30th May 2007
I had hoped to come down for a week at Mayfly time fishing with David Lloyd. However due to a daughter getting married I could only make two days. David and I arrived at Whitfield Hatches at about 4.00 pm it had been raining very hard in the morning and we were pleased to see the river only slightly coloured. It was by this time very sunny and there were a good number of Mayfly coming off and fish rising. I had a golden hour moving up from the Hatches to just above the railway bridge. I only caught six fish [all stocked] and missed many more but felt I was in paradise after leaving a damp grey London. The activity tailed off about 7.00 pm and we called it a day.
31st May 2007
A grey damp morning and we went at first to the Lower Water. Very few fish showing and hardly any Mayfly. I had one and was feeling quite proud of myself until I bumped into Jim who seemed to be well into double figures. We had a chat and I moved on.. I only had one more but returned to the Whitfield Hatches mid afternoon and there were flies hatching and fish moving. I fished all the way through until about 6.00 pm when I had to return to London. I caught another eight three stocked and the others all wild but not large.All fish caught on a parachute mayfly.
It was a magical two days and I wish I could get down more often. I would just like to thank the two Johns and Jim for running such a magnificent fishery. I assure when I have less going on in my life you will have to drag me away from the bank.
I fished the Bockhampton stretch this morning and it was the best morning that I have had this season. The combination of the warm Southerly wind, the overcast skies, some rain and a slightly coloured river gave ideal fishing conditions.
Although the Mayfly hatch was sparse the fish were up and about and they were not easily put off by my presence on the river bank. Perhaps it was the light conditions but it was one of those days when they continued to rise as close as a rod length from my position.
Most of the trout that I caught were stock fish but I did catch two wild trout one of which was a good size. One stock fish did not go back in the river and it is now baking in the oven.
A Grey Wullf Mayfly was very effective but I guess that any decent pattern would do provided that it is not too large. I met two other members and a lady ornithologist who was rather keen to photograph the family of swans.
Jim Chalmers (Hon.Treas)
Well I can’t let the Hon.Treas have all the fun, so I was out this evening down at Long Bridge.
I walked down to Deadman’s Pool and fished back up. Like Jim I was quickly into the stock fish and what excellent fish they are this year – I noticed that the blue spot on their bellies is just starting to fade.
A quick chat to another Member who had just lost a good fish downstream.
The evening rise came early due to the overcast skies and this is when the wild fish come out to play! Picture this, three fish rising steadily all in a row – the one closet to me was the smallest and by the amount of water the front fish was moving – it was a GOOD one! I cast my fly and got the first fish and then the second – luckily this hadn’t disturbed the big one. Next cast and it sipped in the fly perfectly, I struck and all hell broke loose and so did the fly – sugar!
Here’s the fly that did all the damage – size 16 paradun BWO spinner
|From Dorchester Fishing Club Photos|
I fished the river above Grey’s Bridge yesterday afternoon and this morning I fished bits of the Wrackle and the upper water. The first thing to be said is the the Mayfly, although sparse, are still on the water and the trout are still taking them.
Yesterday I caught and returned 5 fish although the strong wind and the bright conditions did not allow easy fishing. This morning was much better as the rain and cloudy conditions helped to hide me from the trout.
Not many fish were rising but a speculative cast into a likely looking spot often was rewarded with a bite. There was never a dull moment but all of the fish that I caught were between 8 and 10 inches long. The large number of small fish that I have caught with very few wild fish above 1lb has been a feature of my Mayfly season.
Jim Chalmers (Hon.Treas)
My much anticipated Mayfly break at last, with blog reports over a week earlier of good hatches, adding to my enthusiasm, high temperatures and bright sun greeted me and my rod share guest, but the river looked good, although lower than you would expect after such a wet winter, thanks to the 8 week spring drought.
However it was great to be on the Frome again.
Setting out about 12 am to the Middle fishery, hatches were sparse, and the Mayfly were leaving the surface like Polaris missiles in the warm, dry air, resulting in high speed ‘slashing’ rises that were hard to connect with.
By 6pm we had caught fair numbers of the very pretty and healthy looking young Trout up to 10″, a few better fish in the 11″ to 14″ range and some good sport with half a dozen of the very sporting stock fish.
Even warmer today, less Mayfly, so we moved further up the fishery to find some shade, risking carefully tied Para Dun Mayflies under tight tree canopies, very testing but rewarding when met with success.
Daytime catches were of similar fish to yesterday, with a bonus 17 inch wild Trout from ‘Lilliput Land’ in a foot of water which really got the adrenaline flowing !
A evening rise produced 4 nice wild fish of 11″ to 14″ as some of the reluctance in the bright sun disappeared, but still very spooky behaviour from the Trout.
We had an exciting episode playing one of the fiesty 15″ wild trout above and below a barbed wire cattle fence, which proved it was sharper thinking than us as the leader doubled back under the wire and gave way after yet another strong lunge.
We also witnessed a massive Caenis hatch about 9.45 pm, which led to one or two fish metronomically sipping away and mostly ignoring our tasty looking Mayflies.
Slightly less hot, we decided to try one of the carriers, very few Mayfly hatching in the morning, finished up hand lining a nice 14″ trout out of a thick reed bed onto the rim of the landing net, which then threw the hook and was away,(premature catch & release of course!).
Some challenging casting in the narrow channel, with some success but mainly small Trout under 11″.
Returning to the main river for our last hour up to 6pm, found fair numbers of Mayfly quickly flying off the water, a couple more ten incher’s and 3 of the nice stock fish, which were feeding nicely in tight ‘under-bank’ lies typically used by the better wild fish, which we haven’t seen much of today, ‘Duffers Fortnight I don’t think so !
A varied and very memorable 3 days with friends.
Adrian Simmons (Wilton Fly Fishing Club Riverkeeper)
At last a cooler start to the day and first we had to clear up at 10 Hatches. Unfortunately we hadn’t been invited to the party, we were just left to clear the mess!!! (Many thanks to Adrian for his help)
He also showed me the shucks stuck on the hatches, from the previous nights caenis hatch, it must have been an amazing sight.
I fished up from the Lower Water again and although conditions were good the mayfly hatch seemed to very light (has it all finished?), but the trout were still keen to take the fly.
Moved on up to the Upper Water and the temperature started to rise and so did a few more fish.
On my travels, I bumped into Merrily fishing the Carter Water, she was targeting some lighting quick grayling…
Time to head for home, but couldn’t resist taking a photo of the wonderful display of Ragged Robins.. Another good day on the Frome…
Today I set out from Lower Bockhampton to fish the complete length of the Club’s water!
I started early at just after 9am and I was blessed with blue skies, along with a comfortable temperature. There were a few mayfly about and my first fish rose and sucked in the fly. This is when it all went wrong – I can now say for certain that the willow revetment is excellent cover for trout and that’s where the fish dived into and was lost… (October 2006)
I continued up and caught a few stock fish, which are easily recognisable because of the blue dyed spot on their bellies. It wasn’t until I was above Loud’s Mill that I started to get into our wonderful wild trout.
The temperature had now changed from comfortable to very hot and the mayfly decided not to hatch, the action slowed right down.
Thankfully there were plenty of pale wateries that kept the fish looking and a well placed fly would bring a trout to take.
It was now very warm as made my way along the Wrackle and bumped into Jim, who was having a good day… (Jim’s report below)
I finished my walk up to Gascoyne Bridge where my wife drove me back down to my car – a good day, but it was so so hot!!
A cautious approach that involved crawling through the mud and keeping myself very low allowed me to get a mayfly in the right spot and success on the third cast. As you can see from the photo it is a beautiful wild fish that went safely back into the river.
As I made to go off to another pool, much to my surprise, another bow wave appeared in the same spot where a second large trout was also giving the minnows a hard time. However, the second fish proved to be much more difficult to approach and whenever I got into casting range it was off upstream at a rate of knots and into the deep water.
Apart from the excitement on the Wrackle and watching the Landrover dig itself into the mud it was a rather quiet day with few mayfly about and not so many fish rising. Perhaps it was just too hot and bright and it will be better in the evening. I enjoyed our chat by the river bank.
Yesterday I saw very few mayflies hatching but this was probably a result of the grey cool weather. However, the trout were in their feeding positions and ready for the mayflies to appear. Speculative casting into likely looking spots often produced a rise.
Today, more mayfly were on the water but not hatching in any great numbers. There were more trout rising and the fishing was very good even if most of the trout I caught were between 10 and 11 inches. I did catch one larger fish of about 1 and1/2 lbs.
Rather surprisingly I saw no other members of the water on either day. It may not be mayfly madness yet but the trout are up for it and the river is well worth a visit.
Just wanted to report a cracking afternoon on Monday. I spent a few hours fishing the upper water with my father, who’s relatively new to the fly fishing game. After a drizzly first half, we spotted a good rise to Mayflies just upstream of the railway bridge, in a secluded pool; the fish rose to the artificial with a great twist of its amber flank, the rod bent double, and promptly went slack again. Curses.
But at about 3pm the rain died off and the Mayfly started hatching in earnest. We spent a good 90 minutes casting to great, boiling rises in a single slow bend, and managed a few trout each, including two stockies – possibly introduced by my own hand just a few weeks earlier! French Partridge and emerging Grey Wulff patterns were doing the business. So whatever the weather, take a sick day if you have to, and get on the water!