A few days ago I took an Australian officiating at the Olympic Sailing Event for a day on the river. Hugh is a mad keen trout fisherman from Sydney who had brought his rod and reel to the UK just in case he got the chance to go fishing. A rest day from the Laser event allowed the time to try his luck on the Club’s water. I must say that I was not too optimistic about his chances of having a good day in the quiet month of August but I was to be pleasantly surprised. When we arrived at the river the weather was overcast with quite a strong south-westerly wind. As nothing was rising I gave Hugh a nymph to try and let him get on with it dressed in a pair of waders that he had borrowed from me. The waders were soon to be full of water but that did not seem to trouble him too much – tough guys these Aussies.
I went on my way persevering with the nymph and I did succeed in turning a couple of fish. When I went back to find out how Hugh was doing I found him fishing the dry fly and he had caught three trout. Not so good I thought – Australia 3 UK 0 and on home waters. It is quite often the case that a visitor to the river tries a different approach and is rewarded with success. Hugh was fishing something that he called a coachman – a rather large fly that to me resembled a sedge. I was soon fishing with a sedge pattern and in the remaining half hour before lunch I had pushed the UK back up into contention with three trout to the net. A break for lunch over a Foster’s lager at the Sun Inn allowed an exchange of fishing experiences. Hugh’s home rivers are about 4 hours drive from his home in Sydney and the trout are not very free rising so he was used to fishing a dry fly into likely looking spots – a useful skill in August on the Frome.
Battle commenced after lunch and we both had some good fishing. A few fish were rising and these did not often refuse an orange sedge hog fly.
When we decided to pack up at 1700 I had to admit that Australia had convincingly won with a lovely 1 ½ pound trout that Hugh had photographed to remind him of his day on a Dorset river. The Frome could not have been in better condition for my guest. It is flowing beautifully clear at the moment. It is as a chalk stream should be and a joy to fish. Hugh was impressed by the number of trout in the river and he was even more impressed that there are no black tiger snakes. Back in Oz you have to keep one eye on the river for the fish and another eye on the bank for the snakes – and we complain about being stung by the nettles.
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