A sea­son on the chalk­streams

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - LETTERS -

As a fish­er­man on the Frome and Pid­dle beats run by Wes­sex Chalk Streams syn­di­cate, I thought you may be in­ter­ested in my 2018 sea­son. It didn’t start well be­cause late rains in March meant both rivers were very full, but on April 1 I did catch a crack­ing brace of trout from the Pid­dle, be­fore tor­ren­tial rain made the rivers un­fish­able for a few days. Once that passed, they fished well for trout on the fly. The mayfly sea­son was dis­jointed, but pro­duced good fish­ing. As the mayfly ended, the heat­wave started with a vengeance. June, July and Au­gust fished well for me de­spite lower flows and heat. If you got up early and fished from 6am till 10am the trout were hun­gry, even when the heat was op­pres­sive. If you chose a shaded beat, fish could still be caught. Sep­tem­ber and Oc­to­ber were cooler, al­low­ing more tra­di­tional fish­ing times and de­spite the low flows I en­joyed good catches, mainly to nymphs. Wes­sex Trout Lakes at Tolpud­dle in Dorset had a su­per sea­son. Rain­bow, blue and brown trout were caught through­out the heat­wave. I fished the lakes on the hottest day of the sum­mer and took my limit bag in an hour be­tween 1.30pm and 2.30pm. Now comes the bad news. The salmon sea­son on the Frome was a dis­as­ter. They didn’t ap­pear in the river un­til well af­ter the sea­son ended. Last year was my per­sonal best sea­son for brown trout and my worst for salmon. Why? Per­haps chalk streams stay cooler and late win­ter rain main­tained flows un­til Sep­tem­ber. I say: "If you don’t wet the line, you will never catch any­thing." Pe­ter Mullins, by e-mail

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