Sunday, 3 November 2013

Hampshire's Magnificent River Test

The early morning sun begins to burn off the overnight mist as we take our first look at the river Test, one of England's finest chalk streams world famous for it's superb fishing. It is also the longest (40 miles) of Hampshire's chalk streams and the crystal-clear waters are so clean they are used to wash the paper for making bank notes!
Rivers of this quality are normally the reserve of noblemen and gentry where they practice the art of fly fishing in it's inaugural home so why were three numpties from the Midlands stepping out on this hallowed ground?
Nowadays certain sections are open for day ticket, and at this time of year even for coarse anglers allowing them to fish for big Grayling, large Roach and Dace and massive Pike. An opportunity Martin, Baz and myself wanted to take full advantage of.

Really I should have brought the fly gear, it would have been the right thing to do but I fancied trotting for her ladyship the Grayling. I also had the feeder rod in the bag but that is where it stayed, it would have been a step too far, chucking out a 'plastic pig' into this hallowed water, I couldn't bring myself to do it! My rig consisted of 5lb line straight through to a size 18 Drennan specimen hook. A strong set up that could deal with any monsters that I may hook during the session.
We all caught steadily throughout the day, loads of Grayling, sadly none over 2lb but hard fighting quality fish up to about 1 1/2 lb. 

Interspersed with the Grayling were the inevitable Brown Trout. They can be a real nuisance when Grayling are the target but I relish them when they came along. These stunning creatures were great fun, huge and fought like stink on the light float rod I was using.
3lb 7oz
They are out of season at the moment and the beat has a strict policy on no photos of Brownies but I am sorry I could not resist, magnificent specimen and a new pb to boot. I only took very quick net shots and then released the fish quickly, no harm done!
I roamed around the beat even fishing the carrier streams too.....

I landed lots and lots of these............

Too many of these............

and a few of these.......

Plus I added another pb with this fish, 3lb 11oz.
The scenery was stunning..............

and the sun sets on a fantastic day.


  1. You did really well mate. It was a fine day out, with good company and some great fishing, I loved it ! Those browns did get in the way of the Ladies a bit, but boy did they go.


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