I’d been meaning to attend the Dorset Chalk Stream Club for years. John’s reports on Facebook had whet my appetite. This January everything fell into place, so Friday afternoon I jumped in the car and headed down to West Stafford. Mr Aplin very kindly offered me his sofa for the night so I could relax and have a beer or two.
Having helped John get everything set up I chatted with some of the other attendees as they started to arrive, food offerings in hand. Some of the other people I knew but lots were people I hadn’t met before and it was nice to put a few faces to names and make some new friends. 19.30 sharp John kicked off proceedings, welcoming the attendees and speakers and running through the agenda.
The first two presentations were from Dorset Wildlife Trust. Angus Menzies kicked things off with Rivers and the Riverfly, how invertebrate life is being used to assess river health and identify incidents affecting fish and anglers. Jacob Dew then introduced himself and the Dorset Wild Rivers Project, a major restoration project led by Dorset Wildlife Trust with funding from Wessex Water and Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Focussing on the Frome and Piddle Valleys and the chalk stream tributaries of the Stour, Allen, Tarrant and North Winterbournes. Jacob works with land owners, fishing groups and The Wild Trout Trust, restoring rivers for the benefit of fish and invertebrates, reducing agricultural run-off into the chalk streams and creating wetland habitats in the floodplains.
Terry Jane ended the presentations with The River Frome – From Source to Sea, a great little film tracing the course of the Frome from its source at Evershot to its terminus at Poole Harbour.
After the lights came back on we all tucked in to the fabulous selection of foods everyone had brought with them and enjoyed a pint or two brought over from The Wise Man. As I chatted with some of the regulars we admired the fly rods brought along by local fine rod builder Tom Regula.
As everyone drifted off around 22.30 all that was left to do was tidy up the village hall before heading back to Johns and a good nights sleep on his very comfortable sofa. A wonderful, entertaining evening, highly recommended.
Cheers, Kris Kent
Photo by David Burton
It was great to see so many friendly faces at tonights meeting, especially as it is only a week before Christmas.
Charles Jardine gave an entertaining illustrated talk on his recent visit to fish the Elk River in Colorado. Were he enjoyed spending time exploring a river, discovering some of its secrets. Before moving on to fish the small streams of California.
Then his son Alex showed us the delights of fishing the Ribnic & Pliva rivers in Bosnia. Fishing can get a little crowded at times, but if you listen to the guides, you will start to catch some of the beautiful trout & grayling.
As we all settled down enjoying the food and chatting about fishing, Charles spent some considerable time showing this young man how to sketch trout – brilliant thank you Charles.
Also on hand with his amazing split can rods was Tom Regula and the meeting spilled outside to cast these wonderful delicate wands – for more info head to his website www.tomregularods.co.uk
Big thanks to John Aplin for arranging another great meeting, too all those who brought along food, helped put out & back the chairs, kitchen staff and the biggest thanks to Charles & Alex Jardine, both giants in our wonderful world of fly fishing.. More in 2017…………….
A packed hall listened to an enthralling insight into the world of big wild trout hunting on the Rivers Wye, Dove & tributaries. Glen Pointing was as entertaining as informative on all thing dry fly and his goal to create THE Dry Fly that transcends all others.
He was aided & abetted by Adam Stafford (Wet Your Knot, Mouse & Keyboard Operative), Phil Ratcliffe (GAIA, FFF, pro guide), Scott Webster (big game stalker), Mark Brando (river/game keeper) and Tim Roberts (Islay Scottish Loch’s) – thanks guys for a great evenings chat.
Also there was Toby from Funky Fly Tying, who has the best selection of fly tying gear & tackle around…
Thanks again to everyone who contributed to the evening, table & chair stackers, washer uppers, food providers and of Course John Aplin for his continued enthusiasm – looking forward too the next meeting already..
First on was Fiona Bowles (Water Environment and Catchment Specialist) who very kindly gave us an update on the Poole Harbour Catchment Initiative and how Wessex Water is keen to get everyone involved in this initiative – for more details head to their website.
Our second speaker was David Burton “A river runs through IT” – a hugely entertaining presentation about David’s early years as a fly fisherman and his steep learning curve into a fisherman that now catches some fine looking trout from our local rivers.
We then had a food break, enjoying all the wonderful plates of food that members had brought along…
Then it was the turn of Richard Miller & John Thorpe, who talked about their holiday fishing the Oykel and Knoydart, up on the west coast of Scotland. It is one of the remotest spots in the UK and also some of the most unspoilt fisheries – I can imagine a few more Dorset folk heading that way in the very near future.
First meeting of the year and another great turnout.
Huge thank you to Jon Hulland & Jim Chalmers for their great presentations on the night, also thanks to all the helpers and to John Aplin for organising these meets…
Jon Hulland talked about a year in the life of a Fish Health Inspector – fascinating just how much goes on behind the scenes to keep the UK with one of the healthiest stocks of fish. It wasn’t all glamorous, mostly traffic jams on the M25 and tons of dead fish!!
Jim Chalmers presented his new passion, fishing the lochs of South Uist, Scotland. This is one wild and windy place to fish – just have look at a map to see just how many mind boggling number of lochs there are!!
Thanks again Jon & Jim…..