Woodmill Swaythling, River Itchen 2020

sewinfly

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With a delay of a month before you can submit your dates for fishing the pool.

Has anyone been there to see if any maintenance work has started?

Sewinfly. .........
 

Salmon Fisher

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Just had the catch returns for 2019 through. They don't look as bad as I expected particularly early in season. Does anyone know how they compare with previous years?
 

sewinfly

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Just had the catch returns for 2019 through. They don't look as bad as I expected particularly early in season. Does anyone know how they compare with previous years?
Have not checked yet, but the Friends Of Woodmill group are drafting another letter to send to AN.
Due to their lack of response and the state of the pool.

Sewinfly. .............
 

Willow3

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The catch at Woodmill in May-July 2019 was only about 13% less than the long term average, but the August-October catches were less than half the long term average.

The catch on the Test was also well down in 2019 so there may be factors effecting the run of fish as well as the changes to the pool due to the breach of the main river into the Monks Brook and the collapse of the dam on the Monks Brook.
 

sewinfly

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The awaited reply from AN.

RE: Woodmill Salmon Pool update
Dear Sirs,
Thank you for your letter dated 17th January 2020 concerning the Woodmill Salmon Pool. I understand and appreciate the concern expressed by the ‘Friends of the Woodmill Salmon Pool’ and would like, where possible, to respond to those concerns.
To clarify to everyone’s understanding, Active Nation operate Woodmill on behalf of Southampton City Council who remain the land owners and custodians of the site. The decision not to remove the gravel bar or reinstate the weir was made in consultation between the Environment Agency, Southampton City Council and Active Nation. I can assure you the case for restorative works was considered and discussed at great length. The view taken by officers is the collapsed weir has favourably improved the opportunity for fish species to move more freely and this will benefit the whole river environment and is in keeping with extensive protections which are in place.
The collapse of the weir is unfortunate, but the world in which the weir existed has changed and the environmental protections afforded to both the river and species within, supersede the rights or the need of any person or group to conduct a recreational activity. We fully understand this is disappointing and appreciate many of you will take a different view but as custodians, Southampton City Council simply cannot, in good conscience, reinstate a recreational leisure activity to the detriment of the environment on which that activity relies.
There are no less fish moving through the river but their movements may well have changed. It is our hope that opening access to the Monks Brook, a water environment which has significantly altered over the last 12 months, will create an equally rewarding fishing experience, all be it a different one than you will be used to.
At this moment in time, we are going to stick with the number of rods permissible for a booking and include access to Monks brook as part of a standard booking. We acknowledge the Monks Brook has not been fished on mass before, and to that end 2020 is going to be a little bit experimental in respect of accessing this space and assessing its value to the fishery. Our initial plans include clearing access to the right hand river bank and installing a new gate. The bank is varied in width, but once cleared, will create pockets of suitable space along 500m of river bank. We also intend to include 3 or 4 more sections on the left hand bank stretching up to the top end of the venue but these specifics are under review. We expect to inform all anglers about the new arrangements in April, before the start of the season.
The ‘discovery’ of this new space represents an opportunity and we intend to be responsive to feedback. Dean, our grounds keeper, will be talking to fishermen throughout the season and examining which areas are proving successful and which ones aren’t. We are committed to clearing access and installing several new pontons but will be holding off to see what works before doing so.
I am also pleased to confirm the following works will be taking place over the next few months:
1) Extensive pruning and tidying up of the head rows has been planned in.
2) Extensive tree work has been planned which will include lifting the height of some trees, removal of several trees near the hut platform and looping branches which are within the casting area.
3) The slipway will be levelled out at the base of the ramp.
4) We are arranging for a survey of the platforms and access ladders. On completion, necessary restorative works will be implemented.
5) We will explore options with the City Council to install a shield/screen the street lights.
6) Review options for changing the gate locking mechanism.
7) Soft engineering works near the collapsed weir.
Over the course of the summer we will be increasing our monitoring visits to ensure rules are being followed and we will look at scheduling more routine:
• Rubbish removals
• Weed removal in high season (and conjunction with wider river weed removal)
• Increased cleaning of the hut
I am more than happy to meet representatives of the ‘friends of group’ at Woodmill and suggest we schedule a date in early February. That way we can share the finer details of our planned maintence works and ‘sense check’ these before they take place.
Lastly, as you enquired about our plans for future work, I am happy to share the following commitments:
1) In 2020 we will monitor the impact of the weir removal and fishing on Monks brook.
2) Date tbc - we are in the process of identifying a survey partner to examine options to reinstate the Ghillie hut for use be anglers in the pool. This could include a toilet, better lighting and facilities and improved shelter in poor weather.
3) We anticipate replacing the fishing platforms at some point in the next few years and the survey planed for early 2020 will guide when this would be opportune.
On behalf of Active Nation, I want to thank you for your continued input and feedback, it has been both insightful and appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you regarding a site visit.
Yours Sincerely
David Drew
Assistant Business Manager
 

sewinfly

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Anyone had a look at the pool lately to see if any wotk has been started.

Sewinfly. .........
 

sewinfly

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Should of been at WM on Friday night.
Yet Active Nation have not opened up and not even had the decency to contact anglers that have booked the pool.
We all appreciate the situation of the country but an email regarding the situation on deposits paid would of been appreciated.

Sewinfly. .................
 

sewinfly

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I believe the pool is open now.

There's a new system now to book the pool for fishing.
All monies have to be paid in full, so no deposits as before and then balance 14 days before fishing.

Speaking to Julie was always quite helpful before when enquiring about the fishing.
Looks like they have done away now with that point of contact.

Let's us know if your fishing.

Cheers
Spencer
 

sewinfly

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They're determined to turn it into a canoe venue aren't they?

It does make you wonder.

To have several dates booked and pay in full could be quite a lot.Suppose that could be the same as any other fishing trips booked.

Just all seems quite vague when you go to the on line booking.
Has suffered a fair bit of poaching since no anglers have been fishing there and vandalism.

Police arrested 2 with sophisticated cross bows or archery equipment. So I assume they were using that to catch the fish.

Imagine turning up to fish and be confronted with that, don't bear thinking of.

Sewinfly. ...........
 

Isisalar

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They've not apprehend any Trident spearers yet. Or netters? Common upstream.
First time I fished it in '87 the official net had taken 35 fish over 7lb during the week.
Was told that to hold bottom on the sill I'd need use at least 3oz on a paternoster , now you can dangle 1/2 oz under a float. Where's the flow gone?
It's f**"cked.
 

Trout bum

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Hi, I’ve booked my first trip to woodmill and it’s coming up fast. We are 3 first timers, and I’ve tried researching as much as I can and have some idea of tackle and flies but still feel pretty clueless as to the absolute basics, like:
- is it fly only or is spinning allowed (ie if nothing is happening on the fly and dawn is approaching!)
- is it obvious where to stand and fish (for relatively experienced trout/salmon fishers, but sea trout newbies
- is it catch and release (which we tend to do anyway but just occasionally like to take one)
- do you just turn up, hope the code works, and let yourself in (no one is answering phones of emails)
- err, what else do I need to know?!!!
Any advice most gratefully received....
 

Trout bum

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And.....I can’t find any ‘rules’ anywhere but have just read somewhere no stingers and single hooks only. Wish I’d read that before I put a big order in at fulling mill. Can anyone confirm?
 

Salmon Fisher

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Certainly last year it was C&R only, fly only for sea trout after end of June and single hook only which I agree is a pain as all my sea trout lures have two single hooks...
Have always been sent rules several times when I booked. The email re new arrangements said they were revising the pack and it would be sent to all future bookings
Code has always worked for me
Those more successful than me can advise on where/how to fish. Easiest is off the sloping slipway. Off the high bank is OK but some difficult back casts and I gather the brave wade but pretty rough going. Not a lot of fishing for three but I understand they have opened up the side stream this year but not seen it yet.
Probably obvious but plan your fishing around the tide and concentrate on when it first comes in and then runs off
 

Trout bum

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Thanks very much. Not been sent anything other than an automated booking confirmation.

better see if I can snip a couple of hooks off all the snake fly trebles I’ve just bought!
 

Isisalar

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Take some shrimps. Fish on top of the sill when there's a couple of feet on and if there's any Salmon in you'll probably get a bit of action. In daylight.
Can't advise on the rest of the pool as it's changed a lot since I was last there. Some friends fished it a few days ago, there were sea Trout in and they had a few but virtually all the fish jumping were Salmon. Very unusual as the Sea Trout normally jump a lot but didn't at all.
If you PM me I'd be happy to have a chat.
 

Trout bum

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Thanks. That would be a bonus. I imagine what the ‘sill’ is and how to fish it will become apparent when we get down there?!
 

Salmon Fisher

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Anybody on here been yet since they opened up? If so how were arrangements and how is pool fishing. Also anyone tried the new stream?
 

Trout bum

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Was there last night. Managed 3 sea trout. Not having been there before and being sea trout beginners, can’t give any perspective on how it compares with previous years. There isn’t a huge amount of fishing for 3 rods, and big back eddies make it quite hard to fish at some heights. But still 3 fish on our first time out was good enough for us.

we booked online and got an automated email with gate codes, all worked fine. hut is open (but pretty filthy). The new stream didn’t seem to be open, but then I could have been looking in the wrong place, certainly couldn’t get to it from the salmon pool side.
 
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