I used to fish for pike when I first joined the Club, but the rule of killing all pike didn’t work for me so I stopped. I’m not sure why I haven’t fished for these toothy critters since, because we can now return them!! After a failed attempt with John Aplin to catch a River Stour pike on the fly, I thought I would have a go on the Club’s water.
I cast the fly into a pool where John had recently seen a pike and it wasn’t long before there was a reaction – dam missed it. No worries, they say that pike will come again and it sure did. This jack pike gave a great fight and I was really pleased to catch my first pike on a fly. This wasn’t the first pike I saw because it was a lot smaller, so after 10 minutes I refished the pool and again he came for the fly. I was attached to this bigger pike for a second or two, enough to realise these are seriously ferocious fish and I would need to buy a bigger landing net!!!
Why not give this a try, you will need a 8# or 9# rod because the flies are huge and so can the fish! Flies are easy enough to tie and I just used a 5/0 sea hook, plenty of glitter (raid your Christmas decorations!!) and a lead dumbbell weight – these are 20cm long!! If you don’t tie flies, you can purchase them at Sportarm, Dorchester along with wire traces etc.
When gazing at the river have you ever wondered how much water is flowing past you?
The Club’s website gives the link to the Environment Agency and the water levels at Loud’s Mill and the weir on the Stinsford side stream but how do those relate to the amount of water flowing in the river?
There are two weirs and the fish pass at Loud’s Mill. According to EA figures the main weir is 10.66 metres wide and the width of the mill stream weir is 1.52 metres. They are both Crump weirs, a type widely used throughout UK Rivers because they have a stable flow against head characteristic and their calibration does not change much with changing water flow.
A text book equation for the flow over a Crump weir in cubic metres per second is: Q=2*W*H^1.5, where W is the width of the weir in metres and H is the upstream head in metres above level of the crest. Assuming that the water level measurement for Loud’s Mill is the same as the head over the weir, the flow can be estimated.
Yesterday, when I took the photo, the level at the front of the weir was 0.16 metres, which in theory gives a flow of 1.364 cubic metres per second or 1.364 tonnes per second.
According to the EA the typical range of river levels at Loud’s Mill is between 0.08 and 0.40 metres. This represents a range of flows over the main weir from 0.482 to 5.394 cubic metres per second.
In the photo you can see the 1 in 5 gradient fall off at the back of the weir. What you cannot see is the 1 in 2 slope at the submerged front of the weir leading into the crest. It is these slopes that are characteristic of a Crump weir.
By the way, yesterday the grayling fishing was good but instead of a fishing report I thought that some members might be interested to know how much water was coming down the river.
Here is a cracking grayling bug and one that fishes well in coloured water, exactly the conditions yesterday during the grayling workshop. It is based on a traditional grayling dry fly the Sturdy’s Fancy and was one of Reg Righyni’s favourite flies. I switched this to a nymph added a tungsten bead to get it down to the fish and it works very well, ask Elliot next time you see him!
Hook: 12-16 barbless
Tag: Bright red wool
Body: Dark hares fur
Rib: Gold wire
Wing: One turn of CDC Hackle (any colour, but here it is a yellow/olive)
Another successful workshop and I know a lot of anglers walked away with new skills on how to catch these wonderful fish. Conditions were fine, except for a slightly coloured river, but still plenty of grayling were caught by bait and by fly (I think fly even out did bait today!!)
Thanks to John Aplin for organising the day, but not for the Poet Laureate for ruining Trev’s steak!!
Fly worked just as well!!!
Today (just before the rain) there was a fish survey carried out on the Lower Water, to check on the previous river improvements. To say the results were good is very understating the results, as you can see by these fine specimens of grayling, brown trout and a sea trout.
I had a very pleasant session on the river fishing the Upper Water last Saturday. The water was clear and a reasonable height, with not too much wind. I was hoping for a large trout, having spotted a good specimen there previously, and did manage to spook a few, but none of them the monster I was after. I had even brought an appropriate snack to celebrate catching a large trout, a ‘peanut slab’ from big fish country, New Zealand. However, the day wore on, and still no monster trout. On the other hand, a fair few large grayling were visible so I changed tactics, dropping a pink nymph close to a good fish. Before it could react, a trout shot out from cover and took the fly, whilst the grayling promptly disappeared.
I did eventually get lucky with a good grayling on my trusty green nymph, and thought I would get an underwater shot whilst it recovered, but before I could even get the camera into the water, it was off. So here are shots of a trout on a pink nymph and my celebratory coffee. I was nervous the peanut slab would reach its ‘eat by’ date before I ever catch a monster trout, so I ate it anyway.
I received this email from a past Member (soon again to be a Member) and it is one post that doesn’t require photographs because he paints the scene so deliciously with words:- PS> he’s in British Columbia fishing for steelheads!!
Tourists and sun-lovers are in their element, this extraordinary hot Fall, John
Sunlight falls on mountains that frame the Bulkley Valley; rich pastures laze in its warmth; wild life relaxes before winter intrudes – hard to imagine a more halcyon scene. But I am a fisherman, longing for clouds, rain and cool to wake up steelhead lounging their idle lives in deep, dark inaccessible pools. Early morning and late evening they slip into faster, shallower runs, where I can pursue my ways, with a little more confidence.
Out of bed at 5.30 am and beside bank 6-8am is not first nature to me; bankside 6-8pm has greater attraction were it not for the imagined bears picking berries in the woods that line the river. So I compromise, staggering to the river around 6.30am, fishing hurriedly before the spoilsport sun blazes down the river. And the evening? I am there poised as soon as the sun throws shade from the now friendly trees, fishing avidly until light thickens, when the thought of munching bears, suggests a million reasons why I should head for a delayed supper. Needless to add, at that very urgent time steelhead show themselves, rolling on the surface as if asking me to play.
Last evening illustrates this dichotomy. With light falling fast, a large and thoughtless steelhead took my fly and set off for the Atlantic – well say about 50 yards of searing reel screaming, with plunges punctuated by huge leaps and surface thrashings. I was rooted to the spot on slippery stones, my foot pointedly imploring me not to set off after that lunatic fish. I shall spare you the joys and curses of a fierce but mercifully short fight, enough to paint the picture of me on my painful knees in a foot or two of fast water, handling a now glowering fish about 15 lbs in weight. It really was a magnificent creature, silvered flanks with broad stripe of purple hue, every inch a rebel. I made a lesser figure on my knees soaked by its splashings but determined to return it safely and unharmed. We parted, he with easy contempt ; I meeker, suddenly aware in the near darkness that an interesting half mile lay between me and the safety of the rented Mazda.
Your near intrepid pal
The Dorset Show with all its hustle & bustle was only happening just upstream, but down on the Lower Water we didn’t hear a thing, just the tweet of the kingfisher as it headed downstream.
The Chairman Bryan Sennett came across the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust tagging parr on the Upper Water yesterday and they were really pleased with the numbers of salmon parr – for more information on their wonderful work please follow this link www.gwct.org.uk