Woodmill Pool Swaythling

Woodmill pool July 26th

Woodmill pool July 26th

Hi Ian,
We fished Woodmill Pool last Sunday night, and we arranged for the lights to be turned off .Both sluices were open, and it looked perfect.
I had a 5.5lb salmon before it got dark which I returned, and my colleague had a 4lb sea trout on a hares ear.
Well as soon as it got dark all hell let loose.
I fished from the slipway and landed 1 just under a pound that I promptly returned.
Between 10.00 pm and 11 pm the hook pulled out on 8 sea trout which were all good size fish that would not stay on the hook.
The mayhem went on for the rest of the night with fish after fish shedding the hook. I lost well over 14 sea trout with my colleague losing as many.
We ended up with a total of 14 sea trout from 5.5lb down to some smaller ones about 1lb
We all had the best nights fishing for years!
The one I lost just before it got light came out of the pool 3 foot in the air and was definitely over double figures.
Well I’m sure you’ll do alright Saturday night please let me know
Many Thanks Les


Thanks for the reply Les,

I cant wait to get down there now....:)

Sounds like it was a night to remember!...What time was high tide when you fished?(ours is about 1am i think)
I take it that the weed has cleared now!.....Does getting the lights turned off make for a better night in your opinion?


Hi Ian,
I wish i was coming with you! as i havn't got another booking till september 24th and now is a very good time given right conditions.
You must make sure that they turn the lights off as at high tide or your shadow will spook the fish.high tide will start pushing just after dark.I have been emailing and speaking to the operations manager airing my concerns about what needs to be done with the pool, and he has been very helpfull with the matters raised.His name is David Drew email Drew, David (David.Drew@southampton.gov.uk), dont hesitate to contact him if you have any concerns that you are not happy with: mobile number 07747037058 ring him to make sure that the power to the lights are turned off,But the power for the kettle goes off as well.i'm sure you'd prefer more sea trout than a cup of tea!
When we fished the tide started pushing at 1.30am and apart from the report i posted yesterday the takes were fast and furious all night, even at high tide till it got light.I hope the rain that we've had lately dosn' raise the flow cause when we went it wasn't gushing through as both gates were open and it made the fly fish slow enough over the shallows.
Try a larger waddington at high tide say 2-2 and a half inch my success was on a silver stoat with blue under belly, they seemed to love it! also a long shank hares ear about 3/4 " long.
has always been succesfull for me.
Well i'm just off to work and I wish you many tight lines, and good luck! for tonight
I look forward to your report in the near future!


Our night at Woodmill 8th August

Our night at Woodmill 8th August

Thankfully Thursdays rain had not effected the Itchen at all as it was still crystal clear,so a big sigh of relief all round for our party of three.
We arrived about 9pm to the pool for a quick recce before dark,and we all agreed how good it looked with two sluice gates open and the weed that had hampered our last visit gone...:cool:

We all headed for our chosen spots and began fishing around 10.30pm.
Very soon we were into fish of between 3/4lb to around 1 1/2lb/2lb.that were all fresh and fought like tigers.
This carried on until the first high water at around 12.30am ish.Then it just switched off completely....:confused:

We then had a spell of half an hour around 1.30am that we all took a good fish each..:)..6 1/2lb 5 1/2lb 5 1/4lb.

That was it for the night.No more fish or takes at all,even though we fished past dawn.....:confused::confused::confused:

Fantastic nights fishing......:D

My 5 1/4 lb (hopefully CCM will put his pic up later)

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Active member
Fantastic mate,beautifull fish :cool: - Well done guys.

I must get myself a night on there sometime,sounds a very interesting place to fish.

Craking fresh fish.
Well done Ian.Sounds like it went a bit dead at high tide:sometimes it does.
My friend has the16th august booked, and I cant wait for the 23rd SeptemberBut then fresh fish are far and few between.
I'll let you know the outcome!


Does anyone know whether the pool is worth fishing in mid-October / would there be any fresh fish at that time of year?



New member
Hi All,

Just joined the forum and I'm a relative newcomer to Woodmill (fished one night for both the last two years) - some interesting info -and a few q's

hadn't thought about asking to turn the lights out - do you mean the ones on the building or around the perimeter? the latter weren't on when we were there in August this year.

We did well before fishing deep and slow either side of the main inflow (Teeny and waddington) but this time there seemed to be a snag 15-20yds out in line with the tall block of flats on LHS of main inflow - if anyone has a wetsuit it must be a veritable fly box by now! Also variable sluice inflow as was mentioned by others - no need to cast just let the shute take it out then retrieve. Also did well off the slip way towards main flow.

Intrigued by the mention of large GH hares ears - how do you fish them?
We tended to use small classic ST flies and Snakes which worked well and I did try a surface lure but absolutely no response at all - anyone else tried them? Also tried luminous snakes and tubes but not sure if it makes any odds.

We always seem to catch school bass as well - have learnt not to swing them to hand after the first time - real prickly customers.

Great place to fish though - but very different from the Tweed, Till and Teviot where I cut my sea trout teeth.

tight lines



New member
Bit slow on posting these up but a couple of pics of my August trip with bungle.

Was another good, yet testing trip. Started well with large numbers of peal but very slow for the best part of the night as has been previously mentioned.

Sorry to let you know Ian but you should have staid a bit later as i managed 2 fish of about 4lb and lost another of 6-8lb size on nymphs just after you left.

I ended up with about 15 fish; one of 6.5lb, 2 x 4lb and the rest between 1-1.5lb so good night all things considered.

Im down again In a couple of weeks so i will keep you posted.


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Sorry to let you know Ian but you should have staid a bit later as i managed 2 fish of about 4lb and lost another of 6-8lb size on nymphs just after you left.
Just my luck Ross.....:eek:......But to be honest i was fished out and to knackered to fish any longer....:eek:
You should be nominated for an endurance medal though..;)..Well done.

PS...Welcome to this forum Fishpond...:D...Ill let some of the others answer your questions as I'm a newbie to Woodmill myself.


Tom Rigby

Had a very interesting and highly enjoyable session on the Woodmill this saturday evening as a guest of Ross (camocarpmug).

The whole expereince is different from my normal sea trout fishing.

It starts with the journey. For someone living in Worcestershire it seems very strange to head south east, rather than west to wales, to go in search of sea trout. It is motorway or dual carriage way most of the way. There were no dead badgers by the side of the road, or kamikaze pheasants, no mountains, no being stuck behind an Ifor Williams trailer, Cattle truck, or a caravan or motor home. No Wye or Severn to cross , but the Kennet, and Thames instead. The strangest place name we passed was the Bell at Bell End. And the destination is warmer than home.

In fact, the woodmill pool is a very strange looking sea trout pool indeed. This is urban sea trout fishing. The pool is overlooked by a tower block with a drive through MacDonalds, pizza joints and fish and chips nearby, it is about as far from rural west wales as you can get. The pool itself looks more like a cross between a put and take trout fishery and a municipal boating lake, than a classic sea trout dub. There is no fast breaking run over shallows into the neck of the pool, no whaleback of gravel from which to cast a long line to the deep water under the far bank trees and no broad gliding shallow tail to swing a fly across. No this is different. The Woodmill is a puzzle for anyone used to the wild rivers of west wales.

Apparently the pool was built by monks around the time that the Itchen as we know it was created by channelling a myriad of tiny streams and brooks that ran across marshland. It stands at the top of the tide on the Itchen. The pool is an odd shaped bowl a bit like an isosceles triangle. In the bottom corner the river runs over a small waterfall at low tide into the tideway proper. In another corner a carrier enters the pool and at the head of the pool is the sluice gates and fish pass. Jutting out into the pool is a slip way and towards the 'tail' are two gravel bars that are exposed at low water. The pool flows in a complex and ever changing mosaic of currents, back eddies slacks and glides and changes by the minute in response to the tide and the working of the automated sluice.

To make sense of it from a fishing point of view you have to look at it as a series of micro pools each requiring different tactics. I certainly found it a very enjoyable and challenging experience.

So how did we get on? The guests all caught fish with Fred aka Rod and Whippet opening the scoring with a classic peal on a black and silver tube fished off a floating line with intermediate tip .

Now I've never actually fished before on a river before where people call Schoolies Peal. But when in Rome... so that's what it was. Everyone was getting takes, and hooking the odd fish, but the better ones, and most of the smaller ones, just wouldn't stick as the takes were very tentative.

As we took time out around the hut to discuss the nights proceedings so far, I had one of those minor Eureka moments which we all have and decided to stick on a team of wee doubles. First cast and bang a better stamp of fish at just under 4lb was at last on the bank

The euphoria from the eureka moment lasted all of five blank minutes after getting back in to the river, as it quickly dawned on me that I had not discovered the deadly method for the night.

All of us caught fish with the total at fourteen or fifteen which wasn't bad for what Ross considered a quiet night.

But top rod by a mile was Ross.

He used the knowledge built up over a decade of fishing the water to regularly change tactics as the conditions changed. In the first few hours after dark we had been fishing at most slow sinking sink tips, but Ross contacted the first proper lump of the night on a tube fished off an ultra fast sinking Teeny line. After a misshap due entirely to operator error (i.e. I messed up:eek: )we were unable to weight the fish and so guestimated it as being in the region of 8lb .

This fish was followed by another to Ross of 4lbs or so.

Not being slow to pick the brains of anyone who's catching more or better fish than me I was quickly on to the task of quizzing Ross on exactly how he was fishing a particlular spot. After absorbing the information and doing exactly as instructed I was into a fish first cast in exactly the spot and with exactly the kind of take that Ross said I would get. Unfortunately after a spirited fight that saw the fish zoom across the pool it escaped at the net after a big clump of weed, that had been caught on the line slipped down and dislodged the hook. I was left to see a nice fish of five pounds plus swim away.

By now the light in the eastern sky was starting to show, but Ross saved the best for last.

At ten to six, well into daybreak, but before sunrise Ross found himself connected to the best fish of the night. What tactic was Ross using in the dawn on this crystal clear pool? A small fly fished up in the water as recomended by the books? No. Ross was still on the big 3 inch winged tube and teeny line long after he 'should' have switched to something more 'in tune' with the light conditions. This was just what was needed to get an aggressive straight-out-of-the-salt sea trout to take as the tide flooded in.

The fish crashed all over the pool then weeded itself, but Ross brought it to the net and a magnificent tide bright sea trout was on the bank, in the weigh sling, and pulled the scales down to ten and a half pounds.

The fish was duly returned and made a fantastic end to a great nights fishing among friends.

p.s. thanks to the photographer;)
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Cracking fish camo,,,well done mate,glad you had another great night:cool::D



New member
Cheers for the great write up tom.

Was a great night albeit the fishing was tough, good company always makes it more enjoyable.

Glad you all enjoyed it, it would have been nice to see one of you guys land a biggun, shame about that loss.

That fish has made my year.

This year my target was a proper severn springer which i got and a weighed double figure figure seatrout (never really weighed fish in the past) so im a happy chap.
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