The melt had begun

Good to see you at Christmas, as you saw for yourself, I did manage to get out after grayling, see report below:

Unlike Dorset’s roads, the river was clear and looking ideal on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but turkey had to take priority over grayling.  By 27th, the melt had begun, leaving a short window before the river would be too coloured to fish. With snow still on the ground it was cold, but not enough to freeze the line this time out.

I did spot two good fish early on, but they were easily spooked in the clear water.  A quick break for coffee and mince pies, followed by a change of nymph, and the grayling began to take in the now slightly coloured water.  They were hard-fighting fish, ignoring my beautifully crafted Czech nymphs in favour of a simple gold head with hot orange thorax.

It looks like they will be my last grayling of the year, as the next trip will have to wait till the water drops.

My first report of 2011 will follow as soon as I can.

Cheers, Doug

December 29, 2010 by Filed under: Grayling Fishing 

Merry Christmas Everyone

December 23, 2010 by Filed under: Admin 

River Frome Ecosystem Survey

The River Frome Ecosystem on-line survey, is part of a project designed to enable local people to get more involved in decisions about their environment.

The surveys are specifically for people living and/or working in the river Frome catchment area in Dorset.

Please see below for some commonly asked questions.

Where is the River Frome catchment?
About the survey
How long will the survey and mapping exercise take to complete?
How will the data be used?

About the Survey
The survey has two parts:
1. A quick question and answer form covering:

2. A chance to map your favourite natural areas using our interactive Google map.

How long will the survey and mapping exercise take to complete?
We estimate that the entire process should not take any longer than 30 minutes.

Please make sure you have sufficient time to complete the survey and mapping exercise in one session.

How will the data be used?
The survey data will be used to determine which aspects of the environment and the benefits that people get from it are most important to different groups of people (e.g. residents and tourists).

We will then be able to produce maps that show ‘hotspots’ for different ecosystem services and their value within the Frome catchment. These can be used by many different decision makers when determining the future of this busy, beautiful and biodiverse catchment.

Click here to begin the survey

If you have any questions, please contact

December 20, 2010 by Filed under: Admin 

Suspiciously fat stomachs

The AGM for me is not just the Annual General Meeting, but time for Another Grayling Mission (weather permitting). By AGM day the snow had gone, the water had cleared and the sun was shining, but it was still extremely cold.

Things were very lean to start with, the only signs of life being snipe and cormorants, the latter having suspiciously fat stomachs for the time of year.

Fishing continued to be slow, with just the odd ‘take’ from weed or bottom to keep the interest going. Finally a quick lift as the nymph stopped and this time it was a fish, fighting hard in the current. Back it went, soon followed by several others, with the two best fish close to 2lbs. I might have had more, but it is hard to fish with the line frozen in the rings and both hands in your pockets to protect them from the biting north wind.

Now it’s your turn to get back out in the cold!

All the best,

December 10, 2010 by Filed under: Grayling Fishing 


Last night was the Club’s AGM and it was the night that the Peter Leatherdale retired from the post of Chairman that he has held since 1986. The incoming Chairman Bryan Sennett presented Peter with a travel rod, for his invaluable contribution to the Club over the past years.

Over Highlights:

  • Purchase of the Wolfeton Fishery
  • Non-Members Day Ticket price increase to £50.00 (these will be available from early January 2011)
  • Club is to join the Riverfly Partnership in recognition of it’s invaluable work (

The AGM was followed by a presentation on the achievements over the past year by the Frome, Piddle & West Dorset Fisheries Association (  many thanks to Charles Dutton, John Aplin & Clive Thorp.

December 7, 2010 by Filed under: Admin 

Snow Fishing

After being stuck in the house for two days because of the snow blocking our road from the outside world, I finally was able to escape to the river for a fish.

My temperature gauge measured a chilling -4c as I parked and tackled up.  I tied on two small glass bead PTN’s and fished up 100 yards of river. Even with the low temperature, fish where still very hungry and I was soon catching grayling with enough regularity for me to forget my freezing hands.. It wasn’t until I lost one of my flies to a snag, that I realised my hands were just too cold to tie on a replacement!!

December 3, 2010 by Filed under: Grayling Fishing 

River Walk

Today was the Managing Committee’s annual river walk, it was a good turn out even with a cold north wind blowing and a good dusting of snow.

The river walk is held every year to compile a list of instream improvements and list any areas that need trees trimming etc. After the walk any instream improvements will require detailed plans submitted to the EA before we can start any work on them. But the general maintenance we can tackle during the planned working parties, please do come along and help…

Saturday 15th January 2011 10.00am – Wolfeton
Saturday 12th February 2011 10.00am – Withy Beds
Saturday 12th March 2011 10.00am – Stinsford

November 27, 2010 by Filed under: River Walk 

Annual Report

The Annual Report and AGM Agenda have been emailed & posted to all Members, if you have not received a copy by email and wish to do so, please email and I will forward them onto you.

A.G.M – 19:00 Monday 6th December 2010
The AGM will be held in The King’s Arms Hotel, High East Street, Dorchester. Town centre parking is within short walking distance, and nearby on-street parking is available in the evenings.

Link to the Annual Report 2010

November 5, 2010 by Filed under: Admin, Newsletters 

B.W.O Supplementation Programme – Update



It would appear that  the habits of BWO”S are changing  , from what might have been expected some years ago.

The appearance of Sherry Spinners and consequent  egg stripping  began this year in  very early June , actually during the Mayfly season .

Very recently (late September) I had the opportunity to witness a large column of sherry spinners flying upstream ,many with attached egg balls, and later the same evening , a hatch of Duns take place.

I have also been informed by very good authority, that a similar occurrence took place in early October on a different Southern stream, where  eggs at that location, were also collected for the laboratory.

As the BWO has always been associated with mid summer evenings  (mainly July and August), for both  egg laying and hatching, it seems that this extended behavioural pattern could provide some indication of its changing life style   due to climate change.

How long these flights will continue into the Autumn is now being observed  and noted  and  how widespread it is on different Wessex rivers.

Possibly the flight of sherry spinners during the late evening,which once common, could be changing to include other times of the day (or night) when anglers are not  by the water to observe such activity.

Movements of this fly have  also been seen early in the morning.


Eggs laid down in the river from June onwards have suffered a depletion in numbers.

Initially thought to be Crayfish attack, which may have accounted for some of the losses, other reasons are now suspected and  investigations into the cause/causes ongoing.

A two year programme is the minimum  needed to establish the best and easiest method of success.

Unfortunately there are no manuals or reference works  to consult.

Some of the  remaining slides have now been transfered to a new board /cage which will stop any further losses by predation but may not protect against other causes .A few of the  slides have been returned to the laboratory after spending 3 or 4 months in the river, so that  comparisons can be made to those left instream.

Water temperature here , unlike the river ,can be varied.

A minority of the “Farmed Eggs” in the river have possibly hatched already but the majority are now in Diapause and will stay in that condition until next   Spring and rising river temperatures.

The water temperature is  now decreasing  significantly even with the combination of low level and “ below normal “ flow rates for September.

( Figures  just released by the E.A.  for the River Piddle)

At present ,the nymphs are becoming increasingly difficult to locate on the river bed.

The two photographs are of BWO eggs  and magnified 100 times

The first ( courtesy, C.Blake), shows eggs taken recently from one of the local project slides . They are in Diapause and appear in form as we might have expected at this stage

The second ( courtesy, Dr. C Bennett ), illustrates eggs taken from his slides and shows other stages of development

A  presentation regarding the  “Farming” of BWO eggs will probably take place at the next  RIVERFLY  PARTNERSHIP conference in London next March

Hopefully this will encourage further interest and development in this field and invite greater participation

The organisation ( RFP ) needs support to flourish and is crucial to the “well being”  of our rivers and their fly life

As most Fly fishermen know, particularly those  in Southern England, the latter is decreasing at an alarming rate, and any help to reverse this trend must be welcomed

Could we be entering a new era where the phrase “ captive breeding of endangered species “ is taking on a whole new meaning in world of fishing ???

Perhaps  in the next few years we will know

Rod Crane

October 28, 2010 by Filed under: B.W.O Supplementation Programme 

River Frome Rehabilitation Draft Plan

The Draft Report of the River Frome Rehabilitation Plan is now available for public consultation. The Draft Report is available electronically at or hard copies can be viewed at the public libraries in Wareham and Dorchester between 1st November – 1st December. The River Frome has many interest groups and to help us ensure that key local issues are addressed and agreed by as many groups as possible in the Final Plan we welcome your views on this draft report.

The River Frome Rehabilitation Plan is being undertaken to provide, on a reach by reach basis, proposals that should help the River Frome Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) move into favourable condition.  The plan aims to improve the physical condition of the River Frome SSSI allowing the river to exhibit natural processes which in time will enable the river to support, in good numbers, the range of habitats and species that are part of the SSSI designation, such as Atlantic salmon, water crowfoot (Ranunculus) and Cettis warblers.

Your response

Throughout the consultation we will look to make all comments (excluding personal information) publicly available on our website. This includes comments received online, by email, post and by fax.

How to respond

There are a number of ways you can let us know your views.

Online – at www.environment–


By email or letter – You can submit your response by email or letter, using the contact details below.

Organisation: Environment Agency

Contact Name: Alasdair Maxwell

Contact Email:

Contact Telephone: 01258 483460

Other Contact Information: Rivers House, Sunrise Business Park, Higher Shaftesbury Road, Blandford DT11 8ST

What happens next?:

The Plan will remain on the internet until 1st December.  If you do have any comments please make sure that we have received them by 10th December, and they will be acknowledged and considered in the Final Plan. This process will allow us to identify what the biggest issues are for implementing the plan and where in the catchment they are located.

October 28, 2010 by Filed under: River Frome Rehabilitation Plan 

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