My debut book
Chalkstream Fly Fishing in Hampshire
Fishing Breaks offer the widest selection of the very best chalk stream brown trout dry fly and nymph fishing in the county of Hampshire.
This is the pre-eminent chalkstream county, where the Test and Itchen are the undisputed masters of the dry fly universe. At every twist and turn of these great rivers’ history, Hampshire and fishing come together. Even Izaak Walton, who penned The Compleat Angler in the seventeenth century, has a place in the history of the county. He lived for the latter portion of his life in the county capital, Winchester. His tomb is in the Silkstead Chapel of Winchester Cathedral, a chapel dedicated to anglers and worth a visit for the special stained glass window.
It was on the banks of the River Test that F. M. Halford honed his groundbreaking thoughts that effectively ‘invented’ modern dry fly fishing. And while he held court on the Test, G. E. M. Skues, just 15 miles to the east on the River Itchen, was about to unleash the concept of nymph fishing and receive a mixed reaction for his troubles.
Mark spent his working life in the Lloyds insurance market before making a career changing decision to move to a tiny village on the Hampshire/Dorset border where he divides his time between guiding, beating and helping out on the river.
Born in Germany, Mark learnt his fishing with his father on the River Itchen, so working with Fishing Breaks is the perfect excuse to return to many of his old haunts where you will find he is a dab hand with both dry fly and nymph. As a father of two boys Mark particularly enjoys the teaching days at Nether Wallop Mill.
You may read more about Mark Bedford-Russell on the Fishing
Guides page. If you wish to pick Mark’s brain, email him direct
All diary and booking enquiries should be made direct to Fishing Breaks.
Top Luxury Hotel: Chewton Glen, New Milton
Top Riverside Pub: The Mayfly, Chibolton
Top Spa Hotel: Four Seasons, Hook
Top Gastro Pub: The Peat Spade, Stockbridge
Top Place Visit: Mottisfont
Abbey and Rose Garden, Romsey
In broad terms the fishing season runs from April to early October. The Hawthorn hatch generally coincides with the opening two weeks, with the Mayfly running from mid-May to the end of the first week in June.
Top Hampshire Flies:
Recommended outfit: 8.5-9ft rod, of 3-5wt. Floating line. Tippet to 2lb/6x. Flies size 14-18, barbless or de-barbed. Waders required at Whitchurch Fulling Mill, Nine Mile Water and Itchen Stoke. Not required on any other beats.