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We're always updating our news feed to keep our membership up-to-date with Club news.


See this months news below as well as links to previous articles.


For full details on how to join and the rates for 2018/19


Further details on all of our waters and concessions.



Visit Kieth's website here:


Visit Kevin's website here:


Visit Hugh's website here:

Wildlife images courtesy of Hugh Miles.

WDAC offers our membership the chance to fish two trout waters, Winterborne Zelston and Rawlsbury


WDAC runs numerous matches across the calendar year, encompassing both stillwaters and the River Stour. Matches are also held on non-club waters.



£175 worth of Sticky Baits prizes of for grabs!


A page of the website purely for our younger members.


For full details on how to join and the rates for 2018/19


Further details on all of our waters and concessions.

WDAC offers our membership the chance to fish two trout waters, Winterborne Zelston and Rawlsbury


WDAC runs numerous matches across the calendar year, encompassing both stillwaters and the River Stour. Matches are also held on non-club waters.



£175 worth of Sticky Baits prizes of for grabs!


A page of the website purely for our younger members.



Visit Hugh's website here:

MAY 2019

Our jewel in the crown

By Hugh Miles

  • 'Jewel in the crown' from Club Committee member, Hugh Miles
  • 'WDAC and the Wild Trout Trust' from Club Secretary Stuart Hitchman
  • 'Novice Trout Fishing Day Winterborne Zelston 4 May 2019' from Club Chairman  Mike Hirsh
  • 'Back online' from Club Media Officer, James Nash

If you’re a lover of wildlife, you’ll know there are places that you visit which touch your soul. I’ve recently returned from just such a place.


This place isn't grand, it's just a shallow half-acre lake surrounded by woodland and fields with a little river running through it. Neither is it ancient, for until recently it was a silted up hole in the ground which required three years of hard graft by members and volunteers to transform into a haven for wildlife. It's become very valuable.


The future's bright - the future's gold

Carving the lake from the overgrown countryside with the owners blessing

Why it has a magical quality is a mystery but lying in a hollow in a quiet corner of sunny Dorset, it is the very essence of peace and tranquillity, apart that is from the deafening birdsong. In just two visits I’ve already identified thirty-seven different species, so all of them think it’s a special place too.


With a steady flow of crystal clear water, weed growth is prolific, so the lake makes an ideal home for tench and crucians. The club has stocked lots of both this past couple of years and they are growing rapidly. They have even bred successfully. The water is alive with food and fat fish.

Thousands of tons of silt were removed

Drastic measures but what a transformation

Nature's powers of recovery are remarkable and when clean water is provided, extremely rapid

Just a few of the large numbers of tench and crucians stocked into our lake

What a cute little tench, hardly out of nappies

All the tench are in superb condition and fiesty when hooked


1st May was the day our members were allowed to fish it for the first time so a couple of days later I arrived at sunrise to see whether our club had created the ideal fishery for some traditional angling.


The mist rose gently from the calm water as I carefully cleared a narrow strip in the weed, using a small rake on the end of my landing net pole very close to the bank.

Tench love weed and the food and cover it provides, so I was careful to only scrape out enough to provide a clearing for my tiny pole float and create a spot for my bait to rest on the silt.

Quietly lowering a small pole cup of chopped worms in dark groundbait along with a pinch of hempseed, pellets and maggots into the swim, I inched my little bit of worm over the top before enjoying the damp air rising above the willows and alders.


Those moments when waiting for the first signs of interest from the fish are as good as they get, though I didn’t have to wait long before the float tip trembled before being pulled slowly under. A gentle strike, a wriggling resistance and the fattest little tench lay in the landing net and made my day.

My very first tench from our new pool, tempted by a bit of worm

Luckily it was the first of many, so another little pot of tempting morsels was added to the swim after every couple of tench and didn’t they fight, stretching my elastic to the point where I thought I’d be broken. They were the most perfect fish, golden red-eyed beauties, the females so fat that spawning was surely imminent.

They are the most perfect example of tench

It was a little cool and early for the crucians to add to my enjoyment but they will surely be delighting us all before too many weeks have passed and I was more than happy with the eleven tench caught in the four hours I was able to escape the world.

Chris casting into the future

Chris catching the future


They weren’t all small either, several being around the three pound mark or more and really feisty too. Neither did I  catch as many as several other members, so for our Wimborne Club, it has been mission accomplished.


Three years ago the WDAC set out to create a traditional tench and crucian fishery for our members and with the help of many volunteers and organisations like the EA and Angling Trust, the results are simply delightful. I’d strongly recommend you give it a try ; it really is a jewel in our crown.

A happy angler with a good 'un

WDAC and the Wild Trout Trust

By Stuart Hitchman

Wimborne and District Angling Club and the Wild Trout Trust – proof that working in partnership is a force multiplier.


A small team of WDAC volunteers under the expert guidance of Mike Blackmore from the Wild Trout Trust has recently completed a joint river restoration project.


Mike kindly raised a report on behalf of WDAC identifying how stretches of the River Stour could be enhanced to improve biodiversity and assist fish recruitment. On the back of this report Mike applied for funding to the EA Fisheries Improvement Programme. It is a credit to Mike’s powerful justification within the application, that his bid was successful, despite the recent cuts in grant monies available.


Moreover, Mike was also able to secure all of the necessary documentation clearances, a complex and essential requirement when working within the flood plain.


In broad handfuls the project aims were to desilt the cattle drinks and the ditch upstream of Julian’s bridge on the Club’s Netherwood Mead stretch.


Below is a pictorial description of the works:

The beautiful River Stour

Nick Lawrie with the first bucket of silt from the cattle drink

Mike Blackmore and Nick Lawrie survey the depth to gravel.

The dried out cattle drink transformed into a precious fry bay.

 First cut to desilt the ditch.

Early stages of desilting the ditch

The ditch is starting to take shape

Upstream cattle drink de-silted and improved access onto the island.

The excavated silt recycled to fill the upper section of the ditch above the second cattle drink.

Improved access to the fishery is provided via the newly installed culvert.

Tree at the upstream boundary safely crowned.

Club President, Brian Heap, surveying the completed project.

A successful project is fully endorsed as fry are observed populating the ditch.

Huge thanks to Club members Nick Lawrie, Mervyn Griffiths, Nigel Taylor, Brian Heap and Stuart Hitchman. A job well done.

Back online

By James Nash

The Club's new page

Having fallen foul of the guidelines set out by Facebook, we're pleased in inform members that the Club's new page is now up and running. As we mentioned in our interval newsletter,  the Club apologises for any inconvenience caused during this untimely disruption.


A huge thank you to those who have shown their support. This will help the Club re-establish its presence and ensure both existing and potential members are kept up-to-date. The reviews have been fantastic, a particular thank you to these members for their continued support.


With continued improvement works and a busy schedule of events, WDAC is going from strength to strength - testament to those who work so hard to keep this momentum going.


To follow the page if you've yet to do so, simply follow the link below:

Novice Trout Fishing Day Winterborne Zelston 4 May 2019

By Mike Hirsh

As part of the pay back to the Angling Trust for grant funding the storage container and refurbishment of the fishing platforms Club Officers had been considering a day to introduce new anglers to fly fishing. As our water at Winterborne Zelston is best in Spring we decided that early May was the right time and we settled on the Saturday of the Early May Bank Holiday.


The Club needed to find a qualified coach for the event, as whilst the Club has a number of excellent fly fishermen, to give the day structure some proper tuition was needed. Fortunately, Mike Bilson, who I have known for many years, through our membership of the Salmon and Trout Conservation Wessex Branch, volunteered his services.  With that sorted we delivered letters to villagers, put an advert in the local village magazine and then the stalwarts of the Club’s Game Section put their backs into polishing the banks.

If the event had been set up for the week before then it would have been called off. I was working, clearing up bits and pieces in the paddock, as 60 mph gusts, driven by storm Hannah, drove some of the biggest waves I have ever seen at Zelston towards the east shore.  One shower of hailstones drove me to hide in the container!  A reminder, if ever one was needed, about never taking spring weather for granted.


Gordon continued to cut the grass and Simon brought over his tractor and cut the paddock so it could be used for parking. Additional swims were cut on the west bank and weed was collected and Bob also added a weed deflector to the outflow with the help of the usual suspects. Paul masterminded stocking, including ten blue trout which, if caught, meant prizes!


Key players met the day before to ensure all was ready. Sean Harris, WDAC Welfare Officer, arrived and could not believe how clear and beautiful the water looked – it is the best piece of small, still water trout fishing anywhere [until the springs stop running and the weed grows in the summer]. I did ask him why he had not ever visited it before and got some weak reply about not being a trout fisherman!

Two of us went pond dipping – with nets. As part of the Mike Bilson tuition it was agreed we would provide examples of the aquatic life in the lake upon which trout feed. There aquarium, provided by Steve Neale, was filled with snails, leeches, water louse, shrimps and cased caddis; but the highlights were two beautiful damsel nymphs and two baby pike. The pikelets were no more than a month old and of course immediately sparked a further round of speculation about the size of the mother!


Saturday the 4th was largely sunny but with a strong wind from the north blowing around a Force 6 and with the odd gust even stronger. Jan looked please to stay mostly in the hut and provide refreshments.  It made for really difficult casting all day. Mike took three groups, coaching a total of twenty anglers through the day, which had all been pre-booked to avoid both confusion and disappointment. His formal tuition lasted for about an hour and then the would-be trout catchers were passed on to Club members for one to one guiding to try and catch a trout.  It says a great deal for the patience of our Club volunteers and the enthusiasm of those who came to fish that despite the wind all persevered and fifteen of the twenty caught trout. Of course the youngest, Elliott, and thus the smallest caught the largest (at 5lbs 3oz) in no small measure thanks to the skills of Gareth who also supplied flies for all to use.  Even those who did not catch watched follows to their fly or had hook ups and lost fish in the difficult conditions.

Of course, I had written a health and safety assessment and thus nobody fell in, was attacked by our pair of swans, needed the Village defibrillator, or even got themselves seriously hooked [barbless flies, with sunglasses and hats worn of course]. Everyone had a good time and I had one conversation with a local who would like to join the Club so she can sit on the bank and watch the fish swim by – she had no idea that such  a beautiful lake was in walking distance of her house! (I real jolt to my system about how fortunate I am too).


Chris Milne who is not a Club member, but is already course fisherman, and fished in the last group of the day, caught a blue trout just one ounce larger than the blue his friend, Cronon, caught and they were the only blues landed.  Chris gets free membership for a year and I am sure will make use of it. Of the other eighteen who fished on the day, at least three have either joined up or are in process of doing so and several others are really interested.


From discussion it seems that there is also a real interest in having beginner days for Club members who do a bit of trout fishing but wish to improve. A number of the Club volunteers present would be happy to run some practical workshop sessions at both Zelston and Rawlsbury to provide a forum for gaining both knowledge and discussing techniques, so if you are interested please email the Game Secretary. We might also do a session on rivers too.






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