|Steve Martin with a 5lb plus Throop chub. The stretch probably holds more six pounders than anywhwere else in the UK.|
THE famous stretch of the Dorset Stour, controlled by Ringwood & DAA, offers some of the best barbel and chub fishing in the country.
The fishery has over five miles of fishable bank and includes many features such as boulder weirs, bridges and side streams, along with overhanging willows, clear gravel shallows and deep holes that hold a few surprises.
The fishery is split into three ‘beats’ that offer the visiting angler a variety of challenges. Beat 1 starts and the bottom end of the Muscliffe free stretch and includes a part of the river that was redirected away from the Throop Mill after the floods in the early 1980s.
Although not as meandering as the waters below its lower boundary at New Weir, its long deep glides and gravel shallows providing some first class chub and roach fishing, especially at the top end.
Look for the deeper swims if big bream are your quarry. There are a number of likely areas, which are rarely fished due to the long walks involved to get to them, but it’s worth the effort.
This part of the fishery can be weedy during the summer months and finding a float swim is not easy. Feeder or straight lead fished in between the weed will catch most species, but use big baits, as minnows can be a problem.
The most popular stretch of the fishery is Beat 2. It starts below New Weir and winds its way down over two weirs and through tree-lined banks to the A338 by-pass at Blackwater Bridge.
This is a feature-filled adventure for the visiting angler who has to deal with the challenge of fast, wide, shallow glides at the end of deep weir pools, islands of reed mace and bulrush and deep channels.
All of these are the home of some of the biggest chub in the country with 7lb plus fish widely distributed along its length as well as the odd 8lb specimen. Monster barbel to 16lb and bream to 7lb also patrol the many features and during the summer are happy to feast on the anglers’ boilie and pellet baits.
Some of the deep-water swims hold some large shoals of roach with specimens over 2lb. These readily fall to a much-ignored tactic, float-fished hemp and tares, a method that usually accounts for a better stamp of fish.
Anglers fishing boilies and pellets also need to be aware of the growing number of large carp that now patrol the river. Fish in excess of 20lb are now being taken regularly during the summer and early autumn.
At the top end of Beat 3 the water is fairly deep and is home to a number of chub around the 8lb mark. During the summer there is a lot of eel grass, which again makes float fishing difficult, but if you can find a long trot the sport can be hectic, especially towards the evening.
As the river winds towards Christchurch, it flows over two more boulder weirs, where the river becomes tidal below the second barrier.
Between the weirs the main species to be caught are bream, big shoals with fish to over 4lb, dace, roach, chub and some big carp.
Below the bottom weir bream, roach, dace and skimmer bream provide the main sport with bags of over 30lb possible during the later autumn months and the weeks leading up to the end of the season.
As this part of the river is tidal it pays to understand the feeding patterns of the fish. The top of the tide and the initial run off are the best times to catch, but beware, there are double high tides on the Stour.
Stick or waggler fished bread, maggot or caster will account for most species along this stretch.
If the water has some colour don’t neglect feeding groundbait with a few free offerings. Maggot feeder will work for the chub, bream and barbel.
Sweetcorn will work well in the summer months for the bream, as will bread with mashed bread or groundbait in the feeder. The barbel also like meat, paste and boilies fished hard on the bottom.The final part of this superb fishery is the Throop Mill pool. This has a limited number of swims, but offers some great carp, tench and bream fishing in the summer
Venue Fact File
Throop Fishery, Bournemouth, Dorset
Contact: Jean Fairbanks, on 01202 871496
Day Tickets: Adult permits are £9 per day for two rods with a reduced ticket of £5 available for OAPs, disabled anglers and juniors.
Membership: To join Ringwood & DAA ring Ken Broddle of visit one of the local tackle shops. Adult permits cost £105, OAP and disabled permits cost £65 and junior permits coast £40. There is an initial one-off joining fee of £20. For more information visit the clubs web site at www.ringwoodfishing.co.uk
Facilities: There is some off- road parking at Throop Mill and parking areas off some side roads. Details can be found on the day ticket.
Nearby tackle shop: Christchurch Angling Centre. Call Shaun on 01202 480520
Nearby pub: Cooper Dean Hotel, Castle Lane West, Bournemouth, telephone 01202 397927
How to get there: Beat 1 & 2: From Ringwood take the A31 to Ashley Heath roundabout, Turn left onto the A338 Bournemouth Spur Road until you come to the Cooper Dean roundabout. Take the right exit on the A3060, Castle Lane West road and 150 metres on the right is Ibbertson Road. Turn right here and follow the road into Throop Road. Follow this road for about a mile and parking is on the right just past Throop Mill.
Beats 2 and 3: From Ringwood take the A31 to Ashley Heath roundabout, Turn left on to the A338 Bournemouth Spur Road until you come to the Blackwater junction, signposting Bournemouth Airport. As you come off the slip road there is a turning on your right before the T-junction with Hurn Road. Park here on the left and walk over the road bridge and down the embankment to the river. Alternately, turn right towards Hurn at the T-junction and take the next right over the bridge before the traffic lights. Park at the end of the road and walk over the road bridge and down the embankment to the river.
Beat 3 (Bottom End): From Ringwood take the A31 to Ashley Heath roundabout, Turn left on to the A338 Bournemouth Spur Road until you come to the Cooper Dean roundabout. Take the A3060 heading for Christchurch. Take a left turn at Tesco’s to the riverside, park over from the supermarket or behind the Greenkeeper’s Shed at the golf course.