The Frome looks good for a fish or two tomorrow.
Please be aware of a bee’s nest about 200m down stream of the fishing hut on the lower water!(hopefully Ive now sorted it out, but please “bee” a little careful).
Joe warned me about it, but we did’nt see it until one of the team hit it with a strimmer…..
Another wet mayfly annual leave as I drove to take a photograph of the swollen and coloured river. But when I arrived the river had dropped and although still very coloured you could see the gravels in 3 foot of water – fishing is on.. I dashed home to collect my tackle!!
I disappeared up onto the Cerne and this was even clearer than the main river and mayfly where already hatching… Fishing was slow to start but as the morning crept into the afternoon I was starting to catch some nice fish.
When I reached the parking spot, I bumped into Rod who was having a great mayfly season, he started using a mayfly pattern on the 7th May!
I left him to the rest of the Cerne and made my way to the Upper Water. The water here was more coloured, but this didn’t stop the fish hungrily take my artificial.
In the evening I met up with John & Elliot for a spot of weed cutting below Whitfield Hatches. During which we noticed that the river was rising and colouring up, by the time we left at 19:30 it was still rising – so not good news for tomorrow!
8.00am update, coloured but fishable….
Please come to Whitfield hatches at 6.00pm for a spot of light weed cutting, great fun see you all there.
That is the colour of the Frome after last nights rain………..
I thought it was time to show Steve, a friend and member of our Wylye fishery how good the Mayfly fishing can be ‘over the border’. Fair weather and good water conditions greeted us and amazingly profuse early weed growth. We slipped quietly into the water at Poundbury and rod shared through the pockets & runs. A few odd rises and very occasional Mayfly gave me something to aim at with my French Partridge Mayfly, whilst my guest, a real artist with a tiny nymph and Sawyer style ‘induced take’ took 3 Grayling to about 14” and an 11” Trout.
Despite his love of this style of fishing, he soon knotted on a Mayfly when it became clear that the Trout were interested, after we both had some fun fishing with Trout up to 13”, we knocked off for a late lunch having only covered a short stretch.
After lunch in the more secluded Cerne valley, I showed Steve the wonderful ‘Lilliput’ River Cerne, despite the width reduced to 5ft in places with summer growth he was keen to try out the short rod.
Again we made slow progress upstream as every pool and run seemed to have a willing fish in it.
The Mayfly hatch got going quite well and we did rather well with lots of small fish topped by a nice 13 incher for my guest, as well as 4 exuberant escapee Rainbow Trout of 10 – 11”.
Enthusiasm resulting from Monday’s success causing me to start my own ‘solo’ 3 day Mayfly break a bit too early in the day, I found the top section of Stinsford quiet although spooked a number of fish as there was little cover and no hatch, I found a willing riser of 14.5” at the top.
After lunching at Bockhampton with my friends from Surrey who were fishing Lower Water I dropped into considerable depth and lush weed at Withy Bed, however still with very little hatching or moving I crept slowly up and dropped the Mayfly into a bank-side run that shouted ‘fish’, up comes a nice Trout and promptly runs me into submerged Willow branches, after finding it impossibly to free, I waded over to it and carefully worked my hand into the tangled branches and managed to pick up the 13.5” fish from underneath, bite the line, remove the fly and carefully release him!!
Sporadic hatches then occurred with a few more fish caught until I knocked off about 5.30, pleased with my afternoon but bettered by a good fish laying out in a tiny hole in the weed I decided to give the day best. Some very picturesque scenes by the railway bridge with the Crowfoot in full flower and Pounbury in the background.
Again starting too early, found the rest of Stinsford generally quiet but managing 2 small fish and a nice 13” & 15” Trout and an surprisingly fat and powerful 14” Grayling just as a few Mayfly started to hatch right at lunch time when I needed to ‘fill up’ as well!
Two interesting sights this morning, Otter prints in the mud under Dorchester By-Pass and two separate incidents of good Trout chasing the crowds of spawning Minnows in very shallow water (don’t they know it’s Mayfly time!).
A change of carrier for the afternoon saw it cloud over and better hatches by about 4pm with a number of fish moving well to the big Duns. Some good fishing followed with fish feeding in difficult lies, but this sort of fishing is very satisfying when it all goes right, lots of small fish (a great sign for the future) and a few up to 12”.
Interestingly the main hatch pool had no willing risers, so I tried a Hare’s Ear nymph as it looked so perfect, there followed a mad 15 minutes with 8 ‘ASBO’ Rainbow Trout all 10 – 12” coming to the nymph, clearly as this is downstream of the Cerne, it looks like there has been a big loss of farmed fish further upstream.
In less of a hurry to get to the river, and keen to relax and enjoy the ’green’ wonders of late Spring I set of for Upper Water in sunny and warm conditions, nice to be out, but not the best for the Mayfly hatch.
After strangely losing 4 fish in a row from the Wrackle, including one nice fish, then settling my confidence with two up to 11”, I switched to slightly less challenging casting on the main stream and found odd fish rising.
The stocked fish were busy! they rose well and fought very hard providing great sport, even though the hatch never got beyond ‘light’ in the bright sun, however wild fish above 10” were hard to find.
Two more incidents that all go to make the day memorable, after netting one of the stock fish I climbed out onto the bank, knee first, narrowly missing a 2.5 foot Grass Snake which calmly swam into mid river and settled on the floating weed eyeing me up before crossing to the far bank.
Then later when wading tight to the bank in deep water I found myself also eye to eye with a large Cob Swan sitting on the bank, I decided to hold my line and go by whilst talking reassuringly to him, this ploy worked for a start but when I was upstream of him his mood changed, having lots of experience of Swans while working on the Wylye I judged it best to withdraw to the bank, I soon found out why he wanted me out, his mate was sitting on the nest on the Island a few yards away below Fisherman’s Hut.
I was replete, time was moving on and there is much work to do back home.
I hope other members enjoy this magical period as much as I do but my fingers are crossed for you as I write this because the weather has turned and it looks more like November, with heavy rain and very strong wind.
ADRIAN SIMMONS 26TH MAY 2008
What perfect mayfly weather today, I sat all day itching to go fishing and I had to wait until 17:30 before I was tackling up and ready to go..!
Mayfly were coming off steadily, with lots of empty shucks drifting down stream. The rain also started to fall, which to me is the best time to fish a mayfly hatch.
My first fish was a fat 14 inch fish, a perfect start and it just got better as the hatch progressed. This was until a miniature torpedo grabbed my fly – a fin perfect rainbow trout of about 8 inches long!!! Then another and another, looks like a fish farm has lost some of it’s sheep!! Please feel free to keep all the rainbows you catch, they are certainly not wanted in the River Frome!
Time to move to a few little spots that I know and third cast this wonderful fat 16″ fish sucked in my fly!!
I enjoyed the next 45 minutes of continuous action until my artificial mayfly was completely battered to pieces – what a great evenings fishing…..
This is an SOS – I’ve lost my priest, and it’s my favourite, I’ve had it 25 years. It’s a staghorn priest, quite slender, with a bit of string tied through the hole in the end – if only I had tied it to me!
I lost it on the upper water at the Poundbury section, at that straight bit of river that occurs about 200 yards before it goes into the ‘Withy Bed’ dog leg. I think it might be not far from the place where you climb over the fence there, probably about 30 yards downstream of that. That was when I last used it anyway, to dispatch a lovely fat stockie.
If you find this please contact the Hon.Secretary or the Riverkeeper.
I visited the middle stretch above Grey’s Bridge. I was on the water at 14.15 to find one or two Mayfly about and the occasional trout rising. At first sight the river appeared rather quite but the trout were very willing to take a Grey Wulff Mayfly so all in all it was an enjoyable afternoon.
Where trout were not rising, a speculative cast into a likely spot sometimes teased a fish up to the surface. Casting the fly under the river bank was particularly productive. When I left at 16.30 the Mayfly were hatching in ones or twos and trout were still moving.
I netted a fair number of fish mostly between 8 and 11 inches and I was lucky enough to land two trout of about 1lb. All the trout were carefully returned. I saw no other members on the river. I attach a photo of the middle stretch that I took today. There was a nice trout rising just below the bush.
I could not resist the temptation to fish the Treasurer’s favorite pool. I walked down from Gascoyne Bridge and started fishing at 12.00. One or two Mayfly were on the water but only the odd fish was moving.
In the hour before lunch I had two or three splashy takes but none of the trout were firmly hooked. The sport did not really begin to pick up until 14.00 when the Mayfly appeared in dribs and drabs.
At first all of the trout that I caught were natives but eventually I did get into a trout fresh from Hooke Springs. These are in very good condition and as they are mostly over 1lb they put up quite a tussle before coming to the net.
As the afternoon progressed the hatch improved and by 16.00 a good number of fish were rising to the mayflies. By the time I packed away my rod I had landed two stock fish and lost a couple more. I did catch a fair number of wild trout but they were all on the small side and the largest was about 11 inches in length.
Spent most of the day catching up with the mowing, with a welcome break for the stocking this afternoon, great fish again from Hooke Springs Trout Farm, and a big thank you to Jim and Dave for their help, when they could of been fishing, all stocked fish marked with two blue dots on their bellies, so if you want one for supper try to take a stocked fish rather than a wild one.
The River looks fantastic at the moment, and for the first time in a few years we have plenty of weed, hence a weed cutting date has been set for the 27th of May at Whitfield Hatches, start at 6.00pm, we could do with a hand if you can make it.
Great to see so many of you out fishing, I managed one or two little ones at Ten Hatches on the Mayfly, after lots of mowing, followed by a bit more mowing!