River Trout Fly Fishing
The River Trout Fly Fishing section is a semi-autonomous part of the Society and fishes a section of the River Wey’s south branch near Frensham Church. Anybody who wishes to fish the water should contact the FAS Membership Secretary, Mick Borra, on 01252 320871 or the Trout Section Secretary, Chris Thayer on 01252 – 793780 or 07979 – 274897 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Membership of the River Trout Fly Fishing section is limited to 25 people and only fly-fishing is permitted. Day tickets are not available but members may purchase guest tickets. The fly-fishing season runs from 1 April to 30 September each year and the fees for the 2015 season are likely to be £190/PA.
The work done on the river has been supported in many ways, not least financially, by the Environment Agency. Further work will be done in 2010 in collaboration with the FAS Executive Committee, the Environmental Agency and the Wild Trout Trust.
Catch records have been compiled over a number of years and show a gradual increase in the number of fish caught. This helps to determine an appropriate stocking policy. The river is stocked regularly with brown trout weighing on average 1½ lbs. Other fish such as dace, chub and perch are also taken on fly.
In 2006 a strategy for the regeneration of the Trout Section was drawn up by Geoff and submitted for approval by the FAS Executive Committee. This strategy was developed over the next few years and the first phase of the work was completed towards the end of 2009. The health of the river is generally good and past electrofishing has identified species ranging from bullheads to pike.
The largest pike identified to date was around 16 lbs. There are very small populations of wild trout and grayling and the principal objective of the regeneration strategy is to develop a habitat that will sustain viable populations of these two species.
The strategy has been discussed with the landowner, the Executive Committee of the FAS, the members of the trout section, and the Environment Agency. A survey was conducted by the Wild Trout Trust and their report further enhanced the feasibility of the project. Two parts of the river that required extensive work were located at cattle crossings. The dead or dying alder trees were felled or coppiced and the timber this provided was used to help shore up the banks that were damaged.
Most of the work has been designed to prevent further damage to banks. This has been done by driving chestnut stakes into the banks, installing geotextile to retain backfilling, and underwater structures to manage flow and displace silt. These structures are designed to develop gravel runs. These, in turn, will encourage waterweed such as ranunculus and invertebrates on which the trout feed.