Trout Hatchery

We collected the Brown Trout eggs earlier today from Hooke Springs and spent a while carefully seeding them into the clubs hatchery box, these eggs will hatch when the water warms early in the new year and hopefully provide a little added sport over the next few years, again thanks to Bryan and Robin for their help on a particularly wet and cold morning… We got the eggs in just in time, as now the river is rising rapidly and full of colour!

John Aplin River Keeper

December 15, 2012 by Filed under: River Work 

Work Party

The Work Party planned for tomorrow (Saturday 15th December) has been called off due to dangerous river conditions. (again!)

December 14, 2012 by Filed under: River Work 

Trout Hatchery

Thank you to Bryan and Robin for helping me set up the club’s egg box today, the brown trout eggs will be collected from Hooke springs before Christmas.
We have no shortage of water for this years project. John Aplin

December 6, 2012 by Filed under: River Work 

Dorset Chalkstreams

The next meeting is on Friday 21st December 7.00pm in West Stafford village hall.

A very informal gathering of like minded people, an evening of fishing, fly tying, second hand tackle and chalk stream chat…..

  • Slide show “fishing” by John Aplin
  • Open forum chaired by Charles Jardine (who cannot wait to get back for this gathering) and David Griffiths
  • A visit also from Alex Jardine
  • Bring any fly fishing tackle you would like to sell for the “Second Hand Tackle Table”
  • Fly tying table, bring your vice and show us what you can do
  • Information table, if you have any brochures you would like to put out please do
  • Displays and information of work on Chalk Streams
  • Ideas for future gatherings, your chance to get involved
  • Drinks can be bought over from the Wise Man
  • Mince pies will be laid on

There will be a small charge on the door to cover the hire of the village hall.

If you would like to help out please ring John Aplin on 01305 257490 or email

December 2, 2012 by Filed under: Admin 

Fly Boards

As club members or their guests are likely to see this strange looking contraption in the river from early next season , I would like to explain its design and function in advance to possibly alleviate their natural curiosity.

The boards unusual plastic outriggers are necessary to prevent Otter turnover. Otters are by nature inquisitive creatures and like to investigate anything new in their territory and I have found from past experiments how easily they can turn a board over with obvious disatrous results if left that way.

I have used catamaran style boards in past experiments to prevent that, but their particular design would not be appropriate for this new style of research board ( only its principle ). I am sure the floats will prevent that happening.

The second photograph shows the underside and working part of the board. This is of a fairly delicate nature and consists of both microscope slides and thin wooden slides attached (Hopefully this now will be enough to prevent the desire to turn the board over to have a look ? )

These slides have fairly quick release mechanisms for easy removal during the experiment and consequently could easily detach and be lost by rough unnesessary handling.

Research into Baetis egg development has not ,as far as I am aware, been undertaken before. When the board is placed into the river early next year ,the hope is to attract LDO ( Baetis Rhodani ) egg laying spinners. It will however remain in the river throughout the summer for the possible collection of eggs from other members of the Baetis family.

Its aim is to establish if female spinners can be persuaded to lay eggs directly onto the glass slides for easier study ,to ascertain the durability of both the egg cases and their contents and also to confirm the incubation period of Baetis eggs etc.

As anything moored in a river is likely to catch floating weed or debris , it would be helpful to the project if this could be carefully removed by any member who may happen to wade past it, but hopefully now with this information, resist the temptation to turn the board over !

Rod Crane

Much useful information is being gathered by ongoing fly research .Only recently have I learnt that BWO nymphs prefer a diet of Diatoms over Detritus. Maybe its the silica in the cell walls they enjoy ,who knows ? As Diatoms are present in both Epilithic and Epiphytic algae , some algae in the river does therefore bring its own particular benefits to feeding BWO nymphs.

December 1, 2012 by Filed under: Riverfly Partnership 

Work Party Cancelled

The Riverkeeper has cancelled the River Piddle work party due to the un-safe water levels and predicted poor weather forecast……. We will set another date once this wet spell is over.

November 24, 2012 by Filed under: Conditions 

More Flooding

After yesterdays downpour the River Frome is up and coloured. Today I joined the River Keeper (John Aplin) on his rounds.

It is amazing to see so much water about, but with the aquifers already full there is only one place the rain can go – downstream!!!

Lower Bockhampton

Looking Towards Grey’s Bridge

November 22, 2012 by Filed under: Conditions, Weather 

River Cerne Work Party

Saturdays work party on the River Cerne was held in glorious warm November sunshine, totally the opposite of the forecast.

We had a great morning clearing one or two fallen trees and blockages, thank you to Alan and Gary for coming out to help.

Please keep an eye on the DFC website for future work parties.

John Aplin

November 18, 2012 by Filed under: River Cerne, River Work 

Grayling Fishing Lesson

I have made no secret of the fact that I find grayling fishing difficult. Trout are not a problem but when it comes to grayling most of my visits to the river are a complete failure. Talking to the grayling enthusiasts in the Club who regularly catch a couple of dozen at every visit just adds to my frustration. How do these guys do it? Determined to give the grayling another chance to redeem themselves I set off yesterday morning full of hope and armed with some worms from my compost heap.

Weather and river conditions seemed ideal and my optimism rose even further when, walking up the river to begin fishing, I met Stuart, one of the Club’s grayling enthusiasts. It was only ten o’clock and Stuart had already caught more than a few. This boosted my optimism further so when I got to the swim that I thought would be a good starting point, memories of all previous failures were put behind me and I was convinced that it would be only a matter of minutes before I too was pulling them in. Two hours and not even one bite later I decided that I needed to pop home for the consolation of a sandwich and a cup of tea.

Walking back down the river I again met Stuart who had, of course, caught even more of these pesky fish. When I admitted that I had not even seen my float twitch he asked if I would like to go down to the next pool where he could show me how it should be done. The first thing was to look at my float and cast arrangement. Well, I was fishing with too thick nylon to the hook. I was using 3X where 5X or even finer was required. Secondly I did not have enough shot on my line. My float was not balanced and there was not enough shot weight to get the bait down. Thirdly I was obsessed with trotting the bait way down stream when grayling can often be caught within the rod length by leaving the float to bob around in a quiet backwater or near to the bank. Stuart spent a good half hour making me up a new cast with sweet corn bait and showing me where I should place my float in the swim.

Notwithstanding his best efforts no grayling appeared, probably because they were sulking from his earlier visit. After a quick lunch and armed with a can of sweet corn that had lain in the pantry for years I was back on the case. On the second cast the float zipped into the depths but the hoped for grayling turned out to be a decent trout quickly released and unharmed.

The next spot that I tried is reputed to be one of the best grayling swims in the river and sure enough after a minute or so the float was off again. It certainly was a big fish. The kind of trout that I would have been delighted to catch a month or so ago was released safely from the net. Maybe I should try a sweet corn nymph next season? So much for Stuart’s grayling fishing lesson I thought as I walked down to the next pool.

However, I should not have doubted his advice for within a few minutes I at last had a grayling in the net and to add to my satisfaction it was a decent specimen. The bites continued and I missed a few but in the end three grayling came to the net, two of which were over the 2 pound mark. The fish in the photograph had, what appears to be, the remains of an injury from a cormorant attack. Thanks again Stuart for the grayling fishing lesson. I have already ordered a proper float fishing rod.


October 26, 2012 by Filed under: Grayling Fishing 

Work Party & AGM Date

  • Saturday 17th November post season tidy River Cerne 9am
  • Saturday 24th November post season tidy River Piddle 9am
  • Monday 10th December AGM, Kings Arms
  • Saturday 15th December Whitfield Hatches tidy up 9am
October 18, 2012 by Filed under: River Work 

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