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Three new beats. One new British record.

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.

Our rivers | Your guide | Places to stay | Fishing advice and flies | Maps

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.

Our rivers


River Test Broadlands House NEW

The home of the Mountbatten family.


River Test Bullington Manor

Four long, very private, gin-clear beats.


River Dun Dunbridge

A beautiful stretch with deep pools, fast runs and lazy back eddies.


River Test Middleton Estate

A perfect blend of wild and manicured fishing


River Test Mottisfont Abbey

The true and historic home of dry fly fishing.


River Test The Parsonage

A Fishing Breaks favourite for over 20 years.


River Dun School Farm

Packed with fish and with great facilities.


River Test Timsbury Fishery

Fast flowing carriers and main River Test combination


River Anton Upper Clatford

Delightful tributary of the River Test for bank fishing and wading


River Test Wherwell Priory

Beautiful beats in a tranquil parkland setting.


River Test Whitchurch Fulling Mill

Perfect for stalking and sight fishing.


River Itchen Avington

Gin-clear carrier of the River Itchen


River Meon Exton Manor Farm

One of Hampshire's most untouched chalkstreams


River Itchen Kanara

Head here for great chalkstream wading


River Itchen Qing Ya Xi Lodge

Great for singles or small groups


River Itchen Shawford Park

A hidden gem


Your fishing guide - John Stephens

 John Stephens was born close to the banks of the River Avon at Salisbury Hospital in Wiltshire, the river on which he caught his first trout on a dry fly at the tender age of ten. As one of the longest serving Fishing Breaks guides John knows all the Hampshire beats like the back of his hand. You will not find a more patient or knowledgeable guide anywhere.

You may read more about John Stephens on the Fishing Guides page. If you wish to pick John’s brain, email him directly at All diary and booking enquiries should be made direct to Fishing Breaks.

Places of interest


Fly fishing capital of England

River Test eel traps


Pub on the river

The Mayfly, Fullerton

Top Luxury Hotel: Lainston House, Winchester

Top Spa Hotel: Four Seasons, Hook

View the full Fishing Breaks accommodation guide

Fishing advice and flies

In broad terms the trout fishing season runs from April to early October, with grayling fishing until Christmas. The hawthorn hatch will be in late April, the mayfly from mid-May to early June. The summer is great for a variety of caddis, olives and terrestrials. For more fishing advice and to buy flies click here.

Top Hampshire Flies:

Dark Olive (14/16)
Hawthorn (14)


Mayfly (8-10)
Black Gnat (14-18)


Greenwell’s Glory (14-16)

Iron Blue (14)
PTN (141-6)


Deer Hair Sedge (12-14)
GRHE (16-18)


Griffiths Gnat (16)
Daddy Long Legs (12)

Recommended outfit: 8½ ft rod, with 3-5wt floating line. Tippet to 2lb/6x. Waders required at Whitchurch Fulling Mill, Exton Manor Farm and Itchen Stoke only.


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    Life of a Chalkstream


Fishing Breaks
The Mill
Heathman Street
Nether Wallop
Hampshire SO20 8EW

01264 781988
Overseas +44 1264 781 988