2022 mayfly newsletter

Pre-Mayfly Newsletter

You can download the newsletter as a DOCX or a PDF

We have now completed the pre-mayfly stocking on those river fisheries where we supplement the native populations. These are:

  • the Dudgrove and Whelford stretches of the Coln
  • the Glyme
  • the Windrush beats at Widford, Asthall and Worsham.

These latter stretches are looking in reasonable condition at the moment, with a relatively decent flow considering the very low rainfall in the early months of the year. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the colour and clarity.
I made a short visit to the Glyme yesterday afternoon (May 9th). Some mayfly started to emerge after 4pm. Anecdotally (at least) the beginning of the hatches goes from the eastern waters to the west over a period of a week or so – so I guess we are under starter’s orders.

As we are about to enter the busiest time of the year, please remember the basic rules of fly fishing etiquette and give your fellow anglers plenty of space. As a general rule, please start at the bottom of your beat and work upstream and when moving to the bottom of the beat try to keep away from the river edge to avoid disturbing fish and fishers. Please abide by the rules on maximum numbers of members and be prepared to move on to another fishery if you arrive and find a fishery fully occupied. We have more than 30 miles of water available to us, all with good mayfly hatches, so there is plenty of room for all.

Please note especially the limits on rod numbers at Abbotswood. Only three cars are allowed at the Lower Abbotswood parking; a reminder that the code is 1970.

Remember too that there are specific restrictions on taking guests between May 10th and June 10th on all our waters (see the handbook for details).

At Dudgrove, the beat system is again in place. Please follow the instructions in the club handbook; several members have complained of people straying onto ‘their’ beat for the day. Note that you may change onto another beat after 4pm if the member originally on that beat has signed out.

At Bibury Court, several members have reported issues with cattle interfering with their cars in the designated parking area. We understand that it is permissible to pass through the gate adjoining the parking area and park off the track leading up to the wooden lodge.

Members have reported finding evidence of poaching on several of our waters. Collating such reports may be useful for the longer term to identify poaching hotspots. What to do if you witness a poaching incident is highlighted on the back of the handbook.

Finally, a plea for your help in addressing what is an existential crisis for the club. The cumulative effect of sustained illegal sewage discharges by Thames Water is having a substantial and noticeable negative impact on our rivers and it is getting worse each year. High nitrate and phosphate concentrations in the water cause algal blooms as well as killing some insect species directly. The algal growth smothers the river bottom and causes turbidity that kills the ranunculus weed where the trout and their food live. I have attached two files. One is from the MP for West Oxfordshire which demonstrates that the issue is now perceived in Government, but also that it fails to acknowledge that the underlying problem is inadequate sewage infrastructure to support the housing and other development which has taken place in recent years. As well as remedial action now, changes to planning legislation are required to ensure that the requisite infrastructure is included in any new development. There is a reference to a consultation, please respond. The other email outlines how you can make representation on the issue via the Rivers Trust.
PM May 10th 2022