River Avon – Chalkstream Fly Fishing

Consitently good Mayfly and Blue Winged Olives hatches.

Two headwater streams feed the Hampshire Avon both rising in the Vale of Pewsey, the East Avon  comes from chalk whereas the West Avon rises in greensand and it is because of this the River Avon is not considered to be a chalkstream in the strictest sense of the word. Persistent heavy rain early in the season can leave the river a little coloured but it quickly clears only affecting the the river for a few days. From summer through to the end of the season the water clarity is comparable to that of many chalkstreams.


River Avon; the haunt of Frank Sawyer and Oliver Kite

The River Avon has a very special place in the history of Chalkstream fly fishing. Oliver Kite, who lived at Netheravon, devised the ‘Kites Imperial’ to represent the LDO upwinged fly. Another notable inhabitant of Nethervaon was Frank Sawyer who was the river keeper of the Services Dry Fly Association. He devised the simple but very effective ‘Pheasant Tail Nymph’ which is probably the most successful and most copied trout fly in the world.

Two headwater streams feed the Hampshire Avon both rising in the Vale of Pewsey. The East Avon comes from chalk whereas the West Avon rises in greensand and it is because of this that the River Avon is not considered to be a chalkstream in the strictest sense of the word. Below the confluence of the two rivers, and just above Upavon, the River Avon runs through chalk down the valley to Salisbury and beyond. Downstream of Salisbury the river is mainly a coarse fishery and crosses into the county off Hampshire south of Downton. From below Fordingbridge there are a couple of Salmon fisheries before the river reaches the sea at Christchurch.

The River Avon trout season starts on 1st April in time to catch hatches of grannom and large dark olives and continues through until 15th October. Consistently good fly hatches especially Mayfly (Greendrake) which once started can continue for many weeks make the River Avon a firm favourite for fly fishermen.

Oliver Kite who lived at Netheravon devised the Kites Imperial to represent the LDO upwinged fly. Another notable inhabitant of Nethervaon was Frank Sawyer who was the river keeper of the Services Dry Fly Association, he devised the simple but very effective Pheasant Tail Nymph probably the most successful and most copied trout fly in the world.