River Nadder, Chalkstream flyfishing

Good mayfly and early season grannom hatches.

The Nadder is a good early season river with good hatches of Grannom. The main event however is always the mayfly which can be spectacularly good even after heavy rain and poor river visibility conditions. Later in the season the early morning evening sedges give the best chance of good sport.


An early season river, with good hatches of Grannom

The Nadder is a good early season river with good hatches of Grannom. The main event is always the mayfly which can be spectacularly good even after heavy rain and poor river visibility conditions. Later in the season the early morning evening sedges give the best chance of good sport.

The Nadder is the odd one out of the five rivers that meet in Salisbury. Although located very close to the Wylye this river cannot be considered a chalk stream although in parts displaying many of the characteristics. The river rises in greensand very close to the Donheads near Shaftesbury and is quickly joined by the Sem at Wardour, west of Tisbury. The river meanders down the valley with some large oxbow bends through pastoral sheep meadows and old country estates, including Wilton House, the home of the Earl of Pembroke. In the manicured gardens the river flows beneath the magnificent Palladian Bridge before being joined by the river Wylye just outside the park walls and eventually joining the Avon near the cathedral in Salisbury.

G.E.M Skues spent some of his last days on the Nadder just on the outskirts of Wilton and writes of “The Iron Lattice Bridge” where he would examine the flies caught in the cobwebs between the lattices. Over the years the trout season has opened at different times depending on location. Now it falls in-line with all the other rivers in the Avon catchment officially starting on April 1st through to October 15th although some riparian owners opt to start later and finish earlier.

The Compton Chamberlayne estate has limited permission to stock rainbow trout, a historical concession and very unusual in the catchment.