Somerset Frome (Coarse)
The Frome is an attractive, meandering river and can be fished from Farleigh Hungerford down to the confluence with the Bristol Avon at Freshford with fishing on both banks available for much of this.
It is divided into three distinct stretches by the weirs at Iford and at Freshford Mill and the character of the river changes constantly throughout.
From Farleigh Hungerford fast shallows and pools give way to more consistent deeper water towards Iford weir and most river species can be caught along this stretch including roach, dace, perch and chub with the occasional barbel showing. Eels are also present and the old eel trap next to the weir suggests they were once very numerous, unlike today.
A lot of this water is suitable for float or feeder fishing for the smaller species whilst the barbel are more likely to be caught legering luncheon meat, pellets or paste baits. Chub can be tempted using most methods from a wide variety of swims throughout the length.
Iford Weir is a very wide structure in relation to the size of the river and consequently the weirpool is quite large and deep in places.The tail end of the pool is shallower and was probably once used as a ford for farm vehicles. The flow has been affected by the recently installed turbine but this area still holds a number of fish.
From here downstream the river is comprised of series of shallow gravel runs and deeper pools until it becomes steadier water before Freshford Mill. Some swims lend themselves to float fishing but legering is more appropriate in the inaccessible and overgrown areas often favoured by barbel and chub.
This pretty stretch had been a prolific barbel fishery for many years with specimens approaching double figures a realistic target although they have become more difficult to tempt in recent years. Numerous chub and dace may be found here plus a few bream, perch and roach. Pike, up to about 10Lbs, are present and they can be caught using dead baits, lures and even luncheon meat.
Below Freshford Mill chub, roach, perch and dace predominate. There is some movement of fish from the Bristol Avon into this stretch around spawning time in the Spring but most of these return to the Avon by the start of the coarse fishing season.