The eagerly anticipated 2021 chalkstream trout season is almost upon us, with beats beginning to welcome anglers from the 1st April. The winter months began with some fantastic grayling and pike fishing but the latest lockdown put a stop to that midway through the season. Nevertheless, the valley has remained a hive of activity as river keepers have been working hard to improve their beats for the year ahead.

Continuous winter precipitation has recharged aquifers across the south nicely ahead of the season and water levels are very good. We expect the good flows to continue through to the summer months making for a very special spring and mayfly period. Hopefully mid-season rains will do their job and keep the rivers in fantastic conditions all season.

Mayfly fishing, Wherwell Estate River Test, chalkstream fly fishing, river test

Ranunculus has begun growing well in most places. This will further boost water levels so please be aware that banks will be quite sodden in parts. Some estates may take a view to close some areas of bank until the water recedes a little, but the spring growth will soon repair these areas.

River Test

Mayfly fishing, Wherwell Estate River Test, chalkstream fly fishing, river test

The banks of the River Test are currently busy with river keepers putting the final touches to their winter work, and the spring growth should help bed everything in.

On Wherwell Estate, keepers Paul and James have done a huge amount and we are excited to see how it responds this season. Open day comes on the 1st May and there are still a number of dates available at the first part of the season.

As we move down the valley, Testcombe is starting to see good hatches of large dark olives and the trout are rising happily throughout the whole beat. Water levels are bank high and carrying a slight bit of colour but that is fining down nicely. The first anglers will have some special fishing from the 3rd April.

Travelling all the way down the valley to Broadlands, the river is still carrying a lot of water and the winter rains have given the whole estate a good flush of water. Some pools have moved around and been reshaped but the season prospects are excellent. The first day rods are available 3rd April and fishing is set to pickup as the month progresses.

River Anton

Westfair, River Anton, chalkstream fly fishing, grayling fishing, trout fishing, Aardvark McLeod

The River Anton has benefited hugely this winter from various river work for overall habitat improvement. With each change the fish have taken well to their revised homes, with many actively feeding trout moving in to these spots within moments of the work being done.

Both the Westfair Beat and Westover Estate have had their spring clean ahead of the season opening on the 5th April. Like the Test, hatches of large dark olives have already got the fish looking up. Water levels are good, with further increases expected in the next couple of weeks and the clarity is fantastic.

River Avon

River Avon, Chalkstream, Aardvark McLeod

The Avon, much like the other rivers is experiencing high spring flows which has cleaned a lot of the gravel providing great trout habitat for the start of the season. Large dark olives have already been steadily hatching but the main event of April will be the terrific grannom hathces that can be experienced throughout the system. The season opens on the 1st April and the water clarity should continue to clear over the next few weeks.

River Wylye

Our most exciting new edition this season, and already looking in fantastic condition. Water levels are still over the banks in parts but the river is clearing quickly and dropping back slowly but surely. The season opens on the 1st April but the best fishing will be from the 15th April when wading is permitted. The river is a great early season option but also has a notable mayfly hatch too.

We still have two syndicate places this season as well as the some day rod availability.

River Nadder

The Nadder is much more rain affected than it neighbours and is currently quite high and coloured. By the time the season opens on the 25th April conditions should have settled down very nicely and the fish should be enjoying large hatches of grannom. Whilst it may not be as clear as the others this is a terrific spring fishery.

River Kennet

River Kennet Chalkstream fly fishing, Dry Fly Fishing, Alex Jardine, Aardvark McLeod Dry Fly Fishing

The excellent habitat improvement work throughout the Kennet valley has continued again this winter with the river looking more and more fishy each season. We cannot wait for the first anglers to hit the banks on the 1st April. The water is still over the banks in parts but the clarity is excellent and we are expecting good showing of rising trout throughout the opening month.


Do not miss your opening trips to the river this year, you can view the following availability:

Spring 2021

Mayfly 2021

Testcombe, River Test, Chalkstream Fishing, Aardvark McLeod

The weed cutting dates have been finalised for the 2021 season, view the River Test dates HERE and the River Itchen dates HERE.

For more information, further chalkstream fly fishing availability or to book one of these days please do not hesitate to contact us by EMAIL or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.