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Testimonials

I have to say I felt very proud when I read our testimonials page, a huge thank you to those who come to stay and fish with us…

Testimonials

I have seen grayling over three pounds, brown trout over four and sea trout over five in the Frome at West Stafford and have very good memories of the river there Charles Rangley-Wilson
 This is a hidden gem of a chalk stream, providing fishing of the highest standard. The mayfly hatch continued throughout the day on a river where almost no part was unfishable. Deep pools and fast riffles made for a wide choice of fishing, and the fish themselves proved excellent sport. Thank you,John, for a truly memorable day  Charlie & Peter
When John kindly invited me to fish his wonderful new stretch of the Dorset River Frome, I just couldn’t refuse such a privileged offer. John’s new fishery is a mile and a half of mostly double bank fishing and its in the middle of the Dorset countryside far away from any towns or roads. As we made our way downstream we could see there was a good hatch of grannom and olives coming off with fish rising to them. The river was crystal clear, with plenty of ranunculus waving over the bright gravels of this glorious chalkstream beat. We also spotted several big grayling in the deeper runs and I have these on my list for later in the year! We reached the bottom and opened my fly box to select a fly to try, the air was filled with bird song, sedge warblers, great tits and the shrill of a kingfisher as it darted upstream. The fly selection was easy and out came a “new” pattern, which is basically a GRHE, but with tuft of snowshoe rabbit fur, which helps this little fly float like a cork and is easy to spot on the water. First Trout John had the first cast to several rising fish in one of the many fishy looking spots and it was on his second cast that a fish rose to sucked in his fly. John’s first fish from the Dairy House water and his was was a picture which showed just how pleased he was. First Cast! My turn to have a cast and surprisingly a fish was still rising in the same pool, I flicked my fly over the rise and up came the fish and confidently took the fly. That was two fish from the first 10 yards of the fishery, thankfully the rest of the world was busy with William & Kate’s wedding, so we had plenty of time to fish and chat our way up the fishery. Half way up the main South Stream there is a derelict brick built fishing hut over looking a scrumptious hatch pool, John has plans to bring this hut back to life so that anglers can enjoy their lunch whilst over looking the river. From here you can cross the field to the North Stream which is smaller and more intimate than then South Stream, but this also had rising fish as we walked half of this beat. Home Beat Back to the South Stream to fish the top half and another large grayling spotted from the bridge. Now the hatching grannom & olives were joined by falls of black gnat & hawthorn fly. Fish were rising all around and because it was such a special occasion we only cast to a few of the rising fish as we made our way upstream to the top boundary. John has many plans for the future of the fishery, but one thing he doesn’t have to worry about is the river and the fish, because both are already perfection and it was a huge honour to have been the first to fish this fishery with him – many thanks John – PS> I will be back!
Read Nick Hart’s recent account of his visit to fish The Home Beat Click here to read more 
Hardy Greys website “Fin and Fly” Nick Hart’s Big Grayling Click here to read more 
I was on the River Frome the other day on a photo job with Nick Hart, on a stretch of this wild (proper) chalkstream that a thoroughly nice guy called John Aplin runs (see here). I have had a thing for grayling for a long time now, and I know that Nick does in a big way. There have been grayling over 4lbs caught and weighed from this stretch of the Frome earlier this year, and in anybody’s book that is a world class fish. They have some seriously big wild browns there as well. All wild, no stocked fish at all. Seems that there is a unique strain of Frome grayling that just grow really big. Almost last cast of the day and Nick Hart hooks and then lands this monster you can see above. We had nothing to weigh the fish on, but from a measurement I believe the fish came in at around 3lb 12oz, but from the off I thought this fish was around the 4lb mark for sure. This photograph does not show how broad the fish was. What a grayling. Never seen one remotely close to this. This is some wonderfully true chalkstream fishing that doesn’t cost nearly as much as say a day on the Test or the Itchen. If fly fishing is your thing then you really should get hold of John here and get yourself down to Dorset. Henry Gilbey
John, just a note to say thank you for allowing me to fish The Dairy House Beat recently. It was very nostalgic for me as I used to fish this spot many years ago. I never thought I would get the chance to fish there again, it brought back happy memories. The day, late September was hot and sunny, the river lower than I had ever seen it. The banks were well maintained and the grass nicely mown. The fishing hut was very welcoming with its old tackle items and the table and chairs outside. The de-barbed mayfly attached to the returns book by fishing line was a nice touch. Due to the conditions, it meant that the fish were spooked fairly easily, but I did manage to catch three wild brown trout up to 15 inches and a big old grayling of 3lb 6.5 oz, which was blind in its right eye. With these big fish it is extremely important that you return them as soon as possible, I prefer to let them recover in a large landing net in a suitable oxygenated spot. I had a look at the adjacent stream and saw plenty of small fish, challenging fishing that you would need a shorter rod for. Thanks for being such a great host. See you soon Paul Mildren
A warm welcome greeted us on our arrival. We had beautiful weather to explore the stunning riverside walks and surrounding countryside. The accomadation was comfortable and well equipped.John and Andrea Alpin have created a delightful holiday home. Pat & Dennnis
Went down to Casterbridge to fish the Home beat with the intension of catching a big Grayling to start the 2012 season off with a bang. And boy did it hit off with a huge bang. Caught my personal best Grayling of just over 3lb and another fish of around 2 1/2lb. Even though John is a good friend due to many phone calls between us and me itching to get up to his for the day. He provide us with a top class service. John pointed me in the right direction as to where I might find a fish or two as the water had a bit of colour to it and made spotting fish difficult. All in all, his company made every bit a great day out and on that note will have to put up with me paying a visit on a more regular basis. The price for a days fishing is amazing considering the quality and size of the fish and the beat itself is stunning and every bit worth the visit. (I am looking forward to a shot of the dry fly action during the summer moths.) Thank you so much John for a top day out and for looking after us so well. See you soon Lewis
Just wanted to say thank you for an excellent winters grayling fishing on both the home and gardeners beat. The fishing has been exceptional with a superb average size, most fish have been 1.5 lbs + and we have had several fish over 2 lbs and a few over 3 lbs including a personal best of 3lbs 8oz for Cam. Aside from the quality fishing we were very impressed with the annexe and facillities you have which really make these trips special, not forgetting to mention your excellant hospitallity and the generous offer of coffee and breakfast each morning. Many thanks again and we cant wait to be back to chase those stunning brownies! Cheers John, Steve and Cam.
Bob and I enjoyed our visit to the Dairy House water yesterday, it’s something that I had been looking forward for a few weeks. The location is quite beautiful and we were blessed with some really decent weather for early March. I’m still coming to terms with the size of the fish that I managed to deceive on a size 14 nymph and keep looking at the photos to make sure that it really happened. Although I have caught large grayling up to 49cm from the river Frome I have never previously seen, let alone caught a grayling of this size and beauty. I initially saw what I took to be a large fish lying in a deeper pocket of water but although it then moved up and across to a run under the trees I was still able to see it and cast to it. After a few casts it seemed to move to intercept the nymph and I was delighted to find that I had hooked it when I lifted the rod. I don’t think it knew that it was hooked as it just dropped back into the deeper pocket in front of me and it was then that I started to appreciate that it was a really good fish. I made a half hearted attempt to net it before it realised that it was hooked but it suddenly woke up and tore off downstream in the first of several runs with aerobatics thrown in for good measure. I had called to Bob when I hooked the fish and he was now dancing along the bankside telling me what a lucky so and so I was when I missed my first attempt at netting the fish. Eventually I managed to subdue the fish and it was only when it was finally in the net that we could see its true size. We attempted to weigh it in the net but my scales, which only went to 4lbs, bottomed out with a resounding ‘clunk’ so even allowing for the net weight of 1lb 3ozs we knew we had a 3lb plus fish. We measured it against the landing net handle and took a few quick photos before getting it back in the water where we took more photos whilst it was recovering. I’m pleased to say that it recovered well and swam away strongly so it’s there for some other lucky angler to try to catch. Thanks to your trusty tape measure and the research that you and Alex put in trying to find length and weight tables for grayling we established that it was a 51cm fish weighing between 3lb 12oz and 4 lbs. I appreciate that the grayling are close to their peak weight about now but despite your attempts to talk the weight up I’ll settle for the lower figure which is a new personal best for me and may well prove to be a fish of a lifetime. Best wishes, Tony
I am sorry it has taken me so long to write but I just wanted to thank you and Andrea for having us to stay in the Annex and fish on 1st June. The annex was great and the home grown eggs delicious. Thanks also to Andrea for providing the delicious mackerel for our lunch. We all fished pretty hard but were obviously a bit rusty to catch your wild fish – we will have to return again to see if we can do better! Thanks again to you both. Best wishes Dan
Very belated I know but wanted to thank you for a fabulous day’s fishing last month. It was very kind of you to put us up the night before and was lovely to meet the rest of the family. It was the best days classic fly fishing in over a decade, casting to wily wild fish on a glorious stretch of the River Frome. John Aplin has created the perfect balance of wild fish and fishable stretches of water that present a challenge to the discerning fly fisherman. The chance to stalk and (occasionally) outwit both brown trout and large grayling was the experience of a lifetime. So many thanks again. Brett
Just a quick note to say thanks again for a really great day yesterday. Having only fished the free stone rivers of the north, yesterday was my first time on a chalkstream and what a lovely introduction! Previous preconceptions of chalkstream fishing included  fat stocked trout, over manicured grassy banks and stuffy old men. The Dairy House crashes all these ideas and whilst being beaten by stocked fish hurts, being beaten by wild fish in a place like that is a joy. There are undoubtedly many fish to be caught and some we saw can only be described as massive so i can’t wait to come back. Thanks again Tom Blades
Captivating waters (an excellent blog about the Dairy House Fishery) On arrival at the Dairy House owner John Aplin and his wife Andrea gave us a friendly greeting. John told me that the river had been Ok but had started to rise and colour up slightly at around midday. ………… to read more www.2glimpseafish.co.uk