I couldn’t resist a quick trip to the river on Sunday, and was surprised to find that a good few members had had the same idea.
Admittedly conditions looked good, water not too clear, no wind, and temperature somewhere around 3C. It was one of those days when it was actually possible to change the fly and even the leader without hands freezing.
Soon after I had started fishing I noticed some small grayling rising, which (for me at least) is a rare sight on the Frome in winter. I took off my nymph and switched to a dry fly, although past experience told me not to be too optimistic with this method. After I had covered the rise several times and had more or less given up hope, I completely missed the fish that took my small beige klinkhamer. So it was back to the nymph and whilst changing the fly a very large salmon leapt from the river right at my feet, which got my heart beating.
A small pheasant tail seemed to be the fly of the day, and in two different pools I lost two large grayling which both took the nymph very aggressively but each freed itself after a short but vigorous struggle in the current. The only fish I did get to hand were two much smaller grayling, which also hit the fly hard (but did not warrant a photo).
So the only picture for the day is the fallen beech tree by Bockhampton bridge, fortunately the gate and lock escaped unscathed. Some decent firewood, but more than I could carry.
First work party of the year and we worked hard up from Whitfield Hatches clearing over hanging trees and bushes. Shame more people didn’t turn out because with more help we could have achieved so much more.
We also checked out the trout hatchery which is helping to boost the natural head of trout. We could see there where many swim-up-fry in the box and shoals of small fish all round the hatch box. It wasn’t until I checked the video at home that I realised the vast majority of these little fish where minnows!!
I had a good day on DFC water yesterday with eight grayling up to 40cm, one tiny sprod grayling of less than 10cm,
plus a couple of wild browns (possibly the same fish once in the morning and again later in the afternoon). I fished through the area we discussed with small tungsten bead nymphs, size 16 and 14 and initially had one brown, about 20cm, four grayling 32cm to 40cm, and the sprod grayling, I weighed the 40cm fish which was close to 2lbs. I also had a couple of little egrets for company for the first half hour of fishing, they didn’t seem too concerned about my presence.
Moved up into the hatch pool where I hooked but dropped a fish so continued above the hatches where I missed a further fish in a nice glide. I wandered a bit further upstream to renew my acquaintance with this stretch of water and came across salmon and possibly large sea trout busy on redds in a run between a series of bends.
Continuing upstream I came across further salmon activity and spent part of the afternoon trying to get a reasonable photos of spawning activity using the camera through the lens of my polaroids. Due to low light conditions the results weren’t great but the best of the photos at least shows the extent of a redd with fish on the far side of it close to the bank.
I finally dropped back to where I had commence the day and had a further three grayling between 27cm to 30cm plus
What I reckon was the same trout as earlier in the day. I had a real heart stopping moment whilst trying to free my line from one of the rocks in the pool when a cock salmon with a hugh kipe showed itself a few feet behind where my line was snagged. I briefly thought that it might not be a rock that I was pulling against but the fish return to its lie whilst I continued my losing battle with the rock. There were a few fish rising during the afternoon but I stuck it out with my sub surface tactics.
I hope to get back sometime next week as the river, although low, is in great condition. As there are so many fishing distractions I will bring a proper camera and filters to see if I can get some better shots of the salmon activity.
Day tickets for 2012 are now available :- please click here