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!!
I noticed that there were a good few Members out today enjoying the sun, but also enduring the strong downstream wind!! I thought I was in for a good day when a small trout rose and took my fly on the River Cerne beat. But it was the only fish that I could find that was hungry for my dry fly!!
I did spot a few grannom hatching and this early display of Celandines, both hint to warmer times 🙂
WOW what a contrast to this time last year! Then we had temperatures of around 6c, today it was in the twenties!!! But it did start with thick fog, luckily it was burning off as I headed to the river.
Soon I spotted a grannom hatching mid-river, but the beat I was fishing all was quiet for another hour until finally I spotted a rise and caught my first fish of the season..
After that I saw very little hatching fly and no more rising fish! But I hear through the grapevine that others were more successful on the smaller carriers & rivers.
The new stiles really did make getting around a lot easier and it is hoped Members will now explore more of the Club’s waters… Yes a great start to the 2014 season..
Caught a super Brownie; the season is off to a great start!
On Upper stretches but what a glorious day. More tomorrow, I am exhausted !!!!!
I had one of those classic long range releases, the ones we all dream about…
I had three trout (biggest about 1 lb.)
I had two brownies and a couple of instant releases on the Cerne!
Well without doubt this is the coldest April 1st I have had to endure since I joined the Club in 1986! But it was dry and the river is in excellent condition…
I tried a sheltered spot, but nothing was moving or hatching. John Aplin came along and we headed up to the River Cerne to find some shelter, but I was waving the white flag after 20 minutes battling with the wind!!
The amazing weather continues and still no sign of any meaningful rain…. But perfect for the first trip of the season….
Arrived around 10am and there was fly already in the air and small trout rising in the margins. It wasn’t long before a 10″ brown sucked in the GRHE as it floated downstream. This continued until I was joined by the usual 1st April gang for a good natter.. But the rising fish was too much and good few trout came to the fly over the next couple of hours.. A great 1st April trip, now please start raining ASAP!!
After years of fishing the River Frome I am still very much learning it’s rhythm and when is the optimum time to fish.
April 1st arrived to a very wet, misty and windy morning, this was after weeks of amazingly calm warm weather. So not the best weather to dash out in the hope of hatching grannom and rising fish.
It wasn’t until after midday that conditions improved and I felt it was time for me to head to the river. When I arrived it was still raining, misty and generally not very pleasant at all. After tackling up, I wandered over to a bridge and looked upstream – there were grannom everywhere and fish rising!!
Fishing a GRHE it wasn’t long before I landed my first trout of the season, then another, so it continued until the sun broke through the cloud and all action stopped dead.. How long the grannom had been hatching I will never know, but I do know, I wish I had got to the river a lot earlier!
Never mind the weather, it is the first of April so the chance to go fishing again could not be missed.
I arrived on the water at 0900 and it was all very quiet. The river was slightly coloured and the surface of the water was quite rough and dark with the gusts of a strong southerly wind and an overcast sky. A fine misty rain was carried in the wind and it was not a good morning for the dry fly so I tied on a Greenwell nymph and got some casting practice placing it in likely spots when the gusts of wind would allow.
After 2 hours of flogging the water the first fish turned up, a grayling. This was a bit ironic as I went fishing for grayling half a dozen times during the winter and caught absolutely nothing but the odd trout. My competence at grayling fishing is pretty well nonexistent.
At around 1130 I noticed that the grannom were becoming a bit more numerous and by midday there were some really good hatches in places. Better still, after not seeing a rise for the first three hours, trout started to pop up here and there. In fact, in some spots, a really good rise was underway. The wind had moderated and the clearing sky allowed some warmth to reach the river and stir grannom and trout into action.
Following a quick change to the dry fly, three decent fish came to the net before I got so hungry that I packed up to go home for lunch. As usual I was fishing a size 16 winged Greenwell. One day I must try something else. I met one other member and John A.
Well I can’t imagine more perfect weather than we had today, yes the easterly wind was a little chilly in exposed areas, but out of the wind it was gorgeous.. I also hear there were a lot of other Members out enjoying the first day and John Aplin had a flick or two as well….!
Well I just had to start down on our new piece of water on the River Piddle at Southover Farm. I tied on my new grannom pattern and flicked the fly up a nice ripply run — to my complete surprise a trout rose and took the fly – my first fish of 2009 on my first cast!!
Rod Crane joined me and disappeared up to the top stretch, I continued to explore this wonderful little river finding lots of little nooks and crannies. My next fish was a lot harder to catch and it wasn’t until lunchtime that another Piddle trout took the fly.
Time now to see if the Frome trout were rising and I wasn’t disappointed – in a couple of quite corners trout & grayling were rising and took the fly with such confidence!!
A grand opening day……….
Woke to a overcast, misty & windy day, thankfully by 10am the sun was out and it turned into a wonderful warm spring day, unfortunately it was still very windy.
Started off on the River Cerne and caught this wonderful trout from the second pool that I fished and then slightly large fish from between a weed bed on a nice run. The odd grannom was now hatching and both fish were caught on my new grannom pattern.
Had my traditional opening day chat with John Aplin, during which the wind increased and it felt quite cold, time to find shelter on the main river. I fished on at Whitfield Hatches and caught another three trout and four grayling, all rising fish fish to the hatching grannom – a great April 1st fishing trip.. Was there anyone else out?
HI John ,
My brother and I fished around Whitfield hatches today having a great day in the process, much better than last year. The river looked superb, clean with lots of the right type of weed, the wind abated throughout the day so that come tea time it wasn’t a hampering factor, using aftm 2 lines we managed two fish 10 and 11 inches respectively, a handful of juveniles and one tiny Grayling, no parr in evidence.
The morning wind and lack of rising fish dictated weighted nymphs, however my brothers decision to put on a greenwells in the afternoon resulted in a small fish that was rising just below the hatches. Pretty sure we saw otter tracks further upstream imagine a big domestic cats pad with five visible claws, how was your day ?
I started the season up on the Cerne in the hope to avoid the rather nasty easterly wind. Unfortunately it was blowing downstream and it was an achievement to get the fly on the water!
Only caught two very small parr; but I did bump into the lady from the CEH planting salmon fry, she will come back in the summer to electro fish them out and micro tag them.
Adam had the same idea as me and walked down to the bottom of the beat to fish back up. As I was leaving Dave & Robin came along for a quick chat.
Parked up at Loders Garage lay-by to fish up from the bridge and caught a few small trout on a nymph.
Riverkeeper John came along and he was going up to Whitfield to try out his new 3 weight.
The sun came out and the warmth must have stirred the grannom, because a small hatch started. So I switched to a dry fly and cast to a rising fish – it was a small grayling and almost immediately I had another. Walked up around the bend and a decent trout rise tucked next to the bank. I cast my GRHE Muller and a trout sucked it in – at last a bend in the rod! It wasn’t big but beautifully coloured highlighted by the spring sun. I managed another two trout before the wind forced me back to the car..
The GRHE Muller is based on a fly designed by Jeremy Lucas. His has a parachute hackle tied round a CDC post and is a right fiddle to tie. So I adapted it by just having a rabbit fur hackle. Seems to work as well as the original and I find easier to tie!