Rivers Test & Itchen - December 2016

It was an early start down to Hampshire, I had booked us both on the Broadlands estate for the first days fishing. A river I have been lucky enough to fish on several occasions, it was Dads first time on the main Test and we were both looking forward to the day.


The Test at this time of year was spectacular, having said that when isn't it?, after a quick brew and a chat with the Jon Hall the river keeper who had sorted us the day we were away.  The river was carrying a bit of colour but this was to our advantage.   I set up with the trusty Sage ESN #2 with the French leader and a couple of nymphs. A heavy 4.6mm jig fly on the point and the fly I have christened the "Licorice Allsort" on the dropper.


The day turned out to be what can only be described as a "red letter" day, every run we searched held fish. A number of larger fish graced our nets and we were buzzing from start to finish. The pink Licorice Allsort accounted for the majority of fish.  


As you can see from the below picture this Graylings mouth still had the remains of a previous angler encounter. It's goes to show that the lady of the stream love Pink.



It was a remarkable day and we fished right through until last light a day that will remain in the fishing memory for a very long time.

Lower Itchen
Day two saw us on the lower Itchen, a stunning river on on this cold and frosty morning. We wondered for some time spotting the fish and refusing anything we threw at them. We did manage to get into several Grayling in the deeper pockets, again all taking the pink dropper. We did see a number of larger fish but also they saw us after a few failed attempts. This sections does hold some large specimens and with more time on the water I'm sure I'd get into them. A cracking day none the less and as always good banter.




Wherwell River Test
We met up for our final days fishing with a good friend of ours Alex Adams, he has fished this section of the test carriers on many occasions. We too have fished it in years gone by but with much more water in. We generally take the trip when our rivers up north are in flood. Alex noted straight away that the river was very low for this time of year, we still located a number of small fish and the odd brownie which you can't avoid. We wondered for some time trying to locate bigger grayling but they saw us no matter how stealthy we were. The river is full of trout and I'm sure during the season the anglers will have a bonanza. Albeit the large numbers are due to a stocking policy.




Both Dad and I had a cracking few days away on the wonderful chalkstreams, coupled with superb food and hospitality at The three cups inn in Stocksbridge. We can't wait to return in the new year to chase the Grayling once again, it was a trip full of laughs and great fishing.  To do it all with your best mate and share the experience is simply awesome.

Until next time.......

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