John has been out checking for salmon redds and noticed how well the flow deflectors that we installed last May are working – plenty of sparkling gravel and good flows, you can also see the silt starting to collect and this will be colonised with riparian plants in the spring … brilliant (how we built the flow deflectors)
Ten days ago I was contacted by Richard Cove (Environment Agency fisheries scientist) and asked if he could come down and catch 50 grayling!! My first thoughts were, here’s another grayling fisherman’s desperate attempt to get a free days fishing on the Frome.
But no, it really was for a scientific study!! He is currently helping the University of Wales to collect tissue samples from grayling from our major UK catchments. He has most of the UK covered but was struggling with one of the top English rivers, the Dorset Frome. A mutual friend suggested that he contact me to see if he could gain permission from the Dorchester Fishing Club to take some samples. This involves catching 50 grayling with rod & line and then taking a small clip from the adipose fin (the fleshy one near the tail). This needs to be a minimum of 4 x 2 mm. If cut carefully, the fin should regenerate and will have no lasting effect on the fishes health.
The date was set and I enlisted help from John Aplin and Stuart Brown (fellow Member) to help catch 50 grayling.
We started fishing at 8:30 and it was soon apparent that it was going to be a hard day of fishing. The river was still full from the rain, but it was thankfully clear. We quickly caught our first grayling and Rich showed how to quickly snip a small piece of the adipose fin, measure and release the fish, then carefully place the sample in a small vial – simple!
We fished all the known grayling hot spots, but by lunchtime our tally was still mighty low. Thankfully things improved as the day went on and at the end of a very hectic eight hours we had 46 samples, just 4 short – dam I’m going to have to out out fishing again to catch the last four!!
Many thanks to John & Stuart (who had fish to 2lb 11oz) for helping out and for Richards motivation that kept us going! Now we sit and wait for the answer to “where did our grayling really come from?”
The Membership for 2008 is complete and many thanks to all Members for sending in their subscriptions in record time. This makes mine & the Honorary Treasures job a lot easier, plus I will be able to get the Membership cards etc. out early ready for the new season.
Many thanks to John Pritchard for these photographs taken the weekend, showing the floods at Lower Bockhampton. I suspect it is a great deal worse at the moment!
As I am sure you are aware we are in the middle of a somewhat damp spell, even the Grayling fishing has been slow (for the few brave ones that have ventured out).
If you look carefully you can make out our hatchery box sitting under a good foot of water, fortunately most of the eggs have now hatched, but it looks like a good case for survival of the fittest.
Redd counting has been put on hold until water clears, you will be pleased to here there are a lot of Salmon, Sea Trout and Brown Trout Redds on the club water including several on our new riffles.
A good time to take a family break, were off to Cape Verde for a spot of fishing…..
Roll on the spring.
A good day to tie a few flies for the coming season.
The first important hatch of the year will be the grannom and I have noticed over the years that trout very rarely take the fully hatched fly, but instead concentrate all their efforts on emerging flies.
This new pattern has all the key attributes of a good emerging fly; the body will pierce the surface, just like a Klinkhamer; a good quality hackle to make it float and it is very easy to tie! The wing has only been added so the fly is easier to spot on the water.
I tried this fly during a recent fishing trip to the River Wylye, it floats brilliantly and a grayling liked the look of it!
Hook: de-barbed Kamasan, B100G size 14
Body: Dubbed hares fur and clipped smooth
Hackle: Whiting Golden Olive Grizzle
Wing: Grey Roman Moser Ghost Fiber