Huge thanks to Charles & Alex Jardine for coming along for our annual Grayling Day. Unfortunately the river was brown & cold after over night rain so no fish were caught. But we did enjoy one of John Aplin’s curries next to river – thanks to him for that and for Members who also contributed to the lunch.
We did manage a last gasp trip for grayling at the end of February. There was a chill east wind but the river was not too high and relatively clear.
We wanted to try a new spot after the opening of the upper water so tested a few likely pools at Whitfield Hatches. It was all very quiet until suddenly when I thought I’d hooked a branch in the current it wasn’t a branch at all but a decent grayling, heading downstream very rapidly. It was in fine form, jumping 4 times before I could finally get it to the net. At 45cm it was a good 2lbs, so an excellent fish to close the old season. The fly was a small pheasant tail, very often the killer pattern when the water is clear. Now it’s time to get back to the fly tying bench for some early season patterns for use in a couple of months’ time; I expect the small ptn to be just as effective then.
We arrived as the rain stopped, but the river was already very full and described by everyone as “challenging”!!
England International and professional fishing guide Lewis Hendrie was on hand to talk about his rods, reels, lines, tippets, flies and techniques to catch our River Frome grayling. He showed us how to fish the nymphs and a few other tips to use when the going gets tough! HUGE thanks to Lewis for turning out on such a grim day and for guiding us through the fine art of catching grayling – expect to hear more about Lewis’s flies, tackle etc. over the next few weeks.
Despite becoming a member back in 2014, it was not until last week that I was first able to fish any of the club waters for the first time. Living nearly 250 miles away in Cheshire does not really help but, as an introduction to the fantastic fishing the club has to offer, I could not have wished for a better couple of days long trotting on the Lower Water last Thursday and Friday.
The conditions weren’t helpful when I arrived rather later than I expected, being wet on Thursday (and wet and windy on Friday) but I met two members on my way upstream and chatting to them about the fishing and learning that the grayling seemed to be in a receptive frame of mind soon dispelled any misgivings I may have had. I had walked the bank, spotting fish, in mid-October and despite the river now carrying more water, this served me well especially as I only had two hours fishing before it got dark !
After losing a big grayling, I soon had two fish each over two pounds. I then moved and had two more fish again over two pounds with the bigger of the two weighing 2lb 10oz (equalling my previous biggest ever fish). The following day, the wind made fishing quite difficult, and although I started at 8:30am, by 2:15pm I hadn’t contacted a single grayling. Then just as happened the day before, I lost a big fish but soon after landed another over 2lb. I moved and had a nice fish of 2lb 8oz. John Aplin told me he would try to come down to meet me for a chat and just before he arrived I hooked and lost a truly huge brown trout at the net. I would estimate it was nearer 4lb than 3lb. I couldn’t easily net it due to its size and it levered off the net frame and shot off directly across the river breaking my line near the hook.
After taking a grayling of around a pound (which rather broke my run !) it was too dark to carry on and I had a long, tiring but very happy drive back up to Cheshire. It occurred to me on the journey home that over two days I caught six consecutive grayling over 2lbs…unprecedented fishing for me and unlikely to be bettered without a considerable slice of good fortune.
Needless to say I can’t wait to come back down again…and hopefully before Christmas !
The river was too high to fish, but Doug’s trip wasn’t wasted when he witnessed this wonderful sunrise!
There was a call out from Stuart Brown to John Aplin to nip up the Lower Water to take a photo of this fine 3lb 3oz grayling – good angling Stuart & great photo John!
It was a really dark dank day but there was a great turnout for the grayling social and luckily the river was in perfect conditions. After a quick chat and an agreed lunchtime rendezvous, we all headed off to fish for the lady of the stream.
The nymph fisherman found the grayling very uncooperative, but we managed to winkle a few out. It was the trotting fisherman that had the most sport and one Member landing a magical 3lb+ fish!
After a great lunch in the Sun Inn, some headed home, but others continued to enjoy the now bright and mild autumn day.
There is another Grayling Social planned for Saturday 22nd November – meet 9:00am at Lubecke Way, Dorchester. We will have a few connoisseurs on fly fishing & long trotting for grayling, so come along and pick their brains and have a go – grayling fishing during the winter months is a great way to extend your fishing season.
So we have an idea of numbers, please email or phone John Aplin if you intend to come along t:07889 680464 e: John@RiverWorks.co.uk
When gazing at the river have you ever wondered how much water is flowing past you?
The Club’s website gives the link to the Environment Agency and the water levels at Loud’s Mill and the weir on the Stinsford side stream but how do those relate to the amount of water flowing in the river?
There are two weirs and the fish pass at Loud’s Mill. According to EA figures the main weir is 10.66 metres wide and the width of the mill stream weir is 1.52 metres. They are both Crump weirs, a type widely used throughout UK Rivers because they have a stable flow against head characteristic and their calibration does not change much with changing water flow.
A text book equation for the flow over a Crump weir in cubic metres per second is: Q=2*W*H^1.5, where W is the width of the weir in metres and H is the upstream head in metres above level of the crest. Assuming that the water level measurement for Loud’s Mill is the same as the head over the weir, the flow can be estimated.
Yesterday, when I took the photo, the level at the front of the weir was 0.16 metres, which in theory gives a flow of 1.364 cubic metres per second or 1.364 tonnes per second.
According to the EA the typical range of river levels at Loud’s Mill is between 0.08 and 0.40 metres. This represents a range of flows over the main weir from 0.482 to 5.394 cubic metres per second.
In the photo you can see the 1 in 5 gradient fall off at the back of the weir. What you cannot see is the 1 in 2 slope at the submerged front of the weir leading into the crest. It is these slopes that are characteristic of a Crump weir.
By the way, yesterday the grayling fishing was good but instead of a fishing report I thought that some members might be interested to know how much water was coming down the river.
Here is a cracking grayling bug and one that fishes well in coloured water, exactly the conditions yesterday during the grayling workshop. It is based on a traditional grayling dry fly the Sturdy’s Fancy and was one of Reg Righyni’s favourite flies. I switched this to a nymph added a tungsten bead to get it down to the fish and it works very well, ask Elliot next time you see him!
Hook: 12-16 barbless
Tag: Bright red wool
Body: Dark hares fur
Rib: Gold wire
Wing: One turn of CDC Hackle (any colour, but here it is a yellow/olive)