Chalkstream fly fishing with Fishing Breaks  

“Insight into a wonderful corner of the land.”

My book Life of a Chalkstream is now out in paperback.
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Two days on the river, a campfire at dusk and a night under canvas with the sound of the stream to lull you to sleep. Summer dates now out.
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NEW A week just fly fishing could the summer holidays get any better? Summer programme now out.
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The perfect antidote to work. Two magnificent River Test venues and Nether Wallop Mill. Now booking Mayfly dates.
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Your favourite beat, on the day you want it for the season ahead. All the options, on all the rivers.
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The Mill
Heathman Street
Nether Wallop
Hampshire SO20 8EW
T: 01264 781988
F: 01264 782590


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.

Fishing advice and flies | Places to stay | Map

Our rivers


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.


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Aternatives to consider

The River Coln is a true limestone stream and without a doubt the best trout river in the Cotswolds, with this particular area around Coln St Aldwyns one of the prime sections.

The Broadwater beat runs to nearly three quarters of a mile and is ideal for one to three rods. With plenty of water to cover there is variety: slower, deeper sections as well as faster, gravelly parts where the fish are easily spotted. The entire beat is fished from the bank (right side as you look upstream) and is well looked after by the keeper John Reeves who has worked on the river for four decades.

The limestone habitat is ideal for a diversity of fly hatches including a spectacular mayfly that runs from the last week in May through the first three weeks of June. The beat has a good head of wild trout supplemented by careful stocking, plus grayling and a few rainbow trout.

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.

April 1– September 30

£107 per Rod

October 1 – March 14 (grayling)

£54 per Rod

1-3 Rods

For further details, please complete our enquiry form or e-mail

Fishing advice and flies

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:

Dark Olive (12)

Grey Wulff (10-14)

Adams Parachute (12-16)


“F” Fly (16-18)

Crane Fly (Daddy Long Legs

Sedge patterns


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

Places to stay

Country house hotel

Barnsley House

Spa hotel

Calcot Manor

Local inn

The New Inn

View the full Fishing Breaks accommodation guide





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