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!!!