Fly fishing on the River Kennet is another overlooked chalkstream for many. A tributary of the River Thames and known for fantastic coarse fishing lower down in can often seem a world a way from the Hampshire chalkstreams, but do not be deceived it can offer equally exciting fishing.
Being based at the western extremity of the chalkstreams it took me a while to discover the joys of the Kennet, and in turn its wonderful tributary the Lambourn. Since then though it has become another favourite of mine and a trip is never far away for me.
So, why go fly fishing on the River Kennet?
Those yet to experience this stunning river may wonder why they should travel there to go fishing. Here are five reasons why you should try the Kennet.
Great Fly Life
This chalkstream has steadily improved in recent years and the wonderful pristine chalk water provides an abundance of aquatic life. Water flows can vary due to over abstraction from the aquifers, but thanks to careful river management on each beat the fly life is protected and excelling.
Olive hatches in the spring are combined with grannom and followed by hawthorn to keep fishing looking up from day one. The mayfly hatches can be impressive followed by some excellent evening fishing through the summer months as caddis flies gather and adult olives return to the water to lay their eggs.
September can be a fantastic month for stalking wary risers. given that water levels can be low by this point a stealthy approach is often required.
The Kennet Greenback
Another major appeal of this little chalkstream is the fact it has a unique form of brown trout, the River Kennet Greenback. Whilst not genetically different, these green-flanked and spotless brown trout are quite amazing and found nowhere else in the chalkstream rivers.
They are incredibly rare but each season lucky anglers manage to catch one or two of these amazing wild trout.
Innovative River Keepers
River management is key to success on our chalkstreams, and the River Kennet is very fortunate to have a swathe of young, enthusiastic and forward thinking keepers. Through their hard work, supported by the riparian owners and often the Action for the River Kennet group, they have done a wonderful job at improving the river for the benefit of all riverside life from insects and fish through to the prolific bankside flora and fauna.
Easy to Reach
The River Kennet is one of the easiest to reach from London, with journey times around an hour from the city. Its close proximity to the M4 makes it a great option for travel from all directions.
More than Brown Trout
One of the many joys of the River Kennet is that even in the winter months the river runs exceptionally clear, offering some of the finest clear water grayling fishing anywhere in the world. It can often be challenging but with a good population of big grayling the rewards are worth the effort.
With healthy populations of grayling, along with other silver coarse fish, comes healthy populations of pike too. Some beats are available in the winter months for guided pike trips.
The River Kennet is a mixture of syndicates and day ticket venues and we offer fishing at the joyful Denfor Water, suitable for day rods, guided trips and small group days.
If you enjoy the River Kennet or live on or by the river make sure you join the fantastic Action for the River Kennet organisation. They do some excellent work and assist with many river improvement and education projects in the area.
For more information about fly fishing the River Kennet please contact Alex Jardine or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.