After a few lovely days, we find ourselves buffeted by a chilly wind and enough rain to just colour the Frome enough to upset the next fall of Hawthorne.
I ended up with a nasty chill which knocked me for six, putting me out of action for a day or two. Just about mobile now and I trust you will find all the beats nicely mown before the onset of this latest damp spell !.
Due to a Tarpon expedition, I would ask that all day ticket inquiries ring Ray Aplin direct on 01305 266500 until the 14th May, thank you.
Today I had a session on the lower stretch.
I arrived at Bockhampton at about 11:15 to find a great grannom hatch in full progress. Quite a few grayling were on the move but not many trout were rising. I made my way up the river to as far as the footbridge downstream of Louds Mill.
Along the route I lost a couple of fish but nothing of any size came to my fly. After lunch, hawthorn fly started to appear in some numbers but this only tempted the odd fish to show itself on the surface. I eventually caught a trout of about 10 inches below Deadman’s Pool.
I left the water at about 1600. Some fish were still rising rather intermittently but the strengthening SW wind was making casting too much like hard work. I saw no other members which rather surprised me given that it was a Sunday and the weather in the morning was fairly good.
Today 26th out with Brother in Law Nick on the Carter Water and below Poundbury. Sunny and warm but not really much about. Caught a good one, getting on for a pound, late morning on the Carter Water ( secret location – going back there for Mayfly! ) – see photo attached. Nick took a can of Coke with him, tucked into his chest waders, which promptly punctured as he bent down under a fence, but even that sticky mess failed to raise much flylife. ( We sat outside for our Sun Inn pint and sandwich ! )
Saw Robin A below Poundbury – he told me not much doing except some instantaneous catch and release. Back to read this month’s T and S – there’s some handy looking Mayfly patterns in there this month.
David Lloyd and I came down from London. We fished the lower water through to Louds Mill. It was a grey blustery day, but not cold. The Grannom were everywhere but very few fish rising and in the afternoon the river was covered in spent Hawthorn flies which seemed to illicit very little response, maybe they do not taste too good
I caught three trout and a grayling all on a small Adams with the bottom hackle cut off. The last trout was a small rainbow, not something I have encountered before. David had two trout.
It was a lovely day and great to see the Swallows back, a family of young ducks and a lone Sandpiper who seemed to have lost his mates. This is a great time of the year.
In my opinion one of the better days so far this spring, warm, lots and lots of Grannom all heading upstream!
More hatching in the afternoon along with a few rising fish.
Wonderful mowing weather, all beats looking very smart, and I must say how pleased I am to see you all out enjoying the fishing, and great to see lots of contributions towards the clubs blog.
I have to say after mowing and chatting about fishing on and off for most of the day I had to take my little one weight for a paddle up to Ten Hatches…
Here is a few pictures to sum up a perfect day…
Went out on the river today for two hours starting at the Withy Bed. A little apprehensive to say the least due to two blank visits earlier in the month.
Upon arrival at 10.30 it was cool and intermittently gusty from the east. Within half an hour it was all change, every time the sun broke through even for only a minute or two the grannom came on and fish showed. By the time I finished between the viaduct and road bridge I had two trout, one small and one 12” on the green tailed dry grannom and a fat little grayling on a ptn, I had lost two fish on the dry when I first started fishing.
By noon the river was showing a lot of movement due it would seem to the abating wind and appearance of sunshine, so in conclusion there are plenty of fish in the Frome !
After all these reports of hatching grannom and rising fish, it was time for me to join in the fun.
The weather wasn’t what I had ordered, the strong and now very cold easterly was blowing, along with overcast skies and rain, not the best conditions for rising fish!
I walked down to the river and checked out a small hatch that sometimes has a nice fish rising, but there wasn’t any fly, so no fish. I joined the main river, it looked cold and uninviting, although the sparkling gravel and fantastic rununculas growth warmed me up.
Suddenly a BWO fluttered past, then another and another, a small hatch started which brought the fish onto rise, time to tackle up and tie on a GRHE..
The hatch only lasted 45 minutes it wasn’t the best hatch of all time, but it brought both trout & grayling to the surface. As the activity slowed down, I realised just how cold I was, so time to head home for a cup of hot tea.
I thought I’d send you some details of the GP Dun, just in case you want to make some kind of link to it (I don’t really know how to do these computer things, I’m afraid).
By way of background, I’ve been flyfishing since 1969 and tying my own flies since about 1971 or thereabouts. In that time, I must have invented many dozens of patterns (possibly more than 100). Virtually all of them proved completely useless! Of the small minority that weren’t, most only caught the odd fish and were nowhere near as good as established patterns. That leaves only four ‘original’ flies that have won a permanent place in my fly box.
Of those four, two are not really original, being variants or close relations of well-known patterns. Of the remaining two, one is only useful on still waters. The other is the GP Dun, which I devised several ago, specifically for use on the club water. It caught several trout on its first outing (on the upper water). In fact, I have been amazed at its continued success, so much so that it nearly turned me into a ‘one-fly’ man!
It seems to work well as an imitation of most upwinged duns. Dressed on the appropriate hook, it has proven deadly in the Mayfly hatch. It will also occasionally catch fish during the grannom.
I believe it’s genuinely original, although I can’t rule out the possibility that it already exists under another name (‘GP’ just stands for ‘general purpose’, by the way – rather unimaginative, I know, but it’s the fly that counts, not the name!).
Here’s the dressing – very simple, as you can see.
Tying silk: Yellow (waxed). The precise shade doesn’t seem to matter very much, but it should be of the kind that darkens to an olive colour when wet.
Body: Natural seal’s fur spun sparsely on the tying silk. Don’t overdo it. The silk underbody should be visible, with the fur forming a ‘halo’ around it. Do not rib the body, which is quite unnecessary and will ruin the effect.
Hackle and whisks: Blue dun cock (preferably natural rather than dyed)
And that’s it.
All the best,
The promise of light winds and a sunny day tempted me onto the river this morning. I started at Poundbury and made my way up to nearly the top of the Club water then I returned by walking down the Wrackle.
The river sparkled in the April sunshine and the blackthorn blossom was magnificent. A few grannom were about but very few fish were rising.
During my walk I only saw three rises and these were from small trout. I did do a couple of casts to one of them but nothing came to my fly.
Those members who have been fretting at work thinking that they were missing a great grannom hatch may be relieved to know that the river was very quiet. Perhaps it is the cool weather but this has been one of the slowest starts to the season that I can remember.
I escaped from work yesterday afternoon , the sun and the prospect of my first visit to the Frome this year were too great to resist.
I arrived at the middle water at about 2.00 and walked half a mile or so below Louds Mill , the river looking great ,with just a tinge of colour. There were a fair number of Grannom about – though not as many as I have seen in previous years. The Trout were on them well though , with some good fish rising , often close under the banks .
The best one landed was around 17 inches – with a really nasty heron peck deep into its shoulder, but otherwise in good condition. I don’t rate the shop bought grannom imitations , and so relied on a size 14 cdc olive emerger instead,which deceived a few. I would be interested to hear what other grannom imitations work well for members.
Otherwise , Swallows , Martins, a Kingfisher and a chain of new born ducklings reassured me that spring is springing after all! Now then , back to work !
All good wishes
I was on the river yesterday (15th April) and at about 11:30 had the great pleasure of meeting Jim on his travels above the town (see ‘Jim’s Trip’).
Jim will be interested to know that things began to look up shortly after he left. I’d visited the river at Bockhampton the previous afternoon (Monday the 14th). The weather that day was showery and mainly cloudy, but with some bright intervals and a blustery but manageable breeze. I saw plenty of grannom about, especially when the sun was out, but found only half a dozen rising fish, none of which showed any interest at all in my artificial.
Yesterday (15th) I tried the upper water above the road bridge. Unlike Monday, it was bright and sunny, although still fairly chilly. There was only a gentle breeze, making casting easy even for a duffer like me. I bumped into Jim at about 11:30. Like him, I’d seen very little sign of fish – just one rise, in fact. There were some grannom about, but nowhere near as many as below the town on Monday. It was a lovely morning, though, with the blackthorn blossom still out under a practically cloudless sky.
An hour or so after parting company with Jim, I spotted a fish rising about 50 yards below the railway bridge. He was in an impregnable position, protected by overhanging branches on all sides. After that the river began to come to life. Between 1 o’clock and 2 o’clock, as I worked my way upstream, I got another three larger trout, including a nice one of at least a pound. I also lost a pounder at the net. Between 2 o’clock and 2.45, I managed to pick up a 12-inch grayling and a slightly smaller trout. So I ended up with six fish altogether, and another one lost, all within the space of a couple of hours. All went safely back into the river. The most successful pattern was Pat Russell’s grannom dressing in size 14, which took all the fish except one. However, I watched the pounder investigate this and refuse it several times, so I changed to my own GP Dun, also in size 14, which he took at the first offering!
I’ve fished the grannom hatch on the Frome on quite a few occasions since the early ’90s. My observations lead me to think that the middle of the day – literally the lunch hour – is the best time, even though grannom can be seen in large numbers throughout the rest of the day as well. I’ve also noticed that the hatch is more prolific in sunny weather than when it’s cloudy, and that’s also when you’re most likely to see fish feeding on them. It even applies during very short sunny intervals on otherwise overcast days, as I experienced during the equivalent hatch last year. Yesterday’s conditions were pretty much ideal, and after the slow start reported by Jim, things duly livened up around lunch time.
By the way, if anyone is interested in Pat Russell’s dressing of the grannom, I can let them have it. The same applies to the GP Dun, which is very simple to tie and uses traditional materials. It’s a general purpose olive dun pattern, but it is useful in other situations as well. In particular, dressed on a larger hook, it does very well during the Mayfly. In the past, I’ve been plagued with fish coming short to artificial patterns during the Mayfly hatch. The GP Dun was the first to overcome this problem, and I’ve now enjoyed two successful Mayfly seasons with it.
All the best,
The last snapper mower lasted eight years, very good considering it had done well over 200 thousand miles, but it only had one owner and a full service history!
Last week we purchased a new one (thanks Jim) and already I have clocked up a few miles, today, at about three in the afternoon I saw a good Grannom hatch and plenty of rising fish, lots of Swallows and a Kingfisher…..