Game Section - up-to-date news and information


For Winterborne Zelston


A Two Fish Ticket

Member - £15         Guest - £20


For Rawlsbury Lakes


A Two Fish Ticket

Member - £15          Guest - £20


A Three Fish Ticket

Member - £22          Guest - £30


A Four Fish  Ticket

Member - £30          Guest - £40


A Five Fish Ticket

Member - £37       Guest - £50


Trout tickets are available online to members to buy using Paypal but you require a password to access the 'Buy Tickets Page'. Please note there is a £1 surcharge in addition to the prices above when buying online via PayPal.


If you do not have a password please email the Game Secretary


When using a PayPal receipt please record your catch return and PayPal purchase on the special tickets provided at the venues and post this in the returns box; as well as recording on the catch return sheets.


Trout tickets can also be obtained for members and their guests at:


Conyers, West Street, Blandford


Red Post Garage, A31, Winterborne Zelston


Castaways, 78 Ashley Road, Poole, BH14  9BN


Wessex Angling, 321 Wimborne Road, Poole, BH15 3DH



The Club is pleased to let our members know that Winterborne Zelston has been stocked with trout during week ending 7th December and that the lake is now returning to it's normal water level. The lake seems to be refilling a bit quicker this year, compared to last, and we have to thank the almost constant rain for that.


It seems a fair time ago since the lake was properly fishable, so it was really satisfying to be able to put fish into the water and watch them swim away. There is a small amount of weed on the surface, presumably because temperatures have been higher than the norm for the time of year. But usually a small amount of weed on the surface is a good thing, in that it provides cover for the new fish. (Please remember to contact the Club immediately if you ever see cormorants on any of the Club's waters.)


The work on the walkway rebuild is going well (please see Mike Hirsh's latest article in the monthly Newsletter) despite the very wet weather which is slowing it down a little, although I'm sure that we would all rather have a lake full of water and a slow rebuild than the other way around.


The hot summer has taken it's toll regarding the growing on of large fish in the fish farms, so the Club will have to take it one month at a time when it comes to restocking. It's well known that rainbow trout are unhappy with higher water temperatures and the largest fish suffer the most.


The Game Section work party volunteers met up for an early Christmas Lunch on Tuesday 4th December at a pub just outside of Blandford. This group of members has grown steadily over the last three and fourteen of us sat down for lunch on the day. A couple of people weren't able to make it but now, with a group of sixteen (and help when needed from some of the coarse fishing members) we have a great base to tackle the regular maintenance issues as well as one off projects. As ever I would like to thank all of them for their time and effort through 2018.


So I trust that all of you have a merry and a happy Christmas and I wish you Tight Lines for 2019.





Club members have demolished the old, damaged walkway and begin the rebuild.





The water at Winterbourne Zelston is now at it's usual autumn low level. We're waiting for the winter rain to arrive and recharge the lake to a more useful level. The club will delay stocking for a while until the level rises and the water is refreshed.


Although the Canada geese appear on the lake from time to time, the action taken this year by members seems to have stopped the regular large quantities of birds from spending long periods on the lake. A step in the right right direction at least.


When the water level is low and the temperatures are high the odd trout is likely to show signs of Puffy Skin disease. At a recent course attended by Club officers and run by the Institute of Fisheries Management this condition was identified and discussed. It has appeared in recent years and is harmless to humans. If at anytime a member catches a fish with this problem please kill it, throw it away, catch a replacement fish but make a note in the diary on site. The club can then include such fish in it's restocking program.


The Club is in the process of rebuilding the board walk which runs around the south-east corner of the lake (next to the bungalows). Please take great care if you are on the lake and in that corner. The Club will keep members informed as the repair progresses.


During September a group of eight members attended the monthly work party and repainted the outside of the lodge. It's good to report that most of the paint ended up on the lodge, as intended, and not too much on the workers. Having suggested that bacon sandwiches would be ready to eat at one o'clock, it was interesting to see that the work was all finished at about two minutes to one.


One of the members again brought along his sit-on mower and the dam bank was given it's final cut for the season.


There is a final work party planned for Tuesday October 16th and, weather permitting, it is hoped to do some bush and tree pruning and some swim clearance ready fro next season. My thanks, as always, to the members who give up their time and travel to Rawlsbury to help on these work parties.


Rawlsbury Lakes will close as usual on the last day of October. The lakes will be re-stocked prior to the start of next season which starts as usual on March 1st







Reflections on the changing face of a lake.


As a trout fisherman, visiting Winterborne Zelston at this time of year can seem a bit disappointing. Arriving at 8.30am on a calm summer morning the lake surface appears to be mainly covered in floating weed and a duckweed scum and the water is at it's lower, summer time level. Not a pretty sight and virtually unfishable you might think. However, as I was there for a two hour stint with an air horn and not with a rod (scaring off the annual influx of Canada Geese seems to be working at the moment but long term we'll have to wait and see) I stood on the eastern jetty (next to the bungalows) and watched the water with interest as a light wind started to blow. Within half an hour the breeze had cleared about two thirds of the water surface. After scaring off some incoming geese with a couple of air horn blasts and having drunk a congratulatory cup of coffee, I went back to the east jetty and stood for a short while looking for any fish that might be about. Bearing in mind that the corner of the lake next to the bungalows is the deepest part, I imagined I might see a rainbow or two there. How pleased I was when a lovely pair of fish swam slowly towards me, low down in the water, but obviously quite happy. The largest was I would say, about four to five pounds the other one about three-ish. If I'd had a five weight rod, sinking tip fly line and a weighted nymph, it would have been an interesting morning. Moving to the south jetty and checking the same piece of water I was able to spot another three or four fish holding station or slowly cruising around.


Winterbourne Zelston is a challenging water at this time of year, and not to everyone's taste, but if it's possible to be flexible in your fishing times, and the conditions are right, there is still some fun to be had.


The lakes have seen a number of members taking advantage of the lower temperatures and the occasional rain which we had during August. The change in the weather appears to have freshened up the lakes. Fish are moving and large areas of the lake are easily fishable. Also the Club ran a volunteer's fishing day, as a thank you to the members who are able to help out with the maintenance of the lakes. The catching rate overall for the month was about 80% and one of the large brown trout was caught. Weed levels are manageable.


The next few weeks might be a good time to take advantage of our lovely complex before it closes at the end of October.


Enjoy your fishing.




Surprisingly the lake has less surface weed on it than last year. When the wind picks up approximately half of the lake surface is weed free. Of course the bottom growing weed is still a little high, and fishing is challenging but possible with a floating line and nymphs or small flies. But it is noticable that some of this bottom weed is already dying back. (Excess sun perhaps?). As advised last month, you might want to take a quick look before buying your ticket at the Red Post Garage. For those of you who fish Zelston regularly, the large fish which patrols the lake between the west jetty and the north-west corner is still there. (And has been most of the season I think). If you decide to fish a bit of stalking might be in order.


The swans are still in residence, as are a few Canada geese. If anyone notices the arrival of the large number of geese (which we had last year), please be kind enough to inform the club.


Surprisingly the lake has less surface weed on it than last year. When the wind picks up approximately half of the lake surface is Despite the hot weather we've received two interesting emails from members who have fished at Rawlsbury in July. One member put in an evening session and one fished in the early morning. Both had similar experiences. Fish were moving on the surface on Chapmans and many rises were seen. Catching was not overly difficult on a buzzer or small fly using a floating line. There is surface weed, as is usual this time of year, but about but half the lake, at the far end, is easily fishable. Fish were taken from swims on both banks.


The common factor here is obviously the lower temperatures experienced early or later in the day. Hot sunny afternoons are not ideal. Also one of the large browns was seen leaving the water in pursuit of a fly. And don't forget the tagged fish are in there somewhere!


There are fish in Cowlease, and here also you may need to work around some floating weed. At least three of our members have reported catching brown trout up at Viners.


Hopefully we'll soon get some cooler weather, but please don't be afraid to give it a go early or late in the day.




The weather through May and June this year has been hot and sunny. Great for a day on the beach, but a little more challenging for trout fishing. If you are able to do your fly fishing early morning or late afternoon/early evening no doubt this will improve your chances.


The water level at the lake is holding up well at the end of June. But be aware that the weed is now a good deal more prominent and some patience might be needed to deal with the conditions. Fish are being caught but you will note from the Catch Report Sheets that less people are fishing here than they were earlier in the season. The Club hopes to do some weed removal to improve the fishing conditions.


As always, please help out by clearing the outlet grill when you fish here. The paddock has been mowed and cleared by our local contact in the village and Gordon has kindly kept on top of the mowing and strimming.


You may well find the resident swans with their signets if you visit, as well as a couple of families of Canada geese.


Chapmans Lake and Cowlease were both stocked at the beginning of June. A range of different sizes went into the lakes. Because the normal larger rainbows were in short supply our fish supplier provided a number of good sized brownies for Chapmans are no extra cost. So this lake now contains a nice mix of fish: large and smaller rainbows, tagged rainbows (to win a free 3 fish ticket) and a selection of brown trout. The brownies in Chapmans you can of course take home if you wish but as always if you fish Viners please handle the fish carefully and return them.


Fish are being caught regularly and Chapmans is by far our easiest lake to fish at the moment, as much of the lake is still clear of weed. However, with the weather, it may take a little time to fill your ticket.


There are swans at present on Chapmans and Canada geese on Viners.


Seven of our members took part in a work party on the 12th June and continued with the good work done the previous month. Mowing and strimming of the paths and swims around Chapmans was carried out, as well as swim clearance. Access to fish this lake is looking the best that it has for some time and the Club would like to thank our volunteers for there efforts.


Please enjoy your fishing.



Car parking outside the lodge

Dam bank swims cleared

Swim wood and vegetation cleared


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What's happening over the coming months....

>>  We're delighted to announce that the Club now has access to five day tickets at both Orchard Lakes Fishery as well as Revels Fishery. See our venues page for more details.


>>  Our new for 2018 Annual Photography Competition has now launched. A designated page on the website is now live. Get your entry in for the chance to win a free annual membership.


>> Have a look at our new fish safety section from the main menu. Designed to provide  fundamental information on how best to target and land large fish. Have a read and if you think we can add any info, please get in touch.