I remember the first time I ever set eyes on the Itchen, 30 years ago to the month, from the bridge at Easton. I was amazed at how beautiful it was - broad, fast and very deep - not to mention incredibly clear.
It was also the first time I'd seen a chalkstream. Is it still largely unspoilt at this location?
I used to live a few miles from this part of the river in swaythling, the local tackle shop was homestores. I have had plenty of trout, sea trout and a couple of salmon. If you go further up where the river get shallower then you can fish for grayling. Also I have had perch and some nice size pike on the fly here. If your into some pike fishing now's the time to fish it all for the price of a rod licence.
Hi I think you should say that the coarse rights were publically owned. As a youth I lived within walking distance of this picture and I used to keep my rod made up in the garage. I remember that worms from my dad's compost heap were excellent for accidentally catching sea trout especially the late seasons runs in September. I wonder if they still happen. I also caught some nice perch and some good roach approaching two pounds mainly further up near Mansbridge. Very good dace as well.
The keepers lived in a cottage at the end of my road I recall his name was Cecil and he had a large white alsatian. In those days the salmon pool was netted regularly. Happy days in the 1960s.
Whenever I go back to Southampton I am always surprised that there seems to be no one fishing. The tackle shop in Swaythling was called Homestores, I think run by the Watts family. I remember the smell of maggots. The tackle shop in town was patstone and cox from where I bought my Mk iv avon having saved up doing a paper round. Still have the rod cost £10 12s 6d now apparently worth £500 I wish my other investments performed as well as this !