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Beat Guide

Beat Guide to TAOA Waters - March 2024

This Beat Guide is intended to provide guidance on access and fishing methods. It should be read in conjunction with the Parking Guide and the River Map which are also available in this Members' Area on the Club website.

Padlock combinations are given in the letter enclosing membership. Please ensure that padlocks are closed, and tumblers readjusted after use. Please do not give the combination to others.

In this Guide, Right and Left banks are identified when looking downstream (i.e from Beat 1 to Beat 7)

Beat 1. Above Smallbridge— Right bank only. Fly only. Access to the right bank is via the Metal Field gate (cannot be opened). Keep to the riverbank, as field is usually stocked with sheep or cattle. The beat extends across two fields (walk up to the gate in the fence to access field 2) then as far as the large Cupressus Leylandii hedge. The lower section is deep and fast, and access is challenging but has been improved recently. Upper section is more winding but still challenging.

Beat 2a (Trottenden). Smallbridge down to ‘Ironbridge’ footbridge. Fly only. Right bank most accessible. Left bank very challenging except just above Ironbridge. Short section immediately below Smallbridge, opposite the pumping station is fenced off and excluded from fishing. Four fields below that closed section give a good variety of pools (some very deep) and fast streaming water. Some electric fences, so step over or crawl under with great care. Well stocked with Rainbows and Browns plus some wild Browns, occasional Grayling, and many coarse fish including Brook Lamprey.

Beat 2b (Share Farm). Fly only. Left bank only. Ironbridge to boundary with Monks Water. Boundary is below large wide shady pool recently cleared and restored. Note: there is no longer any access through Monks Water to Share Farm from Stonebridge. Good access except to large deep pool half-way down. Section near stream/gully is very deep before it widens out into large shady pool. Not always stocked but some wild browns and coarse fish here.

Beat 3a. Stonebridge to Sewage Outfall. Left bank only. Fly only. Winter Fishing allowed from here downriver. The beat offers interesting fishing – very still above weir, then turbulent, then wide glide with Grayling. Locked gate part-way down – please re-lock after use. A variety of pools and rapid and slow stretches down to Outfall. There is a clay shoot on the second and fourth Sunday mornings—please avoid section below locked gate when shooting is in progress.

Beat 3b. Harpers Farm. Fly only. Both banks. Sewage Outfall pool to Harpers Footbridge. Outfall pool good for small rising Grayling and many coarse fish, then varied pools and stretches. Very popular due to easy access.

Beat 3c. Harpers Farm. Fly only. Both banks. Footbridge down to Green Concrete Bridge. Often busy above Tractor Bridge then quieter downstream.

Beat 4. Harpers to division ( fork ) of river. Both banks. Other methods (subject to Association rules) permitted from Green Concrete Bridge to division of river. Not stocked. Some new access points on left bank in first field immediately below bridge, but not beyond.

Beat 5. Sheephurst - Right fork of river to Old Mill Bridge on Sheephurst Lane. Fly Only.

The river is narrow here and provides challenging but interesting fishing for small numbers of trout and grayling as well as plentiful coarse fish such as chub and dace though not stocked. Shorter rods recommended. Requires a long walk to access this beat, and waders.

Beat 6 : Little Sheephurst - Left fork of river to Gaffords Bridge. Fly Only.

The left bank only is recommended. The two fields on the right bank, upstream of Gaffords Bridge are excluded. This is interesting water and similar to Beat 5 as there is plenty of vegetation to contend with. Not stocked but small numbers of trout and grayling and plenty of coarse fish, including some nice chub, roach, and dace. Short rods recommended, and this is a very challenging beat.

Beat 7: Bockingfold - Gaffords Bridge to Lower Boundary. Fly Only.

This part of the river is a bit different to the rest of the TAOA waters. In the summer the water is backed up by a sluice and is therefore much slower and deeper than it would otherwise be. Upstream of the sluice there are no steps or ladders to access the river but it is a bit more open, enabling relatively easy casting. Members will in all probability have to pull/retrieve flies here to stimulate trout takes due to the slow water movement. Long-handled landing net advisable. Wading not recommended.

Downstream of the sluice is again more challenging and rarely fished but worth a try. This section is stocked with trout when the sluice gates are operating correctly.

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