Ed Zern a man noted for his irreverent views on all things sporting, once remarked “There are few things deader than a dead brown-trout stream”, and I was faced with such a situation when I visited the Frome on a day ticket on Tuesday 8 September 2009.
The portents were good. A day of low pressure, a south-westerly breeze, low light and warmth promised ideal conditions, but the river was unexpectedly dead. No hatch = no surface activity. What does a visiting angler do? Sit and wait for something to happen, or go in search of some action. I chose the latter and began a slow walk upstream from Whitfield Hatches exploring likely looking holding spots by flicking a size 16 F Fly as a searching pattern, and was rewarded by half a dozen nice browns. After a quick bite to eat, it was then time for a brisk walk downstream to Gifford’s Pool to commence the afternoon’s operations, and the dead brown-trout stream suddenly awoke from its torpor at 1415.
I was wading the bend at Withy Bed when I became aware of a sparse hatch of Pale Wateries, and taking advantage of this late season bounty were several large browns, one of which was extravagantly ‘head rising’ with dorsal and tail also showing. It took my size 18 Pale Watery imitation as soon as it dropped into its feeding lane, and after a short but violent struggle (I like to keep big fish on the surface and off balance as much as possible so they don’t weed me) a magnificently colored brown trout of some 16 inches was brought to hand. A few minutes later its companion also obliged – similar size, same fly and same end result, and my day was complete. The hatch of Pale Wateries quickly faltered and eventually ceased, and rigor mortis once again returned to the Frome.
On the long drive home I reflected on my day – I was certainly fortunate to be in the right place, at the right time, or else Ed Zern would have been proved right (as he usually was!).
The Club is a private one, founded in 1877, of approximately sixty-four members and six Town Rod subscribers. The Club’s waters consist of about 12 miles of wild brown trout & grayling fishing in the main River Frome, River Cerne and River Piddle, together with attendant carriers and side streams. The waters extend both above and below the town of Dorchester and the Club employs a part-time keeper.
Day Tickets are only available during the trout season and only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays & Bank Holidays. (season 1st April – 14th October)
The Police have made it quite clear that poaching is a crime in progress covered by the 1968 Theft Act. Members should always call 999 to report it and not phone the keeper. Without a report the police will not be aware of the extent of a problem.
If possible note or photo vehicles.
Stress if you are vulnerable/elderly or at risk of intimidation..
In order to give the call handler an accurate location they recommend putting the “what3words” app on your smartphone. Click here…
Angling’s representative body, the Angling Trust, has a web site for anglers to record sightings of cormorants, goosanders and mergansers throughout the UK: www.cormorantwatch.com The site is easy to use and will gather vital data to help persuade government of the need for action to protect fisheries.
Invasive plants and animals can carry diseases that kill fish, block waterways and banks, interfering with fishing. They can be small and hard to spot, so are easily spread on damp clothing and equipment.
Protect the environment and fishing you enjoy, by keeping your kit free of invasive plants and animals.
To find out more please visit
the NNSS Website