3 January 2016

Grayling on the River Frome 2015



The river Frome is one of Englands most beautiful rivers that’s winds its way through the south and provides some magnificent fishing for both game and coarse anglers alike. The river rises in the Dorset Downs at Evershot, passes through Maiden Newton, Dorchester, West Stafford and Woodsford. At Wareham it and the River Piddle, also known as the River Trent, flow into Poole Harbour via the Wareham Channel.
The river carves its way through some of the most idyllic English country side and draws in anglers from all over the country. With its crystal clear water, specimen fish and superb surroundings it is a river that I have always wanted to fish and I would now have that opportunity.
The primary species present are trout, salmon and some cracking roach in the lower stretches but it was the specimen grayling to over 4lb that I would be targeting on the particular trip. The stretch in question that I fish does not allow coarse fishing methods and so my trusty centerpin reel and trotting gear would have to stay at home in the shed. On this trip I would be using fly fishing techniques and not having that much experience with the fly it was a daunting prospect to say the least. Add to this the fact that this stretch is particularly hard I had definitely jumped in the deep end. Although daunting the experience would be enjoyable and I would be able to refine my fly fishing technique tailored to suit small fast flowing rivers.

On arrival the river looked in pristine condition and perfect for catching a grayling on the fly. The set up was fairly simple and I fished with a imitation daddy long legs dry fly as a visual indicator  with a weighted Czech Nympth underneath. The style of fishing adopted for these grayling in the fast flowing clear water is to find the fish and then draw a fly past them in the hope of a take. This was easier said then done and after walking the river most of the day I didn't managed to spot my quarry. I did see some magnificent sea trout of up to 10lb patrolling the margins heading upstream.
I had two days in Dorset to try and catch a Grayling so I wasn't to worried about getting amongst them quickly and viewed the session as a learning curve in fly fishing with a chance to improve my technique. With nothing to show for my efforts on the first day I retreated to my annex and headed to the pub for a slap up meal and a couple of well deserved beers. Sitting in the pub I reflected on the day and planned my attack for tomorrow. I must mention that on the first day I  had a great guide who showed my the ropes and was extremely helpful pointing out the main holding areas that these elusive monsters reside in.
Day two arrived but the conditions had changed for the worst. It had rained for most of the night and the water had become slightly murky but this coupled with the lack of sun that helps to pierce the water layers and spot the fish made the day extremely challenging. Some areas of the river did allow clear viewing to the bottom but this was mainly on the shallow glides that didn't seem to hold any fish on this particular day. I spent a lot of time looking but again couldn't find one grayling which made me resort to blind fishing. Blind fishing is basically fishing likely spots that could hold fish such as pools and hope a grayling is waiting in the depths hungry for a fly.
The day passed uneventful but I had a great time on the river and cannot wait to get back. It really has opened my eyes to the world of fly fishing and I will be making an effort to do more this year. The highlight of the session was a 10lb plus wild sea trout actually swimming through my legs when wading in the shallow water. Hopefully I can improve my fly fishing and come back to catch one of the most beautiful fish in our rivers, the Lady of the stream.