More than five hundred years have passed since Fly Fishing got popular as a fishing method and one of the first detailed reports of this art was written by Dame Juliana Barnes in the late fourteen hundreds.
British fly-fishing continued to develop in the 19th Century, with the emergence of fly fishing clubs, along with the appearance of several books on the subject of fly tying and fly fishing techniques. In southern England, dry-fly fishing acquired an elitist reputation as the only acceptable method of fishing the slower, clearer rivers of the south such as the River Test and the other chalk streams concentrated in Hampshire, Surrey, Dorset and Berkshire.
Now a bit of my story!
You would think that as a “Faraway Fly Fisherman” I would not be very attracted by one of these suburban rivers, but actually, it was one of my main angling goals, fishing the River Test was a dream for me.
All started in Argentina a couple of years ago, when we met Roger in the Ibera Marsh, we were fishing for “Golden” Dorado. After guiding him a couple of times in Iceland fishing different pools and rivers while making the use of an Iceland camper rental we were able to camp near the fishing spots to make sure we got as much fishing in, and then the past year in Tierra del Fuego for Sea Trout, we became good friends. After a great week in Tierra del Fuego, we talked about fishing his property, where the River Test runs through and of course, I was not going to miss that chance!
Almost half a year later (few weeks ago) after fishing along with Barrett in Oregon and after some other short trips, I flew to London. I was very impatient to fish or just to see the River Test and after a spending a night in London I drove down south to the small town called Romsey in Hampshire. Unfortunately, Roger couldn’t come fishing the first days but we managed to do some fishing together the last ones.
Rogers property is lovely. An old house built in the 17th century with a beautiful garden of a few hectares and right behind, the River Test. This beautiful chalk stream runs through cities and small villages for more than 60 miles. Clear water, underwater vegetation and some gravel patches are the main characteristics of this stream, being perfectly suitable for sight fishing.
Only dry fly fishing is allowed at this time of the season, due this, June is not the best month for fishing this stretch. Mayfly hatches were almost over, but anyway, I was lucky to hit a few hatches while I was there and catch several Brownies and Graylings. Surprisingly the fish sizes were very decent, fish between one to almost four pounds.
After fishing some of the most popular trout spots in US and England, made me realize that fishing in these “popular” rivers filled with history, can be as exciting as fishing in the most remote and untamed places where I had the chance to fish before.
Unfortunately I couldn’t take many pics but check a few below,