CHARLES RANGELEY-WILSON’S FABULOUS FROME FISHERY
Rivers have their fishing stories, tall or not, but those of the Frome, as befits its reputation as one of England’s best all-round game fisheries, are mostly true: salmon up to 50 lb; large sea-trout; British record grayling; monster pike; and a 13 lb wild brown trout eventually landed in the dark in a clothes basket. And the sturgeon that lived in the river for weeks, surviving gunshot and an elephant rifle, before being caught by rod with the help of a seine net. As required it was offered to the King but, having been graciously refused by George V, its final resting place was Dorset County Museum. It was 9 ft long and weighed 230 lb. Rising in west Dorset and flowing through the beautiful Wessex countryside before entering the English Channel near Wareham, the Frome can be deceptive. Never very wide – in most places an enthusiastic cast can lose you your fly in undergrowth on the opposite bank – it varies from a dry-fly chalkstream of the upper reaches to deeper pools downstream that can hold large fish. Now Charles Rangeley-wilson, co-founder of the Wild Trout Trust, is to sell his Frampton Fishery, an unstocked wild fishery run on a catch-and-release basis. Situated at Frampton, upstream from Dorchester, it runs through the grounds of what was once Frampton House, a country mansion built in the early 18th century with grounds laid out by Capability Brown in 1790. The parkland setting remains, although the house was demolished in the 1930s. The fishery extends to just under 1,100 yards of double bank from the listed grade II Peacock Bridge upstream to Sandway’s Bridge. An established fisherman’s path runs along the righthand (southern) bank. In the central part of the beat there is a freehold strip of riparian land, and a small patch of freehold land for parking (although in practice it is easier to park on the south side of the bridge). There is a good head of wild trout with a few up to 2 lb and last year one of 3 lb, as well as a growing population of grayling.
Looks inviting, doesn’t it? The Frampton beat extends to 1,100 yards.
The ornate Peacock Bridge over the Frome forms the lower limit.
The fish are wild, as one would expect.