River Test - Chalkstream Fly Fishing

  • River Dever, chalkstream fly fishing, trout fishing, brown trout, Aardvark McLeod
  • Wherwell, River Test, Aardvark Mcleod, trout, trout fishing, Chalkstream
  • Brown Trout, River Test, Aardvark McLeod, trout fishing, chalkstream
  • River Test, Aardvark Mcleod, trout fishing, brown trout, rainbow trout, chalkstream

The Test is a 'must do' for the avid trout fly fisher

The River Test must be the most famous trout fly fishing river in the world not only for the quality of the fish but also for the past literary history and characters. By far the biggest of all chalkstreams 30 + miles as the crow flies from source to sea it offers over 100 miles of wonderful fishing.


Walk in the footsteps of fishing's greats

Over the centuries and man’s manipulation for irrigation and milling purposes have resulted in a braided river system of many carriers most of which are fishable. From the source ½ mile to the east of Overton at Ashe the River Test flows west to Whitchurch before turning south to continue the onward journey. Primarily the River Test is known as a trout fishery but at Broadlands and Testwood before the river spills into the Solent double figure salmon and sea trout are caught regularly.

The River Test is joined by four main tributaries of the Bourne Rivulet, River Dever, River Anton and River Dun and some lesser streams including the Wallop Brook and Blackwater.

The literary heritage is probably the richest of any river, with the writings of Peter Hawker, Plunket Greene, John Waller Hills and probably the most famous of all F M Halford.

Another notable to the river is William Lunn who was appointed in 1887 as river keeper to Houghton Club and devised some forty artificial fly patterns some of which are still in use today, the most famous being the Lunn’s Particular, Houghton Ruby, Sherry Spinner and  Caperer. When William retired his son Alf took over as head keeper followed by his son Mick who continued until his retirement in 1992.

For any avid trout fly fisherman the River Test is a “must do” at least once in a life time, to walk in the foot steeps of those that so influenced our sport is almost an epiphany moment.

Destination Overview

Location: Hampshire, England

Water Type: Freshwater

Capacity: 1 - 16 anglers

Season: Year round, trout season 3rd April - 15 October

Price: Grayling from £50 pp and Trout from £150 pp

Species: Atlantic Salmon, Brown Trout, Grayling, Rainbow Trout, Sea Trout

Activities & Amenities

Travel Tips

The River Test is 1 hour 30 minutes by road or train from London.

Guiding, transfers and accommodation can be organised by prior arrangement.

If you would like more information please contact Alex Jardine or Peter McLeod or call on ++44 1980 847389. Alternatively click HERE if you would like us to contact you.

You Might Also Like These Destinations

River Anton - Chalkstream Fly Fishing

One of the four main tributaries feeding the River Test, the River Anton is a short chalkstream of some seven miles in length rising to the north of Andover and joining the River Test just below the riverside garden of the renowned Mayfly pub. The River Anton is great for those looking for a more challenging alternative to the River Test.

River Itchen - Chalkstream Fly Fishing

The River Itchen is formed by the streams Candover, Arle and Titchbourne coming together just west of New Alresford. The River Itchen to Winchester is some six miles in length and is considered to be some of the finest trout fly fishing in the world.

River Avon - Chalkstream Fly Fishing

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.