GP Dun, which is very simple to tie and uses traditional materials. It’s a general purpose olive dun pattern, but it is useful in other situations as well. In particular, dressed on a larger hook, it does very well during the Mayfly. In the past, I’ve been plagued with fish coming short to artificial patterns during the Mayfly hatch. The GP Dun was the first to overcome this problem, and I’ve now enjoyed two successful Mayfly seasons with it.
All the best,
The Club is a private one, founded in 1877, of approximately sixty-four members and six Town Rod subscribers. The Club’s waters consist of about 12 miles of wild brown trout & grayling fishing in the main River Frome, River Cerne and River Piddle, together with attendant carriers and side streams. The waters extend both above and below the town of Dorchester and the Club employs a part-time keeper.
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