Just a short notice to inform you all that we will be weed cutting on Tuesday the 2nd of June, on the upper water in the Morning and above Ten Hatches in the afternoon, if you feel like coming along please do.
We will also be cutting weed downstream of Whitfield Hatches on Wed 3rd starting at 5.30pm, the more who turn up the more we can cut…..
I hope you are all having a good season so far…..
Has anyone found a net on the Upper Water – if so please contact myself or John Aplin – the looser is keen to have it back…..
Today we had a weed cutting working party, because as you know the weed growth this years has been astonishing and a light trim is badly needed…
John intends to have a few more evening weed cutting working parties, so please turn out if you can because many hands make light work 🙂
Ok, its now fairly late, I have just come back from two intensive days guiding on the river Test, absolutly great, lots of Mayfly and smiling anglers.
I am very proud of my “Riverworks” team who were on the Club water today, they had a great day running around with mowers, and chatting to various anglers, I would so love to be able to be in at least two places at once.
Tomorrow is a weed cutting day, I need a full team to make it work, so please be at Whitfield Hatches at 9.00am………
John’s post is great, I just wonder if he has a new camera?
Due to a torn knee cartilage I haven’t fished since April, but today the lure of the hatching mayfly was too much…
I knew I wouldn’t be able to venture far with this dodgy knee, so I selected a spot that had easy access. I was greeted by a wonderful sight of flowering ranunculus and a few rising fish.
With such amazing weed growth I needed a fly that would stay afloat down the narrow runs and one I could bounce off the bank into the tight holes. I selected an old favourite, French Partridge, with a nice genetic hackle along the body to make sure it floated like a cork.
This was soon taken by a willing trout, only about 8 inches long, but a perfect Frome wild brown trout. I fished all along this stretch picking trout out from tiny pockets and impossible runs, my best landed was a stunning 15inch brown and of course I lost a monster – don’t we all?
I drove up to the Upper Water and found Adrian on Withy Bed corner trying to tempt one of the many rising fish – mayfly season is truly in full swing….
Don’t forget the spinner fall in the evening, this is when the big fish come out to feed!
It was great to be away fishing for only the second visit this season.
I decided to fish the Cerne as I love small streams – only it was a bit smaller than last year! thanks to the prolonged spring ‘drought’.
No great fly hatch of any kind but I winkled out a few little wildies, and to my astonishment in the ‘thin’ water got two beauties of 13.5″ on a Mayfly (all returned of course).
In anticipation of some hatching Mayflies in the afternoon I moved on to one of the clubs carriers and worked my way through very varied water ‘searching’ as very few M/F’s were hatching but I felt sure the fish would have switched on to them by now. I picked up a few with one corker from a nice deep run in the shade of 15.5″ and very fat with it. A great start to my annual fishing break from looking after all the members and the Wylye.
Decided not to fish in the popular areas as I felt like a serious bit of solitary fishing and found an area of varied water all to myself.
As much of the open water was almost fully weeded I went for the jungle and tiny carriers and picked up quite a few surprisingly sizeable wild Trout.
Some of these were in excess of 13″ with the best going a cracking 16″ (about 1.75lb).
This was physically hard going, ducking, crawling, creeping & kneeling but well worth the effort.
Again a very light and spasmodic Mayfly hatch, but fish still on the look out.
Started too early as usual, now turning very warm and the river at Poundbury was very full thanks to the profuse weed growth mentioned in earlier ‘blogs’.
However no fly and nothing willing to leap onto my Mayfly from the narrow runs and small pockets – usually great fun when fish are ‘on’.
Managed one of the chunky stock fish and a couple of small wild fish and stopped for lunch after a failing to rise any of the previously enthusiastically moving fish on ‘time wasters corner’ at Withy Bed !
A change of venue to one of the other carriers after lunch proved what I thought was a waste of time as this was so full of flowering weed and now with a powerful breeze that dropping the large fly into the very tiny target areas was impossible.
About to call it day and very satisfied already with my previous fishing something drew me down river where I discovered a curiously weed free stretch, lo and behold a good sprinkling of Mayfly suddenly brought into view a very sizeable fish, feeding very hard on the duns and ascending nymphs and moving over quite a distance.
Spooking him was very likely in the shallow water without any cover on the bank but I was having a lucky spell, the fly was taken as in a dream, a strong fight but very little line given due to snags resulted in my best wild fish from the Frome for some years at 18″ and 2lb 10oz, I was in heaven.
Replete, I was heading towards home slowly and yet two more fish behaving in a similar way halted me in my tracks, not so big of course (13 / 13.5″) but both took with enthusiasm.
This was meant to be the finish but tracking down Rod elsewhere on the fishery for a chat, led by chance to two more nice wild fish up to 14.5″ in the what was now at least a half decent Mayfly hatch.
A really great 3 days – now back to ‘my river’ to see if our Mayfly period can produce such fish for our members.
With the departure of the very strong SW winds of recent days I thought that it was time for a day on the river. I started fishing on the lower water. There was a sparse Mayfly hatch and the stock fish provided some good sport.
A good few were rising but sometimes one would appear from nowhere to grab the fly so a bit of speculative casting into likely spots was worth a try. The stock fish are in good condition and a credit to Hooke Springs Trout Farm.
There was never a dull moment and for every fish that came to the net many others were missed or shook themselves free. I saw four other members enjoying the Mayfly season.
After lunch I decided to try some more challenging fishing on the unstocked middle water. Well that proved to be quite a challenge. I cannot remember seeing the middle water so full of weed in May.
The ranunculus growth was so heavy that there were not many clear spots to fish and the river looked more like it does at the end of June. The undisturbed state of the bankside vegitation suggested that very few members had ventured along this part of the river.
There was an occasional rise, mostly from small fish, but my visit was rewarded by a lovely trout of about 2 lbs and this was the only fish that I caught.
I was down there for a couple of hours this afternoon. The weather didn’t look that promising, cold breeze and dampish, but I was in for a pleasant surprise. Hatching in just ones and twos but enough to have the fish on to them. I caught a good number of fish. Pics attached of one of the best of them – the net’s 15 inches. The stock fish this year are really good quality and I caught two others of about the same size.
I left at 6pm with the hatch dwindling away to nothing and not a rise to be seen. If I hadn’t bunked off work a bit early I would have missed it all !
My success was not quite as great as it may sound and probably not that noteworthy, all three fish came from the one pool. I am guessing that they must have been recently stocked fish to be residing so close to one another.
I had struggled with the rain and high winds all morning, good presentation of a small dry was very difficult (and at times frustrating). I missed a couple of takes from what I think were small fish, and then a brownie (of about a quarter of a pound) jumped on and off in an instant. I did spot some nice Trout very tight under the undercut banks, but the winds made it impossible to cover them.
Following lunch the weather improved, the rain was gone and the wind had dropped a little (although it was still gusting at the most inopportune times!), I had decided during my meal that I would resort to the nymph for the afternoon, and so I tied on a Goldhead Hares Ear. After fishing for only about an hour I was into my first, and as it turned out, best fish of the day.
I estimated this fish to be somewhere between 2 and 2 1/4 lbs. This fish fought well and after around 5 mins it was at hand, I nursed the fish at the bank until it was fit enough to swim cleanly away.
Whilst I had been playing the first fish another had risen in the same pool, not feet from all the commotion. I covered the area of this rise (still with nymph) on my next cast and was instantly into another fish. I banked the second fish, a little smaller at around 1 3/4lb, once again the fish was allowed to recover then released.
It was solely to test my assumption that “there cannot possibly be another fish in there” that I sent the Goldhead through again, once more there was a pause as the fly line travelled through the pool and I lifted into my third trout.
I did not cover the pool again, it would not have been sporting to do so. By now the afternoon was marching on and as I approached the fishing hut I saw three anglers upstream of me, this was my cue to “give it best” and return to the car. I will be purchasing another day ticket for later in the year, when hopefully I will enjoy more favourable weather conditions, its a lovely river and I would really like the chance to find a few wild fish on the dry. I don’t have any photos of the day, generally I prefer to get the fish back quickly so I don’t carry a camera.
Thanks for your interest in my day.
Kindest of regards
What a beautiful morning to be out stocking.
A credit to Hooke Springs Trout farm for yet another batch of fine fish for both the upper and lower water.
We also had 50 triploids delivered, 40 of these went in at Longbridge and 10 below Louds Mill, these fish are marked with two blue dots on their stomach, if you catch one of these fish could you please make a mental note, where caught, on what, was it rising etc and let me know.