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  1. River Lambourn - Shaw 0900 - 1200 Cold, bright and sunny. River quite low and gin clear as always! 24 Grayling - 7 over 1lb - biggest a couple of fish @ 1lb 5oz. Lovely morning's trotting - over half the fish from one swim - including 5 of the 'pounders'. Felt I was entertaining the local children at times as I had a crowd on onlookers everytime I landed a fish!
  2. River Lambourn - Newbury 1330 - 1630 Drizzly and breezy (despite the promise of a dry afternoon). 13/14ºC . River very low and full of leaves! 26 Grayling with more than half needing the net and a lot of fish an ounce or two either side of a pound. Biggest weighed in at 1lb 5oz. 4 trout to 1¾lb. Usual catch a couple and move on tactics - fish very spooky in very shallow water. Caught quite a few by 'sight fishing' - watching the maggot get taken and not waiting for the float to register!
  3. River Frome - Wool 0745 - 1500 Cool, bright (too bright!) and very breezy. River very low (lowest I've ever seen it). 56cm@ East Stoke. 19 Grayling; 7 over 1lb, best 1lb10oz. 1 Dace, 9oz, 7 Brownies. A bit of a struggles in challenging conditions - though the lure of a 3lb grayling will keep me coming back here! Fish very spooky in the low water so it paid to rest 'hot spots'. Dace was a nice bonus.
  4. Lower Itchen Fishery 0800 - 1700 Bright, mild and sunny. River low. 45 Grayling - with some 2 dozen over 1lb - most in the 20-24oz range. Biggest 2 went 1lb 11oz &1lb 12oz. A dozen+ brownies to 3½lb. 5 Salmon parr. Lovely day's trotting. Alternated between maggot and red corn all day and caught roughly equal numbers on each bait.
  5. River Lambourn - Shaw 1130 - 1430 Bright, sunny and cool - 4ºC. River 'full' and clear - travelled very light so no thermometer. 19 Grayling - 5 over 1lb, best 2 of 1lb 6oz each. 5 small Roach 3 Brown Trout (½ - ¾lb). Pleasant afternoon in the snow - all fish on trotted red maggot. Snow fish......
  6. River Frome - Wool 0830 - 1700 Cool and overcast. AT 1ºC -> 5ºC. River clear with normal flow and levels. 5 Grayling; 2lb 12oz, 2lb0oz and 3 tiddlers. 2 Brownies; 1 parr and a ¾lber. A day in Dorset with Rusty. This was another 'delayed decision' trip firstly because the forecast kept changing and secondly because of the forecast snow overnight potentially making the drive down problematic. However I judged that the river would be OK and this was the clincher. If Chris could get to me conditions should improve as we drove south. And so it proved - the dodgiest bit was a mere 400m from my house with Chris's car slewing across the road as he pulled into my lane. (Maybe I should have warned him about that! ) By lunchtime I was begining to wonder why we'd bothered. For a winter's day conditions appeared to be close to ideal - though maybe the overnight snow had put the fish off. Whatever, we struggled - big time. By noon I'd winkled out a tiny trout, and grayling barely any bigger (oh, and a minnow!). Chris was waiting for his first bite. I even (horrror of horrors ) but a feeder rod out for an hour while I had my lunch. (Chris captured the rare moment on camera so its not deniable ). This resulted in.....another minnow Chris meanwhile had covered every inch of the venue but was still biteless though I thoroughly admired his optimism when we strolled back up to the top of the venue at 2 o'clock. "Over 3 hours of daylight left - still plenty of time" he exclaimed - though for the next hour it was business as usual save for another micro-grayling that 'fell' to my rod. At around 3.00pm the sun came out and I said - more in hope than expectation - that the sudden change in light levels might wake the fish up. Prophetic words. I was first into a fish - suddenly shocked to be connected to something large I gingerly walked down to the fish - shouting for Chris to grab the net - preying it would stay on. Thankfully it did and I was soon juggling a large stroppy grayling on the bank. We both guessed at a big 1 - but I wasn't going to argue when the needle on my scales hovered bang on 2lb. Incredibly within 15 minutes I was returning the favour for Chris - who had dropped into the swim above me as I'd said it had produced for me in the past. Another big fish which like mine hung in the water and saved most of it fight for on the bank! Bigger than mine by an ounce - I was mightly relieved - incredibly we'd now both caught 2's. Despair to joy in under 20mins. My swim wasn't finished with me - another small grayling and a splashy trout followed before I connected with something really impressive which shot downstream into a riffle. Thankfully I had an able ghilly to call on who managed to get below it in the fast water and net it for me. This looked a lot bigger and Chris was muttering 3 as I put it on the scales, though having seen Paul's 2-15 3 weeks ago I knew this wasn't as big but at 2lb 12oz its my 3rd= biggest - and a great way to end the day - alls well that ends well! PS 3 weeks ago when I fished here it was to the sounds of sirens and police helicopters on a man hunt. This time it was to the sound of gun fire as the British Army shot up the Dorset countryside (the firing ranges are nearby!) Nice peaceful venue this! Pics on Chris's camera - so they will probably appear on his blog! And here they are... http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/forums/Frome-T...7-entry842.html
  7. Middle Kennet Estate - Kintbury 0800 - 1600 Bright and very windy especially on the meadows. River high and carrying quite a bit of colour - much more than is usual for here. Mild, around 10ºC all day. 18 Chub (!!): Only 1 under 2lb, most around 3lb with 6 fish over 4lb - biggest 5lb exactly (over 63lb of chub). 2 Grayling 2lb 5oz (!) & 1lb 3oz. 9 Brownies to 3lb+. For some time now Paul and I have had 2 dates pencilled in over the Christmas period to go fishing - 23rd & 27th. Dates of 2013's pre & post Christmas storms!! As Monday's trip was cancelled we kept a very keen eye on the next weather system and were gratified at its early arrival - meaning the day would be at least dry - if somewhat windy! However Monday delivered over 2 inches of rain and last night another third of an inch. The river wasn't flooded but it would be very coloured up. The river keeper thought we were barmy - but permissions were granted!! We agreed that we'd at least turn up have a look and if need be get back in the car and go somewhere else (though we really didn't have a Plan B!)We were pleasantly surprised at the levels - not at all flooded and whilst it was quite coloured we could just make out the bottom in fast shallows runs. So we concurred it was not completely hopeless - and set off to find some sheltered (from the wind)swims. Expectations were lowered somewhat - Paul even said we wouldn't get any grayling today!!! Any worries that it would be a struggle we quickly dispelled - fishing float fished red corn in a known chub spot I had 30lb of them in the first hour! Paul got off to a slower start so I invited him to run a float through said swim and sure enough the float dipped at THE spot and he was soon bringing a chub to the net. Eventually the bites dried up and I agreed to rest it 'til then end of the day and for Paul to finish off there - though when he did there were rather more trout than chub in residence! After this fantastic start it was off to explore some of the other favoured swims at the venue. The place used to be excellent for big perch - though the hotspot for these hasn't produced a decent fish for a few years - as was the case again today. After this Paul and I went our separate ways until lunch - Paul seeking out dace me just fishing for whatever! Just above the 'perch' swim is a trot where I've had chub in the past so I decided to trot maggot through it for a few minutes. Sure enough I was immediately into a fish - taken just where I expected a chub to be laying. The fight was somewhat prolonged and I was beginning to think it was a trout when up through the milky waters popped up a rather large grayling. I've caught bigger ladies from the Itchen and Dorset Frome but this is my biggest ever Kennet fish. Most unexpected and most welcome! The rest of the day was spent on the windswept meadows trying to eek out my supplies of sweetcorn. Highlight of the afternoon was 4 X 4lb+ chub in 4 casts - again all on red corn - they were really having it today! Paul managed to find some dace - I think he had a round a dozen with fish upto 10oz plus his chub count got into double figures. I don't think either of us expected such a good day's angling! Some Pics. No Perch here! One of Paul's Dace. Despite blowing a hoolie - Paul finds a quiet spot!
  8. River Lambourn - Shaw 1400 - 1600 Overcast after heavy rain - river with a little colour and up a couple of cm (18cm by the Shaw EA Gauge). 20 Grayling; Most quite small with around ½doz in the 12oz-1lb bracket. Going stir crazy after 3 days of rain - and wanting to catch my first fish of 2016. Thankful then for a 2 hour respite (in daylight). All fish from just 3 swims - which is somewhat unusual....
  9. Chris Plumb

    7 March

    River Lambourn - Newbury 0730 - 1000 Overcast and mild. River VERY full - over a foot up on normal winter levels, BUT clear as always. 22 Grayling - most in the 10-14oz class with a few slightly bigger. 1 Dace - 11oz (another sandpapery male). 2 Brownies. Usual fall back after another week of rain has pushed the Kennet into full flood again. Fish of a remarkably similar stamp - dace was a real bonus.
  10. River Lambourn - Newbury 0830 - 1100 Mild and overcast - river still quite low and gin clear as always.... 22 Grayling; Biggest 1lb 8oz with around half the rest a couple of ounces either side of a pound. 1 Roach: 1lb 2oz. 2 Brownies - a 2lber and a parr. Quick trotting session usual catch a couple and move on tactics - nice to get another decent roach from here.
  11. Chris Plumb

    7 October

    Lower Itchen Fishery 0730 - 1800 Cool, calm and cloudy. A lovely benign autumn day. River quite low. 70 Grayling (!): Best 1lb 12oz with nearly half the fish over 1lb - I weighed the first 6 fish I caught (to get my eye in!) and 5 were over a lb (but not by much!) pretty much every fish caught was of a similar stamp. 10 Brownies; 1½ - 2½lb. 1 Chub 2lb 5oz. Cracking days sport - which reached Mr Castwell proportions by the end of the day (yet another 1lb grayling) - tried as I might I couldn't find any really big ladies - the only 2lber turning out to be a chub! Still twas nice to see the river so full of fish. Most fish on trotted red corn (I got through nearly 4 cans of the stuff!).
  12. River Lambourn - Newbury & Shaw 0915 - 1530 Bright and breezy with some brief showers. River quite coloured after yesterday's heavy rain - but quickly fining down. 39 Grayling; Around a third over 12oz - biggest 2, 1lb 6oz & 1lb 9oz. 7 Brownies 4 parr fish and 3 over 1lb - biggest 3lb 14oz! Default venues when the Kennet is the colour of drinking chocolate. Did have a quick look in on Northcroft Stream - but even if it had been trottable I wouldn't have been able to fish it - twas full of kayakers! Biggest grayling and big brownie both from Shaw. My biggest Lambourn lady of the season - and my biggest ever brown trout from the river. All on trotted mag. Lambourn Lady
  13. Lower Itchen Fishery 0745 - 1615 Mild (10ºC all day) with some drizzle and some sunny spells becoming increasingly breezy. River at 'normal' levels. 49 Grayling; 16 over 1lb, best 3 - 1lb11oz, 1lb 9oz & 1lb 8oz. 2 Chub; 2lb 14oz & 2lb 10oz. 6 Brownies to 2½lb. A doz+++ parr (mainly salmon parr I think) Started with an hour in Wards Pool at the top of the fishery and had the 1-11 straight away - a great start though I wouldn't better it! That fish fell to corn which pretty much set up the pattern for the day. Spent the rest of the morning on the carrier which resulted in both chub and the next 2 biggest ladies plus another 3 'pounders'. These all falling to maggot. First part of the afternoon was rather scratchy - and was a case of trying to avoid the parr fish which behaved somewhat like minnows if you used maggot - so it was back to red corn and had a very productive last hour and a half - in a rarely fished swim - but one which has produced nice chub for me in the past. This time around it was just full of grayling I had around 20 in this dusk session, none below 12oz (and none above 1lb 4oz!). Still great sport though! Itchen Lady - not a great pic - the buggers will just NOT pose for their photo!
  14. River Frome - Wool. 0815 - 1415 Mild (14ºC), Overcast with drizzle at times and blowing an absolute hoolie (downstream). East Stoke river gauge 97cm. 33 Grayling. 16 over 1lb, with 4 over 2lb (though not by much) biggest 2lb 3oz. 3 Brownies, 1 'pounder' and 2 parrs. Bit of a gamble which paid off handsomely - my best ever return from this water - in terms of overall numbers - good to see a whole range of fish sizes too. After yesterday's rain it was touch and go whether I'd go - but the plan was get up early - check the East Stoke river gauge and go back to bed if need be. As it turned out it had only risen 5cm overnight and was already starting to drop so it wasn't long before I was heading off for a Little Chef Brekkie en route. Fish to maggot and corn (dyed orange and soaked in salmon oil) in roughly equal number. 3 of the 2lbers on corn though the biggest was on maggot. Surprising how often switching bait resulted in bites returning - would fish for 20mins or so on one bait - get a fish or two (and bump a fish or 2 as well!) until the bites dried up - switching often brought instant success in a swim I'd have other wise rested. Lost a really substantial fish when it belted down the shallows and I ran out of bank chasing it downstream...
  15. Chris Plumb

    29 August

    River Kennet - Nr Thatcham. 0945 - 1245 Calm and overcast with 'milky' sunshine. Not particularly warm for late August (19ºC) - but it made for a very pleasant morning's roaming. River looked in good nick, still quite low given all the rain we've had recently and with a little colour. 1 Grayling; 1lb 2oz, 2 Chublets (both close to 1lb). 14 Dace. 5 Brownies - 4 over 1lb to 1½lb. A morning's trotting - still hoping and trying for a float caught barbel this summer. Grayling was a bit of a surprise - my first 'pounder' from this bit of river since 2/3/91!
  16. River Itchen 0830 - 1700 A rather 'lively' day weather wise - dry but windy until 1100 then 2½hrs of heavy rain (and even windier) followed by 2½hrs of dry weather with even heavier rain for the last hour - by which time the river was colouring up. First day of rain after a fortnight of benign, calm conditions - poo! 17 Grayling; 8 over 1lb - best 5; 2lb 1oz, 1lb 14oz, 1lb 11oz 1lb 10oz X2. 3 Chub 3lb 6oz X2 (not the same fish!) and 2lb 13oz. 4 Brownies to 3lb and a salmon parr. Question: is Costa Coffee trying to take over the world - or at least highway food service? Plan B to get a decent 'full English' was again thwarted by said chain taking over the franchise on the M3 Winchester services. So fishing in somewhat challenging conditions without even a cooked brekkie inside me - pah! The morning though wasn't too bad - very windy but the rain arrived a little later than predicted. The river was quite pacey - in fact too fast for a couple of 'banker swims'. However I eventually found some fish - and had a decent spell when I had 4 of my 5 biggest grayling in under an hour from the same swim - all on trotted red corn - which caught nearly all my fish today. The 1-14 in 'mid flick'. Best of around a dozen shots! Smiling AGAIN!!!
  17. River Frome - Wool 0800 - 1500 Bright and sunny after a frosty and misty start. River in great nick - clear with good pace - 0.94cm on the East Stoke river gauge. 10 Grayling; Half over a lb. Best 3; 2lb 3oz, 1lb 11oz, 1lb 9oz. 1 Sea Trout; c2lb.1 Salmon parr, 1 Trout parr. A 'sparkly' day in Dorset which got off to a real flyer - with the biggest 3 grayling listed above all on the bank by 0830!. Once the sun was up for the day the fishing turned into a bit of a grueller, catching wise - though was a very pleasant days angling in the sun. First time I've actually caught on sweetcorn from here too - so the experiment of soaking orange corn in salmon oil met with limited success (I had 2 fish on it - though the 2lber was on maggot). In the past the Frome fish have turned their noses up at my red corn (which catches me plenty of fish on the Itchen) so today was an opportunity to try something different.
  18. A Southern Chalk Stream ! Dawn till Dusk! Sunny spells and heavy showers - which apart from a brief downpour in the 1st hour missed us completely! Saw some very black clouds to the east and west of us in the afternoon - but nothing over us - so we had the sunny spells while others had the heavy showers - hooray!! 73(!) Grayling. 36(!) over a 1lb. Most in the 1¼ lb - 1lb 10oz bracket. Biggest 5 went; 2lb 6oz, 2lb 2oz, 2lb 0oz, 1lb 15oz & 1lb 13oz. 3 Chub; 5lb 0oz, 4lb 7oz, 3lb 0oz. 20 Brownies to 3lb. 1 Salmon Parr. Brilliant day's fishing. Though the day didn't get off to the best of starts - no big breakfast! We pulled into Sutton Scotney services on the A34 on the stroke of 7am - with saliva glans already working overtime in anticipation of a Little Chef Olympic Breakfast only to discover the Little Chef has been replaced by a Costa Coffee! Popping next door for a MacDonalds breakfast bagel was scant replacement. We're going to have to suss out alternatives for future trips! When we arrived we were delighted to see the river was in fantastic nick especially given the heavy rain the previous day. Last winters floods have significantly remodelled parts of the river bed so we had some new swims to explore - though the biggies and the chub were still in their regular haunts. Biggest 2 chub and 2 of the 2 pound grayling caught on trotted red corn - though the 2-6 was on red maggot. Paul also had a good return with around 50 grayling to 2lb 2oz - and he even had PB sea trout of 4lb 10oz or is it a Salmon? Answers on a postcard see pic below. Fat 5lber. As usual trying to take a pic of a grayling is akin to trying to give a cat a pill. This was about my 6th attempt with my 1st 2 of the day - I gave up after this! Just about got this one (though the tail is in mid flick). Though my biggest of the day did stay still just long enough. A couple of Paul's 'trout' which I'm putting up for identification purposes! Pretty sure this is a sea trout. But is this a sea trout or a salmon?
  19. River Lambourn - Shaw 0815 - 1145 Bright, cool and sunny. Temp up to 5ºC. River quite low as you'd expect this time of year. 31 grayling; All a decent size, nothing below a band 3 (20cm) and most 25cm+. Biggest 1lb 5oz with lots of fish an ounce or so either side of the 1lb mark. 1 trout parr. First trip to the Lambourn this winter and it didn't disappoint. Most fish (2/3rds) from the church stretch where I was also bitten off by a rather large pike!
  20. River Frome - Wool 0815 - 1445 Bright and sunny with a cool breeze. River in good flow but quite coloured up. River gauge at East Stoke 0.90m 10 Grayling; 7 over 1lb - best 3; 2lb 13oz, 2lb 2oz, 1lb 12oz. 4 Brownies - 3 over 1lb - biggest just under 4lb, 1 Salmon Parr. After last winter I was determined to get down to Dorset at the first opportunity - even if conditions were likely to be sub-optimal. Which certainly was the case. There was a lot more colour in the river than I would have liked and after a couple of hours I was beginning to think it was a wasted journey. I had caught by then - a small grayling in the first 10 mins was followed by not a lot else. And by now the place was heaving with other anglers also making the most of a lovely autumn day. Most like me were roaming so all the swims on the top beat quickly had a visit - so imagine my surprise at dropping into a recently vacated swim and getting a 2lb 13oz grayling within 5 mins!! The next hour in the same spot produced the 2nd and 3rd biggest of the day along with another pounder and a trout. Hooray! My 3rd= biggest ever lady and justification for getting up at 0500 on a sunday! After lunch was spent exploring the lower beat - one that I rarely visit - but I also reasoned there wouldn't be many others either (Rusty called this beat the wilderness due to it lack of features - and lack of fish!) I didn't quite have the beat to myself - but spoke to a couple of anglers who had been catching regularly. I dropped in downstream and soon snaffled a couple of grayling but thereafter kept hooking trout - including the biggie and a couple more which got off - one after doing quite a bit of aerobatics! As ever trying to take a picture of a grayling is akin to trying to give a cat a pill. This was the best of around half a dozen - but is still flicking its tail....
  21. River Lambourn - Shaw 0800 - 1100 Cold & misty/overcast. -1ºC -> 3ºC 8 Grayling - 3 'pounders', biggest 1lb 5oz, 3 Roach - biggest 1lb 6oz (!), 5 small brownies - oh and a bullhead! Slow morning, bites hard to come by - so the roach - caught almost last cast, was a real and very pleasant suprise. My biggest from this venue (don't ever remember having one worthy of the scales before)! Upto that point I was most pleased with the bullhead (!), my 1st of the season & another point for the IAC species race! Bullhead was a whopper - for the species! Close to a British Record I reckon!
  22. River Itchen - Gaters Mill (Lower Itchen Fishery) 0830 - 1730 Mild and overcast all day 2ºC -> 10ºC. Calm, becoming very breezy by mid-afternoon. Heavy drizzle for last 2 hours. 24 Grayling (15 over 1lb - in order of capture - 2lb 1oz, 1lb 10oz, 1lb 13oz, 2lb 7oz, 1lb 8oz, 1lb 5oz, 2lb 0oz, 1lb 10oz, 1lb 8oz, 1lb 14oz, 1lb 11oz, 1lb 12oz, 1lb 7oz, 1lb 12oz, 2lb 9oz) 9 Brownies to 2½lb, 1 Sea Trout 1¾lb, 2 Salmon Parr, 3 chublets & a small roach! Had to work MUCH harder than our previous trip in October (see entry for 8 Oct) but all the more satisfying for that! Fished 7 swims in rotation - 'catch a couple and rest the swim' was order of the day. A switch to banana flavoured (I kid you not!)sweetcorn brought 11 grayling and 9 trout to the net in the last 2 hours - from swims that had stopped giving me bites on maggot. Wished I'd switched to trotting corn earlier!!! Paul managed 'just' 6 Grayling (3 after I told him to switch to corn!), however his biggest fell to red maggot - a stunning fish of 2lb 14oz & his new PB! Below is a (not very good!) pic of my 2.09. Paul's whopper.
  23. River Lambourn - Newbury 1000 - 1300 River very full - carrying some colour. 2 Grayling 1lb 11oz & tiddler, 1 Roach - 10oz, 3 Brownies to 2¼lb First hour trotting bread in the hope of a nice roach - but only attracted the trout. Biggest Grayling from the Lambourn this season. Checking back in my diaries its my biggest from the Lambourn since 2003 (to the day!)
  24. Middle Kennet Estate - Nr Hungerford 0700 - 1745 Clear and misty then overcast - touch of frost to start, Max of 10ºC. River at 'normal' levels. 36 Grayling - 16 over 1lb - best 3; 2lb 1oz, 1lb15oz, 1lb 13oz, 6 Roach - best 4; 1lb 6oz, 1lb 4oz, 1lb 3oz, 14oz, 9 Dace - best 4; 15oz, 14oz, 12oz, 11oz, 9 Rainbow Trout to 2lb, 3 Brownies to 2½lb. Fantastic days trotting. First ever 2lb+ Kennet grayling - my previous river best was 1.14 so beat it twice today. All roach and big dace in last 2 hours - nearly all on single white maggot.
  25. River Itchen - Lower Itchen Fishery 0830 - 1745 Bright and sunny start - clouding over in afternoon. Max AT 13ºC. River still quite high and carrying a surprising amount of colour given that we've had no rain for a fortnight. 16 Grayling (10 over 1lb - in order of capture: 1lb 2oz, 2lb12oz, 2lb 6oz, 1lb 4oz, 2lb 10oz*, 1lb 5oz, 2lb 1oz*, 1lb 10oz, 2lb 11oz, 1lb 7oz*), 1 Chub 3lb 3oz, 2 small brownies. Hard (well harder than usual!) but very rewarding day's trotting. All fish on sweetcorn except * which fell to single white maggot. No fish caught at all on red maggot! 3rd, 4th= & 6th= (!) biggest ever grayling. 2lb 12oz 2lb 11oz
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