Some Hints and Tips for those who are new to Mulberry Whin Fishery
Mulberry WhinDave Southall (pictured) has guided and instructed more fishermen than most at Mulberry-Whin over the last few years and has developed a great understanding of the water.
In this section of the site Dave will offer his advice how best to enjoy a successful day with us here at Mulberry Whin.

If you are new to this fishery and particularly if you are new to Chalk Stream fishing then the following list of requirements should help to ensure you have a successful, enjoyable experience.
A 9 or 10 #4 weight rod is ideal for reaching over high bank-side vegetation and for facilitating good line control. Extensive bank-side growth provides not only cover for the angler stalking the wary trout and grayling, but also provides habitat for emerged aquatic insects and terrestrial insects, plus a healthy population of water voles for which the Driffield Beck is famous.
Team this up with an appropriate line (double taper or weight forward) and as long a leader as you can comfortably manage. I prefer a 12 Rio Powerflex or Orvis Copolymer leader to 4x or 5x, with an additional 3 (or more) of 5x, 6x or 7x tippet. The choice of tippet strength depends upon the fly size. 5x is suitable for size 12 to 16 flies, 6x for sizes 16 to 20 and 7x for sizes 22 to 26.
A long handled landing net with a diameter of at least 16 will be needed to land big fish from the bank (wading is not permitted). The trout go to over 5lb and the grayling to over 3lb.
Wellingtons will be useful since some of the bank along the lower parts of the fishery are quite boggy, even during dry weather.
Wear drab coloured clothing to camouflage you from the fish.
Knee pads are a useful extra, facilitating a low profile approach to spooky fish.
Polaroid sunglasses are an essential since much of the fishing is sight fishing to clearly visible trout and grayling. Search fishing is counterproductive, frightening more fish than it is worth.
Avoid false casting as much as possible. In such clear water the fish can see any careless movements of the angler or fly line. If you have to false cast do so well below your quarry.
When fishing with dry flies avoid drag at all costs. When using nymphs and shrimp patterns the induced take is the most productive presentation.
What of flies?
In Spring Black Gnats (size16 or 18), Hawthorn Flies (size 12 or 14), Midges (Griffiths Gnat or CdC IOBO Humpies) (sizes 20 to 26) and Daddy Long Legs and possibly an Olive pattern (e.g. Kites Imperial) (size 14 or 16), plus Bead-head Nymphs, Peeping Caddis and Shrimps will cover most situations.
In Summer and Autumn, Black Gnats, Midges, Olives (sizes 16 to 20), Olive Spinners (e.g. Spent Pheasant Tail Spinner) (sizes 16 to 20), Daddies and Sedges/Caddis (e.g. Elk Hair Caddis of F Flies) (size 12 to 20) are useful patterns. If targeting the big grayling weighted Nymphs, Peeping Caddis and particularly Shrimp patterns are essential.
There are staggering populations of invertebrates in this river (up to 15 000 per metre squared), so dont expect the fish to be on the feed all the time. They only feed when some food source is vulnerable, such as when nymphs are emerging, or when there is a fall of Black Gnats. Swallows, Martins and Swifts swooping over the water will tell you when there is a hatch on, as will the sight of rising fish. At other times the river may appear to be devoid of fish.

Dave Southall

1 Comment
  1. Hello Mr Southall , i wondered if you organise any trips to austria fish , I’m very keen on going this year and would love to fish with you .

    Best Regards Gavin

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