Reasonable priced beat on Test for next Friday

adampodlaha

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Hi all,
I spent this weekend walking around the river Test first in Stockbridge and then upstream from Whitchurch and boy it was a lot to look at. Mayfly hatch was going on on Sat pm and the fish were simply massive. No surprise this is called the Mecca of fly fishing. The water was calm and the trouts both browns and rainbows were just cruising and taking flies...

Upstream around Whitechurch the fish were a bit smaller but and no hatch but still fish were taking other stuff from the top.

What was more interesting, in 10h of waking we haven’t seen a single fisherman! Were were they?

Few pics below.

Anyway I was wondering if anyone has any recommendation for a reasonably (100-150) priced best for next Friday. Please let me know if you have any tips. Thank you
Adam

Whitechurch


Whitechurch


Stockbridge - middle of the town


Itchen in Windsor


Stockbridge








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roger h 10

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You could ask in one of the tackle shops in Stockbridge but the chances of getting on a beat at this time of year at any price are remote , normally fully booked months in advance.
 

Carlos

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Was just casting around on a Sunday evening. Quite strange there is no answer for quite a few years!. Anyway, there are a lot of cheaper beats on wither carriers or beats close to main roads which are many around the Itchen below Winchester and indeed on the upper Test. Put your noise-cancelling headphones and indeed you will get some cheaper beats.
 

BobP

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Have a look at the 3 River Dun beats that Fishing Breaks have. Mottisfont, School Farm and Dunbridge. A Test tributary and plenty of fish.
 

thetrouttickler

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Have a look at the 3 River Dun beats that Fishing Breaks have. Mottisfont, School Farm and Dunbridge. A Test tributary and plenty of fish.
Bob, which would be your pick of the 3? The Dun is on my list. Possibly for next year.

The Blue Pool beat is also available from another agent, but it looks very slow flowing?

I generally favour faster flowing, wilder streams.

From the images (often misleading) Dunbridge would probably be my pick.
 

BobP

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School Farm is very pretty and was where the 2016 River Test One Fly was won - I was guiding the chap who won it. Fishable along its whole length. the top section is shallower and faster flowing and it deepens off lower down. Good mayfly. A good chance of seeing an otter here.

Dunbridge is my least favourite stretch. Plenty of fish but they seem to be concentrated into the bottom third of the fishery. It is immediately below School Farm. It is not as "fishable" as the other two beats.

Mottisfont Dun is the longest beat of the three. Open meadow at the top end but can become weedy pre-June weedcut. The lower 2/3rds run through wooded country so are sheltered from the wind. Plenty of fish throughout and a decent mayfly,. There is a weir about 100m above the bottom of the beat which hold lots of fish - grayling as well as trout. The downside to this beat is the railway that runs along part of the opposite bank. It doesn't bother the fish and it is screened to some extent by bankside trees. Trout tend to lie in the little bays created by these trees and will rise all day on bits & pieces that fall from the canopy. A good and accurate caster can score well here.

Of the three beats this is the one I would fish for preference followed by School Farm. The Mottisfont should be fishable all season whereas the other two can suffer a bit from low flows in a dry year.
 

thetrouttickler

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School Farm is very pretty and was where the 2016 River Test One Fly was won - I was guiding the chap who won it. Fishable along its whole length. the top section is shallower and faster flowing and it deepens off lower down. Good mayfly. A good chance of seeing an otter here.

Dunbridge is my least favourite stretch. Plenty of fish but they seem to be concentrated into the bottom third of the fishery. It is immediately below School Farm. It is not as "fishable" as the other two beats.

Mottisfont Dun is the longest beat of the three. Open meadow at the top end but can become weedy pre-June weedcut. The lower 2/3rds run through wooded country so are sheltered from the wind. Plenty of fish throughout and a decent mayfly,. There is a weir about 100m above the bottom of the beat which hold lots of fish - grayling as well as trout. The downside to this beat is the railway that runs along part of the opposite bank. It doesn't bother the fish and it is screened to some extent by bankside trees. Trout tend to lie in the little bays created by these trees and will rise all day on bits & pieces that fall from the canopy. A good and accurate caster can score well here.

Of the three beats this is the one I would fish for preference followed by School Farm. The Mottisfont should be fishable all season whereas the other two can suffer a bit from low flows in a dry year.
Many thanks, very helpful knowledge. Judging from what you say, Dunbridge goes from top to the bottom of the list. My main chalkstream targets for next year - the Dun, Anton, Bourne Rivulet and Risle (France). Best laid plans, and all that... (any tips for where to access the Anton and Bourne?)
 

JohnH

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While always paying due attention to Bob's experienced advice, I'd say Dunbridge does have something to offer, so don't cross it off your list entirely.

In addition to stocked trout and a surprising number of wild ones, the Dun holds some sizeable grayling. I've had good ones out of both School Farm and Dunbridge over the last couple of seasons.

Further upstream, I think it's a shame that Holbury stillwater fishery seems to have spoiled what used to be its attractive and interesting little beat of the Dun by cutting down a whole load of the trees that used to line the left hand bank looking downstream.
 

BobP

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That beat is on the opposite side to the Parsonage which is a Fishing Breaks beat. It is a very wide stretch of river, generally deep and difficult to spot fish. A nice fishing hut. Fishing is not permitted from that area but FB anglers can fish from the far bank. On more than one occasion I've been guiding clients and we've caught fish from our side that Timsbury rods can't get to. Quite amusing to see them desperately trying to ignore us on the far bank.

There is better water further upstream, but this is not an easy stretch of river to fish. There is a carrier which i have only seen a small part of that might offer more opportunities.
 

JohnH

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Agree with Bob. As a single stem the middle - lower Test is quite a big river, think about a 2/3 size scale model of the lower Hampshire Avon and you'll be in the vicinity. Depends on what TTT likes in a chalkstream, he may be happy on this wide open stretch but from comments upthread and elsewhere I sense he may prefer smaller rivers.

Downstream of Timsbury Bridge the river starts to split into the network of temporarily smaller main river, sidestreams, mill streams and carriers that flow just upstream of, and through, Romsey and which re-unite towards Broadlands.
 
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thetrouttickler

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×
Agree with Bob. As a single stem the middle - lower Test is quite a big river, think about a 2/3 size scale model of the lower Hampshire Avon and you'll be in the vicinity. Depends on what TTT likes in a chalkstream, he may be happy on this wide open stretch but from comments upthread and elsewhere I sense he may prefer smaller rivers.

Downstream of Timsbury Bridge the river starts to split into the network of temporarily smaller main river, sidestreams, mill streams and carriers that flow just upstream of, and through, Romsey and which re-unite towards Broadlands.
You have it spot on. As a general rule, smaller rather than large, faster flowing rather than moderate flow, wild fish rather than stocked, naturally maintained rather than manicured.

I tend to "collect" rivers. Fishing new water motivates me. My loose goal is to fish all the chalkstreams. I don't belong to a club, because I'd probably get bored fishing the same water. As I go, I hope to tick off a few more chalkstreams. It may mean I fish some water that isn't up my street, but I'll always start with my general preferences.
 
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