FROM THE CHURCH LANE END The Dorset Stour, Parley, 15 October 2021 (Session 41_2021)

The camera has narrowed the river in this snap
  • Venue: The Dorset Stour, R&DAA’s Parley Fishery
  • Swim: The second swim upstream from the entrance
  • Time: 10:45 to 11:45
  • Weather: Cooler than it has been for a while, minimal wind, cloudy before rain came in during the afternoon

Having digressed far and wide in my previous post I will endeavour to stay on topic this time. However, fishing for a mere hour at a river 11 miles from home perhaps need an explanation, especially when petrol prices are steadily heading north. So, as background Christmas shopping has already started at Sidestream Towers, or more to the point what passes at Sidestream Towers these days for Christmas shopping has already started. Consequently I had to head to north Bournemouth to collect a pair of new cricket pads for my son to open on Christmas Day and to try and look surprised about. Despite being a little pressed for time as visitors are coming at the weekend and having neglected housework in favour of the garden over the last 10 days, it made sense to put the tackle on the car. I knew my route home would mean a choice of passing either the club stretch of the Stour at Parley, or the free stretch on the opposite bank. At the Northbourne Roundabout I flipped a mental coin and chose the club stretch, so in cricket terms I opted to bowl from the Church Lane End rather than the Kingfisher Barn End!

To some extent this was more about research than actually fishing, but whereas I could have spent the entire hour walking the bank, it seemed more enjoyable to spend some of the time with a bait in the water. In my last post I mentioned a post on the club website saying that we are “… now entering the best of the fisherman’s year …”. The post went on to say “… good fish being taken from the bank side slacks. Stret pegging or laying-on with float tackle set over depth, seemed to work well …”. Taking this on board from the entrance I walked upstream as far as the iron fence looking for a likely eddy and, almost inevitably, ended up walking back to the second swim I had passed. In this swim there was a near bank slack under an overhanging tree, so I decided to set up there:

  • Tackle: The Avon rod, 6lb line to a size 10 hook
  • Method: Stret pegging with a SB Stivon 3AAA float
  • Bait: Brandling tipped with red maggot and flake
  • Ground Bait: Loose fed red maggot and pearl barley

The plus sides of the hour was that I managed to control the float nicely on a few trots through the swim and also to cast under the overhanging branches and stret peg with no mishaps. The downside was that in the time I was there, there wasn’t the slightest nudge or indication of a fish being interested. I guess if I am to crack river fishing no one said it would be easy and gaining competence with my rigs in the first step. A blank, but a short session and I am not disheartened.

As I was leaving I passed another angler who was trotting a glide with maggots and picking up some silver fish along with the minnows that maggots attract. So, there is clearly more than one way to crack this nut.

Lessons learnt; not a lot to file away from such a brief session, but., had I been planing a longer session a wider range of loose feed and some ground bait would have come into play. Overall I am feeling upbeat about trying my luck a few times above the tidal stretch of the Stour

Next steps; short term next week sees a double tide in the afternoons on the Tidal Stour so Wick and perhaps the royalty on the Avon beckon. However, rain is forecast most days and there isn’t a lot of shelter in these locations. Longer term we are heading into the months where I may try for still water perch and as to the Middle Stour, the newish club car park at Blackwater is a tad nearer to home than Parley so Beat Three of Throop might be worth a try.

5 thoughts on “FROM THE CHURCH LANE END The Dorset Stour, Parley, 15 October 2021 (Session 41_2021)

  1. You are putting yourself under a lot of pressure trying to catch fish in only an hour. Maybe it is just me but I find it is often only once I have been fishing for a while that there is some action, presumably when the groundbait/loose feeding has pulled a few fish into the swim. At least it looked like a nice day to be out on the bank (we are in typical Irish wet and windy mode here now). Have you tried hemp on the river?



    1. Colin

      I take your point, but one of the odd things about my make up is I approach fishing in a sort of ‘let’s give it a go see what happens’ kind of way, so yes an hour’s session has a good chance of being a blank, but que sera sera. I do get angsty about other things and, for example, get grumpy internally if I play badminton like a drain. Even things like a tray of seeds failing to germinate will play on my mind more than a blank.

      One observation I would make though is that what historic success I’ve had with chub has often been in the first couple of casts in a swim. I appreciate consistent/prolonged feeding will pull chub in, but sometimes they are there already and a bit of stealth, a big bait and no initial ground bait can pay off.

      I subscribe to the view that life is to short to use hemp as a hook bait, but I do value it as an attractor. Admittedly I have overlooked it recently but thanks for the reminder as if I do fish through the winter, loose fed hemp should come into play. Incidentally my home mixed ground bait does have crushed hemp in it.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. While I don’t loose any sleep over a blank I tend to disect what happened after the event in an effort to learn something. Often, especially with salmon fishing it is just a case of the fish were not responding, but I always think I should be able to catch something when after coarse fish.
        I have doing a fair bit of ghillieing this summer, taking visiting anglers out on the big western lough. It has been very enjoyable and I have learned a lot about how different anglers approach their fishing. From that I now realise that I make changes much more frequently than most others. I still have to figure out if that is a good thing or not!
        My plans to try hemp as a hook bait this winter for roach have been scuppered which might be as well given my eyesight. Like you, I value it my groundbait as an attractor and will keep adding it to the mix. I have started retaining the water used to cook the hemp and adding it when mixing the groundbait.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Looks a very nice piece of water from the photo…. 🙂
      To me, it looks like an ideal bit to freeline a blob of cheese or worm down under the nearside vegetation or the far side reeds…

      Re: claretbumbler’s remarks on groundbait – with only such a short time for fishing – groundbait, to me, would not be worth the time, effort or materials as more time would be needed to draw the fish upon that feed to be effective? I’d probably just tend towards frequent and small feedings of free offerings or even just small helpings of very sloppy cereal groundbait to drift as as a cloud as opposed to creating a bed with a few maggots and wheat/hemp/barley fed to the bait area?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Colin and Steve

        To answer Colin’s points, the line I’ve used before is that if God intended us to fish with hemp as hook bait he wouldn’t have invented tares!

        I guess as I include ‘lessons learnt’ and ‘next steps’ in each post I do subscribe to the ‘plan-do-review cycle’ , although a) perhaps not that successfully where fishing is concerned and b) I doubt I would use that terminology if I was leaning on the bar of the Duck and Ferret with my mates.

        Re Steve’s comments, yes I thought I didn’t have time to launch a successful ground bait barrage. With hindsight I probably should have moved every fifteen minutes and tried three spots in my hour. Next time I will try and go for longer and try the ground bait, fish, move and return routine. Next time ,,, em next time … when will that be as I’ve not been fishing for ten days.

        Probably worth remembering this was mainly a ‘as I’m passing anyway spare hour’ and to some extent reconnaissance.

        Stay well all.



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