My book Life of a Chalkstream
is now out in paperback.
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 - much better known for trout fishing are the rivers Coln, Leach and Windrush.
Fishing Breaks has 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 southwest 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 Cotswolds. 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.
These limestone streams fish nearly year-round with trout from April to September and grayling October to March. Like the chalkstreams the hatches are hawthorn in April, mayfly in May/June with a mix of sedges, olives and terrestrials in the summer; damsel patterns are especially deadly. For more fishing advice and to buy flies click here.
Top Gloucestershire Flies:
The Pheasant Tail Nymphs and Damsel Mayfly Nymph in a variety of sizes are the best sub-surface patterns.
Recommended outfit: 8ft rod, with 3-5wt floating line. Tippet to 2lb/6x