The sun had just risen over the horizon as Martin and I pulled into the car park following our long journey South to fish the Hampshire Test. It was time for what has become an annual pilgrimage to the mecca of Trout fishing however our aim was to plunder the stocks of Grayling that live among the spotties.
The Test is a truly stunning waterway and despite yesterdays torrential downpours it was reasonably clear with just a tinge of colour-perfect conditions. It is truly amazing the different depths of each swim in this river. I began the day in an old favourite spot that is only three feet deep but the weed, which should be long gone by January made trotting impossible so I moved upstream to a swim that was over nine feet deep. With the freezing cold overnight temperatures I fancied some fish could be holed up in the deeper water.
I wasn't wrong and soon enough good numbers of Grayling fell for the maggot hookbaits up to a biggest of 1lb 4oz.
Inevitably Trout were attracted to the loose feed and it didn't take long for the thrashing Salmonids to clear out the swim.
One interesting visitor to the swim was this Little Grebe, that is their imaginative name, nothing to do with their size and the first I have ever seen/identified- thanks to Google.
A move down stream became imperative and I focused my attention on a lovely long glide close to the confluence of main flow and backwater.
Again plenty of Grayling were landed up to a pound but after a while they didn't get much of a look in as a procession of Trout were landed. To be fair they were good battles on light tackle.
Quite a variety of good looking Brownies with one Rainbow thrown in for good measure. I lost count of the total number of fish caught but it was well over sixty. A great days fishing and a lot more fun than a commercial Carp-filled puddle, Cannot wait until the next visit.