Hello everyone,


As we look towards the winter months I hope you get the chance to enjoy a day’s fishing. As the weather has been a bit challenging lately it's quite difficult to get on the water and cast a fly without being drenched but we fisherfolk are hardy souls, aren’t we?




As I have previously mentioned our efforts at Rawlsbury particularly Chapmans and Cowleaze has meant that we have been granted a further two weeks fishing until November 14th. Please make the most of the extension to the season if you can. Since we stocked the lake at the beginning of the month our members have reported some great fishing with most trout being taken at an average weight of 3 to 4Ib.

Some of the catch reports are as follows:-


•         Two from Chapmans 3lb & 3 3/4lb. Damsel & Olive nymph

My Guest also had two from Chapmans both 3 1/2lb. Olive Nymph.

•         Today mid 3lbrs. 1from chapmans 1 cowleaze. 1from sandys lake. Green gold head nymph. Black hot head damsel.

•         Chapmans – 3:13 1” unweighted dark olive damsel (3/4”) about 15 seconds down so maybe a foot down.


Cowleaze – 2:2 (yes that small) Montana with a rabbit tail and chain bead eyes. On a fast intermediate about 10 seconds down.


Chapmans was orange/brown with maybe 4ft visibility


Cowleaze was maybe half that visibility hence the dark, bulky and generally larger fly.


Also tried Sandy’s where the visibility was maybe a foot. Several fish showing on the surface. Managed to get one on a black muddler just below the surface but didn’t land it. Was a hell of a take!


Tried Viners at the end which was remarkably clear and had a rainbow of about 5 to 6 lbs on the same damsel as above but with a crushed barb. It took right next to the Reed Mace and then went half way across the lake once and a good third across twice more. It was a very lean and fit looking fish with a spade of a tail.





During October Winterborne Zelston has been recovering from some low water levels and we have had mixed reports from members including one or two blanks. As conditions return to normal there are still some specimen fish to be caught.


Today was some great fishing ,9lb and a 3lb. I had one fish about 5lb plus but the line broke

I then dropped the net in the water and a box of flies. Wow so exciting. It was hard but once I found their hiding place, it was all over


COP 26


This is a vast subject and I will attempt to be as brief as possible but I think this is too important a topic not to mention. This week the world will be focusing on the UN climate change conference COP 26 in Glasgow. There will be many discussions on how we can reduce C02 levels and the disastrous effects if we don’t curb our enthusiasm for poisoning our earth. Yet on a more local level as I  walk the river and lake margins I cannot help but notice the increasing lack of animal and fly life. What is causing this dearth of living organisms, what are the processes that are causing this? Of course, pollution is a major factor. Measurements taken by the Environment Agency (EA) show a raft of hazardous pollutants, including metals, pesticides and industrial waste, breaching safety limits.


Only recently, after a huge amount of pressure from interest groups like the Angling Trust we have seen a U turn by the government in realising that we have to prevent raw sewage from discharging into our rivers, over 400,000 times last year! Yet do we believe anything will come from this about turn? The evidence so far is dubious. The water companies seem to be more interested in paying their shareholders than investing in the necessary infrastructure. Organisations like the Environment agency and Ofwat who are the government bodies supposed to act on these breaches and take the water companies to task, seem to be incapable of getting to grips with the problem.


There are solutions being discussed which are not just increased sewage capacity. Some involve sustainable drainage systems which is a new fangled term for an old fashioned approach to water management, ie wetlands, ponds and ditches. These methods were commonly used by our farmers to absorb, slow and divert water. The benefits are increasing bio- diversity, so more insects for our fish to eat! We are waking up to these ideas but it’s a slow process.


At a local level the effects of pollution on the club's waters are always going to be a concern. At Winterborne Zelston we monitor the water quality twice a year. This ensures that our fish have the best possible environment to live and provide the sport that we enjoy. We want them to be in the best possible condition which requires high levels of oxygen. So we do our best to measure what processes can affect the water quality. One indicator is the measurement of Nitrates. Nitrates are a source of plant nutrition, If Aquatic plants have unlimited sources of nitrates then growth will go unchecked. We have seen this all year at WZ and Rawlsbury. Need I remind you of the work parties we have carried out this year to clear the weed.


An excess of nitrates acts like a fertiliser for plants and Algae causing instability in oxygen levels.  High during day, Low during night. This can in extreme conditions cause fish stress and alters their behavioural pattern. Indeed high levels of algae cause dense water conditions and block light from more submerged oxygenators. Plants die off on the bottom and decay.  Decomposing bacteria feed off decaying plants using up more oxygen. It’s a process that can have a catastrophic effect on rivers and lakes leading to Eutrophication in the worst cases.


At Winterborne Zelston the nitrate levels were at around 5 on average in 2020. This year we have an average of 19. a significant increase which we shall continue to monitor. There could be many factors involved in causing this - it’s a concern!


So what of our weed issues? Nitrates certainly contribute to the growth and we shall continue to cut and drag the lake to provide clear areas for fishing.


If you made it to the end of this diatribe, well done,


That’s all for now,


Best wishes,