Your Honorary Secretary Richard Miller, Riverkeeper John Aplin and myself (+ John Thorpe) have just returned from an epic fishing holiday in New Zealand. We did fish on the 1st April on the River Makarora where the Wilkin River flows in, it was cold and wet. But not as wet as in Dorset and we hear that the Frome was over the banks for the first part of April. We all caught fish, strong rainbows in an amazing river & landscape. (hear more about our trip at the Dorset Chalkstream Club this autumn)
After hearing that there were grannom hatching, I ventured out today for my first visit to fish the Club’s water since my return. The weather wasn’t perfect, strong & cold downstream wind, plus sleet showers! Even so there was a small hatch of grannom and a few small trout rose to them. But the hatch was over so quickly I failed to make the most of it and when another sleet shower came over, it was time to head home!
There are signs that the Frome is warming up and spring is starting to appear, hopefully it won’t be long before some decent trout show themselves!!
My brother and I had an excellent day sharing a rod a week ago on the Lower Water. The grannom were hatching in large numbers although the trout as usual were reluctant to show themselves this early in the season. However, in bright sunshine and clear water we managed to pick up close to a dozen fish with several to the dry fly, making this our best April start in a few years. We also missed a few but that is always the way with the first trip. Best flies were my brother’s CDC & Elk grannom and the usual nymphs, small PTN in particular.
Attached few shots to brighten the blog.
All the best,
In almost constant drizzle, or steady rain, things felt a bit grim on Thursday. But an hour on the river seemed worth a bit of discomfort and with some grannom about a suitable pattern soon delivered this feisty fish. Another better one followed, but sadly it came adrift, leaving a mangled fly and by now a pretty wet fisherman. Nice to have made a start at least.
Fished this morning for a couple of hours between Lower Bockhamton and the metal bridge. Caught two wild brownies, one about 9 inches, one about 4 inches and an accidental grayling about 50-55cm, clonker! All on nymph, Mary copperhead. Pretty windy and huge clouds of Grannom but only saw a couple of rises.
Shame about the rag in the bushes in the grannom shot (target for next working party!)
I managed to have my first day on the DFC water on Friday and was quite surprised to find the river in very strong flow and carrying a fair bit of colour. Another more pleasant surprise was to observe a very good grannom hatch; it was absolutely swarming with them!
Shortly after arrival I saw a fish rising steadily and after a few attempts landed the first fish of the day. I was using a deer hair sedge and managed to tempt several more fish on the same fly. The grannom was so prolific that my waders were covered in females at the water line and they were crawling down under water to deposit their eggs, using my legs as a handy walkway! (Sorry for quality of photo).
The hatch continued fairly consistently throughout the afternoon and early evening although I did swap to a CDC sedge pattern later in the day when fish became very fussy. In all, I had around a dozen fish, all on the dry. None were of any great size but all healthy looking wild fish up to around the ¾ pound mark. I did see some larger fish rising late evening but were unable to tempt them; it wasn’t until a little while after that I realised the fish had switched to feeding on something very small and unidentified and after a change of fly managed to land the last fish of the day on a tiny CDC emerger.
All in all a very pleasant day with nice weather and I really appreciated the new stiles and bridges as I am nursing a bad back at present! Looking forward to the season ahead.
I also had a go at lunch time today (Friday). On lower water, plenty of grannon & dark winged olives (one rested on my hand making identification easier) a kingfisher and a mink, opposite the blackbirds’ nest Jim mentioned but of trout, nowt! I did see a tiddler splash in the distance but juicy flies were ignored as of course was my scruffy imitation.
There is a blackbird’s nest in the Fishermen’s Hut on the lower water and I ask members to avoid disturbing the sitting hen bird. This morning I spent three hours on the river encouraged by John’s post on the website reporting a strong Grannom hatch. Today, the Grannom did not really get going until about 11:30.
There were not so many fish rising but enough to make the fishing interesting. The reward for a bit of perseverance was a beautifully spotted 17 1/2 inch fish that took a size 14 Grannom. I took the picture of it with my i-phone but as always I managed to get a bit of my finger across the lens.
Today I was showing a previous member around the lower water (he was a member over ten years ago), shortly after 10.00am in bright spring sunshine and a fresh downstream wind the Grannom were literally pouring off, and the fish were seriously on to them…. Typically not an angler in sight!
Great excitement, could the spring actually be here, is this the taste of things to come….
By lunch time I was below Louds Mill repairing a stile and a footbridge, the Grannom had slowed up and the fish were no longer rising, so if you have a spare hour in the morning I would head to the river.
Thanks to John Aplin for a splendid morning, just a chilled bunch talking about fishing and its not everyday you get chance to cast with a Tom Moran split cane rod!!
Then off to the Club’s water for a fish, the sun was out and so is the grannom, with plenty of rising trout & grayling. I think we can say the 2013 is now officially go!
Another little spell on the river today, and plenty of Grannom again, but risers were distinctly difficult to find – or was that because I followed several other members upstream!
A little group of three would have nothing to do with me, despite offering them a varied menu, and eventually the antics of an agitated family of Mallards put them down. The next was a good fish. It was busy taking Grannom, and moving freely to get them, but surrounded by so many naturals, it stubbornly refused to look at my artificial wherever I dropped it.
Eventually I found a more obliging individual in a quiet corner beneath some willows. A little flick upstream and he was soon being welcomed into the waiting net. Not a huge fish but a well-marked and pretty one. Another hour only offered a couple more rising fish, both of which proved to be stubborn, and after quite a few half-hearted snatches, (and changes of fly), I left them to it and turned for home, telling myself how satisfied I was with my single pretty fish.