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Limestone rivers in Gloucestershire
Fishing Breaks has fly fishing for brown trout and grayling on the River Coln in Gloucestershire
Here is a good quiz question: Through which county in England do the longest, second longest and fifth longest rivers in the United Kingdom flow? The answer is Gloucestershire which boasts the River Severn (220 miles), the River Thames (215 miles) and the River Wye (135 miles).
Famous though they are it is not these rivers that the discerning fly fisher heads for whilst in the Cotswolds, for much better known for trout fishing are the rivers Coln, Leach and Windrush.
New since 2011 is a lovely beat on the River Coln in the quaint Gloucestershire village of Colwyn St Aldwyn, part of the Williamstrip Park estate, 9 miles east of Cirencester.
The River Coln rises at Brockhampton to the east of Cheltenham, and flows in a south/south-easterly direction through the Cotswold Hills via Andoversford, Withington, Fossbridge, Bibury, Coln St Aldwyns and Fairford. It joins the River Thames to the south-west of Lechlade, where it shares a confluence with the Thames and Severn Canal, by The Round House Footbridge.
Though not a chalkstream in the true sense the River Coln does share some of the familiar characteristics as it takes its water from the limestone uplands of the Cotswold’s. The river has abundant fly life, including a spectacular Mayfly hatch and the ranunculus weed thrives.
COLN ST ALDWYN
The beat is within five minutes walk of Coln St Aldwyn the perfect Cotswolds village with The New Inn a welcoming spot ideal for a pint, lunch and as somewhere to stay.
In broad terms the fishing season runs from April to October. The Hawthorn hatch is late April/early May, with the Mayfly running from ate May to the end of the third week in June. There are no easy pickings in the second half of the season, but small flies, delicately fished are the secret weapons.
Top Gloucestershire Flies:
The Pheasant Tail Nymphs and Damsel Mayfly Nymph in a variety of sizes are the best sub-surface patterns.
Recommended outfit: 7.5-8.5ft rod, of 3-5wt. Floating line. Tippet to 2lb/8x. Flies size 14-18, barbless or de-barbed.
Top country house hotel:- Barnsley House
Top spa hotel:- Calcot Manor
Top local hotel/inn: – The New Inn
1 COLN ST ALDWYN
Fishing Breaks Ltd, The Mill, Heathman Street, Nether Wallop