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Chalk Stream Club

The Dorset Chalk Stream Club will have its first winter social gathering in West Stafford Village hall on Friday the 13th November starting at 7.30pm

The evening will be the usual totally informal celebration of the Chalk Stream, with the usual breaks for food and drink, alongside several slide shows.

**STOP PRESS** Dr Tony Hayter Author of : “FM Halford and the Dry Fly Revolution” and “G.E.M. Skues The man of the nymph” Will again be attending the Chalk Stream Club gathering, to present us with a slide show and book signing for those who already have these books or would love to purchase one.

Tony gave us the most amazing presentation about Skues at our last Christmas gathering and will now talk us through “FM Halford and the Dry Fly Revolution”

**The famous Chalk Stream Club buffet break**

Then a selection of your Fishing / River work etc slide shows.

 Please put a few of your photographs on a memory stick and we can put them up on a screen.

We did this in December last year and it was a really great evening.

*New Chalk Stream Club Fly Tier Brian Cleverton will be selling his Grayling flies and taking orders for your favourite patterns*

  • Please bring a plate of good food to pop on the buffet table.
  • A bottle of your favourite tipple, or grab a drink from the Wise Man Inn
  • Bring along any of your unwanted tackle, flies and books to sell on the second hand tackle table, and if you would like to have a stand (FOC), just give me a ring  01305 257490 or ping me an email –
  • Please bring friends along to meet fellow Chalk stream and fly fisher folk.
  • News on meetings coming over this winter.Could you please avoid parking in the pub car park, use the village hall car park, in front of the pub or please park at our house (The Dairy House, map at the bottom of this link) just a short walk from the village.  


The Restoration of Johns Pond

‘Johns’ Pond’ – an old irrigation well on the edge of the Frome flood plain, a stone’s throw from Dorchester’s town centre.

Where the only prisoner ever to escape from the town prison drowned on a dark night, his name was John and he is said to haunt these parts…

I grew up around this area and spent most of my childhood fishing the Frome that runs past this rather old pond..

Last year we restored the hatches on the upstream side of the pond and in the last week or so we have de-silted the pond, repaired and repointed the stone and brickwork, giving the pond a much needed new lease of life..   Thank you Dorchester Town Council for using “Casterbridge Fisheries Ltd”

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A de-silt, 30 tonnes to move, busy public footpaths, no safe access for large slews and dumpers, lots of water, hundreds of meters of pipe and a very kind land owner who allowed us to pump the silt into his wet woodland, all conducted safely, on time and within budget.

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We basically broke all the silt up with one pump and then pumped the very liquid silt out to its new home, at this stage I need to say a huge thank you to Elliot and Kevin for their seriously hard work and professional input on this project.

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There was a fair amount of tree root to remove from the wall by a sluice, this wall was then re-built and sealed to prevent any leaks.

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Many years ago I won a book in a DFC raffle, a signed copy of The Ever-Rolling Stream written by Bernard Aldrich, a river keeper on the Test, Elliot new this lady and that she had illustrated a fishing book, this one….  Manuela Smith lives in the town and very kindly signed my book…


So here it is, a restored “Johns Pond” full of water and a few autumn leaves, good for a few more years to be enjoyed by those brave enough to walk between here and “Hangman’s Cottage”…

Elliot, Kevin and I decided that we needed to thank the hundreds (no exaggeration) of people who wished us well with the project, we never imagined that so many people would stop and chat about John’s Pond, its history, and the pure pleasure that they get from walking in this beautiful part of the town, Dorchester seems to be full of lovely people 🙂   THANK YOU….

“Did you find any treasure ??” was asked on many occasions… One old Corona bottle, one old (1928) Eldridge Pope bottle and the sole of a hobnail boot, possibly John’s !

One great couple who had obviously lived in Dorchester for a long, long time asked we minded being sketched, another group of three great little fishermen stopped on their bikes, armed with rods, swapped fishing tales and disappeared in search of further Frome valley adventures..

Men at John's Pond 3

I love Wild Brown Trout

A little portrait shot of a 50.5cm totally wild Brown Trout on the DFC water, during a fish population survey… Loving the Frome… 🙂