Last Gasp…….

Despite the chilly weather I had to make a last gasp grayling bash at the weekend before the season closed.

The water was quite clear, with a cold wind and bright sunshine. I saw several substantial grayling as I worked my way upstream, but each time they also saw me, which didn’t help. It looked like it was going to be quite difficult to get myself a first fish of 2018. I stopped for a coffee to warm up and having propped my rod against one of John Aplin’s benches, a goldcrest flew out from a bush and attempted to take my nymph as it fluttered in the icy wind. Now that would have been a first on the fly, having only managed a bat in the past. Fortunately the bird missed the fly or probably my tying was not quite realistic enough to be convincing. So I tucked into my bun whilst the goldcrest was left to forage elsewhere for its own 3 x bodyweight in food.

Finally fishing at the end of a fast run I felt a tap on the nymph and lifted into a grayling, which took a small ‘disco shrimp’ pattern. It fought well but once landed I could see that it appeared to have been in a recent brush with a pike (the beast from the east?) and had left half its tail behind in order to escape. Apart from one other fish which was on then off, that was my total. So at least I have my first fish of the year, though it would have been nice to have caught a whole one.

All the best and looking forward to another great season!


March 3, 2018 by Filed under: Uncategorized 

December 2017 Work Party

A small group of Members helped the Keeper clear a few trees above Whitfield hatches today.

Last call out for the 140th Anniversary AGM & Dinner next Saturday night – there is still time to book a seat, just contact Rob Ayles

If you can’t attend, why not buy a few raffle tickets – details of the amazing prizes & how to purchase your ticket(s) here

Please also complete your 2017 catch returns ASAP…

December 2, 2017 by Filed under: River Work, Uncategorized 

Affpuddle Beat

Here are a few snaps taken while fishing the new Affpuddle Beat yesterday – there were grannom & olives hatching, along with a few rising fish. Access to the lower beat is difficult at the moment, but new stiles are on their way.

Please remember the following rules apply to the “Affpuddle Beat”:
1. The fishing is double bank between the Lower and Upper Limits, as shown on the plan. The very bottom section flows through the garden of the Mill House, so please be particularly respectful of the residents if fishing this part. The Mill stream flowing in front of the Mill Cottage is not included in the fishing.
2. The only parking place to be used is shown on the plan, and is restricted to two cars only. If you arrive to find two cars already parked, please move on to other beats ( the Southover Beat of the Piddle is a short distance upstream ).
3. Catch and release only. Please use barbless hooks.
4. No day tickets permitted on this beat, except for guests accompanied by DFC Members.
5. When recording catches, please use the letter “Q” on your catch return card.
6. The meadows adjoining the river have livestock (the farmer is Roger Prideaux). Please ensure to close all gates. No dogs permitted.
7. All other DFC Rules apply as normal.

Rising Trout

Pretty wild trout

New Stiles

Top Hatch

April 18, 2017 by Filed under: Uncategorized 

Membership Complete for 2017

Membership is complete and Membership card etc. will be in the post by the end of the week.

Grayling season over (see Doug’s report on his last trip of the season), it will be soon April 1st and already a few grannom have been spotted!


Just a quick trip to the river at the weekend, with only the one fish, so my last fish of the old season and first fish of 2017 was a hard fighting 40cm grayling, no complaints about that. I did lose another of similar size. Water was a good height and pretty clear, so fish went for a small PTN.

All the best

March 1, 2017 by Filed under: Uncategorized 

Well done blokes

I had a speculative stroll along the upper water last Thursday, and saw only one or two grannom and no fish – but plenty of heartening Spring wildlife: chiffchaffs, willow warbler, kingfisher, brimstones.

However I was entranced by the lovely new stiles and general river work. Well done blokes! And thank you.



April 13, 2015 by Filed under: Uncategorized 

Work Party

Monday 12th May 9:00 am Gascoyne Bridge, tree trimming, so please bring your waders


May 8, 2014 by Filed under: Uncategorized 

Duck Broken

It’s been a long winter; I fished hardly at all last season so when I found I had a few hours unexpectedly free on Saturday, I blew the spiders out of my tackle bag and headed to the river.

Yes, I know it was raining, but the fish don’t know that. There was a steady grannom hatch which was the eventual downfall of this eager stocky (JG: looks a lovely wild one to me) after about 14 casts …Fish returned, duck broken and we’re off!

He was the only one rising, so I headed home, but I stopped to have a look Southover on the way, rod in hand of course. I can’t recall ever seeing so much water in that little river. I flicked the same grannom to a wildly rising maniac just upstream of the little bridge in the middle of the meadow and over a single strand of barbed wire and was immediately connected to fish # 2 of 2014, a foot long wild nutter, unhooked and released in-stream, so no photo but great fun …

Hope to see you soon!


April 13, 2014 by Filed under: Uncategorized 

Chalkstream Club 2014 Photograph Competition

A friendly, amateur bit of fun that will be judged at the October 2014 Chalk Stream Club social.

You are all invited to take pictures for each of the following categories.

1. Evening Rise
2. Mayfly
3. Trout
4. Grayling
5. Tackling Up
6. Wet
7. Wading
8. Flora and Fauna
9. Water
10. Tackle

All pictures must be taken in 2014, take as many pictures as you like, select your best for each category, put it on a memory stick and bring it along for us all to see.

We may even come up with a few prizes and a small panel of judges.

Please ping me an e mail if you would like to take part –

January 18, 2014 by Filed under: Uncategorized 

Peanut Slab

I had a very pleasant session on the river fishing the Upper Water last Saturday. The water was clear and a reasonable height, with not too much wind. I was hoping for a large trout, having spotted a good specimen there previously, and did manage to spook a few, but none of them the monster I was after. I had even brought an appropriate snack to celebrate catching a large trout, a ‘peanut slab’ from big fish country, New Zealand. However, the day wore on, and still no monster trout. On the other hand, a fair few large grayling were visible so I changed tactics, dropping a pink nymph close to a good fish. Before it could react, a trout shot out from cover and took the fly, whilst the grayling promptly disappeared.

I did eventually get lucky with a good grayling on my trusty green nymph, and thought I would get an underwater shot whilst it recovered, but before I could even get the camera into the water, it was off. So here are shots of a trout on a pink nymph and my celebratory coffee. I was nervous the peanut slab would reach its ‘eat by’ date before I ever catch a monster trout, so I ate it anyway.

Tight lines!




September 29, 2013 by Filed under: Uncategorized 

Barn Owl

Thanks to Bryan & Rob for helping out with the tree clearing above Whitfield Hatches, it was a great mornings work. Sadly we found a dead barn owl, it was ringed and the number has been submitted to the Natural History Museum, it will be interesting to hear where it was originally ringed.

*Note: The bird was ringed by S Lane as age nestling, sex unknown on 24-Jun-2012 at Stroud Farm, Dorset 21km from where I found it.

Decision Time!

I thought John said just a light trim!!

August 9, 2013 by Filed under: Uncategorized 

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