For a long time we have enjoyed fly fishing on the River Wylye, one of the delightful chalkstream tributaries of the Wiltshire/Hampshire Avon. With the 2022 mayfly season ongoing, now is a great time to visit our delightful stretch at Langford.
Having explored the fly fishing along much of the River Wylye, it is a river that has really captured my heart. For the most part it is a small intimate river, often kept in a minimal way to allow bank side vegetation to support healthy insect life and in-river structures designed to offer brilliant aquatic habitats. This does offer some challenges to the angler, but that is part of the charm; you have to think about each cast and move stealthily.
So, why go fly fishing on the River Wylye?
Those yet to experience this stunning little chalkstream may wonder why they should travel there to go fishing… and maybe I shouldn’t say so that I have the river to myself. Here are five reasons why you should try fly fishing on the River Wylye.
A Wild Chalkstream
One of the biggest joys of this river is that for the most part it is ‘wild’ chalkstream. That is not to say that it isn’t maintained by river keepers, as that is essential work on our soft-banked chalkstreams, but the work is done in keeping with the environment. As such, the river has wonderful twists and turns, deep pools leading into swift gravel runs. With each step you take the river changes in character.
Stocking of trout is virtually non-existent along the river apart from in a handful of sections, this in turn allows the wild trout and grayling to thrive. So if you are looking to pit your wits against a wily wild trout, the Wylye may just be the place for you.
Great Fly Hatches
For anyone who has spent time fly fishing the River Wylye will notice just how prolific the fly hatches can be throughout the season, be that the 1st April or the 14th October and through the winter. This observation is backed up by the wonderful montioring work carried out by the Salmon & Trout Conservation and the River Fly Partnership.
Of course the benefit of prolific fly hatches mean that the trout and grayling can be found rising with great frequency. I have enjoyed great dry fly action in early April when snow is falling all the way through to balmy August evenings.
Not all chalkstream river beats allow wading for numerous reasons but for those that long to wade carefully along casting to rising fish then the Wylye offers that chance. By wading it allows the bankside vegetation to grow up providing great habitat for fly life and in turn a healthy ecosystem.
One of the biggest joys of the Wylye is that it is home to a wide range of wild brown trout and grayling in different year classes. This means that not only do you find healthy populations of smaller fish, but look a little closer and you will find some truly special wild fish gorging on the plentiful food supply. The river offers a real chance to catch a personal best of either species.
Winter Grayling Fishing
Fly fishing on the River Wylye is not just limited to the trout season (1st April to 14th October), with such healthy grayling populations fishing does continue throughout the winter season (15th October to 14th March). In this time, nymph fishing methods are prefered but certainly do not put away the dry flies as throughout the colder months hatches of large dark olives can burst into life at any moment.
Please note that wading on the River Wylye at Langford Lakes finishes on 30th November each season to protecting the spawning period.
For more information about fly fishing the River Wylye please contact Alex Jardine or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.