Springtime fly fishing on the Chalkstreams: It might be any number of things. The cacophony of birdsong at daybreak, the first Cowslip or primrose thrusting through the dead leaf debris, it could be the first Grannom – our earliest hatching sedge – embracing the clean new air.
It might be none of this things, but April will have fly fishers reaching for fly rods with an almost religious fervour. Our time has come; a new chapter of the seasons has begun.

The sad fact is, still most see the Mayfly – a month or two from now – as the absolute pinnacle on the chalkstreams and yet April excites. She is a capricious month; sometimes bathed in warm sunshine others gripped by a chill North Easterly scything along the river valley, maybe sweeping curtains of rains…possibly all three in quick succession.

But the river and the landscape is alive. And eager to offer expert and newcomer fly fisher a glimpse of what is to come.

We love April on the chalkstreams. The fishing is seldom easy, but oh so rewarding! The fish will be hungry; frantically trying to put on the “pounds” that were lost during the rigours of winter. But don’t fall for the trap that they are easy, these fish are the survivors, as our guides know. Presentation, The correct fly – and in the right place: our mantra of generations – is just as important at the beginning of the season as the last weeks.

Wild Brown Trout - Aardvark McLeod, Chalkstreams

But the key is fish, April and early May is so underrated. First the Large Dark Olive will make a sedate entrance like tall ships sliding down the river corridors, then the exuberant Grannom – this little caddis can really focus the attention of trout and offer some sublime dry fly sport and then the slightly more haphazard Hawthorn fly “falls” – great if the wind deposits these gangly legged terrestrials on the surface; not good if the wind is blowing away from the stream…but that’s fishing. The odd thing – and whether hawthorn taste better (discuss) – but trout do seem to be inordinately fond of them. Even during frugal surface activity, a black dry fly of some description will often “pull” fish up and provide exciting fishing.


Bibio Marci - Hawthorn Fly -Aardvark Mcleod, Chalkstreams
Bibio Marci – Hawthorn Fly



Hawthorn Fly Imitation - Chalkstream Flies- Aardvark Mcleod, Chalkstreams
Hawthorn Imatation – Fulling Mill


With an ever growing portfolio of waters of all types, we like to think at Aardvark McLeod we can put you on some intriguing fishing at most points through the year. There is no time like the present.

The rivers through April and early May are often at the very height of loveliness: and whilst the actual fishing might be polarised and occasionally, fleeting; the fresh, new-born majesty of the surroundings exquisite – even if it rains!

We feel certain that we can find a water for you to banish winter and celebrate a new season be it LDO, Grannom, Hawthorn and all manner of waterborne trout interesting delicacies.
Welcome back to the playground.

Charles Jardine 2017

If you are looking for an early seaon day contact Alex Jardine or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.