Chalkstream fly fishing with Fishing Breaks  

Simon Cooper
"Up there with Tarka the Otter for the marvellous river and nature writing."

My debut book
Life of a Chalkstream published in May by William Collins. Read more about it or order a signed copy in hardcover or Kindle via this link.

Click here to browse brochure

The Mill
Heathman Street
Nether Wallop
Hampshire SO20 8EW
T: 01264 781988
F: 01264 782590


About the One Fly
Rules and scoring
Contact us
2014 Results
2014 Video

2015 Entry Form
Our supporters
Press articles
2013 -2008 Results

The Story of 2014


The River Test One Fly will be back for a seventh year on Friday April 24th hosted by kind invitation of The Peat Spade, Hampshire's leading sporting inn.

The One Fly is open to all-comers as teams of three or individuals. The fishing day runs from 10am-4pm, with a welcome breakfast and beat draw taking place at The Peat Spade at 8.15am with the prizes handed out over tea at 5.30pm. All fish are released and all competitors are accompanied by a Fishing Guide who acts as guide, scorer and confidante.

It is a tremendous day – I hope you can make it. Click here for the entry form.

Grant Harrower with his winning (but shredded!) Daddy Long Legs

About the One Fly

The idea for the River Test One Fly was conceived by Fishing Breaks founder Simon Cooper having competed in the American equivalent since 2005. Though he has never come close to winning, every year Simon makes the 5,000 mile trek to Wyoming with ever increasing excitement. For this is a contest that pits man against man and fish against fly – it is an unequal contest as the trout always win, but you can share the passion of one of the world’s truly great fly fishing events which is now held in England, the home of fly fishing.

But the clue to the difference to other fly fishing tournaments is in the name - the One Fly is exactly that – at 10am every competitor selects and ties on the fly that must last all day – lose it and you’re out! Points are awarded on a sliding scale according to the number and length of fish caught. There are no cash prizes – just the glory and kudos of winning.


There are a handful of days in the chalkstream season when it rains from dawn to dusk and yesterday just happened to be one of those. After five straight years of great River Test One Fly weather the gods scowled on us effectively blowing out many of the beats lower down the river and making it tough just about everywhere.

But to confound everyone, in the worst conditions ever, a dry fly won the competition, ending five straight years of a nymph. All credit to Grant Harrower for choosing a Daddy Long Legs and sticking with it, leading his team the Minley Manor Moustaches to collect the winning team trophy preventing the Dream Team making it three years on the trot.

The Estate prize went to The Boathouse which is just downstream of Wherwell Priory on the River Test. But it was a close run thing just shading Compton Chamberlayne on the Nadder by two points, which made it a second year of being second. A special mention to newcomer Avon Springs on the Avon who were third.

First time One Fly entrant Michael Jacobsen, who has travelled from Scandinavia to compete, shared the Big Fish award with Grant Harrower who both caught a 23” trout raising £500 for our chosen cause this year Fishing for Forces.

This year 154 fish trout were caught, including two sea trout, all of which were released unharmed. We owe a huge thank you to all our river owners for kindly giving their fishing up for the day, The Peat Spade for being such wonderful hosts and to everyone for fishing the day in the spirit of what makes our chalkstreams so very special.

See you in 2015!



Minley Manor Moustaches

Grant Harrower, Simon Mallaby & Paul Quillam

1850 points



Darren Dodd, Wes Boyd & Chris Banks



Stream Dreamers

John Graham, Anthony Edwards & Dan Brown




Grant Harrower/Clayton Moorhouse

1545 points


George Stephenson/Charlie Patrick



Wes Boyd/Philip Ellis




The Boathouse (River Test)


Compton Chamberlayne (River Nadder)


Avon Springs (River Avon)

The Peat Spade were back as defending last place champions and they picked up the trophy again taking it all in good spirit.

Our nominated charity collected a cheque for £500

The Pheasant Tail Nymph was the most used pattern but the run away points winner was the dry fly in the form of a Daddy Long Legs that scooped top prize.

This was shared by Michael Jacobsen (River Avon) and Grant Harrower (River Test) who both measured a 23” fish on their respective beats.

Past Winners

2013 Results

The Story of 2013 - Video


Dream Team/FlyfishMap


Mark Williams


Stuart Tanner


Whitchurch Fulling Mill


Pheasant Tail Nymph

2014 Results PDF file

2013 Results PDF file

2011 Results PDF file

2010 Results PDF file

2009 Team Scores PDF file
2009 Guide Scores PDF file
2009 Individual Rankings PDF file

2008 Team Scores PDF file
2008 Guide Scores PDF file

Press articles

Trout and Salmon - June 2014

Editor Andrew Flitcroft charts his two attempts at the One Fly.

Chris Sandford – April 2013

Dream Team captain traces the successes (and failures!) of the Dream Team over the One Fly day in a 9 minute video

Fly Fishing & Fly Tying – July 2011
A member of the winning 2011 River Test One Fly team shows you how to tie the fly he used.

FieldSports – Summer 2011

About the 2011 River Test One Fly contest.

Total Fly fisher– July 2011

About the 2011 River Test One Fly contest.

Mail on Sunday – June 2011

Chris Tarrant on his winning day and winning ways.

Waterlog - November 2010

Chris Sandford ties the flies and fishes the fly for The Dream Team


Fly Fishing & Fly Tying – October 2009

A Guides eye view of the 2009 River Test One Fly

The Field magazine – July 2009

Editor Jonathan Young recounts with great hilarity on how his team lifted the trophy.

Country Life Magazine – May 2009

David Profumo tells all from the River Test One Fly competition

Country Life Magazine May 2008

Country Life editor Mark Hedges spills the beans

Financial Times January 2008 - 2.5mb

Fear of Flying - The FT's Richard Donkin tells why he is fishing the River Test One Fly in April.

2015 Entry Form

Date of competition: Friday April 24th

Entries close: 31st January 2015

Individual entry

Team Entry












Team Name:

Tel. no:


Your address:


Individual entries will be allocated a team by the organiser. Any special requests will be fulfilled if possible. For team entries names may be changed/left open until 28 days prior to the competition. The cost of entry is £295/person. (£250 for RTOF Founder Members). The organiser will contact you for payment.

Our Supporters

The River Test One Fly could not happen without the help of a great many people - apologies to anyone accidentally omitted.

The Peat Spade Inn
Peter Roberts, Diane Bassett, Alan Middleton, Kelly Compton & Simon Fields
Avon Springs – Barrie Bawden
Benham Estate – Richard Sutton Settled Estates
Broadlands - Neil Freeman & Jon Hall
Bullington Manor – The Bond Family
Compton Chamberlayne Estate - John Newman
Dunbridge – Jo O’Brien
Donnington Grove Country Club
Fisherton de la Mere – Robina Thompson
Orvis Co.
School Farm – Caspar Macdonald-Hall
The Boathouse – Eva & Nick Gordon-Creed
The Parsonage - Jan Grimstone
Wherwell Priory - James & Clare Hogg
Whitchurch Fulling Mill - Tim & Sappho Dutton

Rules and scoring

Click here to open PDF of the rules and scoring

Contact us

River Test One Fly HQ
Nether Wallop Mill
SO20 8EW
T: 01264 781988

Fishing Breaks Ltd, The Mill, Heathman Street, Nether Wallop
Stockbridge, Hampshire SO20 8EW
Tel: 01264 781988. Fax: 01264 782590. E-mail: