The Salisbury & District Angling Club
The Cart Shed
New Bottom Road
Stratford sub Castle


Dear Members

Subscription Renewal Reminder – Final Call
Membership Fees 2019/2020
Subscription rates agreed at the AGM held on Tuesday January 11th 2019
Game Full/Associate £265.00
Game Senior Citizen £203.00
Game Junior £57.00
Coarse Full/Associate £120.00
Coarse Senior Citizen £82.00
Coarse Junior £29.00

Renewals need to be received by 30th April at the very latest to secure membership.  There are many on the waiting list that would like a place.

Renewals can be done by cheque, cash, or BACS transfers but preferably online.

For BACS payments our account details are given below. Please use your membership number for reference.
Name: Salisbury & District Angling Club
Sort Code: 40 40 14
Account No: 21164015.

Renew Now

Game FishingJohn Stoddart Vice Chair Game

The game fishing section of the club goes from strength to strength. There are some years in the club’s history when very important  things have happened securing our future. I count among these several great fishery acquisitions, Durnford and the upper Wylye beats come to mind as examples. Then there are decisions such as the opening up of the game fishing to associate members which gave us the funds to acquire more and improve our waters without overstressing them. I also count the move to online renewals steamlining our financial and admin processes as one of those big steps forward for the club..

I believe that 2018/2019 has been one of those important years. We have completed the land purchase at Bonnymead, Amesbury, creating a combined asset with  the fishing rights we already own and a good strip of surrounding  land which we can manage for the best interests of the fishery. The  combined value will greatly enhance our capital asset base.  We hold water on all of Salisbury’s five rivers but our holding on the Ebble has been limited. This is a great little river with a deserved high reputation amongst the chalk streams. After a long negotiation we have secured the Homington Meadows beat with the Longford Estate. A lot of work was needed to get it in to shape, the Estate workforce and our own  have worked wonders. It is a great addition to our portfolio and further details will be sent out later in the year when the fishery is finally ready for opening.

The club’s “New Waters Fund” is something that we have been promoting in recent years, many members have made donations at renewal time and other sources of funds have been directed to it. This has enabled us to purchase Bonnymead and to spread our wings on the Ebble. Thank you to all those who have contributed. This year donations continue at a generous level and will go towards any future opportunities presenting themselves to the club.  We don’t spend willy nilly on new water, we know what we want and where we want it. A bit of the Ebble had been a long held ambition and there are a few more key opportunities we will be watching out for. Once again thank you for enabling the club to flourish.

These are notable events in the club’s history rightly deserving a little noise made about them. However behind the scenes the club has steadily been undergoing change to a much more planned and evidence based approach to the management of our assets. I want to thank our staff and our small dedicated team of volunteers and casual workers who have done so much to implement the plans and schemes of 2018/2019. The work list since the end of last season has been impressive.

The river improvements at Amesbury, the long berm and back stream.

The restoration of the Ratfyn beat. The restoration at Countess.

The extensive tree work and massive fencing excercise at Bonnymead.

The re laying of willow below Sleeper bridge to enhance the beat and relieve flooding.

The preparation of a new fishery at Homington.

In addition the game side keepers have contributed significant work to the mixed and coarse waters with a lake restoration at Dandy’s and work at Folds Farm. It is a wonder they have had time for the routine of tree pinning, bank repair, bridge building, replacement returns boxes , early season mowing, grannom transplant scheme and more that set the fisheries up for the 1st April every year, but they have and I am sure you appreciate their efforts.

The season starts with all waters open, some muddy banks at West Amesbury but a generally drying picture. Flow levels are good with a little colour in the Avon and we have seen the first of the big hatches , the grannom, starting to show in the warm spells.

The rainbow lakes are fishing well again after a poor year in 2018 with very high temperatures putting the fish in to a  state of inactivity. I personally have my doubts about the future of small water rainbow trout  fishing if we see a continuing warming picture. The smaller lakes can’t provide the conditions for healthy survival of trout in hot weather. We are not in crisis yet and we shall see but it is worth raising this warning.

Stocking for 2019 will be as for 2018. Same numbers, same beats, same supplier. The stock fish will be marked with a blue tag this year. (See page 6 in your year book) Please record all tagged fish in the returns books. The information we gather from the coloured tags is vital to fishery management. Please do not kill untagged fish, if you want fish for the pot take the stockies, by the end of the season we want them gone from the water so far as is possible. Last years stockies performed well with a much higher caught rate than in previous years.

Dates for annual weed cutting are in your year book and on our web site. Some members find the cut frustrating if they have travelled a long way and not checked the dates. Remember there will be weed in the river system for several days after the cut with club’s cutting all the way up the river and it all coming down through our water. We have the lowest game beats on the Avon so we get it all through. We now hand cut most of our beats enabling a more sympathetic approach. We sold our weed boat last year and now have a contractor in for the more difficult deep sections. Volunteers who want to try out weed cutting will be welcome. We start with cutting a channel down through Salisbury behind the cathedral and down to the collecting boom below Harnham Bridge. This enables all the weed from upriver to reach the boom. We move on upstream beat by beat. We will post information on the club forum about the progress of the weed cuts and other conditions affecting the rivers please sign up to the forum and keep an eye on developments.

Please remember that we are a club that promotes the traditional chalk stream style of upstream dry fly and nymph where possible to sighted fish. There are lots of fishing styles that might tempt members to boost their catch but it is not our way. No apology for this, it is what we are. Enjoy the slower pace, the whole fishing scene and disciplines involved. Other methods are welcome on the mixed fisheries and please don’t think they are second best for trout fishing to the premium waters. They provide some of our very best wild trout catches. All the information you need is in your year book. Please read it carefully as rules vary across the beats.

We have a waiting list of over 400 for associate membership and every year we admit a good number of full local members. We still offer the best value chalk stream fishing available as evidenced by the success of our donations to the auctions like the Wild Trout Trust. All our days usually command a high price at auction reflecting the value we offer.

I grow more and more convinced of the need to protect our fishing by careful management of our waters. Insect life is declining and fish stocks would follow. Everything I see and read tells me that the management styles we have been developing are the only way to secure our fishing for the future. Inevitably this means the fishing will be more difficult with more complex habitat both in and out of the water. We always want to maintain the fisheries in the chalk stream style so the comfort of benches, some cut grass and relatively easy access will be there but you will need to expect that the casting and fly presentation on the water might just become a bit more tricky.

Please note that our fishing days at Eastleigh beat Map 13 on the Wylye have changed and we will fish the Saturday instead of the Sunday through this season. Please amend your year book.

Annual Open Day – Amesbury Sunday 19th May.

Our Annual Flyfishing Open Day will be held at The Abbey Fishery on the River Avon (map 4 in your yearbook) on Sunday 19th of May, starting at 9:30am by kind permission of the owner David Cornelius-Reid

We are indebted to him for making his facilities available for our game meeting in 2018 and this year’s open day.

This year’s programme will be led by club member John Slader and committee member Kris Kent supported by volunteers from the club.  Both are experienced anglers and fishing  guides with years of experience on the water. The programme will include fly casting tuition, fly tying, entomology, rivercraft, a Q & A session and as we are close to the Abbey beat some time in small groups on the river with the instructors.
A buffet lunch is included in the ticket price of £20.00

Hot tea, coffee and cakes will also be available for sale.

The day is open to all members (Game and coarse) and their guests.
Tickets are limited and available through our online shop.

Book Your Ticket

Five Rivers Festival – Bank Holiday Monday, 27th May 2019

In celebration of the five rivers that pass through Salisbury – the Avon, Nadder, Ebble, Wylye and Bourne – comes the ‘Five Rivers Festival’ organised by the Salisbury Rotary Club. Why not come along to pay tribute to these beautiful stretches of water and take part in some exciting events. In the morning, there are three events taking place around Ashley Green – a River Float, two Bubble Football events and a special Car Boot Sale. The River Float is an opportunity for competent swimmers aged 12+ to float down a 0.8 mile stretch of the River Avon from Stink Pot Bridge at Stratford-sub-Castle down to Ashley Road.  At the end of the River Float, on Ashley Green, the Fire Station will be holding a special Car Boot Sale offering a great chance to sell your unwanted possessions, or to pick up a bargain.  Just up from Ashley Green on Fisherton Rec, there will be two Bubble Football events (one for adults, the other for those aged 13&14).  In the afternoon, things switch to the other side of the City and a 100 metre stretch of the River Avon from the Sea Cadet building down to Churchill Gardens. There will be three extremely entertaining and competitive River Races, all for competent swimmers aged 16+. There will be a Ladies’ Race, a Men’s Race and a Team Race. There will be hot and cold refreshments at each venue as well as additional entertainment for children.

Salisbury & District Angling Club will be on Ashley Green opposite the Fire Station providing insights into aquatic bug life and river conservation as well as answering questions about the Club and the new Small Fry initiative.

For more information visit the website:  HERE

New Committee Member – Kris Kent
Kris Kent has joined the Committee this spring. Kris will be helping with marketing, special events, social media and skills development as well as supporting Bill Latham with our online activities. He has a background in retail, marketing, consultancy, learning and development working for blue chip companies in the UK and Europe.  He is currently Fishing Manager at Orvis in Stockbridge and Chief Guide at Chalk Stream Dreams. In his limited spare time Kris writes for a number of print and online fishing magazines and supports the Wild Trout Trust and Grayling Society with their online communications. Kris has fished for over 25 years travelling throughout the UK, Europe, Scandinavia and the USA collecting rivers.

New committee member- Andy Bowditch
I have been a member of the Club for about 9 seasons and have been a volunteer Bailiff for several years.
I  have for several years been  thinking about setting up an idea where I could perhaps support Club members, who for whatever reason, may need support to help them continue fishing for another season or so, or just to support them whilst recovering from treatment.
I say this as several years ago on one of our beats, a fisherman was enjoying his day whilst accompanied by his  oxygen cylinder, amazing man..
This idea is obviously in its early stages but I would really like to  proceed with it, if there is anyone who thinks it could help them please contact Andreas at the Cartshed in the first instance.

Fishing 4 Forces – Andy Stafford

The Fishing 4 Forces events for 2019 have been scheduled and are listed in the membership books. First event is the fly fishing day at Manningford Lakes on Thursday May 16th. Last year, 6 anglers caught 16 trout up to 7.5lbs. This year we’ll be aiming to do even better than that! Also hoping for a few more participants from Tedworth House.

Flytriever – Andreas Topintzis

How do artificial flies get hooked on trees? One could write a book full of advice on how to minimise these losses, but at the end it is utterly unavoidable.

There is of course the cost of losing your flies to consider, plus the extra frustration of having sacrificed your favourite fly pattern on a high branch. Last but not least, having to change your leader and tippet in the fading light whilst the spinner fall is in full swing and fish are rising everywhere, will test the most patient fly anglers.
The most important consideration of all is the danger to wildlife which these hooks and lines pose when they are left up on trees. I am sure that all of us try our best to retrieve these flies, but it is not always possible. Our bailiffs and keepers are regularly on the water and keep an eye for these lost flies, but inevitably with such a large membership and many miles of rivers it is not an easy task.
Imagine photographs of song birds and bats hanging from tree branches and the adverse publicity which can start immediately in our age of social media.
Only recently, there was a selection of flies and tippet material put on public display by a local resident at Durrington fishery. Flies which were collected from trees and overhanging vegetation.
Following this incident, the club decided to stock a very versatile and easy to use “fly retriever” gadget which is offered to our members for purchase. The fly retriever can be bought online HERE for £14 and from the office at £12

Flytriever - Salisbury & District Angling Club

Small Fry – Ricky Polden

small fry - Salisbury 7 District Angling Club

During this  2019/20 season the Club is building on an initiative which started over ten years ago to help potential young anglers and encourage them to continue as lifelong enthusiastic anglers.
Over the decade we have been running Junior fishing experience evenings in August. They have always been well received and we are sure they have made a difference to many young people.
After the evenings we have always been asked ‘where can we go from here if I am too young to become a Junior Member? ’. – Well now we have an answer!
This year we have set up a pre-junior club called the ‘Small Fry Club’. Children from 6 to 11 years will be able to join. On receiving a Small Fry Membership Book they will be able to fish three of our waters. 1. Petersfinger, 2. Town Water and Parsonage Farm, and 3. Lord’s Walk Fishery.
There will be strict conditions laid down for these young members.
A responsible adult Parent or Guardian will complete the membership application form signing to abide by the rules laid down.
The child will always be accompanied by the responsible adult.
Application for membership will be on invitation to existing young anglers who have attended our sessions.
Recruitment will also be possible at any public day such as the 5 Rivers Festival on Monday 27th May on Ashley Green Salisbury or by direct application to our Office at the Cart Shed.
A fixture list of dates when we will be holding mentoring sessions this summer are detailed on the special page detailing the Small Fry Club in your New Year Book.
For this type of initiative to succeed we need keen helpers from our members to assist in any way they can. If you can help us please let me or Ben Bentley know.

Middle Avon memories and discoveries.

The White Horse Water – Dave George   

I had been an ‘on-and-off’ Associate Coarse Member of SDAC for a long time before I was able to take up a full membership when we moved to Ford in the Summer of 2012. Having retired in 2014, and last year relinquishing my long-time position as Secretary of the Upper Thames Winter League, I was surprised to find I was missing being involved in the administration of our sport, so when an opportunity arose to join the SDAC Committee I had no hesitation in applying and was delighted to be appointed in January of this year. On joining I was intrigued to be assigned responsibility for the monitoring, promotion, and development of the Coarse fishing aspects of our Middle Avon Fisheries, namely The White Horse water at Downton, Folds Farm at Breamore, and the North and South bank Burgate House Fishery.

The White Horse water was very familiar to me as it was previously administered by the Downton Angling Club of which I was once a member, and it was here that in my early twenties I was taught the basics of river fishing by local likely lad Dave Moody. I think Dave would call his teaching style tough but fair, I remember it as brutal and unforgiving, but that is another story!

I have fond memories of many ‘firsts’ on this stretch, 5lb Chub, 1lb Dace, a ‘double figure’ Pike, first River Carp and then first ‘double figure’ Carp, etc, etc, and topped off by a catch of 33 Chub from ‘Horners Corner’ one memorable opening day which when weighed by club stalwart Frank Gumbleton went to 103lb 13oz. The Chub are still there but sadly the smaller fish appear to be in what is hopefully a temporary cyclical decline. For our Game Members I would say the Trout potential is significant, the Bull Inn used to have a cased Trout of 13lb caught by a previous Downton Club Secretary, from Horners Corner again, (er…..on ledgered cheesepaste!), and on a maggot trotting session in 2017 I caught not a single Chub or Dace but fifeteen Trout to an estimated 3lb. Like most Middle Avon fisheries access can be a bit of a hike but recent work by our dedicated Match Secretary, Paul Barnard and keeper Steve Trevett, has cleared a path through the Copse and much improved things. I have also had tough fishing times there as well of course, but the potential is great so if you have not already tried it give it a go and hopefully some of that Middle Avon Magic will rub off on you.

Folds Farm and Burgate House were largely unknown to me and I was able to make several interesting and on a couple of occasions productive visits before the coarse river season ended last month, and I will hopefully be able to report on those in subsequent Newsletters.

Whitebird Lake at Steeple Langford –  Ben Bentley

A few weeks before the end of the season I had decided to try and target the bigger Bream in Whitebird lake at Steeple Langford. I arrived on Friday night a bit later than usual due to vehicle problems but I was soon setting up in an area where I have caught them before.  The target was a 6 lb but I had heard rumours of larger getting caught by some of the other anglers so there was always a chance of a surprise.  I found a silt gully beside a gravel bar and tried to feed 2 pints of particle mix (dead maggot, pellet and corn) as accurately as I could through the spod in the strengthening wind.  I started with 2 paternoster rigs over the baited spot, one on worm and the other fishing dead maggot on the hook, but by 9 pm and with no signs I decided to swap one rod onto a method feeder and ping it into the middle of the lake where I had an inkling that there may be some fish holding up.
About an hour later the baited area rod was away, as I picked the rod up I could tell it was a decent fish and I was soon slipping the net under a very decent looking bream.  As I was in the process of sorting the scales and camera the other rod was also away and this was another slightly smaller bream, what a start to the campaign.  I weighed the second fish first and it was 6lb 8oz, then it was the bigger fishes turn, it pulled the scales down to 8lb 10oz and was only 2 ounces under the club record!!  That was it I would have been happy packing up there and then which is just as well as I didn’t get any more signs throughout the night.
I was up early though and I saw a few carp showing, now as the bream tend to hang around with the carp the method was dispatched back out in that area, about 10 minutes after I had made a recast the method the rod pulled up tight and I was away.
As soon as I lifted into the fish I knew it was a carp, I started to worry straight away about the size 12 hook and 8lb mainline but it was very well behaved apart from swimming straight into and then out off a large snag to left of my swim. After a bit of messing about under the rod tip a LARGE carp was nestled into the landing net and to say I was happy was a massive understatement.  It weighed 32lb 12oz and is a new PB after over 10 years.
Photos done I gave it another hour but the fish had stopped showing and with storm Hannah closing in I went home a very very happy bunny…………..
Please feel free to ask any questions on the SDAC forum and I will endeavour to reply with a speedy answer.

Steeple Langford Lakes The Next Step  – Robby Sumsion
Many members will remember the large “fish kill” we suffered in May 2016.

Your committee, having given time for the water to settle, have had a number of meetings/visits to formulate a plan to improve the fishery and mitigate, as far as possible, the reasons that may have been the cause.
We also wish to improve the Small lake in particular, to bring it back to an all round coarse fishing lake.
This will entail several issues. Firstly we intend to install fish “refuges” by way of floating islands. These will give small to medium fish some degree of protection from predators and with the additional planting involved, will enhance the biodiversity which in turn will help to stabilise water quality.
Secondly, we will be trimming some of the trees to allow more light onto the water to allow the water temperature to be more consistent. This will also reduce leaf litter and improve the health of the trees. There are also a number of platforms and swims that need to be repaired/replaced and we intend to address this during the closed season, some have already been done.
Another important item will be the introduction of at least two specialist platforms and access paths for use by disabled anglers. These are being designed and installed with the assistance from the British Disabled Anglers Association.
We appreciate that predation remains an issue but there is little direct action we can take, other than to “scare” the cormorants and provide the above refuges.

All of the above will be done in consultation with the land owner Mrs Jill Delaney.

We hope to achieve most of this work during the close season but it will take some time for the planting to develop and become effective.

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