River Test - Thursday 4th February 2010
It had been a good 4 wks since we last hit a river, the weather had been appalling and the Severn & Dee were still running high. We both needed to get out so I booked a couple of days off work and decided upon which rivers were fishable at this time.
A few phone calls and looking through the archives of various forums we decided upon the River Test, this river we had only read about and seen on the TV so a phone call to the river keeper was in order at the Wherwell Estate. A ticket for the day was £35 so we booked two rods.
We were up at 4am and on the road for 5am for the three and a half hour journey down to Hampshire. The talk on the way down was of what the day had in store, and various tactics to use on this most famous Chalk stream. The drive from Cheshire was a good one and we arrived an hour early at half eight to meet Robbie the river keeper who had been looking after this Estate fishery for 30years and he had many a tale to tell us.
The morning was perfect and after a good chat Robbie let us on our way, we were like two kids in a candy shop itching to get to the river, Bloody hell !!!!! What a river !!! We both looked at each other and the expression on both our faces must have been a picture, The Test crystal clear and looking magnificent. Today was going to be like fishing in an aquarium.
We both started on a few small nymphs, with a light leader as suggested (3lb), I was edging my bets with a duo set up to start but nothing took an interest. It was after a couple of hours that we both broke our duck, two nice Grayling hitting the net. This settled both our nerves and we continued to wonder the 3mile stretch that was on offer, spotting small Grayling and the resident Brown trout that this river is most famous for, and yes they are massive !.
Success continued during the day with many a fish coming to the net, the majority falling to a GRHE (18s)variant with an orange tungsten bead. It was wonderful to walk along such a river and admire not only the quality of the fishing that was on offer but also the hard work that goes in close season in preparation for the big money ticket during trout season. Walkways,banks and access were spot on.
During the afternoon I split up from my fishing buddy to explore new water, after an hour or so we reunited and there was a tale to tell,my dad had only hooked into a nice brownie, it took him 10 minutes to land on such light leader and was near 4lb, the old man was still shaking and that had made his day. No photo as it was returned as quickly as possible fighting fit for the start of the season. Needless to say it gained a few pounds that evening after a few pints in Bulls Head !!
What a day we were having, numerous Grayling and the best hitting 2lb, there are bigger in here and we'll find them later on the year. We fished until dark and more fish accounted for. A superb day and well worth the journey & money. A dream river and our love affair with the Test has only just started............Well be back in October.
Thanks to the Wherwell Estate for a quality day.
Until next time............................................Tight Lines
Posted by Phil