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  • 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

    Hampshire 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 history and fishing come together.

    Izaak Walton, who published one of the most reprinted books of all time The Compleat Angler in 1653, 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 Frederick Halford honed his ground-breaking thoughts that effectively ‘invented’ modern dry fly fishing in the late 1800’s. And while he held court on the Test, George 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.

    You can truly say that when you tread the riverbanks of Hampshire you are following in the footsteps of giants.

    Our rivers


    River Test Broadlands House

    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

    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. Most beats do not require wading.


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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