Put it to the Test

22 10 2012

A couple of weeks back I had a phone call from a friend, Neil Ashman, inviting me to fish the River Test in Hampshire. It didn’t take long for me to accept his offer! I’ve never fished a chalk stream so this was going to be a new experience. Besides,  I love fishing new places. With the date approaching fast I couldn’t wait to go! Neil picked me up around 5.30am, up nice and early for a long drive to Hampshire. There were about 9 other anglers on the minibus when we got picked up at Cardiff,  all talking about their previous visits to the River Test and how they loved fishing it, so off we set on our journey to fish the TEST.

We finally arrived at our destination. I was finally there! The journey was a rough one for me with feeling a little bit unwell due to a touch of travel sickness, but that wasn’t gonna stop me. Neil was quick off the mark to show me his favorite spot that holds a load of good grayling, it was off the main river in what they called a carrier stream that feed’s into the main river. Clear or what! It was like gin! I thought to myself, there can’t be fish in there? I could see everything in the pool except the fish. But Neil is an experienced angler, and a good angler to say the least, so there had to be fish in there. I tackled up with the french leader first, with two small nymphs I was first to fish and straight away I was into a small grayling “Excellent!” A good start to the day.

Neil with another grayling

We shared the first pool by taking it in turns to catch these small lady’s and having a lot of fun fair play.  I said to Neil that I was off to try the main river out  and try to target the bigger grayling. I got to the main river and there were other anglers they’re using the duo method. Also known as klink and dink, this is when you use a dry fly as a fishing fly and as an indicator with a nymph tied on below at whatever depth you need to fish at. It’s a great method for grayling and works very well for me. So I changed from the french leader to the duo. The other anglers were catching fish almost every cast taking them on the dry flies and the nymphs. They were catching some nice brown trout and rainbow trout and also grayling that were feeding amongst the trout. I found a spot where there were some nice fish rising and started to fish, it wasnt long before I had landed a nice size brown trout around the 2lb mark a cracking looking fish too. I went on to take more trout in the same spot all on the dry, some fabulous fishing I must say.

After fishing the main river and having a load of fun I decided to try to target grayling in the carrier streams. Again, I was fishing the duo standing well back from the water so as not to spook the fish. The carriers are not very wide and the water clarity is very clear. Straight away  I was into a grayling although only a small one yet again! On the next cast I hooked into a nice rainbow trout that fought like mad fair play! It ran down the stream taking my line under the opposite bank. At this point I thought I would lose it but I managed to keep it on. After the rainbow I went on to hook a brown trout around the same size, and another good fight from him too, I was really enjoying myself but wondered where these fish were coming from due to the fact u could see right through the water but I couldn’t spot these fish I’d just hooked?!


Fishing chalk streams is totally different to what I’m used to fishing but I had a lot of fun and a good haul of fish for the day so I wasn’t complaining! And also a big thank you to Neil and all the lad’s for letting me join them on this trip.

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2 responses

22 10 2012
kieronjenkins

You would have seen them with polarised glasses on!

22 10 2012
tightlineswithsion

true kie, but i never wear them dont like wearing glasses mate, theres always next time

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