The Test at Timsbury

A. Fluker

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Took a few friends along today to the River Test at Timsbury - most had not fished the Test before and when I left at lunchtime they all seemed pleased and only two had not caught fish out of eight of them at that stage. One or two, are members here - Hellbound and St Albans but the rest - forum shy. Temperatures soared to 30.0c and the sky remained blue. The water was flowing at a 'normal' pace and a lot of weed was present. Although we had to dodge a couple of worm lobbers it was a pleasant experience. Hadn't been to Timsbury since Icky organised a trip a few years ago. There is still Mrs Drear taking the money! The best fly for me was a witch fly that enabled me to return a few grayling and an out of season brown - making a good morning out. Left the lads at Timsbury as I had a couple of things to do and I now look forward to hearing their stories later. I did manage to meet up with sensible - a fellow forumite from here and enjoyed a good natter with him. Hopefully it's not too long before I am down that way again.

A view over the Test valley at 7.00 am today...........

:cool:
 

Kid A

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Sussex
Nice meeting up with you today , small world :)

Must admit it was a bit of a struggle today , i ended up with 3 of each .

Nice day weather wise , but a a nice sunny frost would be nice for next Sunday , when i`m on the Itchen :thumbs:
 

maui_jim

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Marlow
Went out guided with Jed, trying to burst my grayling cherry before a trip on the Dove the following weekend. Had a super morning and hooked a nice brown trout that had forgotten to go on his holidays. Jed got the ladies to take the fly but they were too quick for this old fart. Stopped at lunch time as the maggots were flying everywhere.

There is super fishing to be had on the Test at Timsbury but you need to get there early, before the course boys flood the river with maggots.
 

Kid A

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Anyone fished the Test at Timsbury in the last couple of weeks, anygood, as i`m fishing there on Sat ?

i guessed there was plenty of water

Steve
 

chasingsilver

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We did the same trip as a group again this year. It was fishing better than 2011. The flow wasy higher and more fish caught.
 

Rich Drayson

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Charlwood
Visited Timsbury last Friday. Water had a very slight tinge of colour but normal summer level. My brother and I had Beat 6 to ourselves and managed 2 browns and 2 rainbows to around 3lb. Dry craneflies and damsel nymphs did the business. A few fish close in to the bank so not always necessary to cast to the other side.
 

Rich Drayson

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Nymphs indeed are an acceptable method alongside the upstream dry fly.
One reason for using the nymph was that there were hundreds of damsel flies hatching and I didn't have a dry pattern.
 

BobP

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Those doyens of the upstream nymph on the chalkstreams, Skues, Sawyer and Kite, will be rotating at high speed in their graves at the thought of someone fishing what is in essence, a stillwater lure, on the Test.
 

luke troutstalker

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Even though they are occurring naturally in the river ?

It's a bit hypocritical to baulk at a 'Stillwater' pattern when most of the fish in there will be stocked ?
 

richfish1

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Even though they are occurring naturally in the river ?

It's a bit hypocritical to baulk at a 'Stillwater' pattern when most of the fish in there will be stocked ?
Exactly, not all damsel patterns are 2 inch fluffy tadpole lures. Tied small and slender they are a true representative of what the fish are likely to be feeding on. Just so happens marabou does a fantastic job of imitating that lithe tail.
 

BobP

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Exactly, not all damsel patterns are 2 inch fluffy tadpole lures. Tied small and slender they are a true representative of what the fish are likely to be feeding on. Just so happens marabou does a fantastic job of imitating that lithe tail.
So, did autopsies back up this theory? Were the fish stuffed with damsel nymphs thus justifying the use of an imitation? How was it fished? Upstream to a targetted fish or just chucked out and pulled back?

Damsel nymphs do not have a "lithe" tail as anyone who has seen a natural in the water will know. They have three short tails. It is the body that wriggles from side to side as they swim.

And so, because the fish are stocked it therefore means that any method of fly fishing is perfectly acceptable. Even on the Test. That is the premise we have here.
 

BobP

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Andy,

We have in excess of 80% of the world's chalkstreams and therefore a day fishing on one should be regarded as something a bit "special" and the accepted chalkstream ethics should be observed. Not by some, it seems.
 

JCP

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In my view in this instance need to look at this from a traditional point of view.
I know where BobP is coming from and he is absolutely right in what he says.I have witnessed total disregard on the hallowed middle Test noting woolly ******* and gold head damsels on fishmongers leaders at the lunch hut.These chaps seemed quite well heeled but obviously not in the etiquette expected on these southern chalk streams.I did see one man reprimanded by the keeper's father.
Stocked fish or no I see no reason not to follow protocol when fishing these rivers and if the damsel in question is designed for stillwater/reservoir then not playing the game fished like a streamer up or down stream.I am a game section member of Salisbury and District Angling Club and pretty sure I would be banned if caught using stillwater/reservoir/streamer tactics on any of the cub beats.We know these methods can be deadly but not really the point is it ?:confused: Just my take on it.

Best JP
 

BobP

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Andy,

re downstream dry. I was guiding a chap on the Kennet earlier this year. A quiet day with not much going on, but we did manage to winkle a couple out on a carrier using a shrimp pattern of mine.

We found a good fish rising steadily immediately above a tree which had most of its lower branches in the water. This diverted the current and the fish was tucked in tight. It was impossible to reach him from below, and equally so from directly opposite due to trees on our bank. The only way was from above using a parachute tuck cast to drop the fly above him with enough slack line to allow a couple of feet of drift. Probably a one shot attempt.

The client had never tried this before, but when I explained exactly what he had to do he gave it a go. The fly was a 16 olive klink. He managed to drop the fly in the right spot and the fish duly obliged. I told him he would have to bully the fish upstream as fast as possible otherwise it would dive under the branches and that would be that.

All went well and he managed to get the fish about 10m upstream whereupon it woke up with a vengeance and bolted back for home with the inevitable result. The guy was most upset at losing a very good fish, but as I pointed out we would have put it back anyway, and he had accomplished a very difficult cast and hooked a fish that I suspect very few other anglers would have attempted.

That sort of scenario is, I would contend, acceptable on the scale of 1-10 in difficulty terms. That rated an easy 9.5 in my book. What Skues would have called a "minor" tactic, but not for general use.
 

bonefishblues

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You mean...sits down and takes a deep breath...that the hallowed waters of the...River Test are sullied by...lowers voice...stocked fish?

I should be fishing with a bally trawler if I were you old chap (motoring upstream of course!)
 

luke troutstalker

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From Timsbury fishery website;

Brown and rainbow trout (natural or stocked): a floating fly or nymph not exceeding size 10 and of a type indigenous to the River Test, fished upstream only.


If the people that run the place don't have a problem with it, then why should you Bob? This idea of traditional methods is all very well, but it's not exactly a traditional piece of river anymore is it? Stocked fish and manicured banks - was this commonplace in the day of Skues, sawyer, and Kite? Clearly Sawyer was a river keeper, but did his duties at the time involve a ride on lawnmower and a strimmer? Was he tending to the banks while Skues and kite lobbed pellets into the growing on tanks?

It seems to me that you are very selective with your sense of tradition.
 
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