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
STOCKBRIDGE
Hampshire SO20 8EW
T: 01264 781988
F: 01264 782590
info@fishingbreaks.co.uk
www.fishingbreaks.co.uk

 

Planning Your Trip?

FISHING SEASON DATES | MONTH-BY-MONTH FLY & FISHING ADVICE | TRAVEL | TACKLE, CLOTHING & WADING | WEATHER | PLACES TO STAY | FISHING LICENCE | FISHING RULES | GIFT VOUCHERS

This section is of the web site is full of information for anyone who has booked, is planning to book or simply wants some more details. If you have confirmed a booking you will receive the following:

  • Confirmation letter – this highlights the details particular to your booking
  • Journey map – road map with details for satellite navigation systems
  • Local map – for the last few hundred yards when navigation systems fail on rural back roads
  • Beat map – to use once you start fishing
  • Invoice with booking terms and conditions – please read this and check the details

In addition, I will follow up with an update by email with fishing conditions about a week prior to your trip. There is plenty more information in this section that I hope you will find useful.

All the quotations are from Dermot Wilson’s “Fishing the Dry Fly” that was revised & updated whilst he lived here at Nether Wallop Mill in 1970. It’s a really great book packed with useful information and tips, written in the most beautiful prose

If you have completed your trip or have any comment on the service you have received from Fishing Breaks please complete this Feedback Form.

FISHING SEASON DATES

In broad terms the river season for trout fishing runs from April to October, with some local variations. The grayling season starts in October and runs through to March, though many rivers close earlier. Stillwater trout lakes stay open all year.

Fishing School

 April 1 – October 31

Trout Fishing (rivers)

River Allen (Dorset)

May 1 – September 30

River Avon (Wiltshire)

April 14 – October 14

River Coln (Gloucestershire)

April 1 – September 30

River Dart (Devon)

March 14 – September 30

River Dove (Derbyshire)

March 18 – October 15

Driffield Beck (Yorkshire)

April 1 – September 30

River Frome (Dorset)

April 1 – October 15

River Itchen (Hampshire)

April 3 – October 31

River Kennet (Berkshire)

May 1 – September 30

River Lambourn (Berkshire)

April 16 – October 13

River Meon (Hampshire)

April 3 – September 30

River Nadder (Wiltshire)

April 26 – October 13

River Test & tributaries (Hampshire)

April 20 – October 31

River Wylye (Wiltshire)

April 17 – October 15


Grayling fishing (rivers)

All rivers

October 1 – March 15


MONTH BY MONTH FLY & FISHING ADVICE

APRIL April Flies Annual Hatch Calendar

When April comes, the chalk-stream season begins …. and it begins with the Large Dark Olive.” Fishing the Dry Fly. Dermot Wilson.1957

Take your April days as you find them; some will be great, with trout eager to feed after a long winter. Always dress for the worst weather, but hope for the best as April is a dry month. The best fishing will be from 10am-3pm. Click here for more fly and fishing advice.

Av. Sunshine:

5 hours

Av. Min Temperature:

6C

Av. Max Temperature:

13C

Av. No. wet days:

12 (+0.25mm)

Av. Rainfall:

37mm

Sunrise:

6.40am

Sunset:

7.39pm

Public Holidays:

Good Friday and Easter Monday

 

 

UK 5 day forecast

www.metoffice.gov.uk

 

Fly shop

www.fishingbreaks.co.uk/flies.htm

Purchase rod licence

www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/31497.aspx


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MAY

“The water meadows will be greener and lusher than in April, and there will be yellow king-cups and white ladies’ smocks in them. Although the evening rise has not yet begun, Olives, Iron Blues and Black Gnats will be on the water for long hours during each and every day and spinners may fall in the late afternoon.” Fishing the Dry Fly. Dermot Wilson.1957

A month of madness for fish, fly and fishermen. Count on the Mayfly hatch in the last two weeks in May and the first week in June. Have some Black Gnats at the ready for when the trout ignore all other offerings. Click here for more fly and fishing advice.

Av. Sunshine:

6 hours

Av. Min Temperature:

8C

Av. Max Temperature:

17C

Av. No. wet days:

12 (+0.25mm)

Av. Rainfall:

46mm

Sunrise:

5.38am

Sunset:

8.28pm

Public Holidays:

First and fourth Monday in May

 

 

UK 5 day forecast

www.metoffice.gov.uk

 

Fly shop

www.fishingbreaks.co.uk/flies.htm

Purchase rod licence

www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/31497.aspx


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JUNE

“The evening rise is probably the most regular meal-time the trout have. Even on apparently perfect fishing days flies may not hatch in the morning or afternoon, but there will usually be a rise of some sort in the evening, from mid-June onwards.” Fishing the Dry Fly. Dermot Wilson.1957

Take little notice of those who believe trout stop eating after the Mayfly. How long could you go without eating, even after a gigantic feast? Just a few days I would venture. Trout are no different, but they certainly won’t be suckered by a size 8 Grey Wulff once the Mayfly hatch is over! Click here for more fly and fishing advice.

Av. Sunshine:

7 hours

Av. Min Temperature:

12C

Av. Max Temperature:

20C

Av. No. wet days:

11 (+0.25mm)

Av. Rainfall:

45mm

Sunrise:

4.57am

Sunset:

9.11pm

Public Holidays:

None

 

 

UK 5 day forecast

www.metoffice.gov.uk

 

Fly shop

www.fishingbreaks.co.uk/flies.htm

Purchase rod licence

www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/31497.aspx


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JULY

“The gentlemen from the cities who came down for easy Mayfly fishing have climbed into their large cars and driven away. The river valleys have an air of luxurious peace and all through the long warm days, however bad the fishing may be, every fisherman can be buoyed up by the thought that the breathless excitement of the evening rise is still ahead.” Fishing the Dry Fly. Dermot Wilson.1957

Put the distractions of Ascot and Wimbledon behind you and experiment a little with your fishing. A lighter outfit for better presentation, flies so small they drive you mad when tying to tippet or some novel patterns perhaps? Check out the morning cobwebs to see the hatches. Click here for more fly and fishing advice.

Av. Sunshine:

6 hours

Av. Min Temperature:

14C

Av. Max Temperature:

22C

Av. No. wet days:

12 (+0.25mm)

Av. Rainfall:

57mm

Sunrise:

4.56am

Sunset:

9.23pm

Public Holidays:

None

 

 

UK 5 day forecast

www.metoffice.gov.uk

 

Fly shop

www.fishingbreaks.co.uk/flies.htm

Purchase rod licence

www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/31497.aspx


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AUGUST

“Daytime fishing in high summer is far from hopeless and it can be very enjoyable. There is scarcely a time when it is quite impossible to catch a good trout. The countryside looks lovely during July and August and the banks of well-fished rivers are less crowded.” Fishing the Dry Fly. Dermot Wilson.1957

Avoid the sun and follow the shade – good advice for fish and fair-skinned fishermen. August is the month that defines sight fishing when stealth, patience, concealment and presentation are at a premium. Click here for more fly and fishing advice.

Av. Sunshine:

6 hours

Av. Min Temperature:

13C

Av. Max Temperature:

21C

Av. No. wet days:

11 (+0.25mm)

Av. Rainfall:

59mm

Sunrise:

5.32am

Sunset:

8.50pm

Public Holidays:

Fourth Monday in August

 

 

UK 5 day forecast

www.metoffice.gov.uk

 

Fly shop

www.fishingbreaks.co.uk/flies.htm

Purchase rod licence

www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/31497.aspx

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SEPTEMBER

“September is a good month for fishermen, albeit a sad one in ways. The days are shorter now, and the thought that autumn is waiting impatiently to blow green leaves away makes every hour precious. And, if the spiders are busy and active during September, the trout are no less so. The season is drawing to a close, but gloriously so.” Fishing the Dry Fly. Dermot Wilson.1957

How do you define a fishing season? By the biggest fish or the best bag, perhaps. Probably not. Looking back it will be when nature and man comes together. That glorious brief moment in time when the world shrinks to just you and the river, when time stands still and the rest of the world simply does not exist. Click here for more fly and fishing advice.

Av. Sunshine:

5 hours

Av. Min Temperature:

11C

Av. Max Temperature:

19C

Av. No. wet days:

13 (+0.25mm)

Av. Rainfall:

49mm

Sunrise:

6.20am

Sunset:

7.50pm

Public Holidays:

None

 

 

UK 5 day forecast

www.metoffice.gov.uk

 

Fly shop

www.fishingbreaks.co.uk/flies.htm

Purchase rod licence

www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/31497.aspx

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OCTOBER and GRAYLING (NOV-DEC)

“The last evening of the last day has arrived, and we are fishing the evening rise for the very last time There has been plenty of fly, and we have done well, but now it is almost too dark to fish at all. One trout is still rising. He has refused us frequently already. Perhaps one last cast would catch him? No? Then, one more. No? Just a final one, then. No. A flight of duck whistles overhead, and a breath of cold air rustles the reed-tops. The season is over.” Fishing the Dry Fly. Dermot Wilson.1957

How do you define a fishing season? By the biggest fish or the best bag, perhaps. Probably not. Looking back it will be when nature and man comes together. That glorious brief moment in time when the world shrinks to just you and the river, when time stands still and the rest of the world simply does not exist. Click here for more fly and fishing advice.

Av. Sunshine:

3 hours

Av. Min Temperature:

8C

Av. Max Temperature:

14C

Av. No. wet days:

13 (+0.25mm)

Av. Rainfall:

57mm

Sunrise:

7.07am

Sunset:

6.42pm

Public Holidays:

None

 

 

UK 5 day forecast

www.metoffice.gov.uk

 

Fly shop

www.fishingbreaks.co.uk/flies.htm

Purchase rod licence

www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/31497.aspx

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TRAVEL

Getting around is usually no great problem if you have a car or book one of our Fishing Guides who will provide local transportation. Otherwise a train/taxi combination will usually work. The international airports of Gatwick and Heathrow are within 45-60 miles of the chalkstream region and the local airports are Southampton and Bournemouth.

CAR Your confirmation contains maps and the postal address for satellite navigation. However, a word of warning as fishing beats tend to be in the out of the way places which navigation systems have problems with, so do rely on our local map once you get close.

TRAIN There are a few beats that are within walking distance of the local train station, but generally you will have to take a taxi from station to river. However, that will not be as difficult as it might sound as over three quarters of our beats are within 5 miles of a railway station.

TAXI
If you arrive by taxi it is a good idea to arrange the pick-up time and place before you send the driver away.

AIRPORTS
All these are within a reasonable distance of our rivers.

Bournemouth (BOH)
Gatwick (LGW)
Heathrow (LHR)
Southampton (SOU)

HELICOPTERS
Usually possible by prior arrangement

TACKLE, CLOTHING & WADING

The recommended outfit for the chalkstreams is an 8ft 6inch, 3, 4 or 5-weight rod with a floating line. You should carry tippet/nylon/leader materials down to 3lb. In addition to a selection of dry flies and nymphs, floatant is essential plus a landing net, priest and pliers to de-barb hooks.

There is no dress code on our rivers, simply dress for a day outside with waterproofs as a back up. A peaked cap and polarised sunglasses are essential aids to fish spotting. Wear waterproof footwear to cope with wet grass and the occasional soggy patch.

Nearly all our beats are fished from the bank. If a beat requires wading it will be stated in your confirmation letter. If you wish to wear waders on non-wading beats for comfort or to assist releasing fish etc. this is fine, but please observe any non-wading instructions.

Detailed advice on flies is contained on the Month-by-Month section.

WEATHER

As the chalkstreams take their water from underground springs the rivers are less prone to the to the height and colour fluctuations of spate rivers. That said, the weather may always have an impact, either good or bad, on any fishing trip.

It is important to note that all Fishing Breaks fishing is sold on the basis that the client assumes all the risk with regard to weather and river conditions. There are no refunds, exchanges or postponements due to the weather or river conditions.

The best weather advice is available from the Met Office web site. Click on this link www.metoffice.gov.uk which has 1-15 day forecasts that can be refined down to the local area.

PLACES TO STAY

Take a look at our accommodation guide http://www.fishingbreaks.co.uk/accomm.htm Your confirmation letter will contain some local recommendations. We do not make accommodation bookings but will offer any advice should you require it.

FISHING RULES

All our beats have a set of rules that will be part of your confirmation pack. Each beat is slightly different, so do take a moment or two to read them through. We don’t like to be too prescriptive, but the hope is that the rules (I prefer the term guidelines) will help you get the most from your day. In broad terms these are rules common to all beats:

Fishing Times:

Usually 9.30am to dark.

Catch & release:

Usually permitted with barbless or de-barbed hooks obligatory.

Keeping fish:

Some beats are all catch and release, but some allow one, two or more fish to be kept.

Nymphs:

This will vary from all season to only after July 1st

Upstream:

All fishing is upstream dry fly or nymph.

Wading:

On some beats this is essential, some recommended and some not permitted.

Rod sharing:

This is never permitted

FISHING LICENCE

You must have a valid National Fishing Licence issued by the Environment Agency before fishing on any river or lake England and Wales. If you are fishing on a course or with a Fishing Guide our block licence will cover you.

If you need to buy your own it is very easy on-line or in person from any Post Office. You may purchase a 1-day, 8-day or full season licence. NB If you are using an overseas address you might find the on-line system rejects you. Try using our address, it sometimes works.

Full Season

£27

Junior (12-16 years)

£5

8 Day

£10

1 Day

£3.75

There are various concessions and the under 12 years do not need a licence.

GIFT VOUCHERS

Redeeming Your Voucher

Gift vouchers may be redeemed by email, phone or on-line. To redeem your voucher you will need the Voucher/Invoice number and the Booking Reference. Both these may be found on the bottom right of your voucher.

On-line

Click here Use the on-line booking system as normal, entering Voucher/Invoice number and the Booking Reference when you reach the payment options screen.

Email

Email vouchers@fishingbreaks.co.uk with your preferred date(s) and voucher details.

Phone

Call us on 01264 781988

Voucher Sample with Account/Booking ref No. and Voucher No. hightlighted by pink area

Voucher Sample

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